OntarioIf you are not having fun, then you are missing the point.
In Canada, the third Monday in February is Family Day.
We had already had a busy Saturday and Sunday, so I expected Monday to be a quiet day at home. Usually, quiet days at home end up with Zooloretto or The World Cup Game on the table. That is, a slightly longer game that the kids can get involved in. At least that was the idea. Instead, the neighbour kids came knocking and both Danica (6) and Kyler (4) ended up playing out in the snow for a good portion of the day.
So instead of a kids' game, Yvonne and I sat down for a 2-player game of Tikal. An oldie, Tikal is a favourite since my family comes from Guatemala , so the theme is great for us.
This particular game, Yvonne drew almost all of the treasure tiles, so she managed to control the treasure points. However, I picked up every single volcano so I was able to control the board. Yvonne made an early move to deprive me of a temple that I had been building up, but had to use her big worker to do so. That gave her an early lead. However, the move came too early. Each scoring round, I crept closer and closer, surpassing her in the final scoring round and winning by 20 points.
Danica eventually made her way inside and asked Mommy to play a game. So the girls sat down and played Tally Ho!. Danica is almost 7 and she's now starting to play strategy games using real rules and real strategy. Of course, she has a long way to go, but that's where games like Tally Ho excel. The better player is most likely to win, but the luck of the draw means that the lesser player has a chance.
There was time for one more, so Danica tried her hand at Take it Easy!.
After supper, the whole family finally gathered to play some games on Family Day. We each selected one short game and we played each one of them.
Kyler (4), not surprisingly, selected his current favourite: The World Cup Card Game 2010. This is a "short" game only because we play one or two groups each sitting. We were playing Group D this day and Kyler played Germany to first place while I led Serbia to a second place finish in the group. Ghana and Australia have been eliminated.
Danica (6) took a few minutes selecting her game, as she often does since we have so many choices. In the end, she pulled out a book of kids' games and we played one of the basic roll-and-move pages. This is a nice, sturdy game book that the kids have had since our trip to Guatemala in February 2009. Both kids still enjoy roll-and-move games. Hopefully, that stage will be over soon.
Yvonne then selected My First Carcassonne. She doesn't get to play this game very often, since the kids tend to play it on their own. But she wanted to see how far Kyler has progressed in his decision making. Sure enough, she got to see Kyler not only making optimal moves for himself, but also playing the tiles in such a way as to screw up Mommy's chances! On purpose! It was beautiful. Even better - he won the game!
Finally, I opted for Animal Upon Animal. I know that Kyler is not fond of dexterity games since he's still not very good at them. But I also know that he has fun playing while the game is going on. Sure enough - we had some good laughs. Danica ended up winning. When then played again, but we incorporated the little animals from Zoowaboo into the pile. Whenever somebody rolled "hand", they would select a Zoowaboo animal to give to another player and whenever a "question" was rolled, the next player would hand over a Zoowaboo animal to the current player. It makes the game longer, but it was highly entertaining.