- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Bandu, Blokus, Skybridge, and Other Games
Fun and Games
Every Sunday, I have a group of young people over for dinner and socialization. They range in age from 18 to 30 years old, and depending on the week, I have anywhere from 25 to 40 people in attendance. They arrive around 5:00pm and stay until all hours of the night, in fact some stay into the early morning.
At first, I was flattered that my cooking was the draw, but alas, no. Then I contemplated the stimulating conversation that was available, but again that was only a small contribution to the party. I have come to realize it is the fact that we turn off the TV, and just play games. Yes, games put everyone at ease and the socialization between one another is greatly fostered. In an era of "text messaging" and "facebook" conversation , the skills of simple face to face communication are in dire need of development.
Having thought that my own children were far past the "game" stage, I had put all of my games away to wait for the time I would be blessed with grandchildren (I still await, anxiously) and bring them out fresh, like a new toy or discovery. When I started having this wonderful group over I pulled all of them out of the closet and the fun began. I now have a temporary shelf in my entry hall with nothing but games on it, so that they can choose which ever one they so desire.
As of last night Feb. 2008, we aquired a new game called Skybridge. The group loved playing it. It is described as an "educational game" , but don't let that scare you.. it is still amazingly fun. The game consists of different colored pieces that you assembly into different architecture type towers connected with bridges. It requires skill and strategy.
- Bandu- This is the most popular game, hands down. It is a game of skill and patience. It consists of 54 wooden pieces of different shape and size. You start with the wooden base and build the tower from there. Just make sure that nobody bumps the table! The only draw back is that the game is not available new, you would have to find a used one.
- Players take turns placing pieces on their board, each starting from their corner. Each new piece must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners! The goal is to get rid of all your pieces. The game ends when all players are blocked from laying down any more of their pieces.
- Enjoy a colorful spin on dominoes! Game play is similar to regular color dominoes, but some easy-to-learn rules and unique Spinner dominoes add a fun twist to this version of the game! Here are the new Spinner rules: 1) A player must lay down a double nine or double Spinner tile to begin the game. 2) If nobody has these, each player must pick up ONE domino from the reserve pile until someone gets the required tile. 3) A Spinner tile is wild and can be played at any time! 4) Anytime a player lays down a double tile, the next 3 players must play on that tile. 5) If a player can't play on the double, s/he must pick up ONE domino from the reserve pile. The matching action continues until one person matches all their tiles! Points are tallied.
- The object of the game is to score the most points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. The dice can be rolled up to three times in a turn to try to make one of the thirteen possible scoring combinations. A game of Yahtzee consists of thirteen rounds during which the player chooses which scoring combination is to be used in that round. Once a combination has been used in the game, it cannot be used again. This one has been a big hit lately. I actually have two games of Yahtzee and sometimes both of the games are being played.
Players race to empty their hands and catch opposing players with cards left in theirs, which score points. In turns, players attempt to play a card by matching its color, number or word to the topmost card on the discard pile. If unable to play, players draw cards from the draw pile until they are able to place a card. Wild and special cards spice things up a bit. They also love Uno Attack, where the cards are thrown across the room.
- Like many card games, Rack-O is part skill, part luck of the draw. Two to four players try to get their rack of 10 cards in consecutive order, from lowest to highest, first. The cards are numbered from 1 to 60, and each player takes a turn by drawing and discarding.
Settlers of Catan
- In Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine the current production on the island. Players collect raw materials to build up their civilizations to gain enough victory points to win the game.
- A family card game that blends elements of rummy with challenging and exciting twists. Those who complete each of the ten specific phases get to advance, but those who do not must try again. This one is challanging and requires patience, but none the less is really fun. It also is a game that requires some time to play.
Our Favorite Group Game For The Whole Group
This game has no name but it is a version of the game of Charades with a twist.
This is how you play:
- Each person is given 5 small slips of paper and is asked to write down the name of a famous person on each piece. It could be anybody from Michael Jackson to Thomas Jefferson, and anybody in between.
- The papers are then collected and put into a big bowl and the group is divided into two teams.
- Round One- The first person picked on a team goes to the front of the room where the bowl is and draws a name out of the bowl. He then has one minute to get his team to guess as many names as he can by describing the person (no "sounds like" and no saying a version of the name.) For example, if the person drew the name of Michael Jackson, they could say things like; beat it, singer, sister named Janet, etc. When the persons team guesses who they are describing then the he takes another name from the bowl and has the team try and guess who it is. He continues this until his minute is up. It is then the other teams turn to do the same thing. The teams rotate back and forth giving each person a turn at being the describer.
- Score is kept by giving each team a point for every person their player has them guess correctly. (Note: the team is only guessing when it is their team mates turn up front.)
- Round Two- When all the names are gone from the first round, the same names are put back into the bowl and the game proceeds in the same way as before with one exception. In this round the player in the front can only use three words to describe the person they have drawn. For example if the person was Michael Jackson they might say, singer, sister, Janet. The play alternates from team to team like before until all the names are gone from the bowl, with the guessed names receiving points.
- Round Three- All the same names are put back in the bowl. The same rules apply now as in the previous rounds with another exception, you must simply act out the person that is drawn, no talking at all. It is best if from round one you have done some sort of acting with the person so that now the motion is recognizable. For example, if you had drawn Michael Jackson, it would have been to your benefit if as you described him you did the MOONWALK. In round three simply doing the Moonwalk will tell you who the person is.
- The points are added up at the end and the team with the highest score wins.
Whatever game you choose, don't cheat, and have fun!
- Party Games
University of Illinois Extension, Let's Party!This website is a resource for parents to help their fifth through eighth grade children as they begin to host and attend parties. Parties are a time of fun and enjoyment for our children. They can, howev