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Subject: Learning different things with Games rss

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Robert Zaleski
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I borrowed my friends copy of Tsuro to try it on my kids this weekend. My 3 year old bolted as he tried his first few tiles, so we're definitely not ready for it. My 4.5 year old enjoyed moving around the board and trying not to move into the corner. Daddy hemmed her in.

While Playing it, I started thinking, the thought patterns she's doing a lot of "Rotational thinking" like when we do puzzles, or playing Hiss, or what I imagine some of what Carcassone is like. Hiss helped them out allot with their puzzles btw, as they think about what they are looking at and flip the tiles around more, that I notice they do that in puzzles without me prompting them as much.

Also, when we're doing "Cloud 9" it's a bit more probabilistic on what to do. So you have to think about what tey do. I got thinking some more, about what games would work other types of games. Maybe some games where they do more negotiating or something would be good.

Any ideas for games 8 and below that force you to think in different ways. I'm thinking pulling out memory a bit more, and maybe some negotiating games would be good. Also there's some kids games where you're working on doing observations, I may pick one or two of those up. I'm also looking for games my 3 year old can play and his little 2 year old brother can start playing as his attention span improves. But great ideas I should keep in mind for 3-4 years from now are good too.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I've had good luck with Duck, Duck, Bruce (in its earlier Kleine Fische incarnation) as a first push-your-luck game for 3-4 year olds (and older). It's one of those games that is immediately accessible -- i.e. on your turn, your only choice is do I turn over another card or do I take what I've already turned over. So making a decision isn't hard, but making the best decision can be fairly sophisticated and kids tend to start figuring that out with experience and observation.

I also really love Ribbit for this age. Preschoolers generally aren't good bluffers, but when elements of constrained choice and shared benefit are introduced (as they are here), it becomes much harder for their opponents to figure out what a 4 year-old's true objective is. It's a simple/quick hidden identity racing game where everyone moves every pawn (and some pawns are just dummies).
 
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Mark Salzwedel
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rzaleski wrote:

Any ideas for games 8 and below that force you to think in different ways. I'm thinking pulling out memory a bit more, and maybe some negotiating games would be good. Also there's some kids games where you're working on doing observations, I may pick one or two of those up. I'm also looking for games my 3 year old can play and his little 2 year old brother can start playing as his attention span improves. But great ideas I should keep in mind for 3-4 years from now are good too.

Thanks for the advice.


If you can find a copy, Labyrinth is easy enough for 5 or 6, but if they watch you play a few games, your kids might pick it up. Requires a really good spatial imagination and higher analytical skills some adults don't do well with, but kids can just bumble through until they start recognizing the patterns.
 
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Mark Salzwedel
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You might look into abstracts too. Othello or Junior Othello are pretty easy to find, and they would get your kids trying to be thorough about evaluating all their options.

If your kids are starting to pick up on Tsuro, you might want to try one I designed: 4th Corner. I've recommended it for 8 and up, but I'm told some 5 and 6 year olds can handle it.

I've got another one coming out in a few months that both of your kids might be ready for now or very soon. It's a simple color- and number-matching game with a space exploration theme: Star Hopper. It may be of interest as they get older too, because it uses real star names and comes with an educational book of star and planet facts.
 
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