Posts Tagged ‘games’

Tips for Organizing Games

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013


If your cabinet is bursting with board games, you might want to take some time to organize those games. When organizing games in a shallow cupboard, stack all the square games in one stack and the rectangular ones in another stack. Get rid of any games you no longer play.

When organizing board games in a deep cupboard, put the rectangular games length-wise, so that you can see the short edge of the games, instead of blocking the back games with the games in front of them.

Card games can be organized in a drawer, lined up so that you can see their edges to see what game it is. Larger card containers can be stacked at the back of the drawer, along with any card holders.


If you have games that are subject-related, you could store those games in separate bins to use during school time. Math games (like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Payday, Battleship, etc.) could all go in one bin. Language Arts or Reading games (like Scrabble, Boggle, etc.) could go into another bin. Art games (like Masterpiece, Mommy, It’s a Renoir, etc.) and puzzles of famous works of art could go in another bin. Geography games (like Take-Off, Risk, etc.) and puzzles of the U.S.A. or the world could go into another bin. You could stack the bins in your garage or slide them under a large bed, to take out whenever your children have earned some game time for school.

What are some of your favorite games? Do you recognize any of the games in our cupboard? Who remembers Mr. Mouth?


Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

croquetCroquet is a fun game to play, especially in the summer. It’s a lawn game, where you hit a wooden ball with a mallet through wickets. The wickets are the iron squared-off loops that you stab into the ground. I remember playing croquet as a kid, setting up the wickets randomly around the lawn, and trying to hit my ball through each one, taking turns with my sisters.

croquet-2The game actually has a specific pattern for placing the wickets. It looks like two diamonds stacked on top of each other, with double wickets on the top and bottom. Refer to my pencil drawing to see the arrows, as to how you go all the way down the two diamonds on one side (zig-zagging as you go), and then go back up the double diamond. The first person to hit the stick at the top wins. (You also need to have your ball hit the other stick at the bottom when you’re halfway through the game.)

croquet-3Make sure that when a kid is swinging his mallet, that the other kids are far enough away not to accidentally get hit by the mallet. It hurts.

If you don’t have level ground in your backyard, go to a local park that has a grassy level area, and set up your croquet game there. Each person has a mallet of a different color, with a ball to match, so as not to confuse people as to who is winning. That would be me, of course. (I’m kidding.)

croquet-4Many famous artists have painted games of croquet, including Norman Rockwell and Winslow Homer, who painted women in fancy dresses, playing croquet. Lewis Caroll also wrote about a crazy game of croquet in his novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. So the game of croquet is worth playing at least once. You can borrow a set from someone, if you’re not sure you will like the game. Children enjoy this game particularly, and it’s good for hand-eye coordination.


Egyptians Game

Saturday, September 25th, 2010


I picked up a game about Egypt called “Egyptians” at a yard sale for $1 last summer. I thought, sure, why not? I was about to teach a unit on Ancient Egypt in the fall. So now we’ve played the game several times, and the children have enjoyed it. The game is for two to four players, and the age is 7 and up. There is a game board, and the players are represented by camels. The object of the game is to collect six pharaohs and entomb them in your pyramid. Tomb robbers can steal from your pyramid, so you’re never really safe until you’ve won.

You answer questions about Ancient Egypt and collect pharaohs as you land on certain squares on the board. I was surprised a week ago by how many questions my children could answer after just two weeks of studying Egypt. (They must be reading Ancient Egypt books in their free time, because I didn’t teach them the answers to some of those questions. That’s one good thing about having fun books lying around. It makes kids want to study on their own.)

The most dramatic (and loudest) part of the game is when pharaohs do battle. One player puts down three pharaoh cards (for example) and another player puts down three pharaoh cards. Both players roll a die to see who rolls the highest number. The person with the highest number gets all six cards. My daughter acquired a huge pack of pharaoh cards by participating in a lot of battles. It was uncanny how she always won those battles.

When four people play the game, it can take two hours, which was tedious to me. My older two sons played the game (just the two of them) before I had a chance to look at it, and they said the game was way shorter with fewer people.