Keep it simple—it’s better. Time and again when playing games with the children, it is hammered home to me that it’s not how much the game costs that matters, but how much enjoyment it brings.
I comb retail stores, teacher’s supply stores and of course amazon.com for game ideas. There is no lack of games available. The hard part is weeding out the million possibilities to a few purchases. I’ve finally learned the hard way and the expensive way that children don’t care about how much a game costs, or, how many brightly colored pieces it has.
This is important for you too. The more pieces there are the more you can lose. Don’t forget—you’re portable. You need to transport and keep track of all those pieces. The boxes the games come in are going to take a beating by being constantly transported and eventually the box won’t hold the pieces any longer. You need a game that can eventually be contained in zippered baggies and plastic containers. You also don’t want a game that is ruined if you lose one piece.
The children want something without a lot of complicated rules, not too many pieces to deal with and most importantly, a fast paced game. It’s important to have a fast paced game that ends relatively quickly. Rest assured, once you start having fun everyone else is going to want to play and you don’t want to disappoint them by having them wait half an hour to get into the next game.
Yesterday I reached into our big purple rubberized container for a game. The container you keep all the games in is the one thing you don’t want to go cheap on. It’s going to spend a lot of time bouncing around in the back of your car and on motel parking lot surfaces. Spend a little more and you’ll only have to buy it once. I came up with a game that cost me $5 at a big box store. Guess what we played for the next hour and a half?
The children loved it. The adults even joined in. It was the kind of game anyone of any age could play and still find it challenging. There were no frowns and the only cries of “No Fair!” came from the adults, who weren’t as fast as the little ones! Best of all, when it was time to pack everything up, the game fit into a little round metal tin, four inches by two.
The children have already requested that we start with this game next time. It’s going to be popular for a long, long time. Price of the game, $5.00. Endless laughter and enjoyment……priceless.