How we keep our son occupied while we play games . . .
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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Our son, Bailey, will be two in September. He has this new fascination with all our interesting game pieces. We have tried inventive ways to keep him away from our games but still somewhat involved.

Please share any similar experiences or advice.

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1. Board Game: Mouse Trap [Average Rating:4.09 Overall Rank:15317]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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The playpen is a great invention. Bailey tends to throw a fit now that he is bigger, the table is a bit of a distance away, and we are paying attention to something that is not Bailey.
 
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2. Board Game: Elmo's Birthday Game [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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To solve this dilemma, we play Elmo vidoes. He loves Elmo and tries to sing along with the songs. la-la-lala- la la lala Elmo's World. Unfortunately, this does not keep him involved with us.
 
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3. Board Game: Finding Nemo [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:12637]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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Finding Nemo keeps him occupied too. Again, this does not keep him involved with us.
 
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4. Board Game: Music Boxx [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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He has his own children's music. He dances around and tries to sing. This does not last too long. He still tries to grab the pieces. We have to sing his songs with him to get him involved again with his songs.
 
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5. Board Game: Vector 3 [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:13577]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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To make him feel involved, Bailey has his own game to play with (a freebie from a ebay order) while he's in his high chair. He sorts and stacks the pieces.

He has been collecting extra pieces and brochures from our games in a little red plastic pencil box to play with at his high chair while we play at the table. It's pretty cute to watch him grip and roll dice.
 
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6. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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Bailey also has his own army men. We took a few and made it look like it came out of M'44. It's not difficult to fool at 2 year old. They are bigger than regular army men and the same color of those in M'44. If you look close in the picture, you can see one low crawling.
 
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7. Thing: N/A
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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8. Board Game: The Baby-Sitters Club Game [Average Rating:5.42 Unranked]
Dane Peacock
United States
Stansbury Park
Utah
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This idea works well at family gatherings or when there are older children in the house:

Make the rule that if a person does not want to play the game, then they have to baby sit!

It is a win-win situation.
1. You have your baby sitter, and before long,
2. You will have plenty of eager players.

Of course, it helps to be the Father or Mother so you can enforce the rule...
 
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9. Board Game: Circus Flohcati [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1360]
Adam Tall
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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I made my own set of this game years ago and had laminated the cards. Now I have the Rio Grande version and my 17 month old boy gets to play with and even occasionally chew some game pieces (not a habit I really want to continue).
 
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10. Board Game: Secret Tijuana Deathmatch [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:11542]
Miguel
United States
Oakland
California
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you could rent him out...
 
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11. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Play with friends who have children of their own. Let the kids play with each other while the grownups enjoy a, well, RELATIVELY uniterrupted game of Settlers.

"Put that down! Do NOT hit ANYone over the head! You have to share, he's younger than you!...Oh, is it my turn, sorry!"

That's why I suggest Settlers, with kids underfoot it's hard to play anything REALLY strategic
 
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12. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Jason Sample
United States
Pelham
New York
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Bright, brilliant colors are to be seen everywhere, the stones and pigments undimmed by the passage of decades. The floor of the corridor is a colorful mosaic of stone, with a distinct, winding path of red tiles about 2' wide.
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Our 3 year old has been playing Puerto Rico along with us for quite some time now. As of late, she is starting to get it. Just last week she was huffing and puffing as I chose the Mayor, "Daddy!! Why don't you just GIVE the game to Mommy!!!" She tends to be a bit of a Queenmaker herself, though. Always trying to help her mother win. I get the distinct feeling that they are ganging up on me...

Sometimes the 6 month old plays as well. He recently swallowed an indigo plantation, a small indigo plant, and two colonist pieces. Every time someone chooses craftsman, he poops out two indigo barrels. We're hoping he gets better...and justs poops out one, he is draining the supply.
 
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13. Board Game: The Wiggles Activity Game [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Much like your Elmo suggestion above, I am recommending the DVDs not the game. Videos work too, although they do wear out. When The Wiggles brought out their first DVD it was our rationalisation to get a DVD player. We can play most German games whilst Daughter the Younger occupies herself with her toys or watches The Wiggles.
 
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14. Board Game: Hat Trick [Average Rating:3.91 Unranked]
Mike Siggins
England
Bexhill
SUSSEX
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We just hang him on the hatstand until we're done.
 
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15. Board Game: Yahtzee Jr. [Average Rating:5.01 Overall Rank:15058]
Al Leo
United States
New England
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My son Jakob (4yr) and I play this quite often. Then little Amelia wants to play as well. She is 20 months old and likes to be involved in everthing. So we give her pretend turns. She takes the cup all the dice and many of the counters shakes them up and rolls. She feels as if she is part of the game and Jake and I get a laugh out of it!!
 
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16. Board Game: Monkey Madness [Average Rating:5.37 Overall Rank:13308]
My son Niall is 3 now but this has been his favourite game for the last year, and he always wants to play again (and again). It's a Knizia (!) but a game for wee ones only, so don't get too excited, but by playing it he has gradually learned to take his turn and not try to grab everyone else's bits or re-arange the board - which helps when we play other games.
 
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