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#1 of 9 Old 08-17-2002, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds is just about to turn 6 and he shows aptitude for (and enjoys) board games, especially those that involve real strategy. DH is teaching him to play Chess and Risk. He plays Checkers and enjoys trivia games. He likes Monopoly Jr. a lot too, though it is more of a luck kind of game (though he learns to count money). Anyway, we're having a lot of fun for the most part. I'm thinking of getting him Battleship for his birthday. But I have this nagging little voice in the back of my head wondering of these games conflict with my approach to parenting. Non-violence. No guns. Only gentle TV shows. Only educational computer games. You know what I mean. One part of me says that these board games are nothing compared to the gameboy, etc. that his peers love so much. And he is LEARNING from these games. At the same time, the whole message of Risk and even Chess is to "win the battle" and "anhialate the other guy." So I wonder if encouraging these games might be a little hypocritical? I dunno. Thoughts?

I'm not really planning to ban these things because he already loves them. But I wonder if I need to put some thought into a disscussion about them?
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#2 of 9 Old 08-17-2002, 10:21 PM
 
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family pasttimes in canada has some great board games

i love playing the vegetable game with my dd!!
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#3 of 9 Old 08-18-2002, 12:58 PM
 
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The LLL group I was in in Kennebunkport, ME sold cooperative board games for a fund raiser. I don't know the company right now but I'll look. In the games everyone works together and they had many games at every level from toddler to adult.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-18-2002, 01:02 PM
 
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family pastimes was the one I've seen too.

Here is a quote from thier site
Quote:
Our games foster the spirit of co-operation. Players help each other climb a mountain, make a community, bring in the harvest, complete a space exploration... They are never against each other.
Quote:
After all, the initial impulse to play a game is social; that is, we bring out a game because we want to do something together. How ironic then that in most games, we spend all our efforts trying to bankrupt someone, destroy their armies, in other words, to get rid of one another! We soon learn how to pick on the other person's weaknesses in order to win the game.
Have fun!!
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#5 of 9 Old 08-23-2002, 03:01 AM
 
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Mamaduck, I've been wondering the same thing.

We have been playing some of the cooperative games, but while we all enjoy them, I have found the type of strategy used in them different than what is used in some more traditional games. Of the several we have played, none have required as much thinking ahead. I think my 5-year-old can benefit from what she learns from certain traditional games. She certainly enjoys them.

I just try to play down the competitive aspect of the games, and if it starts to get too much, we stop playing them for a while and only bring out the cooperative ones. So far it's been working! We also talk about sharing and cooperating and how the game's the thing, not winning.

There are also some competitive games that we play relatively cooperatively, but those usually aren't ones that require stratgegy -- i.e. bingo type games.

In terms of the war aspect, perhaps one can find chess pieces that aren'ts so warlike (we haven't gotten there yet)? However, I personally as a kids saw it as very medieval and thought it was cool. It never occurred to me that we were simulating war. I don't remember battleship so well so I can't comment on that.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-23-2002, 08:35 AM
 
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If you're uncomfortable with the war images, but still want strategy, try Parcheesi (lots of strategy, math concepts,etc. when played by the rules).
Or checkers, chess, dominoes, etc.
Good luck. I have bought cooperative games for family members, and there's some fun ones out there.
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#7 of 9 Old 08-23-2002, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts, mamas. I wanted to share -- we just came home from our vacation and while we were there we starting teaching him "scrabble." What a great way to teach reading and math skills at the same time (spelling and scoring!) And a little bit about how to use the dictionary too! It was pretty darn cool.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-26-2002, 07:24 PM
 
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Looney Labs makes a beautiful card game called Aquarius that is played sort of like dominoes--you match the picture to the same picture on another card--but you can match in 2 directions and each card has either 1, 2, or 4 pictures on it. You can just take turns playing a card that matches, or you can turn them all face-down and try to pick up a pair w/the same picture(s), or you can shuffle in the action cards and play the actual game, which involves trying to get 7 connected cards of your "element": earth, wind, fire, water, or outer space! I've played with kids as young as 4, and they love the bright colors and easy rules. No reading required.

Looney Labs also makes sets of little pyramids that can be used to play a huge variety of games. I can't recommend those for households with very young kids tho, or for kids who leave their stuff on the floor or have trouble w/fine motor skills, because the points are pretty sharp!

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

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#9 of 9 Old 08-27-2002, 03:31 AM
 
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I love the book "Games for Math" by Peggy Kaye. It will teach you to make a board game using simple materials (like piece of paper, a pen and some paper clips), as well as other useful math-related stuff.
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