How to Play Family Games With Your Child
Family Games Nights are back. And it’s either Double Six Domino or Scrabble. Both have their moments of high drama. Domino elicits that continual ‘reading’ of the game; the guesswork as well as arithmetical elimination as players conjecture the ‘cards’ held by others. Scrabble is lighter with tension, and heavier with learning.
My main concern when I play nowadays is to make sure that the youngest in the family wins enough games to stay motivated. He takes after me so much that he talks too much during domino games; and so telegraphs his plays. So by hints and sheer begging, sometimes just good luck, we get him to win. But in recent months something amazing has happened; he is slowly mastering the art of reading the game. And he has been winning without help.
You see we play in pairs against pairs or as partners. My wife is a better domino player so I usually ask him to partner with her, but he insists on partnering with me. So we do the old school Boy vs. Girls thing since Mom is left to partner with his sister.
Getting him to win at Scrabble is a little different.
Left to himself he is up against superior vocabularies, so we all assist him to construct words in the game. We also play many games without recording scores, just play for fun. Such games are usually open dictionary games; many times he is the only one allowed to consult the dictionary.
Another strategy I have experimented with is to load his score by 50 points, but judging by the competition I may have to load it by 100 points next time.