Dec 06 2012
Board games are the best gifts at Christmas because no matter who gets them, EVERYONE GETS TO ENJOY THEM!
In a season where families come together, there is nothing better than sitting around the table with family and friends enjoying good conversation, some snacks, and lots of laughter while playing games.
Below is a list of games that would look good under the tree or in a stocking this coming Christmas.
The game selections are followed by potential locations where you may acquire a copy.Â These locations are: Locally -Â Toys R Us (TrU), All A-Board Games (AAG), High Octane Comics (HOC), Chapters (Ch) and Tumbleweed Toys (TT).Â Online â€“ Amazon.ca (Am), StarlitCitadel.ca (SC), and Chapters.ca (Ch.ca) and GermanGames.com (GG).
Designed by a 6 year old girl, this card game is quick and fun.Â The player to wake up the mostQueenswins.Â Each Queen has her own special powers.
Rattlesnake â€“ Fantasy Flight Games (AAG,SC, GG)
Roll a dice and place a rattlesnake egg on the board.Â The eggs are powerful magnets that attract each other.Â Make sure you donâ€™t attract any other eggs!!!Â The winner is the player who places all their eggs on the board first.Â An excellent dexterity game for children 6 and up.
Spot It! â€“ BlueOrange Games (TT, Ch, SC, Ch.ca, Am)
A great recognition game!Â Every card has one shape that is identical.Â Will you be able to see your match first?Â Lots of fun for all the family with several rule variants to give different twists to each game.
Loopinâ€™ Louie â€“ TCG (TrU)
If there is one childrenâ€™s game you get this Christmas then THIS IS THE GAME!Â Trust me when I see your kids will play this non-stop and then after they are in bed it is the adults’ turn!
Nov 26 2012
TheÂ Rainfall RattleÂ is a favourite of mine for infants (and up to preschool) – this smaller version of a rain stick makes a soothing sound, with fun bright coloured beads raining down. It’s great for distraction (worked like a charm during immunizations), tummy time or as a musical instrument.
For toddlers,Â Castle MarbleworksÂ is always a hit! Chiming balls rolling down a colourful track provides hours of play. The track can be changed to allow for play while sitting, or standing – it’s great when little ones are trying to master their balance. The visual tracking that happens while following the ball (or toy car or train…) is an important skill for reading in the coming years.
Flip Flop FacesÂ is a hit with preschoolers! This introduces emotions with a game that also helps with hand eye coordination. There are lots of ways to play the beanbag toss – emotions, colour matching, spelling and more! Even I’ve found it challenging at times!! And I don’t know a single child who hasn’t used the “bowls” as hats, or stepping stones. The game is also available with French Beanbags.
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Nov 22 2012
Carcassonne by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede
Online: $21.95 (+ shipping) Local: $32.95
Last month I reviewed the Kids of Carcassone.Â The Kids of Carcassonne is one of the many variants of a game called Carcassonne.Â Carcassonne is one of the most popular designer/Euro games available as it is a great family game while also having enough strategy and decision making opportunities for any â€˜seriousâ€™ gaming geeks, such as myself.
In Carcassonne, players create a landscape (playing board) by placing a tile.Â Tiles must be placed so that either fields connect with fields, cities connect with cities, or roads connect with roads â€“ just like a jigsaw.Â When players place a tile, they then place a meeple either in a city as a knight, on a road as a thief, in the field as a farmer or on a cloister as a monk.Â When a city or road is completed, or a cloister is surrounded by other tiles, any meeples connected to these areas are removed and the players score points determined by the number of tiles used in creating the city, road or cloister.Â Farmers are scored at the end of the game based upon how many completed cities their field touches.Â The player with the most points wins!
To those who have not yet played Carcassonne the game may seem a little complex.Â This could be no further from the truth.Â The game play is quick and simple â€“ draw a tile, place a tile, place a meeple, and then score if needed.Â The randomness of the tiles drawn and placed means that every time you play the game it will be different.Â I highly recommend this game for everyone.Â It is a new classic!
Carcassonne also has many expansions.Â These expansions are add-ons that supplement the base game while adding a new twist and new rules to the game.Â Expansions include: The Princess and the Dragon, the Tower, King and Scout, and the Catapult.
Dad #1:Â A great game to pull out when you have friends over.Â I particularly like the fact that you create your own game board and that this changes whenever you play the game.Â I would suggest getting the expansion The Princess and the Dragon for some extra fun.
Son #1, age 14:Â There is so much variety in this game and it never plays the same twice.Â Itâ€™s always fun to play with a lot of people.
Mom #2: I love this game! Â It’s pretty simple and can be played in a friendly way or get very heated when playing, competitively, with a partner *ahem*, whoops! Â A game that is loads of fun to play with friends and it’s never the same.
If you wish to try any of these games before buying then please contact Clive at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 29 2012
“We’d love to share a few of the Hallowe’en decorations we came up with using things we already had lying around the house (and in the basement, and in the garage, etc.).
Oct 25 2012
I watch too much TV!!Â There is no doubt about it.Â But one thing that will always get me to turn the television off is the chance of playing a board game with friends and family.Â Board games bring the family together.Â They create a positive environment for conversation, learning (yes, your kids will learn and they wonâ€™t even realize it!) and most importantly FUN!
Board games have seen a recent increase in popularity due partly to marketing â€“ think the Hasbro Game Night campaign â€“ but more so due to the increased availability of designer games.
What are designer games you may ask.Â Well, they are board games or card games that give recognition to the designer.Â Much like a book has an author more and more games have the designerâ€™s name on the box.Â Creativity is being recognized.Â These games originated in Europe but are now being published in North America.Â The popularity of these â€˜Euroâ€™ games has grown so much that now many of these new designer games are being designed and published in North America.
These new games open up new worlds of discovery.Â A family can gather around a table and build railway routes across North America (or just about any other part of the world), become explorers, discover new lands, build settlements, become an archaeologist racing through a temple full of dangers, colonize Mars, try to save rats from a sinking ship, race NASCAR or Formula 1 cars and even become bean farmers.Â The themes are endless!
Games are no longer about rolling dice and moving with no end of the game in sight.Â They are so much more!Â Many of these â€˜newâ€™ games require planning ahead, strategic thinking, cooperation, and collaboration while having a set time limit!Â Your kids will have to think and it wonâ€™t even hurt!
Over the coming months, I will be introducing new games that are ideal for family game play.Â I hope these games will inspire you to sit down with your family, open a box and explore the adventures within.
Clive Lovett is a husband, father, board game hobbyist, an organizer of BIGCON (Kamloops Games Convention), and facilitator of Family Games Nights that are have been held in Elementary Schools in the Kamloops area.Â He has a collection of nearly 300 board and card games that he is willing to play at any given opportunity.Â For more information contact Clive at email@example.com
Our first game… Kids of Carcassonne
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