Homeschooling board game day - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > Homeschooling board game day
simple living mama's Avatar simple living mama 05:50 AM 02-28-2007
At my moms night out tonight my wonderful girl friends and I came up with the idea of a once a month board game day for homeschool kids. We will find a space to do this and it will last a few hours long.

I would like to pick your brain to see what board games you like that would work for something like this. We will most likely have different stations set up i.e.... chess in one corner, Mastermind in another. So I was thinking games for 2, 4 and more than 4 players that will work nicely for this kind of situation.

I would love to hear your ideas.

Thanks friends.

MaWhit's Avatar MaWhit 06:06 AM 02-28-2007
Not a board game, but Twister was a big hit at our game day.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 11:23 AM 02-28-2007
Our homeschool teen group is really into Settlers of Caton right now. Usually a family will announce on our yahoo group a board game afternoon, and that family will say "Bring your Scrabble boards" or "Clue marathon on Wed" or "Bring Your fav board game". The kids seem to know what they like.
Callimom's Avatar Callimom 12:47 PM 02-28-2007
Our h/s group did this recently. The games that were most popular were ones that could accommodate a wide variety of ages - ie games that didn't require reading, and had some level of luck incorporated in them so that all kids had a chance to win.

My son brought chess but there wasn't anyone there who knew how to play so one of the dads played with him.
UlrikeDG's Avatar UlrikeDG 02:09 PM 02-28-2007
We meet once a week (Thursdays at 1 pm) at a game store that has a room full of tables for playing games. Everyone just brings any game(s) they want to share. When the weather turns nice again, we'll go back to meeting at the park to play outdoors during that time.
Dakota's Mom's Avatar Dakota's Mom 02:19 PM 02-28-2007
One of our local libraries has a monthly homeschoolers board game day. We haven't gone yet because it conflicts with another activity. I'll try to find out what types of games they play.

Kathi
NoHiddenFees's Avatar NoHiddenFees 03:01 PM 02-28-2007
How old are the children?

We have a once a month game day for adults, and have tonnes of games for the kids too. Most of our stock comes from Fun Again. They have lists of good games for kids and user ratings.
Milakais's Avatar Milakais 03:28 PM 02-28-2007
Settlers of Catan. A great trade-based game. The base game is 3 to 4 players. You can buy an expansion for it that allows you to play with 5 or 6 players. There are also variant expansions available (Seafarers of Catan; Cities and Knights of Catan), that add new dimensions to the game.

Carcassonne. A castle-building game. 2 to 5 players. This game plays well in 2-player mode.

Classics: Othello (2 players). Pente (2 players). Chess (2 players). Scrabble (2-4 players). Stratego (2 players). Risk (2-6 players).

Not a board game, but still in the same vein: Uno (2+ players).

I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but "Go" is supposed to be a very good game as well. 2 players.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 03:29 PM 02-28-2007
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NoHiddenFees's Avatar NoHiddenFees 06:14 PM 02-28-2007
It's not totally PC, but the card game Bang! is a big hit here. My favourite card game is Bohnanza, it's simple enough once you get the hang of it, but it has a fairly steep learning curve (German game, many steps). The players are bean farmers. Other popular card games here are Munchkin, Guillotine, and Quiddler.

A reliably popular board game is Ticket to Ride and its sequels. It's one of the few games that's more popular with the women, though men certainly do play it.

Our favourite Carcassone is Hunters and Gatherers.

For older kids who like a dose of horror, Betrayal in the House on the Hill was a surprise hit with our crowd. We'd bought it as a lark. It's a short-ish tile based RPG. Tikal, a game of exploration of Mayan ruins, was another surprise hit.

Settlers of Catan is a good intro to eurogaming; it's mainstream enough now I think they even sell it at TRU. Puerto Rico is another great game.

Some good 2 player games:

Lost Cities
Odin's Ravens
Babel

Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 08:21 PM 02-28-2007
They do this in our HS group too. We have yet to make it to one though!

The way it works, the kids bring their own favorite games, there isn't one facilitator who brings all the games. Once they get there, kids decide which games they want to play- some of the games that are brought end up not getting used. If I took all of my kids, I would bring along Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Rummicub, Clue, and maybe a deck of cards. I mean, I'd have my kids pick out the games they wanted but those are likely candidates (and the first two are the only board games DS owns.)
simple living mama's Avatar simple living mama 09:49 PM 02-28-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Our homeschool teen group is really into Settlers of Caton right now.
Wow I just purchased the Settlers of Caton, came home and checked this thread to find three of you suggested it! Fantastic. It looks really good and the gal at the store said it doesn't take long to learn either.

Ulrike, what a smart game shop to have a gaming day. I wish we had something like that in our town.

Dakota's mom. You just gave me a great idea. Our town is getting a new library soon so having our game day there will make more sense than renting some place downtown. Thank you for that.

NoHiddenFees, we aren't sure on the age group yet as we will put an add in our local briefs and probably get all sorts of age ranges. Thanks for the link and your wonderful suggestions. Hunters and Gatherers sounds like a cool game. Oh and why is Bang! not p.c.?
p.s.. That "upside down baby" photo of yours is gorgeous.

Milakais, have you bought any of the expansions for the S of C game? Are they less expensive? Thanks for your suggestions. They're good.

Ruthia, I like your idea of the kids bringing their own games. I thought I would like to introduce kids to new games as well by bringing new once that folks haven't heard of yet. Even old ones like Mastermind (which I love) that not too many young kids know about. So I think a bit of both might work.

Thanks Mawhit, Karenof4, thanks everyone.:

I heard there was a great game about Farming. I think it's called Farm opoly but there is another called Life on the Farm so I'm wondering which one is better. Anyone know of these?
NoHiddenFees's Avatar NoHiddenFees 10:12 PM 02-28-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple living mama View Post
Oh and why is Bang! not p.c.?
It's based on spaghetti westerns (the cards are even half Italian for ambiance) and there is some mild stereotyping of Native Americans and major stereotyping of cowboys and other folk from those movies. Life points are regained by drinking beer. The bigger the game, the longer it takes; we have a rule for big games that if someone has a Bang card, they have to use it if they are able.

Quote:
p.s.. That "upside down baby" photo of yours is gorgeous.
Thanks. She knows it too.

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Milakais, have you bought any of the expansions for the S of C game? Are they less expensive?
You'll want the 5-6 player expansion (MSRP $20). We prefer playing with the Event Cards ($5) over dice.

Just a word of warning; smaller games companies often don't have much of a budget for manual production, and no technical writers on staff. If you have problems understanding rules as written, a good place to consult is Board Game Geek. It's not uncommon to find re-written or clarified rule sets and other helpful materials, usually printer ready. I've often been pleasantly surprised to find clarifications from the game designers themselves as well.
simple living mama's Avatar simple living mama 04:28 AM 03-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
and there is some mild stereotyping of Native Americans and major stereotyping of cowboys and other folk from those movies.
Man, I would like to have a whole discussion on this sometime. I just ordered the Carl Barks complete set (Uncle Scrooge) and this also has some Native American stereo typing amongst other stereotyping. But the writing is so darn great and funny so you gotta wonder is it better to wait for your kids to ask about certain things, bring it up yourself as a good discussion topic or avoid it all together? Maybe I'll start a thread about this soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
Life points are regained by drinking beer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
You'll want the 5-6 player expansion (MSRP $20). We prefer playing with the Event Cards ($5) over dice.
That's about half of what I payed for the game so that's good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
a good place to consult is Board Game Geek. It's not uncommon to find re-written or clarified rule sets and other helpful materials, usually printer ready. I've often been pleasantly surprised to find clarifications from the game designers themselves as well.
What a great link to have. A big thanks to you NoHiddenFees. You even sorta have a gaming name!
simple living mama's Avatar simple living mama 03:33 PM 03-10-2007
Well we've been playing the Settlers of Catan and it's wonderful! I can't say it was easy to figure out but after awhile it started clicking and we've got it now. It was either because of the clunky instructions or me being an old dog learning a new game. I do think I could or written them a little clearer though.:
mags's Avatar mags 03:46 PM 03-11-2007
You can also use decks of cards for games like war, euchre, memory, etc..
Milakais's Avatar Milakais 09:46 PM 03-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple living mama View Post
Milakais, have you bought any of the expansions for the S of C game? Are they less expensive?
The 5-6 player expansion costs about half as much as the original game, but the expansions that convert it into a new variant of the game (eg - Seafarers of Catan, Cities and Knights of Catan) cost as much as the original game (plus you need to own the original game as well.) And if you want to play the variants in 5-6 player mode, you need their 5-6 player expansions as well (which, again, cost the half-ish price) as well as the original 5-6 player expansion. So it can add up. To play a 5-6 player game of Seafarers of Catan, for example, ends up getting pretty expensive -- you'd need the original game, the 5-6 player expansion, the Seafarers expansion, and the Seafarers 5-6 player expansion. Whew!

But you don't need to buy all the expansions, of course, just whichever ones you want to play. Or spread the cost out over time -- cost-wise, I think it makes the most sense to just buy the original game and perhaps the 5-6 player expansion at first, then buy the variants at later times when you're looking for a new twist on the game.
Cullens_Girl's Avatar Cullens_Girl 12:21 PM 03-12-2007
maybe not for preschoolers, but I remember my brother taking part in a game afternoon in elementary school and he learned to play cribbage, scrabble, chess, yahtzee, etc.
wonderactivist's Avatar wonderactivist 03:41 PM 03-12-2007
We have done this in two towns now and one thing I would discourage is any game as long as Monopoly. (I don't know Settlers' length).

What happens is that different families arrive at different times, so if the first 3 kids get involved in Monopoly, then others arrive and they can't join in and it ends up being a problem - plus rarely can they actually finish Monopoly or Risk in the time set aside for this. We save those games for special "Monopoly night" now where just a few friends come and they know what time they have to be there, etc.

We encourage Apples to Apples, Chess, Uno, BattleBall (a recent hit), Yahtzee, Scene-it, Payday, and other games that don't run on forever. For the little ones, Penguin Pile-up, Go Fish, plus Max, Harvest Time and other cooperative games can be fun.

When it was at the library, we would also bring a shuffle board or something else that a child could play alone.

The hard part is when a family arrives and the other kids are all involved in play. I always asked my eldest in advance to be willing to leave a game so someone would not feel left out, but he rarely had to do that as usually we could see a game that was almost over, or they wanted to watch a game, etc.

We still have a lot of fun with Board Game Day, but now that it is at our home instead of the library, they usually play just one game and head out to the trampoline unless the weather is bad.

Warm wishes,

Lucie
simple living mama's Avatar simple living mama 03:42 PM 03-12-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milakais View Post

But you don't need to buy all the expansions, of course, just whichever ones you want to play. Or spread the cost out over time -- cost-wise, I think it makes the most sense to just buy the original game and perhaps the 5-6 player expansion at first, then buy the variants at later times when you're looking for a new twist on the game.
Thanks for explaining all of that Milakais! Yes, I think I will take you up on this suggestion.
NoHiddenFees's Avatar NoHiddenFees 10:02 PM 03-12-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderactivist View Post
What happens is that different families arrive at different times, so if the first 3 kids get involved in Monopoly, then others arrive and they can't join in and it ends up being a problem - plus rarely can they actually finish Monopoly or Risk in the time set aside for this.
This is for adults, but we always have more than one gaming space available; our dining room table is huge and will accommodate 2 five/six player games and we have a card table set up as well. It all depends how many people you expect. Some our most skilled gamers will play more than one game at a time, as the longer running games tend to have long turn cycles. We do have a rule however, that games which typically run 3 hours or more must be "reserved" ahead of time and interested players show up at least two hours ahead of the rest of the crowd. Zombies and Betrayal at the House on the Hill are the worst for this. Zombies is the only game we've banned from Game Day, because it takes over the whole table and can end up lasting all evening. Once every three or four months, someone else will host a Zombies night.
simple living mama's Avatar simple living mama 09:58 PM 03-15-2007
I both love and hate the long games. NoHiddenFees, I just ordered Quiddler, Ticket to Ride and Hunters and Gatherers. Can't wait!

Thanks for the suggestions. I have a grant for my kids art studio so for once in my life I can go on a shopping spree. I think games are one of the best uses for this money. I look forward to getting some of the other great suggestions from this thread.
BrooklynDoula's Avatar BrooklynDoula 10:01 PM 03-15-2007
Haba's Pirate Pete is fun for a variety of ages (I even like it)
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