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Old 11-04-2010, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dh was recently complaining that a lot of the board games that are available are geared towards an attitude that only caters to fate ("oh well, that is what the dice rolled!" meaning we have no control over our lives) or pitting us against each in rather competitive ways that also seem beyond our control.
Any ideas for some unschooly and fun games/ board games??

unschooling mama with Toots'n Fruits (6) and BeenzieBoo (3)
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:19 AM
 
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Maybe check out Cooperative Games (by Family Pastimes). Our one (Harvest Time), still has a dice roll, but it's all in the attitude and dialogue that you approach the game with that doesn't give it a competitive feel. For example, you can help your neighbour to harvest their food on your dice roll if you've already harvested everything etc.

But in saying that, my kids haven't been too fazed with games with a winner/loser. DD has had a bit of a tougher time understanding, but we've found ways to modify our games until she can handle it (and chose not to play those sorts of games for about 6mths), and I try to discourage smug or mocking language from DS if he was winning etc. I try not to swing the game purposefully just to make her feel good, so it's still played honestly, but that's where I use it as a learning tool on handling emotions etc at a level that she's ready for in a safe environment.

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Old 11-05-2010, 10:37 AM
 
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I was also going to mention Family Pastimes--two we particularly like are "Secret Door" and "Sleeping Grump."

We also enjoy Quirkle, and just play without keeping score (more because it's too much trouble than for any deep philosophical reason).
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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I'll second / third the recommendations for Family Pasttimes.

We've found it very easy to adapt most conventional games to a co-operative rather than competitive feel. For instances, Chutes & Ladders we do this thing where if you get an unlucky dice roll that would send you down a chute, you can give it to someone else (typically the person who is farthest behind) to allow them to move ahead. The aim of the game being to all finish quickly and efficiently. Or we play games like Blokus just until the board is filled, saving clever openings for others' pieces (rather than blocking them), and not bothering to tally the score at the end. Or we play Set Game just stacking all the "sets" we see together, rather than in separate piles for score-keeping.

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Old 11-05-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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We really like Cathedral, Risk (my 6yo DS is playing it with DH now), Monopoly, Stratego, Clue, Bang, Dominos, Bohnanaza and Yahtzee. A lot of these games include random chance, but there is always some type of strategy or another than can be tried.

I do want to look into more games though. My boys love love love games.
When I was 5 I started playing 5 card draw poker (with peanuts) and that was my absolute favorite game, although I would always lose because I would eat my winnings as I went.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh! I had no idea that something like Family Pastimes games exist! Yay! And they have so many of them on their website. They sound just perfect for our family!

unschooling mama with Toots'n Fruits (6) and BeenzieBoo (3)
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I'll second / third the recommendations for Family Pasttimes.

We've found it very easy to adapt most conventional games to a co-operative rather than competitive feel. For instances, Chutes & Ladders we do this thing where if you get an unlucky dice roll that would send you down a chute, you can give it to someone else (typically the person who is farthest behind) to allow them to move ahead. The aim of the game being to all finish quickly and efficiently. Or we play games like Blokus just until the board is filled, saving clever openings for others' pieces (rather than blocking them), and not bothering to tally the score at the end. Or we play Set Game just stacking all the "sets" we see together, rather than in separate piles for score-keeping.

Miranda
We have very similar strategies with all these games too.

with snakes and ladders, if the last person completing the game gets on the final ladder - any who have won will "pull" the person up the ladder to get them safely home. Just saves on a long drawn out game and we've all still gained in playing a game together.

Same as Blokus, we don't "block" each other, and try and find gaps for other players to slot into.

And with Set, we also just create a pile of sets and no scoring.

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Old 11-05-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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My kids love Wildcraft.... http://www.learningherbs.com/wildcraft.html.

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Old 11-06-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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We have bunches of family pasttimes games as well, my kids have outgrown harvest time & max (max was a FAVORITE!), but really like Secret Door and Sand Castles right now. They liked Round-Up for a long time,too but are kind of bored with it now, we have a bunch of others, just mentioning our faves Other games I recommend are Chess, card games like Rummy and Poker, The Amazing Labyrinth, The Enchanted Forest, Cranium, Pictionary, UNO and Scrabble. I always like games that actually make you think - not just those luck-of-the-dice ones.

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Old 11-06-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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One of our favorite games is Eyes of the Jungle by Family Pastimes. Yes, there is a chance element to it, you decide which card you want to flip over on your turn and it will either be a good or bad thing. But then you get to decide how you deal with the good or bad item. You work as a team to make decisions on how to deal with the good or bad luck situations. It allows a lot of creativity and flexibility in how you decide to use your resources.

Another favorite is Deep Sea Diver by the same company.

Mastermind is a good game. Does not need to be competitive unless you actually keep score. No chance involved that isn't completely in your control. Teaches logical thinking. If kids are younger, you can just limit the number of colors that are being used or form a team where you talk out loud about the decisions being made.

To me real life involves a combination of things. Some happen to you without being 100% in your control and the only thing you can control is your response to them. Some things in life are mostly in your control but you still have to think about how to include the people around you, will it be in a positive or negative way. And sometimes life is about being competitive or using logical strategies to maneuver through challenges. I think competitive games are as important as cooperative because in life you need lots of different skills.

So I don't think of any particular game as being unschooly. We play everything from Othello, chess, Sorry, Ingenious, tons of Family Pastimes games, etc. Each game has something to offer.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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Thank you for this! I'm adding it for a Christmas idea for my dd and a niece.

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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Love these ideas!

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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Yes, Family Pastimes is fantastic. Try going to Crunchy Cooperative as I think they are going to do a co-op for the games at a great price this month. Also, we picked up a game recenly called Mentology and it is fun. It is competitive in a way, but there is both strategy and skill involved. DS did so fantastic, we had no idea he had such a great memory! Here is a link for it on Amazon
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:46 AM
 
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There's a website for board games called www.boardgamegeek.com that has listings of tons of games and reviews. It's broken down by categories, such as abstract, strategy, family, war etc. I've found some pretty good games that my dd6 likes to play. Some are related to what we are studying, like Cleopatra and the Society of Architects. Some are print and play, so you can make it yourself like Hoyuk. Dixit is pretty cool too, where the current player tries to describe a picture on a card and everyone else tries to pick one of their cards that matches that description. All the cards are laid down and then you try to pick which card was the original card. You can keep score or not, I don't think that particular game really needs scoring, but the scoring is based on how well the original player describes the card. You want to describe it enough that some people pick your card, but not everybody.
DD loves Diamant(aka Incan Gold), and really does well with it, usually beating most of the adults. It's kind of a cave/tomb exploring theme, where each card turned up either has more treasure or a possible danger. Everyone can either choose to stay or leave, and if you leave you keep whatever treasures you already have, but if you stay you could get more or lose what you have if something bad turns up. It's Really fun with more people. You really see what kind of personality people have. Hive is pretty a good 2 player abstract game.

The people on that board do tend to look down on Monopoly, and games which have too much dependence on dice rolls. A lot of the good games on there come from Europe so they do need some thought. There are so many different themes like Egypt, Rome, Greek, Archaeology, Planes, Trains, Fantasy, Cooking and you can read reviews and look at pictures of the games to see whether it would really be enjoyable in your family.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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I never heard of Family Pastimes. This is great! We play a limited amount of games with DD (age 3) mainly because I don't want to play competitive games with her. So far we have Snails Pace Race (it has colored dice and whoever's turn it is gets to move the snails, so colors win vs. people), Goodnight Moon, Cooties (we don't make a big deal or say anyone "Won" when completing the bugs) and an Eric Carle game where you do the activity on the card you draw (sing, dance, act like a gorilla, etc). Of course, these are all preschoolers games.

 

I don't mean to hijack the thread but if anyone can suggest which games from Family Pastimes are great for the 3-yr-old set I'd appreciate it! Thanks!


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Old 11-23-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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Sleeping Grump is a great one!

 

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Originally Posted by MsCCM View Post

I never heard of Family Pastimes. This is great! We play a limited amount of games with DD (age 3) mainly because I don't want to play competitive games with her. So far we have Snails Pace Race (it has colored dice and whoever's turn it is gets to move the snails, so colors win vs. people), Goodnight Moon, Cooties (we don't make a big deal or say anyone "Won" when completing the bugs) and an Eric Carle game where you do the activity on the card you draw (sing, dance, act like a gorilla, etc). Of course, these are all preschoolers games.

 

I don't mean to hijack the thread but if anyone can suggest which games from Family Pastimes are great for the 3-yr-old set I'd appreciate it! Thanks!



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Old 11-24-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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I haven't played this yet, but have read reviews which are very positive. It has won lots of awards. Pandemic is a co-operative strategy game suitable for older kids / teens / adults. There are lots of co-operative games for younger kids but not so many for older, more sophisticated players. 

 

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Old 11-24-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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Thanks!
 

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Sleeping Grump is a great one!

 

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Originally Posted by MsCCM View Post

I never heard of Family Pastimes. This is great! We play a limited amount of games with DD (age 3) mainly because I don't want to play competitive games with her. So far we have Snails Pace Race (it has colored dice and whoever's turn it is gets to move the snails, so colors win vs. people), Goodnight Moon, Cooties (we don't make a big deal or say anyone "Won" when completing the bugs) and an Eric Carle game where you do the activity on the card you draw (sing, dance, act like a gorilla, etc). Of course, these are all preschoolers games.

 

I don't mean to hijack the thread but if anyone can suggest which games from Family Pastimes are great for the 3-yr-old set I'd appreciate it! Thanks!


 



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Old 11-24-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Another vote for Wildcraft! You help your fellow players hike up a mountain and share herbal remedies to cure their ailments on the trip, gather blackberries, read nature tips, and hike back down together- the game ends when everyone is home with their berries for Grandmother's pie :)

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