Board Games and Bonding Time

Kids these days have lost an important experience, that of playing board games with their parents. They’re all too busy looking at their phones and tablets for hours on end to sit down and play a board game like Monopoly or Scrabble with their parents. There was a time when this happened quite often, especially on rainy days during beach vacations, when there was nothing else to do but sit inside and play a board game. Mom and Dad would get out the Monopoly board and sit down with the kids, and a happy hour or two would ensue.

Twilight Struggle Board Game

Well, sometimes. Actually, what also happened at times was that little Joey turned into a rapacious businessman who did everything he could to drive the rest of the family to bankruptcy by buying up all the prime boardwalk property and pushing them to the sidelines. At some point there would be arguments, shouting, accusations of cheating, and then perhaps someone would overturn the board and stomp out of the room. Sometimes this childish behavior would actually be coming from Dad, who had a major competitive streak, and didn’t like losing to his kids.

Trans America Board Game

Seriously, though, board games are still a great way for parents to bond with their children. Although it can be hard to get children these days to put down their phones and concentrate on a board game, they often find that it’s a pleasant experience. It’s nice to stop all the chatter from social media and just focus on a game, and it can be a great time for parents and children to get to know each other better. It’s definitely worthwhile to get out the board games once in a while!

The Importance of Playing Games with your Child

Many parents believe that they don’t have enough time to play with their children, or that there isn’t a need for them to do so. Games are a major part of every child’s development, and a parental influence in this is very important.
Below are 5 reasons that make playing games with your child beneficial, for both parties involved.
1. Strengthens the bond between parent and child.
When a baby is born, they are not aware that they are separate from their parents, as we take care of their every need. This forms a very important nurturing bond. As a child grows older they become more independent and develop their own ideas and personalities. As a result, maintaining this relationship becomes more challenging.
When the parent plays games with the child it helps to build a stronger bond, by creating an environment for the parent to interact with the child in a way that they both enjoy. This brings them closer and helps develop a lasting relationship.
2. The parent is able to teach the child through games.
Playing games is the way that children learn about the world they are in. They are introduced to different aspects of themselves, their environment and other people. It is also more likely that they will remember what they learn while doing activities they love.
This makes play-time an ideal opportunity to teach a child moral values and social skills. Games based on reasoning encourage the child to develop problem-solving abilities and patience. These are all skills that will last a lifetime.
3. Enables the child to feel more secure.
It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that children have a strong sense of security and safety. Playing games with them shows them they are loved and supported. This interaction also fulfils the child’s natural desire for their parents’ attention.
4. Parents become more aware of their child’s individuality.
Our children live in a world that we have created for them, and even though parental guidance is necessary, it is good to be able to see things from their point of view.
Whenever we play with our children, we can enter their world. Playing open minded games in which they set the rules, allows us to experience more of who they really are. In addition, our interest builds their confidence and teaches them to themselves more.
5. Helps increase communication.
It can be difficult for a child to express themselves verbally. Games that encourage self-expression will help them to get their point across. It is also a good way to for a child to show how they feel, when they are unable to explain it.

 

Here are few great board games that you can play with your children:

Mouse Trap Board Game

 

Solar Quest Space Board Game

Playing games with a child is more important than ever in modern society. Keep them short and sweet, and let your child know how much you love playing with them. One important thing to remember is that it is not the amount of time spent on the games, but the quality of the time and what both the parent and child will take away from the interaction.

Pachisi 101: Learning the Basics

Whether you’re an adult or a kid, you’ve probably enjoyed playing board games such as Ludo, Puchese, Parcheesi, and Uckers. But did you know that all these originated from one game called Pachisi? That’s right! All of them are simplified adaptations of this popular Indian game. Putting the adaptations aside, it is also related to Chaupar, another ancient Indian board game. It was believed that these pastime games have been around since the 4th Century A.D.

Even though this pastime activity is old, a lot of people still play it because of its fun factor. If you haven’t played this game before, but you’re interested to try it, here’s a list of things that you need to know about Pachisi.  

pachisi-board-game

 

A picture of a Pachisi board made of cloth in 18th century India.

 

So what is Pachisi?

The name of the game originated from the word Pachis which means twenty-five. Why? One of the strategies to win this board game is to stay put in a specially marked square and wait to get a throw with 25 moves. It is a cooperative game intended to be played by four players who are divided into two teams. To win the game, both players from the same team must have all of their pieces to finish.

Things one must know before learning how to play the game

  • The large square found at the center of the board is called the Charkoni
  • Squares that are marked with an X are called a Castle Square
  • Getting a grace means getting another turn
  • Having a piece on the same square of the opponent’s piece means you have captured it
  • A player may decide to move their piece or not after throwing the cowry shells

No dice here

Dice didn’t exist during ancient times. Instead, people threw six cowry shells. The number of cowry shells with their mouths up indicates the number of squares a player can move.

  • 0 mouths up means 25 squares, the highest value in the game, plus a grace
  • 1 mouth up means 10 squares plus a grace
  • 6 mouths up means 6 squares plus a grace
  • 5 mouths up means 5 squares
  • 4 mouths up means 4 squares
  • 3 mouths up means 3 squares
  • 2 mouths up means 2 squares

Playing the game

Four players must divide themselves into two teams. Each game requires 16 pieces, usually in the shape of a beehive, with the following colors: Green, red, black, and yellow. One team will have the green and red pieces, while the other team will have the black and yellow pieces.

Players of the same team must sit at the opposite side of the other. Then, they must put one of their pieces at the Charkoni. It is considered as the starting point and the finishing line as well. Each player will throw the six cowries. Whoever gets the highest value will start the game.

The board consists of four arms adjacent to each other, and each is made of eight rows of three squares. The pieces are to move along the columns. First, they will move down the middle column of their arm of the board. When they reach the lowest square of the middle column, the piece will move at the edge of the board anti-clockwise then move up back to the Charkoni to finish.

 

Photo credits: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/pachisi
Photo credits: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/pachisi

 

A piece can move outside the Charkoni with any value from the throw at the start, but they must have the exact number required to get in for them to finish. A piece that has finished is then placed outside the board to know which pieces are still in the Charkoni.

Helping a teammate

If the player’s teammate is lagging behind, a finished piece may continue to go around the board for a second time instead of going out the board to help them. 

Capturing the opponent’s piece

If a piece gets on a square when an opponent’s piece is in it, the opponent’s piece is considered captured. Any captured piece must start again from the Charkoni.

Don’t want to risk a piece of getting captured? Worry not!

Castle squares were mentioned before, but their purpose wasn’t explained. When a piece is in a castle square, that piece cannot be captured. Each castle square is conveniently placed to be exactly 25 moves away from the Charkoni. This is the reason why Pachisi originated from the word Pachis. It is one of the strategies to win the game as a piece returning to the Charkoni can stay in a castle square and move only when the player gets a 25.

 

Not enough players? Not a problem!

Pachisi can be played by two people as well. Each player will either have to play as the red and green team while the other plays as the black and yellow team.

 

There is no “I” in team

Even if a player is skilled in the game, trying to win as an individual is impossible. Just as mentioned earlier, both players of the same team must have all of their pieces return to the Charkoni before the other team does. That means if a team member keeps getting captured, the other team will eventually finish and win.

Some team sports or games nowadays can be won by skilled individuals, thus making it a challenge to maintain a winning team spirit among the members. Some players may even compete with their own team to get the attention of the crowd. Playing Pachisi requires a concerted team effort, cooperation, and communication. Each member must know what to do with each throw, and execute a counterattack when the other is falling behind. This does not only make this game challenging, but also gives the feeling of camaraderie among members.

Got thoughts or strategies to share? Put them in the comments section below!

 

You may also want to check out our other games sold in our amazon store -the escape placewe have more games for you!

The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia: Re-Introduction To a 19th Century Board Game

(Image source: http://www.bonhams.com/)
(Image source: http://www.bonhams.com/)

 

What is Noble Game of Elephant?

The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia is an interactive board and race game that will keep players entertained while learning. The purpose of the game is to amuse and educate young people of both genders. Adults, don’t worry, you can enjoy this game too!

When you purchase the game, you will receive a full-color board, and a rule book which has 84 pages that’s packed with information that covers Asian customs, events, and remarkable people. The package also comes with the Catalog of The Historical Games Collection, four “Travellers”, or the pieces that each player will use to move along the board. These Travellers are tipped with different colors. There are also 16 “Counters” or lightly-colored chips to match the Travellers (4 for each player). The last piece is the Teetotum – a spinning top that has eight numbered sides.

 

History

The game was first introduced in 1822 as a hand colored engraving by William Darton – a book publisher from London. Released at the height of the British Empire, this piece describes the appearance, customs, and culture of the locals, and comparing their way of life to that of the British.

The game is played on a board that depicts an elephant surmounted by a howdah (ornate carriage) with an Indian mahout (driver). The board is subdivided into 25 cubes which have corresponding historical information that players will learn at each stop. Historical information varies from the mysteries of the Orient, across the frozen Arctic waters in the north, all the way down to the Asian regions like India, China, and Japan.

How to Play

Rules:

  1. Up to four players can be accommodated at the same time.
  2. The Teetotum must be marked 1 – 8 on each of its faces.
  3. Each player must have a Traveller and four Counters of the same color.
  4. To begin, all players must spin the Teetotum. Whoever got the highest number will be declared the first player. The second player will be determined by who got the second highest number from the initial spin, and so on.

The first player is required to read “The Caution” on page 4 of the accompanying game booklet, before the game officially begins. The Caution is a poem that talks about cheating and gambling – both of which are considered abhorrent to players.

  1. First player will spin the Teetotum to officially begin the game. The number that comes out from the Teetotum will be the corresponding spaces his Traveller will move on the board. The rest of the players will take their turn to spin and move their pieces as well, all while referring to the explanation for a Description of the Plates.

This is the part of the game that makes it different from other board games like, say, Snakes and Ladders, and other such pastime activities that share the same fundamentals. In The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia, players get to learn about the 19th century history, the biggest news of that time, remarkable occurrences that marked a plate in world history, as well as historical figures that created a name for themselves through their remarkable deeds.

  1. There are instances when the game will direct a player to stop one or more turns. During this event, the player must place as many Counters on his Number and take one up each time, instead of spinning, until all of his counters are redeemed.
  2. When it was the first player’s turn to spin once more, he needs to add the number that turned out on his second spin to the number of the first spin that he got. For example: For the first spin, Player 1 got 6. So his Traveller now stands on No. 6 on the board. Suppose that Player 1 got 3 for the second spin. He will just add 3 from the previously acquired 6 so his Traveller should be standing now on No. 9 on the board. Second player will do the same, and so on. The game will go on until one player reaches No. 25, (A Gentoo), and wins the game.
  3. Players must land exactly on No. 25 to win the game. If a player goes beyond that number, that player will have to go back as many spaces as he exceeded then wait for his turn once more. For example: Player 2’s Traveller is already standing on No. 22 but he got 5 instead of 3 which would’ve let him won. When this happens, Player 2 must move 3 spaces towards No. 25 then go back 2 more spaces to use all his acquired moves. On and on, players will compete against each other until someone reaches Number 25.
  4. When a player spins and the number he got landed on a number with a corresponding Article that has a note, that player must refer to the page of the Notes for an explanation, reading it out loud for his fellow players.

 

If you are interested about the game, Click Here to purchase the game from our Amazon Store.

Do you think this could be your next favorite board game? Let us hear your thoughts!

Back to Basics With Board Games: Why I Raised My Kids with Them And Not Video Games

board-gameI remember the time when my husband and I first bought a PlayStation for the kids (the first console, and yes, that was so long ago). It was fun at first. It was nice seeing the look of sheer joy on their faces whenever it was “game time”. A few weeks into it, and we noticed that they spent less and less time with us. It was only until our little one flat out refused to let us play when we decided that we had to bring back board game Saturday, as my husband fondly calls it.

I remember the time when my husband and I first bought a PlayStation for the kids (the first console, and yes, that was so long ago). It was fun at first. It was nice seeing the look of sheer joy on their faces whenever it was “game time”. A few weeks into it, and we noticed that they spent less and less time with us. It was only until our little one flat out refused to let us play when we decided that we had to bring back board game Saturday, as my husband fondly calls it.

Not All That Bad

I’m not saying that video games are the enemy. In fact, studies show that they actually help improve hand-eye coordination, decision making, enhance creativity, and math skills. A lot of these games are built on strategy and logic. This makes it a great supplementary tool to honing your child’s brain. However, like everything else, it has its downsides too.

The Missing Piece

The biggest problem we had with our children playing video games was their lack of socializing when they’re so immersed in it. Even if they were playing with other kids, their focus (as well as the focus of the other kids) was on the game, rather than their playmates. I suppose it had a lot to do with the fact that the game was on the TV screen. But even so, there was very little opportunity for actual interaction among the kids especially when they were “in the zone”.

The Key Difference

When we brought back board game Saturday, despite the many protests and cries of “lame” from our kids, we saw one vital difference. They paid more attention to us than the board. One advantage or disadvantage (depending on how you look at it) with playing a board game is the fact that the game is right in the middle of your group. Since the board games we played were strategic and highly competitive; the kids had to learn how to pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues of the other players (i.e. me and my husband). They learned how to read people better. But more than that, they learned to converse with other people in the group while one is taking time “strategizing”. Mission accomplished for us, in tricking our kids to learn how to socialize better.

It Was Good For Us Too

Of course, we knew that the games would help shape our children’s minds as well as their characters. What we did not expect was that it would help us as well. There was one month when every Saturday we’d play word games. Our ever-competitive children, who take after both parents, wanted a chance to beat us so they started memorizing 3 words per day in the dictionary. It definitely increased their chances of winning, but the competitive side in me and my husband struck and we started reading books again, to refresh on fresh vocabulary words and grammar. Looking back, it helped both of us in our jobs in the long run. My husband had more bits of information to talk about with clients, my memory and retention of information improved, and overall we felt like we had better focus.

I can go on forever about how these board games improve critical thinking, sportsmanship, creativity, and self-confidence. You probably know about most of those board game benefits. My point is simple, board game Saturday didn’t just help our kids become smarter, stronger, and better people. It helped our family as a whole become all those things, and, more importantly become closer than ever. I hope this inspires a few parents to make your own board game traditions at home. Happy Playing!

Here are cool board games to check out!

Clue-Board-GameClue Alfred Hitchcock Edition

Hero-QuestHeroQuest Game System

Pirates-Caribbean-ChessPirates of the Caribbean Chess (in a Box)

PowerPuffGirls-Board-GamePowerpuff Girls Board Game

ScoobyDoo-Board-GameScooby Doo Clue Board Game

Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted on a Board Game

There is a plethora of board games available today; and only a few stand out to be worth playing for the whole family. Such is The Game of Life – with such a grand name, one wouldn’t think that it would be so easy to play and that it would appeal to millions, be known all over the globe, and sustain its popularity through the ages. Have you ever wondered how the game began and how it is still as popular as ever? Read on and be enlightened…

The Beginning of Life

The board game traces its humble beginnings in 1860 through the brilliance of Milton Bradley, an American Lithographer and an innovator of board games in the United States. When he first introduced the game, it was called “The Checkered Game of Life”. Basically, it revolves around a person’s journey through life – attending college, choosing a career, marrying, having children, until retirement. It can be played by 2 to 6 persons; the goal is to retire with the most money.  The game is played on a board with illustrations of a track, a spinning wheel with the numbers 1 through 10. Players each use a peg to represent their characters in the game. There are also houses, cars, buildings, and mountains to use to make the game more interactive. Play money and a bank tray are also included in the package to serve as the keeper of all assets. Remarkably, it sold around 45,000 copies on its first year of production – marking the beginning of a worldwide phenomenal board game that will entertain millions of people for generations and continues to do so.


How LIFE is Played

An updated version came out in 1960, on the 100th Anniversary since it was launched into the market. This one has a modified checkerboard for the main board, and the name of the game was changed to “The Game of Life”. Many changes have also been made – the cars were modernized, monetary values increased, insurance and stocks were added to the assets, and “Lucky Day” spaces were added as bonus.

At the beginning of every game, each player starts with $ 10,000; then on the first turn, they decide whether to start a career or go to college. As the game progresses, the players may get married, have children, buy a house, a car, and invest in stocks or gamble. The average play time of the game varies; with the end goal of everyone reaching retirement – whoever retires with the most money and assets is declared the winner.

A Game of Chance

If you’ve already read reviews or blogs about this product, you may have noticed that one of the prominent observations was that the game was more of a game of chance than strategy. Well, that was the original concept of the game anyway. As a matter of fact, with the game being very easy to play, it greatly outweighs its shortcoming.

The “Life” – Diversified

Since the updated inception of The Game of Life was introduced in 1960, it has spawned several editions intended to appeal to a wider audience. Below are some of them:

  1. The Game of Life: Extreme Reality – this is one of the most spontaneous versions of the board game; you get to add your own story to the game. You can live in a castle, in a space station, or even a shoe house!
  2. The Game of Life: Rock Star – this was launched in 2009 where players get to be their own rock star selves. Starting at a garage band, Recruiting Band Members, Touring on Buses, and Performing on Concert Venues are what this game is about.
  3. The Game of Life: Star Wars (Jedi’s Path) – this version appeals to a large audience especially the countless fans of the well-known series. This version is now considered rare and a collector’s item if owned as it has not been manufactured a long time.
  4. The Game of Life: Indiana Jones – introduced in 2008 in support of the release of the latest installment of the movie franchise – The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  5. The Game of Life: Pirates of The Caribbean (Disney Theme Park Edition) – this was launched in 2004 for Disney, being a product of the movie’s fame. The game involves going through a pirate’s life. This version is only sold at Disneyland Resorts. Movie editions were later published in 2006 (Dead Man’s Chest) and 2007 (At World’s End) and were made available for the local public on most toy stores and bookstores.
  6. The Game of Life: Spongebob Squarepants – this was published in 2004; and targets youngsters. Players move around the hit TV series’ plot setting, Bikini Bottom; and instead of children, pets are acquired through the game.

In conclusion, it is evident that the game has greatly contributed to the establishment of the board game industry both in the U.S.A. and internationally.  It has captured the attention of many mainly because it is an embodiment of what an ideal life is. Plus, parents not only get to teach their children to participate in family quality time; they are also given the opportunity to show their children how to get through life in a methodical manner.

Check out this cool Game of Life, Pirates of Caribbean – Dead Man Chest Edition Board Game.

Life-Pirates-Game

Pirates of the Caribbean the game

Household Games for Bored Children

Is your child bored? Maybe the forecast calls for thunderstorms and they can’t get out to play. The hot temperatures of summer may also leave your children with a hum-drum type of day. But let’s spice things up. Get your child off the couch and away from the television. Put away their video game and look no further than simple items in your house to have some fun.

The first way to have fun is to play laundry basket skee ball. For this game you’ll need at least three laundry baskets and a make-shift ramp to roll the balls back to you. One laundry basket holds all the balls you’ll be tossing. The other two laundry baskets are assigned point values. For instance, laundry basket one may be 50 points and laundry basket two may be a hundred points. If you have older children, include a third laundry basket for 150 points. Decide how many points it takes to win and what the prize is for the winner. Maybe the winner gets out of mowing the lawn for a week or they get to pass off a chore to a sibling. Make it fun so they will want to play.

Balloon tennis is another fun game to play indoors. You only need three items for this game: balloons, paper plates and popsicle sticks. Attach the popsicle sticks to the paper plates either by glue or tape. After you have blown up the balloons, it’s time for the game to begin. If you have enough people, play this game in teams. Try to get have at least two people per teams, such as parents against kids. Assign points and penalty points to make the game fairer. It may be 1 penalty point if the balloon hits the floor, for instance, and 2 penalty points if it hits a piece of furniture. Don’t forget to decide on a total number of points you want to play to before the game ends. This is a great way to get your children up and moving around if they have had a day without much exercise.

If your child is around the pre-k age, you may consider creating a sensory bin. Children this age are starting to explore the world around them. Use sand, rice or even corn kernels to fill a small container. Then fill it with items that fit into a specific theme. The theme may be animals or items that a child would find on a farm. As the child pulls each item out, name that item. For instance, if your child pulls out a toy dog from the sensory bin, say “Dog. Can you say dog, too?” This reinforces the fact that learning is positive and they will want to do it when they see your approval.

Paper plate tic tac toe is also a fun way to keep little ones occupied. This game is simple and requires few supplies. All you have to do is make a tic tac toe board on the floor, either with masking tape or whatever you have on hand. Then take ten paper plates from the cupboard. On five of them, write O’s. On the remaining five, write X’s. It might be beneficial to write each set in a different color. That way they stand out while your children are playing the game. This is all that your children need to have hours of fun. You’ll be able to get your stuff done without them being under your feet, which is always a nice opportunity.

Finally, create an indoor hopscotch. This is easily created by putting painter’s tape on the floor. Use colorful cardboard stock or construction paper to make each number pop out for your child. Then, let your child get on with their playful spirit. Make it appear as a normal hopscotch would. This means box one is by itself, while box two and three are side-by-side. It continues this pattern until you get to ten or however large you want the hopscotch. Your child will be getting exercise and that’ll be the positive of the day.

So don’t let rain and miserable weather bum you out. You can have fun inside without putting too much money into it. Your children will be happy and so will you because they are not tracking in muddy shoes!

Family Games to Play While on a Road Trip

It wasn’t long ago when we attempted our first couple of long road trips with our kids. I had everything packed and organized, but failed to take into consideration that our kids needed more mental stimulation than just pleasant conversation, and watching the corn fields and wheat fields go by.

After glancing into the back seat to find some very bored kids, I decided that when we returned home, I would put some real effort into researching and testing travel games to make sure we had a much better drive experience on our future trips. It was an educational experience to say the least.

road-trip-with-kids

I discovered that by simply providing a variety of different games, toys, coloring projects, audio books on CD, and (as a last resort) DVD’s of new movies the kids hadn’t seen, we were off and running in the right direction for an entertaining and educational travel experience. As the saying goes, “It’s not reaching the final destination that is important, but the journey getting there.”

I immediately learned that some travel games weren’t worth the time and effort, being too complicated, too many pieces, or just not able to hold the kids attention. While other games were total hits, and many of them were extremely affordable. So we rounded up our travel game treasure trove and off we went our long road trip to test out these new products and see if we were able to have more entertainment, and less boredom with our kids.

Hour 1: Right off the bat, we discovered that magnetic games were a big hit, and kept the kids entertained for easily an hour at times. The games by Smethport Specialty Co. like Wooly Willy, which has been around for over 50 years and there is a reason why, were not only affordable games, but compact, and provided simple fun for our kids.

Hour 2: Then we would switch out to coloring. Crayola has some great travel coloring kits with fun pages, magic pens, and popular characters that always seem to be a hit with our kids, thus buying us another hour of fun on the road.

Hour 3: After cleaning up the pens and paper, we pull out the car bingo games and everyone joins in on the fun – giving us an easy 30 to an hour more travel time.

Hour 4: We then have snacks, or lunch depending on the time of day.

Hour 5: After an hour of meal time, the kids can play with some toys they brought along such as finger puppets, dolls, dinosaurs, or other small travel toys that they can use their imagination to play with. This is more of a quiet time and lasts for another hour easily.

Hour 6: Then we pop in an audio book on CD of American Tall Tales, or Fairy Tales, or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, etc. The tapes are about 30 minutes long, and the kids usually enjoy listening to a couple CD’s back to back – giving us another hour.

Hour 7 & 8: So we are at approximately 6 hours of driving time. If we have more road to travel, there is always the best for last option of popping in the DVD for a good 2 hour movie, which will give you what you need for an eight hour drive with the kids.

We have traveled for 12 hours on one road trip before, but took a lot of 15 minute rest stop breaks to stretch our legs, throw a Frisbee with the kids, use the potty, or eat some food. It’s not easy, and we try to avoid being on the road that long. Sometimes though when the destination is far away, and you only have so much vacation time, there aren’t a lot of options. So let’s say you still have 4 hours to go of driving time.

Hour 9: That’s when you pull out a new travel game, one that you have been stashing away and that nobody knows about – travel game that everyone can join in on and play together. We discovered a handful of really fun travel games that fit this description including Family Time Fun games which are so easy to play, and great for car trips, or even while you are waiting for food to be served at a restaurant with your kids. This bought another hour of entertainment.

Hour 10: Three hours to go while traveling down the road, so I pull out some new snacks and meals and we eat and talk while listening to a music CD. There goes another hour. Now we are down to two hours left.

Hour 11 & 12: Ok, I don’t usually do this, but 2 hours is the perfect window for one more movie. I don’t like to abuse the DVD player, but when traveling on a really long road trip, and even on a long flight in an airplane, two movies are shown. So we pull out the 2nd and last movie of the day and the kids quietly watch the movie as we pull up to our hotel.

I hope this information will help other parents to travel easier with their kids. Sometimes the journey is long, but it does not have to be miserable. With the right items and a little pre-planning, parents can take control of long road trip boredom, and turn even the longest drive into an entertaining, and educational experience with the kids.

The Importance of Playing Games with your Child

Many parents believe that they don’t have enough time to play with their children, or that there isn’t a need for them to do so. Games are a major part of every child’s development, and a parental influence in this is very important.

Below are 5 reasons that make playing games with your child beneficial, for both parties involved.

parents and kids

1. Strengthens the bond between parent and child.

When a baby is born, they are not aware that they are separate from their parents, as we take care of their every need. This forms a very important nurturing bond. As a child grows older they become more independent and develop their own ideas and personalities. As a result, maintaining this relationship becomes more challenging.

When the parent plays games with the child it helps to build a stronger bond, by creating an environment for the parent to interact with the child in a way that they both enjoy. This brings them closer and helps develop a lasting relationship.

2. The parent is able to teach the child through games.

Playing games is the way that children learn about the world they are in. They are introduced to different aspects of themselves, their environment and other people. It is also more likely that they will remember what they learn while doing activities they love.

This makes play-time an ideal opportunity to teach a child moral values and social skills. Games based on reasoning encourage the child to develop problem-solving abilities and patience. These are all skills that will last a lifetime.

3. Enables the child to feel more secure.

It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that children have a strong sense of security and safety. Playing games with them shows them they are loved and supported. This interaction also fulfils the child’s natural desire for their parents’ attention.

4. Parents become more aware of their child’s individuality.

Our children live in a world that we have created for them, and even though parental guidance is necessary, it is good to be able to see things from their point of view.

Whenever we play with our children, we can enter their world. Playing open minded games in which they set the rules, allows us to experience more of who they really are. In addition, our interest builds their confidence and teaches them to themselves more.

5. Helps increase communication.

It can be difficult for a child to express themselves verbally. Games that encourage self-expression will help them to get their point across. It is also a good way to for a child to show how they feel, when they are unable to explain it.

 

Playing games with a child is more important than ever in modern society. Keep them short and sweet, and let your child know how much you love playing with them. One important thing to remember is that it is not the amount of time spent on the games, but the quality of the time and what both the parent and child will take away from the interaction.

Films Based on Video Games

You often hear about video games based on films, but how often do you hear about films based on video games? Believe it or not, there are plenty of examples that you are probably less familiar with or you have forgotten about. For example, do you remember the Super Mario Bros film from the early 1990s starring Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins? There was so much hype over that movie when it came out because Super Mario Bros was a popular Nintendo game franchise. Unfortunately, the film failed to live up to the expectations of fans who loved the video games of that franchise.

Simpsons video game

However, it used to be quite common for films based on video games to disappoint those who were fans of the games. Some more examples of this from the 1990s were Double Dragon, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. They were very popular video games franchises, but the films failed to capture the magic of the games.

Raider starring Angelina Jolie came out in 2001, it grossed over $270 million at the box office. That is quite a lot of money for a film based on a video game. Critics claim that Angelina Jolie was the primary reason why the movie did so well, and they may have been right. On the other hand, fans of the Tomb Raider franchise have always liked the idea of a female adventurer and they may have wanted to see that brought to the silver screen. Either way, it was a very successful movie which even had a sequel made two years later.

the punisher video game

The success of Tomb Raider quickly inspired a flock of other video game based films to be made. There was Resident Evil in 2002, which was based off the zombie horror video game series. The movie grossed over $100 million at the box office and surprisingly spawned four sequels, with a fifth sequel already in the works. Horror movies based on video games seemed to be popular in the 2000s. Some more examples of this are Alone in the Dark, Doom, Silent Hill and House of the Dead.

Now days you can pretty much expect films based on video games to be a common occurrence. If the films are not live action then they will most likely be cartoons or CGI films. The computer animation technology of the modern age makes it easy for filmmakers to create these kinds of films, which is why you see so many more of them today. In fact, there is even a movie coming out in 2016 based on the popular mobile phone game Angry Birds. This goes to show you how much films and video games coexist in the modern age.