Monday was our Game Club meeting. Everyone, parents included, had a great time playing board and card games. The kids tried out games they hadn’t played before (or introduced their friends to favorites played at home). This month’s games were a mix of card games, a junior version of a classic game, some newer games, and one of our families brought two favorites. We put the games on a main table, and the kids picked out which ones they wanted to play.
Here is the list:
- Ratuki – This deceptively simply card game has players stack decks with cards showing numbers, words or fingers counting from 1 to 5. The aim is to place a 5 or a Ratuki card on top of a four card before another player. Fast play has players putting down cards all at once, which can be frustrating for younger players. We have modified it for younger players so that everyone takes turns, which makes it more enjoyable for them. This two to five player game is great for kids who can recognize (or are learning to recognize) numbers 1-5, words for numbers 1-5, and can count quickly.
- Blink – Another card game that appears simple, but actually works your brain. The premise – two players compete to get rid of their stack of cards by placing cards into two piles based on color, number or shape. For adults and older kids, it is a fast, fun, game. For younger kids, it is an entertaining way to work on counting, categorizing and recognizing shapes and colors. We have also played it at home in a “solitaire” version – one player, two stacks, with unusable cards shuffled to the bottom of the stack – which has become a favorite game in its own right.
- Clue Junior – For kids who are pre-readers or just learning to read, but want to play a “big kid” game, Clue Jr. is just right. There are two versions of play listed in the box – one for younger players, one for older players. Both versions are fun, and younger players seemed especially happy to play their own version of a popular game. Adults and older kids can enjoy playing Clue Jr. because it isn’t as mind-numbing as some early games can be.
- Qwirkle – As one of the parents who played it said, it’s like dominoes and Scrabble for shapes and colors, and that is pretty accurate. The bright colors and distinct shapes on the tiles make this game attractive to kids, but the points calculations and strategy make it appealing to adults and older kids. Your aim is to get a line of six different shapes or six colors in a continuous line, with no repeats allowed. However, every other player wants to do the same, and because you are limited to no more than six colors or shapes in a line, the tiles branch out across the table, similarly to Scrabble (the points are simliar to Scrabble too). This game is one where varying ages can play together and all have a good time.
- Skippity – What is the best part of checkers? Jumping another checker! Skippity is a board game based on jumping five different colors of checkers over each other. Kids who understand that part of checkers *love* this aspect of the game. To win, players need to collect checkers in all the colors. The player with the most sets of checkers (all five colors make a set) wins the game. This game is lots of fun for kids who enjoy checkers, and simple enough that even younger players can enjoy playing.
- Blokus – The pieces of this game look like something out of Tetris, but instead of fitting them together, players need to fit them so only the corners touch. More complicated than the other games, even younger players who may not understand the strategy of blocking opponents will enjoy this game. And a bonus: the pieces are great for making beautiful pictures on the board after the game is over.
- Lego Board Game – We played this game at the October Lego Club meeting, and it was so popular we brought it to Game Club. This game will be a regular at Game Club meetings (and in the rotation for Lego Club too).
- One of our families brought Let’s Go Fishing, as well as Connect 4. The kids definitely had a good time trying to beat the fishing game!
Thanks to everyone who was able to make the October meeting. Our next Game Club will meet on December 15th. There are only 3 spots left open, so sign up soon to attend.