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

The “Operation” Game

As the dark clouds moved across the sky, and the warmth of the sun hit my cheeks. I remember being promised, it was going to be a perfect day. I was lucky the clouds decided it wasn’t time for rain just yet. It was my sisters and I, coming back up the coast from having a picnic at our favorite spot by the trees that shared their shade along the jagged rocks that went on for miles. For my parents, I knew they couldn’t wait to get back fast enough, rain or shine to get a break from us always at each other’s throats. Who could blame them? That day was promised to be a perfect day, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Until we got home.

The heavy dark clouds that were moving swiftly across the sky, decided now was the time for heavy rain. First, it was the rain storm, and then the thunder. Then, the lights. Within 15 minutes of leaving the beach, there was the storm. As my mom was holding me and my two older sisters in the darkness on the living room floor. I remember her saying “I hope we have batteries for those flashlights.” And chuckled softly. We could hear my dad scrambling around to find the flashlights in the utility drawer.

Finally, there was light.

We were not prepared for this to happen, and managed to eat some sandwiches my mom made, as we waited out the storm. My mom had this brilliant idea as we waited patiently in the darkness with a hint of dim lights.

And that was the first time I played Operation. I guess this was supposed to wait for Christmas, but I guess my mom was getting as bored as we were. As my mom was trying to read the instructions, I remember me and my sisters taking turns to jab the unlucky guy on the operating table over and over again, just to see his nose glow read and hear the abrupt sound when you touch the metal along his body. We never really played the game according to the rules. That game was the funniest game to play just to hear that “zapping” sound, and see his nose turn red.

That is one of my most memorable and favorite memories with playing a board game.

The Game of Life

Because the Game of Life has been around for so many years, nearly every adult alive today has played the game. Depending on when you grew up and who you played with, memories may range from fond to traumatic and everything in between. There are two classes of Life players, those that play to win and those that use the game as a sort of crystal ball in which they can determine their future.

 

The game simulates the typical journey through life, starting with college, ending with retirement and touching on everything in between like jobs, marriage and children. The game is for 2 to 6 players. The modern version of the game was first released in 1960.


The Game of Life Vintage http://tgwiz.com/3p

 

Many a sleepover was spent with a group of girls squatting around a Life board fighting over who was married to the cute boy in school and who was married to the weird kid with the body odor and bad teeth. Of course the first girl to get married in the game was supposed to somehow be the first one to get married in real life too. What was intended to be a friendly board game quickly turned into a death match meat market when played by 4 teenage girls.

If you weren’t daydreaming about Mr. Right and how many peg children the two of you would have, you were probably playing with a different goal in mind: world domination. Winning at the game of life somehow ensured your success in the real world. After all, if you could look past the marriage cards, peg kids and awful plastic sedans on your way to college and a new job, you could probably look past any other obstacle that would hold you back from becoming a successful CEO once your voice changed and you moved out of your parents’house.

The Game of Life - Indiana Jones http://tgwiz.com/3q TheGameWiz

If you’re contemplating having a throwback night and breaking out the Game of Life, here’s the key to success: Do everything the way you probably didn’t do it in real life. Forego college, since your starting salary will be based on luck rather than education anyway. Spin the wheel and make your way through the board. Collect your salary a few times and pick up LIFE cards as you go.

After you’ve collected your salary a few times, you’ll have the chance to make some real life decisions, like taking on a mortgage, getting married and having kids. If you’re one of the people that got a low salary initially, fear not. Kids are not out of the question. There are cards in the stack that say things like “exchange salary with another player”. Worryingly enough, the game allows players that accumulate too many kids to exchange said kids for cash. Some might say this too mirrors real life.

At the end of the game you’ll count your cash and determine the winner based on how much money they have. Again, ignore the adage that money can’t buy happiness and all that. In the Game of Life, your net worth basically determines how successful you were at the game.

The real lesson that the game teaches you –if you’re the type that looks for a lesson in everything – is that money can’t buy happiness. While the winner of the game is the person that has the most money, they’re probably not the happiest player. They sold their soul (and probably their kids) to get the cash needed to win. It’s funny how different nostalgic games from your childhood can be when you view them through the eyes of an adult.

Mall Madness Board Game

Mall Madness is a shopping-themed game that has undergone several releases in its nearly 30 years of existence. The game is designed for teenagers and can be played with 2 to 4 people. The object of the game is to navigate a shopping mall, purchase 6 items and be the first to make it back to the parking lot.

 

Everything I know about shopping at a mall, I learned from Mall Madness. Like a finely-tuned machine of war, the game taught about strategy, prioritizing, budgeting and more in one of the most brutal ways possible. Spend too much money on the first item and you wont have enough to buy the last item, ensuring your demise. Spend too much time heading to a trendy store rather than a nearby utilitarian store and you will fall behind the pack, getting eaten up with the hype of the mall display.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

While some may say Mall Madness teaches bad habits like overconsumption and indebtedness, I say it teaches survival. No 90′s Mall Madness champion can ever walk into a shopping mall as an adult without going into offense-mode. Get in. Find a bargain. Get out. Race to your car and leave as quickly as possible. Those that linger will perish.

Okay, so maybe its not that dramatic, but its pretty close. As an adult, I look back on Mall Madness with a sense of nostalgia. The fun game I used to play with my friends is now a teaching tool that I play with my kids. There are so many learning opportunities built into the game that its easy to see why it was one my parents readily let us have. The game teaches kids to count money, budget, create a prioritized shopping list and stick to it. It doesnt teach indebtedness, it teaches smart spending.

The lessons taught in Mall Madness can be applied to other areas of life too. Every problem can be solved by creating a plan of attack and persevering through it, even if you keep rolling 1s and all you really need is a 6.

 

Of course, like any good game, Mall Madness has gone through several updates. One of the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) parts of the most up-to-date version of the game is the electronic voice of the mall. It announces sales, bargains and other useful information. Smart players can listen to the announcements to get the best deals at stores near them so they can leave the mall faster and get to the finish line first.

 

The key to winning Mall Madness is to have a strong sense of resolve and little to no vanity. Once you have created your plan of attack, the game will entice you to abandon it at every turn. Stay strong, follow your original plan, collect your items and leave to go stand in the winners circle.

 

For anyone that grew up playing Mall Madness, the slow demise of the American Shopping Mall is even more bittersweet. Grab a copy of the game, sit down with your kids and relive a simpler, more adventurous time when shopping malls were the place to be for teenagers.

Girl Talk Board Game

Girls get to perform silly stunts or share secrets with the group to gain points. Points are used to buy fortune cards and the first girl to collect all 4 fortune cards won.

As a child of the 90s, this game was pretty much all the rage at every sleepover I ever attended. While the game was designed to be revealing, the makers probably never realized how revealing it would actually be. Secrets aside, you can tell a lot about a girl based on how she played the game. For example, there was always that one girl who would never play a truth card and would always act like her secrets were too scandalous to breathe a word of. She’d take a zit sticker to pass on the turn, sitting for hours on end with her face covered in little round dots. There would also be a group jokester that would go above and beyond on stunt cards. Then there was the girl that seemed to be shameless, telling secrets, performing stunts and doing whatever it took to win.

girl talk

I was that girl.

But it wasn’t always fun and games, no there was a fair amount of strategy involved. While the other girls were giggling about first kisses and dream jobs, I was strategizing. Like any other board game, there were ways to win and I knew them all.

There was no rule saying I had to tell the truth, so when a truth card came up and the secret wasn’t something I was willing to share, I’d dip into my imagination and make something up. The key was to make it believable enough that nobody would question it, but not interesting enough that they would share it. I was a magnet for the question about which boy I had a crush on. This one was a breeze to avoid! My family would travel cross-country every summer to visit my dad’s family, so I simply said there was a boy that lived next door to my aunt that I met over the summer and simply couldn’t forget. They’d ask a couple questions – what does he look like, what’s his name? I’d make something up and we’d move on. Nobody knew him and Facebook wasn’t a thing yet, so it was forgotten in a day or two. I’d get my points and nobody would be the wiser.

The stunt cards were a little harder and my absolute refusal to sing in front of people (childhood trauma) necessitated a few zit stickers from time to time. Still, I always seemed to have less than the competition, which meant my fortune cards were gathered faster and my odds of winning significantly increased. I must say though, the fortune cards were not right. My life didn’t wind up anything like the game predicted.

From a nostalgia standpoint, I’d love to get my hands on a copy of Girl Talk. It would be fun to have a 90s themed party and bring it out. Everyone could put on their best wind pants and put their hair up in scrunchies while chatting about crushes and reliving our childhoods.

The Wizard of Oz

A lot of people. both kids and adult love the movie “Wizard of Oz”. What is this movie really about? Check out below what is this movie.

You can enjoy the wizard of Oz also with a board game. You can check out our Amazon Store or click on the picture below.

 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the popular 1902 Broadway musical and the well-known 1939 film adaptation.

The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a cyclone.[nb 1] The novel is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum’s writing thirteen additional Oz books. The original book has been in the public domain in the US since 1956.

Baum dedicated the book “to my good friend & comrade, My Wife”, Maud Gage Baum. In January 1901, George M. Hill Company completed printing the first edition, which totaled 10,000 copies.

 

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz

Wizard Of Oz

Carmen San Diego – Awesome Board Game

Most Americans around the world love family board games. There are so many to chose from and many more keep different ones keep being made. Ages 3 all the way to adults love to play board games. Playing as a family is one of the best ways to do so.

Many stores that you shop at carry tons of different games. Usually when shopping in a store you will notice that there are isles of games that a person can choose from. Games can range from card games to games with dice. You name it companies have basically made it. Monopoly is one of the most popular games ever made. There has been many different versions of this game made all the way down to Masseyopoly which was based off of coal mines being bought and sold. Children learn to love the game early due to the many variations such as Spongebob monopoly. Some companies have brought board games out that are 3-D. That is something that is loved by children of all ages! Something that has never really been thought of as a family board game would be building a puzzle. There are so many varieties, the possibilities are endless.

One of the great board games you can play: Carmen San Diego Board Game

Carmen San Diego Board Game

About the Game: Carmen drove through three states in a row that start with the same letter. What letter do these states start with? Carmen Sandiego and her gang of henchmen are headed for the U.S.A.! Landmarks from around the nation have vanished. Can you picture Arizona without the Grand Canyon? Your assignment is to scout out the scenes of the crimes and locate the Warrant, the Loot, and the Henchmen. Be careful! When you guess incorrectly, a Henchman escapes! National Parenting Publications Awards.

Wikipedia: Carmen Sandiego is an American media franchise of educational computer games and other media featuring a thieving villain of the same name created by Brøderbund Software. The franchise’s main premise follows the user or protagonist who become agents of the ACME Detective Agency and later attempt to thwart and capture V.I.L.E. ringleader Carmen Sandiego. The franchise originally focused on teaching geography and history, but later branched out into mathematics, English, and other subjects.

Board Game Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1612780

 

 

Disney’s Magic Kingdom Attractions

Make your fairytale dreams come true by taking a trip to Disney World. Disney World is made up of 4 parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a family-favorite and features exciting attractions like musical parades, a host of Disney characters, enchanting fireworks and some of the most well-known rides in the world. Whether you’ve always dreamt of being a princess, meeting Mickey, or traveling on an epic journey through Space Mountain, a Disney vacation is the perfect destination for kids and adults of all ages. When you visit Disney World, make sure you stop in at the Magic Kingdom to visit these top attractions.

Space Mountain

space mountain - disney magic kingdom

Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster located in the Magic Kingdom. The coaster has a space theme and is found in the Tomorrowland area of the theme park. The roller coaster operates in the dark, with only colored neon lights giving the space an eerie, outer-space like feel. There are projections of stars, nebulae, comets, plants and even a space station to give the ride a unique feel. There are 2 tracks within the dome that houses the coaster and riders are either assigned to the alpha track or the beta track. The tracks cross one another during the ride, adding a thrilling element.

Space Mountain first opened on January 15, 1975 and is the oldest roller coaster still operating in the state of Florida. Since opening, Space Mountain has undergone several changes, including the addition of new trains in 1989 and 2009. There have been several upgrades to improve the ride and performance. Cosmetic renovations are done continuously to keep the ride looking and operating at its best.

 

Cinderella Castle

Cinderella Castle- Disney Magic Kingdom

When entering the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Castle is hard to miss. Rising high into the sky at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., Cinderella’s Castle is perfectly poised to greet visitors and inject them into the fantasy land that is Disney World. The castle includes soaring spires, turrets and more. It is surrounded by a moat, lush landscaping and plenty of outcroppings for photo opportunities. At night, the castle serves as the backdrop for a spectacular fireworks display.

Visitors to the castle can enjoy dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table where they can feast with their favorite Disney Princesses for 3 meals a day. Reservations are highly encouraged. After eating, a trip to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will have any prince or princess ready to tour the rest of the park in true royal fashion.

 

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain - Disney Magic Kingdom

Florida can be hot and humid in the summer months, and it’s important to stay cool. The easiest way to beat the heat is with a trip down Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain is a large, outdoor roller coaster that ends with a dramatic plunge into a pool of water. Riders hop on board a hollow log and sail past singing critters before a thrilling 5-story splashdown.

The attraction uses 950,000 gallons of water and includes 3 dips in the track before the 5-story waterfall drop. Riders in the front of the log should expect to get soaked, while rider sin the back will experience just a sudden splash or spray. Fast pass is offered and riders must be 40 inches or taller to board. The ride is located in the Frontierland section of the park.

These 3 attractions are just a few of the exciting rides and sights you’ll find at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. If you’re planning a Disney vacation, make sure you see these 3 features, but give yourself plenty of time to explore and experience the whole park. A Disney vacation is a trip your family won’t soon forget, so plan carefully and make the most out of your adventure.

 

You may also enjoy Disney with our cool Disney Magic Kingdom Game:

Disney Magic Kingdom Game

 

References:

Space Mountain Picture

Cinderella Castle Picture

Splash Mountain

 

Learning From Board Games

“Learning Through Educational Board Games”

Learning does not need to be cumbersome. It only takes innovation and clever thinking to discover other ways to imbue knowledge on children and even on adults. To do this, one has to simply add two variables: fun plus learning. The result? Well, educational board games for one.

Credits: http://www.drumondpark.com/logo/logoboxbig.jpg
Credits: http://www.drumondpark.com/logo/logoboxbig.jpg

Board games entice people to join in. In more ways than one they have to utilize their minds to memorize facts or solve problems to win. This way, they are more likely to engage on learning as much as they engage on gaming. Learning and gaming go hand in hand in this case, which makes information stick longer and faster in their heads compared to traditional teaching methods.

Educational board games are also great as an after school activity for children. Learning doesn’t have to start and stop at school. Continuing their schooling in a subtler and fun manner-i.e. educational board games-can help them out. Games like these help them enhance the way they think things through, quicken how they process information, and liven them up and motivate them to learn more.

Of course, they simply think that they are having fun and playing games, which is the important factor with educational board games. Making them feel that what they are doing is learning will encumber them. On the other hand, making them feel that what they are doing is fun makes them doubly enthusiastic, and at the back of their heads they are already storing knowledge. Moreover, if children are home schooled, educational board games are a great way to teach them.

But not all board games are applicable for everyone. Each game will have to depend on age.

Thanks to for this great article : by Robert Diarioti

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1132558

Indeed Board Games can help children’s development, find out more – Click Here