Gaming–Starting Children on Complicated Games

We’re a game family! When Seamus was little, his first game was Hi-Ho-Cherry-O! and he loved playing it. Gilbert mostly didn’t mess with it too much, so he could get into it. Since then, Seamus has moved through a Monopoly phase, Chess, and Yahtzee. These are ones he’s taken to his room to master the rules without interference. Gilbert also likes playing games–his seemingly bizarre strategies seem to work for him! I also love games, card, board, etc, so it was important to me that the kids be able to play with us. I’ve written before about how the like playing Settlers of Catan, but I thought I’d give a run down on some others.

Carcassonne–this is one of the first build-a-world game that we tried. The box says ages 7+, but we started when Seamus was 6 and Gilbert was 5. It taught them about playing the long game and not knowing who was winning at each stage. It came with a couple of varients, which they liked, but we don’t play it much anymore.

Ticket To Ride: Europe–our friends gave us this one when Harlan was born. I’ve played a few times, simplifying the rules for the kids, and Patrick’s played a few times, more recently, without changing the rules. It’s fun, and I’d love to play it more. Gilbert likes it, Seamus not so much.

Settlers of Catan–our gold standard! The boys love this game. I can’t wait until Porter and Harlan are old enough to play too.

SofC Explores and Pirates Expansion–we’ve only played the first scenario on this one, but it feels like a totally new game. Seamus has won both times we’ve played. Gilbert loves the turning over the island pieces part of the game.

Rook–this is a favorite with my parents. Finally, Gilbert is starting to understand the game more and as his partner, I’ve learned how he approaches the game and I have a little more patience. Porter observed the fun of this game while we were in Kentucky last week, and he wanted to play too! So we let him try it out, and he was so good, he and I were able to set the other team. He also really wanted yellow to be trumps, every time! He got to take a trick with his yellow 14 which made him grin from ear to ear. Then he was kind of done playing!

Machi Koro–A friend invited us to Labyrinth in DC to try out some games and see the store. We had so much fun trying out this game, that we brought it home. It’s kind of a deck building game, but there are dice and your cards stay in front of you. Gilbert is freakishly good at this game. I played 8 times before I won! It’s got lovely whimsical drawings on it too. We let the kids stay up way too late many nights in a row playing this game.

Lots of pretty cards.

Finally–

Dominion–I thought they were to young for this one, as it’s recommended age is 13+, but they have had a ton of fun with it. We played with our friends in Kentucky and Seamus really felt the need to bring it home and study it, and he got a little tetchy when I told him no. We were delighted when the game appeared on our doorstep when we arrived home. The boys have really enjoyed poring over the cards, and I’ve managed to get in a couple of rounds with Seamus. It’s a good two player game, unlike some of our others.

So we’ve been having a blast, but now we do have a lot of games, so we’ll stick with these a while. My next goal is to try a cooperative game with them. I hear good things about how those work.

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1 comment

  1. When Porter was with us for his solo weekend, we couldn’t get him interested in Candy Land. Harry says now we know why: it was too basic.

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