Sunday, 25 November 2012

Board Games, not Bored Games!

Summer holidays meant the annual camping trip to the South Coast and Merry Beach. Included in the packed essentials was always the board games for great family and friends entertainment each evening around the campfire or huddled together in a tent in the case of summer rain.

While the boys were off surfing, swimmimg, bushwalking and generally doing what boys do best, pre-teen girl lay in a hammock strung between the trees of our campsite and studied the cards of Trivial Pursuit. No wonder when time came to play each evening everyone wanted to be on her team! Grandma had the history covered, the dads knew the sports, us Mums were pretty good with general knowledge and entertainment and mid-teen know-it-all covered geography and science. Amazing how the competition grew each year as the group grew larger and older. Each team grew 
more determined to beat the rest, but through all the friendly rivalry, laughter and competition one thing stood out.....the desperate desire to read! No matter how old, big or small, every child wants their turn to read the questions and answers.

This is true of so many board games. Our reluctant reader loved all things Star Wars. So what game did we buy him? Star Wars Monopoly! Whenever he had mates over for a visit or sleepover, out came the Star Wars Monopoly. They would spread it all over the dining room table or lounge room floor and play for hours. Imagine how much reading they were doing each time they picked up a card to play and they didn't even realise it!

There are so many board games out there these days, the possibilites to involve your kids are endless. Trivial Pursuit of course comes with a childrens version to help level the playing feild. As does Articulate, another great game well worth a look into. Basically it works by silently reading  the word on a card then trying to give hints to your partner without saying what the word actually is. Your partner has to guess the word in a given time frame. The excitement builds as you try to guess as many words as possible in a certain length of time.

Along the same principle are charades, pictionary and rapidough which is where you get to model a representation of the word instead of illustrating it. Betweeen these you cover all types of learners, auditory, visual, kinesthetic as well as read-write and they are all having lots of fun!

Of course there are always the old stand-bys, scrabble and boggle but please play them at an age appropriate level. be prepared to bend the rules a little for younger players. There's no point being a stickler for the rules and turning off your reluctant reader because he can never have any success as dad always wins! I know they are out there, admit it, I've met one or two over the years. Remember who you are playing with to help learn to read!

Christmas is almost upon us, time to think about those Christmas gifts. Why not give a little thougth about a board game to include some valuable family time. You may be surprised how much fun you'll all have and how much learning to read will accidentally happen along the way over those long summer holidays.

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