We play a lot of games in our family, especially when we’re in Portugal. We do something called Games Day, where we commit to playing a series of games as a family. Outside there is swingball, table tennis, archery and various stuff involving wheels and the potential for bruises. We also like to play cards on the beach, gambling with shells, cuddled up together behind a windbreak. In the house, board games are perfect, especially on a rainy day. There is Risk and Chess, Cluedo, Draughts and Backgammon, various Monopoly options, Poker with shells for tokens, or the card game with the name that is too rude to type here. So many choices. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Today was not really a Games Day, as we had settling in stuff to do. But we did manage to fit in a round of Spongebob Monopoly. It’s an old favourite – the box is tattered around the edges with use. After a road trip across Europe, and a morning of rushing around, a family game was the perfect way to relax.
It must be Christmas. Spongebob Monopoly Strikes Again!
As well as being great value-for-money fun, especially when you are on holiday, games are brilliant for many aspects of learning. You sit there, pitted against each other, so you are either going to win or lose. As well as getting the joy of winning, games have taught our children how to regulate their emotional reactions when things don’t go so well, and to handle tokens, money, and properties with mortgage values. From playing cards they have learned about numbers, and suits, and values, and all kinds of useful stuff. There are fine motor skills involved too, as they roll the dice and pick up the small pieces. I’ve tried to persuade the kids to let me teach them how to shuffle cards, which is great for finger strength, but they want to leave that as ‘mummy’s special trick’ for the time being. Outdoor games help to build the physical aspects – the archery set was a great buy. And the chance to simply spend time together as a family is worth such a lot. In our day-to-day lives, we tend to put games to one side, but perhaps we should consider playing them more often. Merry Christmas. And Game On. 🙂