Sunday, 15 July 2007

games for children

My daughters are only 2 years 4 months old and 6 months old, but I have already bought some children's games to be played with them. The games are meant for slightly older children, but I have already started playing Gulo Gulo, Dawn Under, and Villa Paletti with Shee Yun. In fact, Gulo Gulo is the game I have played the most so far in 2007. I don't use the full rules. I create simpler rules to be used when playing with her. In Gulo Gulo, a game about flipping over tiles and stealing eggs from a nest without triggering the egg alarm (not allowing the thin stick to fall down), I use fewer tiles, and I get rid of the end game tile stack which randomises when the last tile (purple) will appear. In Dawn Under, a memory game about picking the right coffin for the right young vampire to sleep, I also use fewer vampires. I completely omit the rules about the rat plague, the garlic and the stakes. In Villa Paletti, a Jenga-like game, where players build a tower higher and higher by removing and reusing pillars from lower levels, I make up a rule that you roll the die and the die dictates what coloured pillar you must move. Players are not assigned a specific colour anymore, differently-shaped pillars do not have different point values, and there is no one sole winner, there is only one sole loser (whoever collapses the tower). Simplified rules make it easier for younger children to grasp the rules and to enjoy the game.

Dawn Under

Villa Paletti. 13 Sep 2006. Shee Yun was 1 year 6 months old then.

In my games with Shee Yun, I usually make the decisions for her, since she is unable to do it by herself yet. I also prompt her to take her turn (or stop her from taking an extra turn when it's not her turn). She enjoys the games. Somestimes she asks for the games, but sometimes she loses interest halfway before finishing a game.

Sometimes she also plays with my other games which are not children's games. She just plays with the components. She likes to pour out the pieces, and mix them up. Unfortunately, she usually doesn't bother to pack things up after playing.

On my recent trip to Port Dickson I had the opportunity to play Gulo Gulo and Villa Paletti with Ricky's two girls (6 and 3.5 years old). They enjoyed the games and were keen to play. Lok Mun (6) even created her own game and own rules on the spot, using the components of Gulo Gulo. I played along, although I had no idea how it was supposed to work.

Gulo Gulo

I look forward to the day that Shee Yun and Chen Rui are old enough to play the real "adult" games. Maybe something like Category 5, Carcassonne, or Blokus.

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