#lifestages

FACEBOOK

Twitter

WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

Rainy Days and Slowing Down

50 comments | February 21st, 2012

(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

Some of my fondest memories from childhood come from the month I spent at camp every summer. Five years in a row, every summer, my parents would load me and an ancient steamer trunk filled with carefully labeled clothing and bedding into the car, and we would drive "out into the wilderness" (it wasn't really all that wild, but a location on a nearby lake) so that I could spend four glorious weeks at camp.

We stayed in cabins, sheets from home thrown haphazardly over lumpy cots, dirty laundry scattered everywhere. As a misfit of a kid with only an older brother and no sisters, four weeks bunking with a group of girls was simultaneously terrifying and amazing. It was a 28-day-long slumber party! We shared clothes and snacks and comic books and secrets. We whispered in the dark and canoed together during the day. It was a wonderful break from "regular" life, as well as from the kids I knew at school. Camp always seemed like a good place to be someone else, if I wanted.

I have a funny feeling that most camps nowadays include laptops and cell phones and televisions, but back then we hustled from Waterfront to Arts & Crafts to Nature Walk or whatever else, each day, and if the weather was nice (which it was, mostly), the only downtime all day was an hour of "rest" during which we typically got into mischief instead of either resting or writing letters to our parents. But when the weather was bad, everything changed.

Thunderstorms meant we were told to stay in our cabins, of course. This became problematic when you had to pee, as the bathrooms were in a separate building. Generally you'd wait as long as possible—maybe the rain would let up!—and eventually you would beg and cajole a friend to run through the pounding rain with you, just so you'd have company. You'd count to three, throw open the door, and burst into the rain, becoming soaked to the skin instantly, whooping and hollering all the way up to the bathroom building. When you returned, the other girls would shriek and throw towels, telling you both not to drip all over the cabin. If there was a girl in the cabin you didn't like, well, you would "accidentally" sit on her bed when you came back.

If it was a gentler rain, free of lightning, the counselors didn't demand campers stay put, and then it wasn't uncommon for us to run outside in bathing suits with our shampoo (Prell, mostly—remember Prell?) and take "rain showers." Rivers of suds would flow past the cabins as we giggled, lathered, threw bubbles at each other. Some of the cabins had covered porches, and that meant you could sit out there and play jacks or Uno or Go Fish and watch the rain.

When regular activities were canceled, we read and chatted, sure. But we also busted out the board games. Uno games became cutthroat Uno tournaments; Sorry became a team sport; and anyone who actually had Monopoly became an instant celebrity. We spent hours entertaining ourselves, inside, without benefit of electronics, email, telephones, or even (in most cases) the radio. We just… played. And talked. And didn't mind.

Lately our family has been feeling… worried. Bogged down in the bad stuff. It's my daughter who asked "Whatever happened to family game night? I miss that." We opened the front closet—the one we never actually use, because we have a coat tree by the door—and started taking down the games on the top shelf. There have been Balderdash tournaments. That's probably my favorite, because my son is thus far incapable of keeping a straight face while his bogus definition is read. (The idea is that you bluff people. But watching a kid be totally amused by his own hilarity is pretty entertaining, too.) Uno remains a favorite, too. My husband is fond of Qwirkle, and my daughter has discovered a love affair with Scattergories. Last weekend my father was visiting, and due to the crazy weather it was warm enough to sit out on the porch and play a game, so we did.

The world slows down while you gather around playing cards and plastic tokens and a game board. It narrows, closes in on the present tense and the people you're with right then. It builds a little cocoon around the moment in a way that email and texting never will. It brings the now, the important parts—the people I love, the blessings we share—into sharp focus. It takes me right back to those lazy, rainy days at camp, even as it amazes me that somehow, in-between the various storms, I became a grownup.

Do you play board games and card games now? Did you as a kid? Do you have any favorites to recommend?

(read more Mir here)
 

50 comments

  • Nichole

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We love playing games! Our kids are 6 and 4. Our recent family favorites are Chicken Cha-Cha-Cha and Sherlock. My husband and I just joined a Euchre card club that’s meeting once a month. I think it’s going to be great.

    Report this comment

  • Debbi

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    My husband and I play Scrabble every day. Super Scrabble, actually. We’ve played 100-game tournaments day after day, month after month, year after year, practically ever since we’ve known each other.

    Report this comment

  • aly

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    blokus is my all time favorite game. it’s fairly new (at least to me); i’ve gotten groups of adults to play it sans kids. it’s kind of like tetris on a board, but better. also, get the original version, the octogon version is HARD and you should start with the regular one first, to get your bearings….

    Report this comment

    • Debora

      Posted on February 21, 2012

      Blokus is awesome, it’s my favorite too!

      Our second favorite is Ticket To Ride (Europe version). And for the past few weeks we’ve been playing Risk every Sunday, now that my kids are finally old enough to enjoy it. Risk is a marathon though, you can blow six hours on it once everyone gets good at it.

      Report this comment

  • Arnebya @whatnowandwhy

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We’re into You’ve Been Sentenced right now. Uno is a favorite, as are Monopoly and Guesstures. We’ve spent many a night staying up way past bedtime trying to get to the end of Monopoly. They like Clue as well. The boy, at 2, is just learning the Memory game. I wish I could find real jacks — jacks from the 70s (metal jacks!). Wait, were they metal or aluminum? I am too lazy to think, let alone actually look it up. Everywhere I go they have these large, plastic, colorful jacks. Um, no. I’ma need a “real” jack to teach these girls how to play. Scrabble will be a favorite of mine forever but I’m with Chickie: Scattergories I could play every day. My husband and I will play tipsy Taboo after the kids are asleep.

    I would love my girls to go to sleepaway camp. But the price is astronomical. One week is $800/child (there are some less expensive (and some higher priced), but they start registration here in January for summer camp and honestly, if you aren’t in line or online at That Precise Moment When Someone Hits the GO Button…you gets nothing. I want them to have the experience (most I’ve looked into require that no electronics be sent) but I still have to pay the mortgage.

    Report this comment

    • Mir

      Posted on February 21, 2012

      Arnebya, I wonder if camp is just a lot more expensive now in general (new rules about staff/camper ratios, quality of food, etc.). I feel the same way—I’ve looked into it for my own kids and decided I would rather pay the bills!

      Report this comment

      • My Kids Mom

        Posted on February 21, 2012

        I haven’t found one that is less than $1000 a week, and for that our family can rent a condo at the beach for a week for all four of us. I want to give them the experience, but how?

        Report this comment

        • Mema

          Posted on February 22, 2012

          well heck ladies, too bad you all aren’t in northern calif, we do 4-H summer camp, 1 week, sleep over, all the normal “poor kids” stuff, arts and crafts, swimming, archery, recreation, campfires, hikes, etc. we just had to raise our fees to are you ready/ $195.00 per week all inclusive! 4-H is non profit and is all over the USA, not sure about the rules everywhere, but here, the kids DO NOT NEED to belong to 4-H to attend. I have been going since I was 8, never stopped, seriously, never stopped, went pregnant, with babies and now with grandkids, this will be my 44th year!! I hope you all look it up and see what is in your areas. and anyone who will be in or near wine country calif. july 7-14th, well I happen to know we still have openings, oh ya, I am the camp clerk! drop me an e-mail for more info Marin4Hcamp@aol.com. this is not a sales pitch, I just love camp as much as you all have too!

          Report this comment

  • Jenn C.

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We have a fairly large group of friend who get together once a month to play board games. As our kids have gotten old enough, we’ve folded them into the group as well. We generally play a bunch of games that are a little less common, but we love them. Some of our favorites are “Ticket to Ride” (US map), Carcassone, Alhambra, Finito. Also, for the younger set, just about anything put out by GameWright – great art, fun gameplay, and a lot that aren’t a multi-hour commitment.

    And I can’t speak or all camps, but all the ones we’ve sent our daughter to have had a “no electronics” rule that was thoroughly enforced.

    Report this comment

  • Megan

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Hey Mir – I rarely comment, but Games I can chat about. My son is only 18 months old, so I can only look forward to the days of family Game night with eagerness and trepidation (If I could keep him this age, I very well might). So – Games! My husband’s family LOVES Settlers of Catan – It’s a great game that the entire family sits down to play at the family cabin. Sometimes there are as many as 3 games of it going on at one time (Kids start playing when they’re 10 or so). Similarly, Ticket to Ride is great (Trains and geography – but very simple). For word lovers, there’s the extremely simple Bananagrams (inexpensive too) and I didn’t see you mention Catchphrase, but that’s a great one too (The original for starters). Also for words: Apples to Apples (Similar to Balderdash). For a more complex game: Powergrid. If you try Settlers of Catan and like it, check out Carcasonne. Lastly, Wits and Wagers is also good. It’s a trivia game where each person estimates the answer in numbers and then wagers on which proposed answer is correct- Particularly amusing if your 93 year old grandmother constantly guestimates the exact correct answer.

    Hope all resolves itself and calms down to “normality” soon. And the very best to your daughter.

    Report this comment

  • Megan

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We played board games and I was horrible. I felt too guilty to send anyone ‘home’ in Parcheesi. I would come up with reasons why I wasn’t charging rent on my Monopoly property… when I was really small we would play checkers – and I would howl because my mean father was taking my pretty red checkers, or chinese checkers and I would howl because I was last to finish so my parents had to invent a ‘fourth winner’ just for me. Finally out of desperation we gave up family game night.

    I still don’t like board games but my kids love them and there are a whole bunch of inside family jokes that have popped up due to Scattergories, Apples to Apples etc!

    Report this comment

  • Jen

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Right now my kids love Mancala and Wits and Wagers. We also have Would You Rather? which the boy child LOVES because it is gross. I will have to check on Ticket To Ride.

    Report this comment

  • Wendy

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    My favorite childhood memories of my dad involve the week around Christmas and games. My dad would never play games. All year we’d beg and ask and try and bargain and cajole him into playing a game, but he would always decline. Nicely, but decline he would. Except for the week around Christmas. He’d give in that week. And every night we’d set up the little cardboard card table with the one bent wobbly leg in front of the fireplace and eat popcorn and drink hot chocolate and play games.

    My dad cheated. He was known for cheating. If he could figure out a way to cheat, he’d do it. I think that was the fun for him. He was such an upstanding, loyal guy but he had this love for practical jokes – but only the super sneaky awesome ones. And I think cheating at games in a way that was super smart was his love of the game. I’m pretty sure he cheated during every game we ever played, but most of the time I have no idea how he did it.

    My favorite was when he taught us all how to play Canasta. He and my uncle sat us all down and taught us one night when I was about 10. The kids ALWAYS lost and he and my uncle always won (we played in teams. we should have known something was up!) It wasn’t until I was almost 20 that we figured out that the WHOLE TIME they’d made up rules and changed others to benefit their playing. They’d pass cards and hints back and forth in the words they were saying so that the teammate would know what cards they had in their hands. Something they said that night when I was 20 clued us in on a message being passed. I think by that time they had just gotten lazy and wanted us to figure out what they were doing.

    10 years of cheating is a lot of cheating!

    My dad passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. But those game nights are still such clear vivid memories full of laughing and talking and just BEING family. Playing games with my kids is a way to bring him back to be with them. We talk all the time about the ways he would have cheated to win. It makes me miss him and appreciate him all at the same time.

    Report this comment

  • Jamie

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Unrelated, but related… I watched an Oprah program that was about the Hassidic Jewish culture. As restrictive as the rules were, I was in awe of the fact that the kids basically have no electronics and they have no idea who certain celebrities or other high-profile people are. I thought about how my kids feel lost and that life is not worth living without electronic devices. It makes me sad. I wish we could go back to the “old days” when life was simpler, but I’m afraid we’re in too deep already. We’ve talked about starting a family game night; now we just need to make it a priority and do it. Thanks for the nudge.

    Camp – I didn’t go, but my neighbors send their kids for a week in June and it’s about $1,000 per kid. I’m sure mine would love to go, but $1,000?! Something to think about.

    Report this comment

  • Lisa

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    A couple months ago, we started “Hour of No Power” once a week but will be increasing that. We are allowed lights and kitchen appliances but no TV, cell phones, iPods, etc. Our 16 yr old barely grumbles about it and our 9 yr old looks forward to it. We usually play a game together or the boys play while we relax & read. Sometimes we bake but mostly it’s just about finding peace, together or seperately, in a loud world.

    Report this comment

  • Nelson's Mama

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We play board games occasionally, but play card games more often.

    I have friends that send their daughters to camp and electronics are not permitted there. My youngest expressed an interest in going, but I just couldn’t justify the price…

    When our world was totally rattled, someone told me I’d find my “new normal”. I really just wanted to tell her to kiss my ass. But, she was right and we did, eventually. I didn’t think the day would come that I would smile or laugh with abandon again…but I do and life is good. Keep your chin up girl.

    Report this comment

  • Rachel

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    I was just thinking last week we need a family game night again soon! Our kids are 12 & 15, so sometimes it’s just one hand of uno or go fish due to limited time each evening due to sports & homework. We have Barbie Uno cards & awesome Go Fish cards with the looney tunes characters on them… lids loved them when they were younger & now they’re just a blast from the past (haha). It was hilarious to hear the kids mispronounce Yosemite Sam & other characters when they hadn’t seen the cartoon & were still trying to learn to read. He will forever be Yos Mite to me =) Whoonu is a recent addition that is also fun. =)
    My kids, niece, & nephew play monopoly, scrable or double (triple or quad, depending on how many people) solitare with my dad when they’re together & that makes me smile.

    Report this comment

  • Kim

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    My husband and I have a few drinks and play Hand and Foot (a form of Canasta) on Saturday night. It is so much better than just watching TV! We loved playing cards and dominos with my parents (my dad is gone now) and try to get the kids (both in college now) to play whenever we can. We did family game night too when they were young, but they all favored Pay Day and Yatzee which made me crazy because there is no skill involved in those. Sometimes I could talk them into Monopoly, but not often. Still, the memories are great!

    Report this comment

  • mamalang

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    I’m lucky in that we have two camps here that are free or extremely cheap for a week each. No electronics allowed. They fish and canoe and do local field trips, and since one is for military kids, they do a little bit of the stuff their parents do (archery, shooting, etc.) My daughter has been attending for 5 years now, and I think she would go for the whole summer if we could make it work. My son starts this year, and I’m excited for the child free week, and the experience they’ll have.

    Mexican Train Dominoes…shorter than monopoly, but still long. And Phase 10. Love those games.

    Report this comment

  • Diane

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Some friends and I have a standing monthly canasta night. It’s difficult for us to get there, sometimes, and speaking personally Friday night is my lowest, tiredest part of the week, but IT IS WORTH IT. We eat garbage, laugh a whole lot and actually play cards. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    Report this comment

  • Jan

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Every night that all of us are home for dinner and bedtime (which is far from every night, of course), we do Family Time between the two. Our kids are 6 and 7. Sometimes we do something else, but board and card games are everyone’s favorite. We play Sorry and Uno, too, plus Jr Monopoly (which is short enough to finish in 20 minutes or so), Kid Cranium, Trouble, Operation, Mille Bornes. It’s a favorite tradition, for sure.

    I think the great thing about games is that it’s one of the things we do *for* our kids that is actually enjoyable for us, too. (Which makes it sound like I find parenting pure drudgery, which I don’t, but really, there are a lot of kid activities that I could take or leave at best.)

    Report this comment

  • Becky

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Board games were always like a ticking timebomb when I was growing up. My brother and I loved playing them. He just really did not like losing. I don’t think we ever really had family games. It was just us, sometimes my mom or a babysitter. I can’t think of a single time my father played.

    I was personally pretty fond of Clue, which wasn’t one I got to play very often. It just doesn’t work as well when there’s only two people.

    As for card games, one of my favorites is Werewolf. (If you know Mafia, it’s like that…with cards and werewolves, and there’s a werehamster!)

    Report this comment

  • Rachel

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Friday night is game night for our house. When everyone can make it there’s 6 adults and our two kids (5 & 8) (and a bottle of wine once the kids are in bed). I’m also a big fan of Settlers of Catan and would recommend Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. Cooperative games have been great for our family, too. The players team up against bad stuff that happens in the game. Some examples are Castle Panic (ages 6+), Forbidden Island (ages 8+), and Pandemic (ages 10+). The boardgamegeek website is our go to resource for game info.

    Report this comment

  • Becky

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    One of my first memories is playing Russian Rummy at the picnic tables in my grammie’s back yard with the whole family! We grew up playing games and raised all of our kids playing too. My 27 year old daughter still asks to play when we visit AND asks for games as Christmas gifts (not electronic ones). We have a whole family visit planned for this summer and guess what we are ALL looking forward to!?! Any of the Clue type games are usually our favorite but card games and Scrabble are a close second. Our Mom used to beat our butts in Risk!

    Report this comment

  • Alix D

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We didn’t play a whole ton of them growing up – my brother is a lot older than I am, and there were only so many games my mom was willing to play. My grandmother taught me chess, my father wasn’t really interested unless it was Trivial Pursuite (I was always on his team, because he won. Always.)

    But when I went to Germany, my host mother’s mother taught me to play dominoes, which I still love. I also got to play Scrabble (in German) with a friend of my grandmother’s who had been an exchange student to Vassar in 1933. Those are the two I love the most, though I finally unlocked my cutthroat gene sometime in my twenties, and monopoly got a lot more fun.

    I’m not competitive, though, so unless someone else cares, I rarely keep score. My husband and I will even play Cheater’s Scrabble: if you can make up a definition for a fake word, it’s good. I think it makes it more fun, because the definitions are almost always funny :) You could do something similar with dominoes, for a kid learning math… hmm… I may need to do that with one of the nieces/nephews…

    Report this comment

  • Katy

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    I second “Settlers of Catan” and “Ticket to Ride.” Both look more complicated than they actually are. My favorite thing about “Ticket to Ride” is that you have specific individual goals (routes to connect, etc) so it’s possible not to be able to tell (or to guess incorrectly) who is winning until the very end.

    Report this comment

  • Midj

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Whenever my two have someone over for dinner we play cards, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, whatever game they choose. It gives us a chance to get to know their friends/dates better and is very enlightening to the kids as well. At 22 and 18, they are starting to talk about eventual spouses and their likes and dislikes of different characteristics. Game playing brings out the best, and sometimes the worst, in people. For example,the night my now ex-husband got up and walked away from How to Host a Murder, in our home, with my entire family present (I have 5 brothers and sisters as well as my parents) when we had invited them to spend Christmas with us, was the last straw. It helped me to see what life with him would be like in the future and helped me know it was time to cut my losses.

    Now, on vacation, or when visiting our relatives, game playing is the highlight of our time together. This past Christmas it was one of the most amazing times watching 11 cousins, age 7 to 22, who see each other only on holidays, play Spoons in my sister’s kitchen. Those memories will be priceless to them, just as them memories of game playing with my cousins are to me.

    Thanks for sharing, Mir. I hope those family game nights continue to bring your family, and mine, joy for many, many more years.

    ~~Mary~~

    Report this comment

  • Anna

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We love games. When my husband and I got married, we spent an entire $80 gift card on games, to start our collection.
    We play Boggle and Settlers of Catan, mostly. We used to play Trivial Pursuit a lot, too. We love to play Chronology with a group of people, because two of our regulars are serious history buffs, one with what seems to be a perfect memory. But the way it’s designed, everyone has a pretty even playing field.
    We also like Mad Gab for a group, except some have eyesight problems. Apples to Apples is lots of fun, but I would recommend the Jr version so that it’s all PG. heh
    Hubby and I, by ourselves, usually play Cribbage or Casino. Sometimes we play Canasta, but after one very, VERY bad game (like, 7,000 to 400), we don’t play much anymore. *wink*

    My kids are currently playing Chutes and Ladders a lot, and I think Jr Monopoly is fantastic. We have all the standard kid games, but I get frustrated with picking up pieces and put them away pretty often.

    As a kid, I remember playing Monopoly and Uno with my parents. It was one of the only things my parents did “with me.”

    Report this comment

    • Mir

      Posted on February 21, 2012

      We just recently graduated the kids from Apples to Apples Jr. to the regular version. The funny part now isn’t the potentially-less-family-friendly stuff, but that the kids don’t recognize so many of the celebrity names, and so end up playing them completely inappropriately. Heh.

      Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Ticket to Ride is a great game. My 5 year old loves Ispy games, so Pictureka is a huge favorite, as well as Spot it. Labyrinth is also very fun. Classic favorites are Rummy 500, Racko, Sequence and Cribbage.

    Report this comment

  • Kathy

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Hey Mir! We love games, too! Our favorites right now are: Sequence, Toss-Up (it’s a tiny little dice game you can take in your pocket and play everywhere!), and Farkle. Farkle and Toss-up involve some risk! So even if you’re ahead … you can be behind with one roll, and vice-versa!!

    Have fun!
    xoxo,
    kathy

    Report this comment

  • ScottsdaleGirl

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Playing Yahtzee and Scrabble with my mom are some of my fondest memories of her. Playing cribbage with my dad (not until I was in my 30’s as he is out of the country a lot and it took me that long to learn the damn thing on my own)

    Phase 10/Canasta/Gin Rummy with my friends is ALWAYS fun.

    Report this comment

  • Tara

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    My husband and I are known to play some pretty hard core games of Trivial Pursuit and Uno. We like to play card games so rummy, skip-bo, and the one with the wagon wheel (can’t remember the name) are also in the mix.

    Report this comment

  • Kathy

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We definitely go in streaks at my house – lots of games, then no games. Right now we are on an UNO streak. We also love Qwirkle, Bananagrams and another spelling game that is a card game. And, time does seem to slow down when we are playing games together.

    Re Camp: My daughter spent two weeks at orchestra camp last summer. The price knocked my socks off, but it was very much worth the cost and no electronics allowed. And while most of her time was spent playing her cello the friendships and memories she created will last a lifetime. I am so glad I gave up some luxeries to send her and I will be sending her again this year.

    Report this comment

  • el-e-e

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    I love that this post has so many comments! We try to endure Game Night at least once a month, and I say endure because my kids are still young so sometimes it means crying tournaments over who did/didn’t win. However, Uno seems to be pretty non-eventful and I’m always up for one more game. :) I think you hit the nail on the head with this:

    “The world slows down while you gather around playing cards and plastic tokens and a game board. It narrows, closes in on the present tense and the people you’re with right then. It builds a little cocoon around the moment in a way that email and texting never will.”

    Nor movies (although Family Movie Night is fun, too). Love your camp memories. I felt like I was there!

    Report this comment

  • Groovecatmom

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    My husband is a Board Game Geek. We have probably 100 games…and some of them have never been opened. My favorites are Ticket to Ride, Agricola, and Settlers of Catan (Cities and Knights expansion). When I was in 8th grade I spent hours reading all the Trivial Pursuit cards to bone up for my Quiz Bowl team. And I played Scrabble all the time with my grandma, plus gin rummy. Dh taught me how to play cribbage and plays poker with the kids, besides the board games. We have a lot of two player games that appeal to my son and husband. My own family never played games very much.

    Report this comment

  • jen_alluisi

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    I *loved* games growing up, but it was rare that I could actually convince anyone to play with me. Fortunately, I married a man from a game-loving family, so he likes to play and his family all like to play – that’s been really awesome for me. I love my family bunches, but it seems I was the only one born with the game-playing gene. We don’t have any kidlets ourselves, but my husband and I enjoy playing games with each other, or friends, or with our niece. Apples to Apples is, of course, an all-time favorite. We also enjoy Trivial Pursuit (we even scored the now out-of-print book lovers edition for Xmas this year), Outburst, this awesome but hard-to-find now game called Nameburst, Qwirkle, Cranium, and Phase 10. I saw someone else mention Pandemic above – we LOVE that game; it’s really neat with the cooperative aspect and all (I bet Monkey would like it a lot – it’s about curing the world of 4 diseases and working as a team to do it). I love Yahtzee and Scrabble (but Dave does not), and he loves Jenga and Monopoly (and I do not), so we don’t get those out often. Yay games! :)

    Report this comment

  • Paige

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Oh, gosh. We love Wits and Wagers, Scribblish, Sorry Sliders, Bananagrams. The game Quelf has been recommended to us many times but it’s kind of pricey.

    My husband and kids love card games. I agree that games slow the world down for a while. We had a terrific New Years Eve party once that went on until well after daylight when we started playing Taboo.

    Here’s to the healing power of games!

    Report this comment

  • addy

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    Catch Phrase is our current favorite. Balderdash is great fun for a group of people. Yahtzee and Uno are good as well. Hate Monopoly with a passion – can’t make me play it. Card games and dominos are fun as well.

    Report this comment

  • Lisa

    Posted on February 21, 2012

    We really don’t play board games like we should. We played a decent amount when the ds was younger, but the dh and I have both shied away from it.

    I think the dh and I had very similar experiences with family board games when we were kids. In my house, the only game my mom wanted to play was Trivial Pursuit. She won the vast majority of the time and she gloated in a most unattractive manner. The only think less attractive was when she lost. She sulked and sulked and sulked.

    In the dh’s family it was Risk. And it was the dh’s dad who was the poor sport. I got to observe one of the games (thank goodness I opted not to play), and I was impressed to have met a man who behaved even more atrociously at a board game than my mom.

    But I suppose it is possible to make nice memories with board games. And the boy is turning 13 in just a few weeks, so we don’t have all that many years left to make those memories. We’d better get on it!

    Report this comment

  • Amy

    Posted on February 22, 2012

    I’d love to play games regularly with my family. But my husband is SO non-competitive it’s maddening. He has no interest. And if I can talk him into a game, he drives me nuts with his complete lack of interest in trying to win. My 5-year-old daughter is in a poor sport phase, which means games either end with her gloating or in tears. We keep trying to play games with her to model being a good loser (and winner!) but she’s not there yet.

    When I was a kid, my sister and I would have on-going Uno games that would last months. We played Upwords and Scattergories a lot too. And Yahtzee! I’m hoping my daughter will enjoy playing games like that when she’s a little older.

    Report this comment

  • Katherine

    Posted on February 22, 2012

    Camp – I went several years as a kid, but only for a week. At that point I did nt know you could do anything longer. I think some of it is regional. Here in the south, most camps I look at are only one week sessions. If you want camp less expensively, look at Scout camps and church run camps. My son did a week at a church affiliated camp one summer and it was about $350 /week as I recall (3-4 years ago). Now, he goes to Boy Scout camp with his troop every summer for $250 /week. He LOVES it and his troop goes together every summer.

    Games – we don’t play as often as the kids would like, because we tend to be busy. But when we get together with DHs family, we always play lots of games. Mostly the German board games. BIL gets the kids a new game every year for Christmas. He started this when they were little, like 4 and 7, up to now they are 13 and almost 16. We have played most of the games other commenters have mentioned. This year the kids got Dominion, which we all enjoy, and is not super long (usually about an hour) and has a random mix of cards each time so every game is different. When my kids were younger, we would do things like play a few hands of phase 10 a day, so the game ended up taking 3 days or so. I am encouraging the kids now to play some of the games they love (and I don’t) with their friends. The 13 yo had a marathon game of monopoly at his birthday party – they chose that over the Xbox or Wii or a movie for late night fun.

    Report this comment

  • jennifer

    Posted on February 22, 2012

    Dice-capades… good for families, I think, though ours is still small enough that he might eat the dice. We also like “Killer Bunnies” which is more of a card game, but, hilarious (I am soft-hearted, though, so we play that the bunnies aren’t really killed, just napping). Another vote for Blokus, too.

    Report this comment

  • meredith

    Posted on February 22, 2012

    I think Uno is one of our family favorites now, but as a kid, I loved to play Sorry with my brother and sister.

    Report this comment

  • Heather

    Posted on February 22, 2012

    Wait, wait, you had INDOOR BATHROOMS at your camp? Jealous 😛

    Report this comment

  • Mema

    Posted on February 22, 2012

    oops, forgot about my favorite game these days, grandkids 14 year old boy 11 year old girl love to play Apples to Apples with us, the regular one, the junior one is kind of boring for them and for us!

    Report this comment

  • mamaspeak

    Posted on February 23, 2012

    My husband is the “poor sport” in the family. He has chilled a bit over the last 10 yrs, but if he doesn’t want to play, it’s not worth forcing the issue w/him.
    I grew up in a card playing family. I drove them all nuts, bc I didn’t really care. I’d play if they pushed hard enough, but I really wasn’t into it the way they were. It was my G’ma who was the card shark. There was a lot of poker; 21, Texas Hold ’em, etc… I had trouble remembering the rules, (bc I didn’t care,) & then I’d get in trouble for wanting to quit halfway through. (How is it halfway through if you keep playing rounds?) I was told, I needed to allow them to win their money back, which I never really understood either. My G’ma passed away 20+ yrs ago, but we still end most holiday evenings w/cards. And money is exchanged, it’s all very cut throat. We also play a game “Pass the Ace.” My 95yo Aunt loves it & we sing this really obnoxious song to each player as they are eliminated from the game.
    My 5yo has been struggling w/her sounds/letters and we took up alphabet go fish to help her out. It’s actually been really good for all of us; helping w/the poor sportsmanship. Additionally, there’s a fair bit of Apples-to-Apples (jr.), Pictionary, Balderdash, (love me some drunk Balderdash!) Uno & Mexican Train (domino game,)are favorites as well.

    Report this comment

  • margaret (sophie)

    Posted on February 24, 2012

    Oh holy cow! You have brought back some memories! We were poor as dirt when I was a kid, but Mother managed to come up with (far less than $1000) for me to go to the City of Atlanta camp. It was just Monday-Saturday, but I so loved it. One year (I think I was 11) I was terribly sad to come home, and burst into tears as I got off the bus. After Mother’s terrible let-down that I wasn’t just relieved and happy to see her, she managed to scheme with my best friend’s mother for us to go with another group from another part of the city the next week. Even at that age, I knew how much of a sacrifice it was–even if it wasn’t $1000.

    As for board games, those were played at Poppa’s house. Pictionary, Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers and (dating myself) the original version of Trivial Pursuit. My sister and I were banned from being partners in Pictionary after I got the word “drool” when she drew a dog. Even when we got Atari (yes, I am old), it was more of a family event than the electronic games of today seem to be. We would all cheer for whomever was playing against Poppa. He never let us win at anything in our lives, and when he bought new “cartridges” for the game he stayed up after we went to bed to practice before allowing us to play against him.

    On Christmas 2011 there was a single gift left under the tree. Poppa asked my 8 yo nephew to read the tag. It said, “To my favorite daughter.” Sis and I fake wrestled over it and opened it to find a trivia game called Smart*ss. Imagine that. It is actually a fun game that even the kids can play, but it isn’t helpful as far as their language is concerned.

    Report this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Game on | Woulda Coulda Shoulda - [...] Come on over to Off Our Chests today and I’ll tell you about this one time at camp and…
Have a Comment? Share It. All opinions but NO judgments allowed.

MORE STORIES