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Subject: Do you speed through generic kids games? rss

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Mark Synowiec
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As much as my wife and I enjoy gaming with my step-daughter we do get sick of games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. If we get out Blockus, Sequence, Black Sheep or just try to get her to play other games. She can do Elder Sign if we do Omens too but if we do the more generic ones we tend to do things to speed them up. Its not that we hate family time just the generic games are played multiple times and if we don't take 100x longer then necessary.

Here is what we do:

Candy Land: I act as a dealer and kind of hand out/tell what card you got.

Chutes and Ladders: We can do basic math so only she really counts out the spaces.

Lego Racing: For some odd reason she looses interest in the game when the die gets completely assembled and we speed through it.

Am I the only one who does this or is this normal?
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Andrew Senger
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For my three-year-old daughter, I'll do whatever it takes to play a game with her, even if it means How Tall Am I. It's hard to keep her interested in other games, so when she wants to play, I'll play.
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jumbit
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The point of playing a kids' game isn't to have fun playing a game. The point of playing a kids' game is to spend time with your child and to teach them about counting, colors, being a good loser, etc.
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B. L.
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I wouldn't suggest speeding through them. The reason I play board games now is because I remember how much fun I had playing them with my parents when I was a kid. It was only a few years ago that I realized there was a whole world of board games that I didn't know about.

But there is a trick to Candy Land. Slip the Queen Frostine card into your pocket and pretend to drop your card when you draw. Pull the card from your pocket and give a triumphant smile. You may not win but you have a good shot of ending the game quickly. It might not be foolproof but it did get my mom a few times.
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David Minken
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But my kids usually win!!!
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Henry Allen
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Candyland has a variant (right in the rules I think) where you draw two and decide what to keep. I let my son do this while I just draw 1. This gets him thinking a little to determine which to keep and also insures that one of us moves the game to completion in good time.
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Hilko Drude
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jumbit wrote:
The point of playing a kids' game isn't to have fun playing a game. The point of playing a kids' game is to spend time with your child and to teach them about counting, colors, being a good loser, etc.


I disagree wholeheartedly. I play games with my kids almost daily, and while they can choose whatever they want to play, the games that they demand repeatedly are usually the games that are fun for me, too (at least once they passed the age of three-ish). They notice quickly that a game is only fun if it is fun for everyone. Teaching them that (or anything else) is a side effect however, never a motivation. So the point is to have fun playing a game. If they have fun, they will learn the rest as well.
On a side note: I have yet to find a game teaching colors to kids. Every kid I know knew colors long before being able to play even rather simple games.
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Andrew Senger
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HilkMAN wrote:
On a side note: I have yet to find a game teaching colors to kids. Every kid I know knew colors long before being able to play even rather simple games.


Doesn't teach primary colors, but Color Mix-A-Roo helps in learning mixing colors. I'm not disagreeing with the point, but simply showing that colors can be taught (and to use, most likely, the first link to that game ever [and possibly the last] - I added it a few months ago).
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Sharon Khan
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HilkMAN wrote:
On a side note: I have yet to find a game teaching colors to kids. Every kid I know knew colors long before being able to play even rather simple games.


Depends on the child! My third child was quite slow at learning his colours, and I used games as a means to teach him them.
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Sharon Khan
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mbsisktb wrote:
As much as my wife and I enjoy gaming with my step-daughter we do get sick of games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. Its not that we hate family time just the generic games are played multiple times and if we don't take 100x longer then necessary.
Am I the only one who does this or is this normal?


I try to keep games moving when playing with kids, but they also learn from example, so in Snakes and Ladders I will count out my spaces, just rather quicker, at least with a 3 year old (with an older child I woudn't worry so much). I will do things like roll my dice while he's still counting though, to speed things up, and also hand out the pieces in games where you collect a piece for rolling a dice. But then I speed up games with adults too, by passing things round the table, and moving bits on the board, as anyone playing with me will tell you!

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Robert Zaleski
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I did the same thing with my kids. But it was more about age. I'll start my youngest in Candyland when he hits two. Making him do everything is very bad. He'll be content to play a big person game with me and some of his siblings. I'll do the dealer and move for him. He grabs the card each time, I do the rest for him. My older kids will still grab the cards out of my hand, but they can all move themselves. It does keep the game from stalling. And even in adult games people need prodding sometimes if you want to finish in a reasonable amount of time.

Overall though, I don't speed up games I don't want to play with my kids. I generally just don't play them over and over again. I mean as adults we take turns picking games. I do the same with my kids. And there have been days we didn't play because they didn't want to play my pick. Oh well. Usually the problem is more getting all of my kids on the same page. i.e. the oldest two want to play St. Petersburg while I've got all 5 to watch, so we really need something more age appropriate for them.

So I would suggest that, pick one game, let your child pick one game, and play them both. Should keep you both happy. One game of candyland isn't that long generally. And the more she plays, the quicker she'll get. Doesn't have to be the same day, just explain she picked last time, it's your turn to pick, and she'll pick the next game.
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Mark Synowiec
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We enjoy playing games with her, she doesn't stay focused especially with Candy Land which runs very long in our home (the special squares near the end are at the top with the other ones are always at the bottom of the deck). We've gone through two decks more then once.

Thanks for the variant we might try that. I can get with her to help me play Arkham Horror the entire time (and provides good sequencing and color practice, plus good loosing). The Lego race game is basically a simulation after the first few turns (6-8 rounds of turns the die is fully built usually). You roll move through all three cars and sometimes everyone else moves but you. Oddly even after we end it, then she still wants to play again.

We do well with Chutes and Ladders, and adult games. She can play Blockus with a little help, as well as Sequence. We just have issues with the kiddier games, but she wants to play them still. Any tips for concentration or should we pull towards the better stuff with her? I wish she could read it would be better.
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Damien Cosgrove
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Our children are 8 and 11, so maybe above the range that the original question was aimed at, but when I'm playing games with some structure to each turn with them, I'll try to step them through the structure through their first few turns, as that usually gets them moving at a decent pace.

So for our recently learnt plays of Eminent Domain it would be the mantra of "Action, Role, Clean-up" to the active player and "Follow/Dissent" to others in the role phase. It's amazing how after a few turns, they start running through their turns.

The children also know that playing in the evening will usually end at the agreed time, whether we finish the game or not, so they tend to like to keep the pace up to get more than 1 game in!
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Ross W
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My three year old loves playing Candyland and some mix and match type games. LUCKILY, I introduced him to King of Tokyo.

My wife and I usually suggest what dice he should keep and reroll, and you can see he is already picking up on some of the concepts. He tends to pick cards because he likes them, but hey, you can't have everything.

He adds a wildcard element to what could otherwise be a boring 2 player game, and it's a hell of a lot better than: "two blue squares! yay!"
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Mark Synowiec
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I never meant this to sound like we hated playing games with her, because we love playing games with her most of the time, just for some odd reason she does tend to check out a little at the end. We seriously have the longest games of Candy Land where I'm about to put the Gingerbread card in the top of the deck. I'm looking to get Hey! Thats My Fish soon she loves it on the phone and while she doesn't get the concept fully she enjoys it. I'm also just looking for advice on how to keep her checked in while we play these games with her. I'm talking to my wife about Tick Tock Woodman as well. Then again the kid can sit through a game of Elder Sign Omens. We haven't tried a normal ES game with her, mainly because of cat related issues.
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Clare Marie
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I can honestly say neither I nor my children (22, 19, & 11) have ever seen an open copy of Candyland, and they've all played board-games since toddlers .. In fact I'd never even heard of it until I discovered BGG a few years back lol ..

That said I have had my fair share of hours spent playing 'generic' games, especially with school groups (5-12yr olds), and for me the point is to spend time with them, help teach maths, good sportsmanship, risk management, & thinking skills etc .. Ok Ok I want to educate them about REAL games too because it's pretty unlikely their parents will However, I don't believe that simple roll & moves are the best to do any of this (except maybe Break the Safe which is the best roll & move ever made (imho) or Monza which is great for littlies (though I've had teenagers & pensioners playing too and loving every minute!)..

I hear you on the fact these games are something she likes and you guys find boring though, so I'd suggest it's time to find some new games better suited to the 'family' .. Tell her she's too clever for little kid games (or something similarly encouraging) and then take her out to choose a couple of 'big girls' ones ..

There truly are some awesome games that cater to a broad age-range and maybe we can guide you to them, how old is your step-daughter?
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Eddy
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The first game I remember playing with my two youngest was Chess. I think my wife had played some games with them prior to that, but I personally played Chess with them before we'd ever played Hi Ho! Cherry-O. The version we played wouldn't necessarily be recognizable as Chess to many of you, certainly. We'd take turns randomly moving pieces around the board and "calling" our move -- "I'll move this white pawn to this green square;" "I'll move this black knight to this white square." Later, I stumbled across the idea of teaching prepositions -- "I'll move this white rook between these two pawns;" "I'll move this black bishop next to this black king." And even later I introduced the chess notation (as printed on our board) -- "I'll move this pawn to B-7;" "I'll move this knight to D-3." I didn't realize until afterward that my two toddlers were actually thinking and operating in the plane using Cartesian coordinates.

I never sped through these sessions. They lasted as long as the boys wanted them to last (some upwards of an hour, IIRC). I recall one time when they had to wake me up -- I had fallen asleep sitting on the sofa. They had each played for several moves, realized I was no longer with them, and awoke me with "Daddy, wake up; it's your turn!"

On the other hand, I recall numerous games of Hi-Ho Cherry-O! when I wanted to take a lighter to the board/box and give us all an excuse to end the thing. Merciful heavens.

Perhaps it depends on the game and what they seem to be getting out of it.
 
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Mark Synowiec
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She is five. As stated we've tried various adult games with varying success, she hasn't melded with all of them, but is doing better. She needs help with sequence (more to find the spaces) and some pushing in black sheep (that 2-1 rule is a little odd then again my wife has needed reminders as well). I have another topic going about Blood Bowl TM and my full collection is listed at the moment there. I'm not sure how to set it all up on the profile yet. I don't need help with that I just haven't taken the time for that.
 
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Alyssa McCain
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mbsisktb wrote:

She is five. As stated we've tried various adult games with varying success, she hasn't melded with all of them, but is doing better. She needs help with sequence (more to find the spaces) and some pushing in black sheep (that 2-1 rule is a little odd then again my wife has needed reminders as well). I have another topic going about Blood Bowl TM and my full collection is listed at the moment there. I'm not sure how to set it all up on the profile yet. I don't need help with that I just haven't taken the time for that.


Wow! I wouldn't play Elder Sign with my 5 year old! Her imagination is a bit over active and I can just imagine the nightmares we'd be dealing with.

We really love playing games with her, but I tend to stick with ones which have a theme that is pleasing to her. Right now her favorites are Sleeping Queens, Labyrinth, and Diamant. I just bought Monster Café, King of Tokyo, and a few others that I think will be good ones for us. We enjoy the games she can play right now so we don't really rush through them. As she gets better and better at reading our options continue to grow. It's a fun age, isn't it?
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Mark Synowiec
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karana21 wrote:
mbsisktb wrote:

She is five. As stated we've tried various adult games with varying success, she hasn't melded with all of them, but is doing better. She needs help with sequence (more to find the spaces) and some pushing in black sheep (that 2-1 rule is a little odd then again my wife has needed reminders as well). I have another topic going about Blood Bowl TM and my full collection is listed at the moment there. I'm not sure how to set it all up on the profile yet. I don't need help with that I just haven't taken the time for that.


Wow! I wouldn't play Elder Sign with my 5 year old! Her imagination is a bit over active and I can just imagine the nightmares we'd be dealing with.

We really love playing games with her, but I tend to stick with ones which have a theme that is pleasing to her. Right now her favorites are Sleeping Queens, Labyrinth, and Diamant. I just bought Monster Café, King of Tokyo, and a few others that I think will be good ones for us. We enjoy the games she can play right now so we don't really rush through them. As she gets better and better at reading our options continue to grow. It's a fun age, isn't it?


Its an odd age, if she was a little bit older and could read there are a lot of good games we have that would be more fun (I so wish I could get her to play Gears of War with me, but that lack of reading thing makes it hard). I also tried Legend of Drizzt last week with varying success (I had to run the villain phase she handled her own attacks/movement). It went moderately well (would have been better had our one cat not stolen the d20 a lot) and I'd consider it again. I'm still debating testing Blood Bowl with her.

The thing about Elder Sign is my wife and her ex-husband (we have joint custody) don't really believe in censorship. He's let her watch Family Guy etc. since she was 3, and my wife was never really censored by her parents as a child and doesn't believe in it either. Being a step parent I have no say, but about six months ago we tried Omens a few times on my phone, and my wife has it on her tablet. She enjoyed it, I haven't had any issues with the pictures and routinely have her help with Arkham Horror as well. The pictures don't bother her at all. I've looked at some more kid friendly fare that isn't big box store stuff, just a lot of it doesn't look that good to me, and runs on mechanics I don't like, though I'm looking at King of Tokyo a little more with all the good I've heard about it.

The thing is she's really smart (she had chunks of Arkham down and yet has some issues with Candy Land) and can pick stuff up, its just her attention span isn't there that well. Also that two card variant of Candy Land works wonders games take no time at all just due to no backpedaling.
 
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Jarrett Dunn
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Thing is is her attention span not there because, we'll, her attention span isn't there. Or is her attention span not there because it is boring to her after a while. I found with my kids the secret was playing up the story in the games, using voices when reading the cards and just getting into it and being a kid myself. Once I started doing that they were sitting through several hours long games (my 7 year old son even helped me refresh my memory of TI-3), and THEY have even planned an entire day of games for Fathers Day. Admittedly my daughter can only handle 3-4 hours straight, but to get her to that point just took me getting down on her level and really playing up the story. Of course, and don't tell anyone this, I kinda like acting like a 10 year old again.
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Chanan Siegel
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Dont keep candy land in the house. When i do get it,
it gets lost very quickly.

I try too play games where the kid has too make some choices.
My three year old likes sequence for kids. He can decide what animal too play and where to play it.

Another game that has become a top game for our family is order up.
Where they can decide if they want cards, or go out and deliver pizza and where they want too deliver it.

Both very basic, but outside of Uncle Wiggly , Candy land is the hardest game for me too play.

 
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Dave, or "Phineas" or "Tolstoy" or,
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mbsisktb wrote:

The thing about Elder Sign is my wife and her ex-husband (we have joint custody) don't really believe in censorship. He's let her watch Family Guy etc. since she was 3, and my wife was never really censored by her parents as a child and doesn't believe in it either. Being a step parent I have no say,

For some reason, when I read this I felt sad.
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Vivienne Raper
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Odd question, but why do you own those kiddie games in the first place?

There appear to be loads of decent kids games for little kids, such as Go Away Monster, Animal upon Animal, etc. We own three variants of Animal Upon Animal despite being, well, childless adults so they're definitely fun for adults and children. You don't need to be strategy gaming to have fun for all ages.
 
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Mark Synowiec
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Hoya wrote:
mbsisktb wrote:

The thing about Elder Sign is my wife and her ex-husband (we have joint custody) don't really believe in censorship. He's let her watch Family Guy etc. since she was 3, and my wife was never really censored by her parents as a child and doesn't believe in it either. Being a step parent I have no say,

For some reason, when I read this I felt sad.


It's the truth though I don't get to set any of the rules. It's not like she disrespects me, she is fairly well behaved and is taught to listen to me by both my wife and her father. She's a wonderful kid just my wife is very loose on the rules to begin with.

I own the kiddie games because we got them before I became the gamer I am today when we bought them. I only recently got into the better end of board games we bought those back when I strictly did 40k/WFB, not all the fun stuff I found here.
 
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