Be a Player

Family Games
Be a Player

Everyone likes to play.

As it turns out, there’s a good reason for that. A little levity and a lot of learning goes on in game play: strategy, teamwork, playing fair, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and most importantly, the fun to be had as a family.

Do Canadian mothers know this more than most? We think so. That’s why we’ve been enjoying these four new and unique recreational pursuits created by homegrown moms, intended to put things in play at your house.

Tired of trying to get a balanced meal into their mouths? Save the dessert bribes (and your dwindling patience) and pick up Crunch a Colour, The Healthy Eating Game that challenges young players to earn colourful point cards as they eat-and-learn about certain foods and food groups. A reward chart is included to encourage good table manners, as well as trying new foods. When dealing with the lunch and dinner debate over what’s on their plate, Crunch a Colour may be a winning strategy.

Gross-Abulary“Mom has funny gas like Dad.” Look on the bright side, at least they’re learning words and sentence structure. Gross-Abulary is a game that uses sight words and picture cards, pitting players in a race against a three-minute timer to create the longest sentence. A great way to help those just beginning to read, it’s also challenging for players of any age to try and come up with the longest—and let’s face it, when it comes to kids, the grossest—sentences possible. No question that the entire family will have a total gas with this game (recommended for 6+).

Super Story StartersSpark Story Starters have always been one of our favourite ways to get kids talking. Now the younger set gets their own set of inspired story cards just for them with Super Story Starters. Targeted to kids three and up, these colourful cards have fun visuals and relatable questions to get kids talking—and thinking—about anything and everything from friendly aliens in their backyard (“What would you show them in your neighbourhood?”) to an igloo adventure (“What things would you bring for a stay in an igloo?”). The answers will be funny, thoughtful, and adorable, just like the partner you’re playing the game with.

LunchHugsIf the morning rush doesn’t always give you enough time to tell them ‘you’ll miss them/have a great day/you can’t wait to see them after school’, LunchHugs has it in the bag. These sets of cards give you space to write a sweet message, as well as offering funny jokes and brainteasers (“Did you know that 99% of people can’t lick their elbows?”—You just tried it too, didn’t you?), they’ll laugh at, and share will their friends. A set of 10 cards and envelopes and 25 stickers costs less than your average single store-bought greeting card. We totally embrace this idea.

What’s time well spent? Tuning in to your family, and turning off all the devices.

So go for the game. Tested by Alison R.

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First published 2011.11.01

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