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Subject: Session with my daughter, 4 rss

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Dean
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If you look at my posts to the Geek, it soon becomes apparent that I am an avid and unrepentant thrifter. The number of games I've picked up from thrift shops is staggering.

One of my rules is to always, ALWAYS, pick up a HABA game, even if I have a copy already. This week, I saw a copy of Obstgärtchen on the shelf, and snagged it right away. I already own this (as the French version -- Le petit verger), and have enjoyed many games with my daughter (4) and son (8). I have a nephew just a few months younger than my daughter, so this will be finding its way to him.

Why are HABA games so desired by your's truly? Well, funny you should ask. I'll answer with this little story.

When my little girl saw the new copy, she grabbed it, ran to me and said "Daddy, I want to play this!"

Go ahead. Try to refuse that. You can't. So we played it.

We set up the board and placed down the tiles. One thing we noticed right away is how the French version differs from the German -- in the German edition the board does not fold, and the tree fits into a slot on the board and is anchored by the box's insert. In the French, the board folds, and the tree is attached to it, pop-up book style. However, it's not quite sturdy, so you need to use the included clothes pins make the tree stand up properly. I think I prefer the German version, since the folding board doesn't lend itself to any space savings.

So we started the game and she rolled the die. She had a real knack of finding the cherries -- her first three flips each scored goodness, and she happily plucked the cherries from the tree and dropped them in the basket.

I, on the other hand, kept pulling up sleeping animals. "Shhhh....", I would say, all serious. "He's sleeping." This would elicit a whispered and equally serious "OK" from her.

Of course, I'm the first to flip over a crow. So I let out a CAW CAW with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. Tiny fingers jammed into little ears as she said "that's too loud!!"

Suddenly, she was afraid to flip over any tiles now. "You take two turns now, Daddy." Well, I can't do that, sweetheart. It's your turn to pick a tile. Through all this, she had lost track of which tile is which. I found the fourth cherry, and we hit the crow three more times. We were down to one more cherry, and one more space for the crow. She was terrified of turning over the wrong tile. I had everything straight in my head by this time, and knew what's what. She instructed me to take the next turn, even though it's should have been hers. I rolled the proper flower, took the proper tile and closed my eyes.

"I can't look", I said, as seriously as I could manage. As I fliped it over I asked, "is it a crow?"

She answered me with a shout of triumph and grabbed the last cherry, depositing it in the basket! We've Won!!! Woo Hoo!!!

She then had a declaration. "Since I picked more cherries than you", she said "I win." Hey! I thought we were playing a cooperative game!

Anyway, she helped me clean up, gave me a BIG hug and said "thanks for playing with me."

That's why I pick up HABA games.
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