Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How Sweet it Is

I recently got some games from Hasbro for National Game Night (which I missed on September 23 because I was busy packing for our trip to St. Louis). Among the games I received was a new version of Candy Land, Candy Land Sweet Celebration Game. Candy Land was a favorite of mine growing up and I was excited to see this new, updated version of it. Well, let me tell ya, some things are better left alone. I punched out all the pieces for this game - all FORTY-FIVE pieces! Then began the assembly process.

"Mom, can we play now?"

"Hmmm, let's see here. Insert tab B into slot A, see figure 1."

"Mom, is it ready yet?"

"Not yet, hon. Hmmm, snap the Snow Flake Lake into the plastic base. See diagram 529."

"Is it ready now?"

"Not yet. Hmmm how the heck do you put this parrot on the ship?"

"Can't we play yet? We've been waiting forever!"

"Parrot on a ship? Why is there a parrot? Why is there a SHIP? This is Candy Land, not the Pirates of Penzance! How on earth do you attach this stinkin' parrot???"

"Mom, can we play now? Mom, why are you throwing the parrot in the garbage?"

After I went back to school, got an engineering degree and spent a week and a half working on the game, it was finally assembled. Of course, the kids were bored and had already graduated from high school run outside to play in the sandbox by this point.

I decided to skip the 28 pages of instructions on gameplay and instead, I sneaked out and bought an original version of Candy Land. You know, the good ole Candy Land with Plumpy and Grandma Nut and Princess Lolly. No children's game should be that complicated!

Clayton and Brooklyn have been on a Candy Land kick ever since. Every day, when Clay gets home from school, the 3 of us sit down and play. We sit there and talk while we play. Clay tells me what he did at school. Brooklyn catches him up on the TV he missed while at school. She tells him what animal Diego saved that day. In fact, yesterday she talked about how hippos and Oxpecker birds have a symbiotic relationship. Symbiotic? My THREE-year-old was telling me about symbiotic relationships! Sheesh, when I was three, the only things I got from television was that "C" was for cookie and
the baker fell down the stairs with 7 pumpkin pies.

So, we talk and laugh and move our little gingerbread men around the board. And you know what? The kids take turns beautifully. And not only that, but they cheer each other on. And when someone else makes it to the Candy Castle, they say, "Good job!" to that person instead of throwing their piece across the room and screaming that it's "no fair!" In fact, while we were playing today, I looked away from the board for a minute and when I returned my gaze, I noticed that Brooklyn's piece, which had been way behind me and Clay, was suddenly right up with us. I said, "Wow, how did Brooklyn catch up so fast?" Clay whispered to me, "Well, she's a baby so I helped her out. I moved her piece up by us so she could win too. Shhh."

How sweet is that? It almost makes me forget all the times I hear, "You're doing it wrong! Stupid! I hate you! No, you're stupid! Mom, they called me stupid! You're an ogre! Go away!"

With as much fun as the little kids and I have been having playing games every afternoon, it has reminded me what fun it is to have a family game night. We've done this in the past, but haven't in probably over a year. I think it's time to institute game night Fridays again. My faves, Monopoly and Clue, are calling my name right now.

Does anyone else do Family Game Night? What are your favorite games? Do you have game night the same night of the week or do you fit it in whenever there aren't sports and other activities going on?

53 comments:

TheGrassIsAlwaysGreener said...

I wish we did family game night. We did at one point, but now our schedules have caught up to us..am I the first commentor?

Gayle said...

Dawn,
I think family game night is such a great idea. My girls 7 and 8 really enjoy Monopoly....You know, the game that takes 12 hours to play.
They also like to play cards, Go Fish, War, Ect.
I like you have slipped off because life has just been getting in the way for the longest time. However, after reading about what good sports Clay and Brooklyn were being, I think I need to start doing that again. That is so sweet that Clay moved Brooklyn's piece up for her =)
Thanks for reminding us that our kids need fun time with the parents too.

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

We love family game night around here. We usually do it on Mondays and sometimes Fridays. We love UNO and our own version of speed Skip-bo. Blink is also a fast paced fun one. Clue always gets nixed by the 10-year-olds who've never won. :(

Martha said...

My kids are grown now but we started by playing Candy Land then moved on to card games. We couldn't wait until the youngest was able to hold the cards in her hand so my husband made a card holder for her. When we could play euchre as a family, our life was complete. We still pull out the deck of cards when they're home. It's one of the best things we did as a family and we have lots of great memories. I have to admit that I don't like Monopoly (even those the others do) and did everything possible to avoid it. Harry Potter Clue was one of our favorites.

I've already told the girls that they better bring home husbands who like cards!

Scrapping in Circles said...

I agree that the complicated games to set up, are not normally fun enough to be worth the time. We love Candyland and HiHo Cheerio since my preschooler can play them without help. We also enjoy Monopoly Jr. and Clue Jr. We typically help the preschooler with those, but they are more entertaining for my second grader (and my spouse and I) than Candyland.

Last winter I had fun going to Value Village (a thrift store in town) and finding gently used games for us to play for only $1.99 each. You just have to make sure all the pieces are there. It's cheaper and easier than buying them new since games are so expensive nowadays and the kids may not like them.

We always plan to have a family game night, but we go through fazes. We'll get into doing it weekly, then take a break for a month or so as life gets busy. It also can be difficult to find games that fit everyone's abilities and interests.

Scrapingirl said...

We do game nights when I like my kids. When they are getting along and not slamming doors or screaming at each other or me. Then I like to play with them. :) We usually like Sorry. Although we end up stopping early on account of bad sportsmanship. So I don't even know why we do it. :)

April M said...

I love to play board games, card games, etc. My family is not quite as excited about them as I am.

Our family favorite is Apples to Apples. We can play this game with just my kids and I but we have the most fun playing with the kids and my mother-in-law (70 years old) and aunt-in-law (85 years old). They love this game and the answers they give are hilarious!

Minnie said...

Like your family, ours put game night on the sidelines but our girls have been begging to start it up again...Friday night is the best night for us...we also do Friday night Family Pizza night. We either go out for pizza or cook frozen pizzas. Right now we have Scrabble Jr. that I bought about 4 weeks ago sitting out on the table and the girls have begged me to play. I need to just get up off my fat couch...:) and play!

Jennie said...

Awww, that is so sweet of Clay! What a doll. I love Candy Land, too, and I will play it with my daughter when she's old enough.

Shelley said...

Oh Sesame Street, how I love thee. That was one of my favorite segments, the baker falling down the stairs. "TEN! LEMON! PIIIIIIESSSSS!!" Crash. Heh.
My brother sliced his head open on my mom's round coffee table when he was three years old because of that sketch. He was running around and around the table, fell and busted his forehead open on the edge. Did you know that the old DVDs they put out of Sesame Street in the 70s come with warnings that they "may not be suitable for young children?" No kidding. Apparently they're not PC enough. I guess Gordon taking a lost little girl into his house and giving her a glass of milk and some cookies was a bad thing. Gordon always was kind of a perv, wasn't he? Or was that Bob?

sarah said...

We have a family night on Mondays. We sing songs, tell a story, someone gives a little lesson, play a game and have treats. We even have a chart that tells each child what they get to do that night. The kids love it and it is a great way to slow down and just enjoy being a family.
I have loved checking out your blog for over a year now, but have never commented before. You are a joy!

Shelley said...

Hi, me again. I found this link to the story about why the first two DVDs of the original Sesame Street are intended for "adults only." It's priceless. Next thing you know, they'll be telling us that watching Roadrunner makes kids violent. :)
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/magazine/18wwln-medium-t.html

Robin said...

Unfortunately we only fit it in every now and then...between sports, school activities and everything else. I love to play games so I think I'm going to try harder to play them more with the kids. I also love Clue and Monopoly...and I remember enjoying Battleship as a kid but not even sure how it's played now. Do they even still make that one?

KAL071203 said...

we have family game night once a week, recently w/ my husband being layed off there is less money for big activites so now each sat after church we go to target and we pick out a game to play after dinner that night. our boys are ages 5 and 20months

Anonymous said...

We love mancala. Its a simple counting game (as long as the kids DONT eat the stones). Trouble is another hit. Jenga is fun if you can handle a mess.OH AND DEGIO! Do you have the diego game? Go Diego Go! 123 Game teaches about numbers and turn taking. Its fun, my preschool class (3-5) beg to play it daily

Susannah said...

With all sorts of complicated family situations, we have a HUGE range of ages in my family. Our favorite game to include everyone is charades! We let the little ones act out animals, and the older kids and adults do the usual books/movies/plays/songs. Everyone of all ages has fun guessing and thinking of all sorts of tricky things to have the other team act out. My nieces totally stumped my dad on acting out "Disney Princess Enchanted Tales!" And the best part - no set up or clean up! (well, you need to find pens and paper which can take awhile sometimes!). Pictionary is another favorite 'all ages' game.

Kelly's Ideas said...

My eleven year old daughter advised us last month Wednesday are game night... that is the one night a week that her Christian school does not give homework - they encourage families to be together..

My favorite is Clue..
Enjoy your children... sounds like a lot of fun.
Love,
Kelly
http://www.ivebecomemymother.com

Laura G said...

We do game night during the winter on fri or sat, good sub for movie night. I grew up w/ no tv, playing card games and board games was a constant in our house. At holidays, the extended fam. still gathers around my parents huge table and plays all kinds of games. So my kids developed a love of games. Favs in our house include Quirkle (it's become a verb in our house, "hey, anyone want to Quirkle?), Mastermind (a few quick rounds takes less then 10 min. but satisfies the child and the brain), Flea Circus (a quirky game we got a few years ago, incorporates cards and counting dog/ cat figurines- fun and a little competitive), and the all time fav Monopoly.
In fact, we set a family record of the longest running Monopoly game, played from June'08- Nov. '08. My 6 1/2 yr old and I started the game, played it almost every day for 15 min. or more, sometimes my husband would take my spot and practically give away my prime properties, but I digress. At the beginning of it my daughter could barely count money, and by the end she could count $ into the thousands. Needless to say she was way ahead of me when we made the decision to clean up the game so we could set up the Christmas tree in the game table spot. But not before taking some pics of the fun times we had!
(sorry for long entry, maybe I need my own blog?!)
Happy playing!

Lorene said...

My kids are 20, 18, 8 and 6. The older 2 are boys and the younger 2 are girls. The boys LOVE to play Risk. This game does have like a million pieces but once you get the game ready and the rules down it is fun. It takes awhile to play but already the girls are asking when they can play to. The other games we like are Mexican Train dominos, Uno and Sorry.

Natalie said...

We do family game night often. We usually play Sorry or Trouble. It's a fun game and everyone can play it. We also have Family Game Night by Hasbro for our Wii and we have a lot of fun with that too. It has Yahtzee, Boggle, Sorry, Sorry Sliders, Connect Four, and Battleship.

Tracy said...

First thanks for the heads up on that Candly land, I had planned on buying it for my son's birthday later this month.
We are Uno people here, my boys love Uno. Once in ahwile we play monopoly (White sox or Spiderman version, cuz we have to always be different).

KarenKal said...

Dawn, we do family game night every night. I have a 3 and 5 year old and after dinner we always play games. You should see our hall closet. We probably have at least 30 games in it. My daughter's favorite is Uno. We have Uno Spin, Princess Uno, Toy Story Uno and Cars Uno. She can sit and play Uno all night. My son loves Parcheese. It's a fun game.

Sharon Harris said...

My 5 yr old grandson loves to play Cootie. When my kids were growing up we often played charades around the dinner table after dinner.

The Only Girl said...

Yes - we LOVE family games. Wii Bowling tournaments are a big hit, well, so is any kind of Wii tournament, but bowling seems to accommodate all ages and skill levels. We also love Rummoli. We usually skip the poker hand part but do all the rest. They also love Uno Spin and almost any kid's board game.

Anonymous said...

We try to have game night every Friday night during the *off season* (non-sport season) and on Friday nights when we don't have games. Some of our favorites are Doodle Dice (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS but you have to order it online), Cadoo, Apples to Apples, and Sorry. A few weeks ago, my oldest son made up a Jeopardy game and that was a lot of fun too! :)

Amy Flippin Blankenship

Porter Family said...

Our game night is on Friday, too. I have younger kids (5 and 2) so we play jenga and phase 10 kids. We also have the requisite bowl of peanut m&m's and some kool-aid. The kids love it. My family always did it growing up and now whenever we get a chance to go home, that is what we look forward to most of all.

Glad you liked St. Louis! We love it here. Next time you come, you have to visit Pappy's (best bbq ribs EVER) and go to the butterfly house.

Ruth said...

Now that my daughter is old enough (she's 10) for more advanced games we do gaming days once or twice a month. On those days we have friends come over and we spend the entire day playing games. Sometimes it's Dungeons and Dragons, sometimes it's adventure games like Settlers of Catan, Pirates Cove, Colosseum, Shadows Over Camelot., or even card games like Guillotine.

For those of you with older children check out the games made by Days of Wonder. They're a little more complex than your average game and require strategy to play. Shadows Over Camelot without the traitor has all the players working together to try and defeat evil (the game). In order for the group to have a chance of winning the players need to communicate and cooperate. There are no individual winners or losers.

Anonymous said...

We play UNO a lot. My kids are 5, 8 and 15 and they all play wonderfully and competitively.

Ginny Williams said...

we dont always do "game night" sometimes its puzzle night or movie night. My son is now 13, so our activities vary now.
We have tried doing this on Sunday nights before we all go back to work for the week (work and school). Sunday's we go over the family calendar and figure out activities and who is going where what nights. one week its game night, or we work on whatever puzzle I have out, sometimes its just a good family show that has recently come out and popcorn, snacks etc.
for games we like... cards, board games of all kinds.
most times its just our family (or extended family) and other times we end up with a couple of my sons friends who come over just for family night.
I love having the family around, as well as the "adopted kids". it feels the home with laughter and giggles before the the buy week starts up again.

Step Monster said...

Every other firday we have all thre kids at the house and we do family fun night. The kids pick dinner, what we do and snack. Whether we play games or watch a movie together...that kids love it!

Kristien said...

We used to have "Family Fun Night" and it was always on Friday evenings. We don't have them so much anymore because the older 2 are 18 and 20 now, but I may have to start it up again for my 10 year old. We played things like Disney Trivia, Scene It, Cranium and sometimes even video games that have at least 4 players. It was a lot of fun!

DeeAnne said...

Might I suggest:

UNO
Sorry
Aggravation
dominos
Mousetrap
Life

All work with a wide range of ages so the little ones can play as well as the older ones.

Susan in NC said...

Yes, Apples to Apples is great for multiple generations. We always end up laughing till there are tears in our eyes. The more people the better.....

Anonymous said...

we play sometimes, usually trouble because EVERY OTHER STINKIN GAME HAS LESS THAN A QUARTER OF THE PIECES THO I JUST BOUGHT THE GAME YESTERDAY! sorry, bit of a nervous break down, ****twitch****

Anonymous said...

Ba humbug . . . I hate 99.9% of boardgames (and so does my husband). My poor kids have to wait for their aunts or grandparents to come over to play games with them!! In my defense, I'm leaving an opportunity for the aunts and grandparents to make special memories with the kids (generous of me, wouldn't you say!!)

Anonymous said...

We have family game night or movie night on Friday. We either watch a movie from Netflix (we like to do series movies - right now we are watching the James Bond movies in order) or play games: Monopoly, Blockus, Battleship (with teams), Apples to Apples - a great game! or card games such as Kings in the Corner, Go Fish, etc. I remember Clue as a kid and would love to play that again.

jennifer Hooper said...

We dont have the time for a game night each week, but my kids are kinda hard to match a game to. My oldest is 14 and my youngest 7 so if i fit to the oldest the younger ones get bored, but i i appeal to them the older one texts and doesnt pay attention. SOOO it was until I found SPOONS! Who knew spoons would be the answer? A local thrift store had one of the tins for $1 and i thought what was to loose (but that dollar) They ALL (plus my hubs and I) love it! Now it could be played with a regular deck of cards and some regular sppons with directions dug up online. but i have a cute tin and 7 different colored plastic spoons lol

Hey Teach! said...

We have family fun night on Fridays. Depending on how tired we are from the week we either play games, go out somewhere (mini golf, a restaurant), or snuggle up, order pizza and watch a movie.
As a teacher I am surprised how many kids DON'T know how to play basic board games. Its such a great way to teach concepts and skills as well as social graces. We play scrabble jr, monopoly jr, and memory (and bingo of course)at school. Here at home Blink, Uno, Trouble, and Sorry are favs.

Jessi said...

I love the idea of a game night! In my family we don't have a game night exactly, but we do enjoy playing board games together. My son, Robbie, who is 6 enjoys playing Hi-Ho Cherri o, Piranha Panic (his favorite), Chutes and Ladders, and Sorry Sliders. We try to make time to play with him as often as possible. My 20 month old son likes to run away with the pieces and chew on the cards. lol. At least he is involved.

My husband and I also tend to play card games when the kids are in bed to unwind. I think it's a great way for us to wind down after a lond day, and to spend time together and communicate. It's hard to talk to each other when we are both slumped on the couch in front of the tv. So we try to make it a point a couple of nights a week to spend time together away from the tv. We play things like Rummy, Uno, Skipbo, Battle of the Sexes and board games like Trivial pursuit and Fact or Crap.

Kristina said...

My daughter is in Kindergarten and "play a game with your family" was the homework assignment a couple weeks ago. Since then, we've played go fish almost every evening. The kids don't quite understand about keeping your cards secret from your opponent. They show their cards and my son, who's 3, announces every card he draws. lol

Jess in MI said...

I really want to start this. It sounds like alot of fun. the game I am dying to get is Pictureka! you can play a demo game on the website. It is tons of fun!!!

Ashley said...

We do game night when the feeling hits us and our favorites right now are Yahtzee and Trouble. Yahtzee is great b/c it helps teach math at the same time without the kids noticing it. We started playing when our son was 5 and daughter 7 (they are now 7 and 10). Trouble can end in "trouble" depending on how many times our son gets sent back to base. We also enjoy Scrabble but it's more of a team game at this point with each child being paired with a parent.

Becky in KCMO said...

I like pigs (think Cracker Barrel store game). Also skip-bo and Uno. I like Apples to Apples a lot. I have a 3yr old. We haven't started to play games yet as she'll hardly sit still for a book. She gets all worked up and then pings around the house like a crazy person. I do remember playing war and skip-bo with my niece when she was 3. It was tons of fun!

KatLuvsShoes said...

Hasbro is definitely a household name. I remember playing games late into the night with my own family. Now it's my boys turn. I'm glad they have such a huge selection: http://www.shop.com/hasbro

What's your favorite game?

Luv,

Kat

Letty said...

I saw that Deigo the other, too! And was really surprised about the whole Symbiotic relationship theme! I have a Biology degree, so was actually excited they were teaching the kids this concept at an early ages! Still...so funny how much cartoons have changed over the years!

PS- we haven't institued a "Family Game Night" but growing up my family did. We played a lot of Uno!

Jenn said...

I actually just started this! This past week my three girls (ages 9, 6, and 4) played Chutes and Ladders and A Memory Game! They loved it but I learned my girls are sore losers! So need to play some more. Trying to do it two nights a week, we'll see if that will be feasable! ;)

Anonymous said...

We have Family Night on Monday nights. It starts with a prayer, scripture, lesson, and ends with an activity (a game, family walk, etc.) and a treat. It's so important to set aside family time...my kids look forward all week to their assignment.
Stephanie A.

Stella said...

I love your blog!!! its sooo cute! In fact, it reminds me alot of my mom! her name is Dawn too, actually :) and its sooo funny to read!!!
if you want to check out mi blog!

www.itsafreeworld.sosblog.com

thank you :)

Nicki said...

We have Family Game Night, but its pretty sporadic as to when it happens. (Usually if Little Bear shouts, "I want Family Game Night tonight" and its not ten minutes before bed time, we have it!) We have played Uno, Cranium Cadoo, Hulabaloo (Pufferfish's favorite) and Chutes And Ladders. I also have the Elmo Birthday Game, OutBurst Junior, and Don't Wake Daddy in the closet. I found all of these games at Goodwill for two bucks each, can you believe that?

Michelle said...

Bummer the new Candyland is so complex. On the plus side, the new Connect Four totally rocks. And it doesn't take forever to set up ;)

I LOVE that they share and play nicely and help out. SO very cool. Have you found any games that the whole fam can enjoy playing together?

Becky said...

Loved the old Candyland...why'd they try to fix what wasn't broke?

I love when the kids surprise us moms like that, being 'sweet' to each other and exhibiting great character when we tend to only see the things that need 'correcting', lol.

We have occasionally played games (we prefer Farkle, SkipBo and Uno around here), but not often enough. It is fun to just sit down and visit with the kids, and like you said to watch their interactions. Kind of gives a mom hope, lol.

Mrs.Chattypants said...

Love game night! We play games about once a week-generally on the weekend because homework really rocks our world during the week. LOL! Lately, I have been hitting the garage sales and found quite a few games, in brand new condition, for about a $1. This has provided us with lots of variety! BUT, the kids love game night so it is all good!

Mom Taxi Julie said...

We used to play games all the time but my husband couldn't handle it if I won!! Poor sport!

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