I have bad news today. My muse has gone on vacation. . .without me. How rude. The little voice in my head reminds me that in all those writing classes (from eons ago) say that when you have writer's block you need to just sit down and start writing. Well, you see how well that is working for me, sorry to put you through this.
Let's see how far we can get without the muse. This week is Spring Break and I had these illusions of spending a lot of time with the kids playing games and doing fun things. Don't ask me how that is working out, ok? (Best laid plans of mice and moms...grumble, grumble, mutter)
Speaking of games, I confess I have absolutely no patience for some of the "classic" children's games like Candyland, Hi Hi Cherrio and Chutes and Ladders. I dislike them so much, that we don't even have them in our home. How did such mind-numbing, parent-torturing games become "classics" anyway? Classics are supposed to be good things. (oops, sorry this is why the muse left me. I'm grumpy.)
I was fortunate to stumble on "Max", many years ago. I still like playing this with my kids. Even very young children can play this game with a parent or older sibling because it is a "co-operative" game. This means that all the players work together against the game. This is great for those little ones that can't deal with losing yet.
In Max, there is the cat and there are three little animals: a squirrel, a mouse and a bird. Everyone playing the game works together to get the three little creatures safely to their homes, so Max won't catch them. Sometimes, you get all the little creatures home safely, sometimes you don't! Kids of all ages get a kick out of this game. Even adults will find this game enjoyable. It's a great way to spend time together.
If you try Max and love it (as I know you will), there are other co-operative games available as well. My family has tried others. Some we like, some not so much, but Max is by far the favorite. Any one of them is hands down better than Chutes and Ladders! One worth checking out, if you have girls, is Princess. In this game the players work together to come up with imaginative solutions to obstacles. My daughter loved this one, but the draw back was she played it with her brothers who had a vastly different idea of how things should go. For example, when the obstacle was to wake the sleeping princess, and the "tool" card was a bottle of magic potion, my daughter wanted to pour some in the Princess' mouth, her older brothers thought it would be more effective to bonk the Princess on the head with it. Since all the players need to agree on the solution, this game didn't work so well for them (unless of course laughing is the goal!) My daughter, having no sisters, had better luck playing it with her girl friends.
You can see more co-operative games, tons of other games and best of all...REVIEWS...at http://www.funagain.com/. I love being able to read reviews of a game before I buy. This feature alone is enough to make Funagain my favorite site to buy games.
While you are at Funagain, you might want to check out Rat-a-tat Cat. This is a darling card game for kids approx. 6 and up. We found it a couple years ago and it has been a favorite in our family since then.
For kids who are older, say 10 and up we love: Man Bites Dog, and Fluxx. They are card games that are quick to learn, and fun to play.
If my fourteen year old read my blog, (he doesn't - no loyalty in my house), he would say I MUST mention Munchkin. He and his friends love this card game. We even had a Munchkin night once (kind of like Poker night for the younger generation.) One word of caution, there are all kinds of add ons for this game, which my son thinks are fabulous, but I think they bog things down. Munchkin is a Knights/Dungeons themed game, but they also have SuperHero Munchkin, and Ninjas, Space etc. If you like a game that makes you laugh, you must try this one!
While I am waiting for my muse to return, I think I'll go play a game with the kids! Enjoy!