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Katy England Katy England
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Edge Mom: Game on

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In 2014, we received a board game for the kids from my cool sister-in-law who lives down in Mass. I remember taking it out of the box and scrambling to understand the basics while the kids were all grabbing at different pieces. She grinned as I fumbled with the directions and said, 'I just make up the rules.'

It was some of the best advice I'd ever heard about gaming with young kids.

I think the hardest part about playing with triplets as opposed to playing with kids of multiple age ranges is that because everyone is so close together on the developmental scale, it's all or nothing. Lots of time it's nothing. Or worse than nothing chaos. Pieces chewed to a pulp, lost in couch cushions or under furniture or hidden away in backpacks. Something you can play a toddler and a couple of older kids doesn't work with a mob of 4-year-olds. They emulate each other, which isn't always a good thing.

But things are looking up. The kiddos are not only listening to instructions more, they're eating pieces of the games less. Mostly less.

We've recently busted out the old favorite, 'Hungry Hungry Hippos.' This was actually a game I bought for myself long before the kids were even a collective twinkle. I think it was supposed to be something of a party game, and it stagnated in the back of our game closet. I remember being bitterly disappointed that they had traded out real marbles for plastic marbles. Now, though, I'm glad: if we can avoid people swallowing them, I won't be as bummed to lose chintzy plastic pieces.

And it's been a huge hit. They've been asking for it every day. And when they aren't playing the game as it was intended, they're making new voices for the hippos, having them play out scenes from some of the TV shows they've become fond of.

There are still gaps in play when someone decides to use their hands to shovel the marbles into the mouths of the hippos, or starts to steal the hippo food from someone else's tray. Then there's the discussion around the hippos eating the food and my son making the correlation between the hippo eating it and the food then appearing elsewhere on the tray. You know as poop.

But the very best part is when I get set up the game and then sit back and watch them play with each other, completely unassisted. It might not last very long. But it happens.

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 21:35


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