Thursday, March 1, 2012

Unschooling Tools::Games

My friend Stephanie over at Ordinary Life Magic is doing a series of posts on tools that unschooling families are using in their days.  The first in the series is about games.  Games are something that we love, and lately Dave and I have been on a quest to find new, wonderful games to add to our collection. So much of what we have come across just does not seem to be what we are looking for and so it was with that in mind that I had recently asked Stephanie what some of their favorite games are. I was thrilled to see this wonderful post about all the games in their home, and have already started making a list of ones to add to our game cabinet.  So without further delay here's a peek inside our game cupboard:
We don't have nearly as many games as we'd like yet but the ones that we have are indeed well loved.  Some of our favorites are:
Uno.  This was the girls first card game (and as you can see by the fact that Em's hair is super short these pictures are old).  When we first started playing Uno with the girls we had to hold the cards for them but now they are able to play without much help from us.  Such a great game for color and number matching! 
Candy Land.  Another tried and true favorite (and another old picture. This time from the October Nor'easter). 
Balancing Moon.  We bought this from Magic Cabin a couple years back.  It's a simple game.  All about color matching and balancing.  It's great for the very young but also is just as much fun when your a mama (or older!)! 
The Ladybug Game is simply fabulous! What makes it so fabulous is how simple it is. Since reading is not required kids can easily learn the rules and play on their own. 
And we love to put our alphabet blocks to good use and play Alphabet Hide and Seek.  A game that I made up one day when the girls had their Easter baskets out and were going on treasure hunts.  Why not hunt letters?  It was a blast! You can read more about it here

If you have any games to recommend to us we'd love to hear about them.  So far, as a result of a trip to the lovely toy store in Concord this week, and reading Stephanie's post we're looking forward to playing Blokus, Boggle Jr., Qwirkle, Mystery Garden, Math Animals and Mighty Mind.  Can't wait to see what else we discover along the way!


  1. I have wanted Blokus for years and just could not get myself to pay the high price. I found it at the thrift store last week for $2.99. It is my new absolute favorite game. Well worth the original price...should have bought it sooner.

    We love the Amazing Labrynth, Guess Who, Guess Who Mix and Match, Stratego... you know what, too many to name. Maybe I will do a post, too :)

  2. Labrynth is one of our favorites too! We enjoy Blokus also, but my girls could not play it at your girls' age. We started having fun with this game last year (when they were 8 and 10). My girls love Zooreka (a Cranium Game) although I do not . We like Clue and Scrabble. The girls love Sleeping Queens, a card game...and Mad Libs. Lilah and Greg love puzzles. Every vacation they do a 1,000 piece puzzle by themselves. Hmmmm I am going to have to go though our game cabinet and look at what we play!

  3. I was going to recommend the Ladybug Game and Labyrinth! We also have two "Pop" for sight words, and one for letter sounds. The box looks like an old fashioned stripey popcorn box. Snakes and Ladders is popular in my kindergarten classroom.

  4. Thanks girls! I'm writting down everything mentioned! And thanks so much for the heads up on Blokus! Will file that away for a later time too, though will keep an eye out for it and grab it (especially if we ever see it on sale) and tuck it away!

    I loved "Pop" games as a kid and had totally forgot them until the comment above! One for sight words and one for letter sounds would be perfect for us! Will have to see if I can find them! :)

  5. Ladybug game was enjoyed here a few times (it's in the give-away box, now, to send on to someone else), and we all loved the Balancing Moon game for a long time. :) I forgot about that one. It's on Maddie's shelf, still!

    Maddie has been playing Blokus for about a year... so since she was five.(just some info.)

    1. Thanks for the scoop on Maddie and Blokus! We may give it a try then rather than waiting for them to be a little older! :)

  6. The cool thing about Blockus is that it can be "played" more like a tetris type game. When we first got it, Emma would sit and "help" and when the game was over, she would build shapes and such with the pieces.

    That balancing moon looks really cool!

    All the comments have reminded me of a few other games we have played in the past. Hiss by Gamewright was a favorite when Emmma was 3 and 4.

    New England is beautiful! I grew up in NH, now I am in IA and I miss the ocean and the fall foliage.

    1. Thanks for the scoop Tina! It sounds like a game that we would all love!

      Balancing moon is so cool! It's such a sweetly simple game and one that I imagine will remain a family favorite for years to come!

      I love that you have an Emma too! That's so cool that you grew up in NH! Do you get back here to visit ever?

      Have a great weekend!

  7. I have heard great things about Rory's Story Cubes from parents in the gaming community.

    You can start with only a few cubes, and build up to more cubes as you go along.

  8. Thanks Paul! We'll add those to the list of games to check out!