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Subject: Halli Galli with a three year old rss

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Melissa
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After watching us play games with Biggie last night, Otto demanded a game too. Specifically, she demanded Halli Galli.

There were some very important rules for me to learn, playing with her.

What I call plums, she calls love hearts.
What I call limes, she calls plums.

Fortunately, we agree on strawberries and bananas.

The game went like this:

She would play.
I would play.
Eventually, one of us would play a 5. When she noticed, she would clap and cheer.

Otto: "Five!! Hooray!!"
Me: "What do we do when there is a five?"
Otto: "We ring the bell. Yay!!"

Sometimes, though it was my turn.

Otto: "There's five, mummy. You have to ring the bell. It is your turn."

Then there was excitement. I had 2 strawberries facing up, and she played the five of strawberries.

Otto: "Oh no! That's more than five!"

[I play my next card - one "plum" - on top of the two strawberries]

Turns out, she understands the concept of subtraction - there are claps and cheers for the five remaining strawberries (which I persuaded her to take).

A little later, I played a two of "love hearts" to her three.

Me: "How many do 3 and 2 make?"
Otto: *gasp* "Five! You need to ring the bell!"
(pause)
Otto: "After this can we play Catch the Match? And after Catch the Match, can we play Blink? And after Blink, can we play Make 'n' Break?"

We called the game a tie, eventually. There's only so much co-operative play one person can take.

Did it work as an activity for her? Yes, definitely. She had a great time.
Did it work as a game? Well, no. For starters, she's not really adding numbers yet - we had to count them out. More importantly, though, she's not very keen on playing competitively - well, not most games, anyway.

We'll enjoy playing this properly with her in about a year's time - but for now, it's a fun activity as long as we don't let it go on for too long.
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