Another observation Oscar's teacher made at his parent-teacher conference was about his interest in board games at free time. He'll play a game if a classmate brings it out, but he won't pick one out from the stack and initiate it on own. Not a huge or significant concern, but she wondered if I had any board games at my house. I told her I've gotten some in the past, but after a while all the pieces get lost or scattered (see here). I gave up buying games for a while.
She explained the benefits of board games (taking turns, patience, following directions, fun) and told me to give it another try! She also suggested that I could even change the rules to the games so there wouldn't always be a winner. Just play until everyone makes it to the end or something.
I liked her suggestion, and took her up on it. Ella's teacher, coincidentally, also happened to mention the benefits of board games, particularly chess. That's the board game I decided to buy!
Chess is way advanced for my kids, so I developed a game that could introduce the pieces to them in a fun and simple way. Best of all, there's no winner! I call it Squish the Bug. Here's how to play:
1. A Chess Set
2. A bag for the pieces (This chess set
3. Bug Stickers (I found reusable ladybug stickers in this book
1. Place stickers on the board in random places. Press half of the stickers on the board and bend the other half up in the air. See picture below.
2. Have child pick a chess piece out of the bag.
3. Explain the name of the piece and what it does.
4. Place the piece on the board and have the child squish the bugs! Make sure the child is moving the piece in the correct direction.
5. Repeat until your children have gone through the entire bag or you've created the next Bobby Fischer.
Do you play board games with your kids? What board games do you recommend?
FYI: The board in these pictures is from this beautiful eco-friendly chess set (all the pieces are floating around my house somewhere). It was more photogenic than this new board