Gaming progression with my daughter
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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I have a 14 year old daughter named Abbey (means "Bringer of Joy") that enjoys playing board games with me. I consider myself extremely lucky to have a daughter, AND that at 14, she wants to spend time with me in this way. However, I also believe this did not happen by chance. My wife & I have been very intentional about how we spend time with our daughter. Games have always been a part of that intentionality.

Below, I outline the progression of games we played together through the years. I'm not saying this will work for anyone else; it's just the path that we took and are currently on. I hope you enjoy.
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1. Board Game: Thomas the Tank Engine Game [Average Rating:3.56 Unranked]
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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Ages 3 to 6:

We did not own the Thomas board game but spent many evenings lying on the floor together, making elaborate Lego buildings & tremendous Thomas train track layouts. I always tried to allow her to lead in our play, but too often I would get carried away making fantastic Lego creatures and complex track systems. Time spent together in these activities laid a foundation for future board gaming.

Other games we played at this age:
o Hi Ho! Cherry-O
o Zoboomafoo
o Candy Land


edited to add "other games." It's hard to remember that far back (grin).
 
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2. Board Game: Monopoly Junior: Dig 'n Dinos [Average Rating:4.29 Unranked]
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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Ages 6 to 8:

Like most kids, Abbey went through the "dinosaur" phase. We would play this game quite often. She was quite good at teaching me correct pronunciations for each prehistoric creature. During these years, rules were followed loosely and sometimes changed if it made the game easier to understand. Oh, and the lego/Thomas play continued right on through these years.

Other games that we played a lot at this time included:
o Cranium Cadoo
o Cranium Zooreka!
o Cootie
 
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3. Board Game: The Game of Life [Average Rating:4.21 Overall Rank:16285]
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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Ages 8 to 10:

Somehow (I think my wife had something to do with this) a Game of Life showed up in our home. Ohhh, the horror. I sat through countless games, hiding my distaste yet valuing the time with my daughter. I can’t tell you how much I detest this game; yet Abbey enjoyed it so much, I would never say ‘no’ when she asked to play. During this time I was careful not to win every game we played but tried to keep it 70/30 in her favor, or something like that. I’d often prompt her to make better moves.

Other games that we played quite often at this time:
o Rat-a-Tat Cat
o Mad Libs Card Game
o Boggle I'd find words with 4 or more letters, she could find words of any length.
o Rack-O
o The Scrambled States of America
o Mastermind I'd often coach her through some of the logic in this game.
 
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4. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:726]
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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Ages 11 to 13:

OK, finally some "real" games. All that investment in the "The Game of Life" etc finally begins to pay off. Abbey was getting older and I began to gently introduce some more complex games. I tried Catan & Odin's Ravens but neither of these grabbed her attention.

Around this time I'd read The Lord of the Rings books aloud to her. She loved them so of course the LotR game was a natural follow-up. I would coach her moves a lot early on, but gradually she caught on and pretty soon she was very involved in making all the hobbit's choices during game play. We both love this game a lot, partly because of the theme and partly because of the needed interaction during the game play.

We played other, more directly competitive games, where I followed a "win if I can, but not all the time" approach.

Other games that we played often during these years:
o Lost Cities
o RoboRally
o The Downfall of Pompeii
o Carcassonne
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5. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:391]
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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Today...

I bought DotR game earlier this year and it has quickly became our most played game. Abbey is not extremely competitive so she really enjoys the co-op games. Though last night we lost a game of DotR and she was not too happy about that. Also, the other day she beat me in Stone Age and that really made her day.

Other games we played a lot this year:
Stone Age
Thebes
Lord of the Rings We continue to play this one quite a bit.
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6. Board Game: Future Focus Game [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
Ernest S
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Renton
Washington
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Epilogue:

The other day we pulled out some of the old favorites (Not Life, thankfully). She totally smoked me in Boggle, Slamwich & Rat-a-Tat Cat; but I pulled out a narrow victory in The Scrambled States of America. It brought back some memories (for both of us, I think). I also think it is time to remove all those handicaps I've been giving her; I'd like to win once in a while too.

So, what will the future hold? I wonder if Abbey will lose interest as she gets more independent. Her friends are already very important to her (some of them have actually joined us for a game on occasion). I'm not one to dwell too much on the future. Right now I'll enjoy what I have and when I get home tonight, I’ll see if she will play a game of... well, whatever she wants; even if it's "The Game of Life."
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