Friday, December 20, 2013

Learning From Each Other

It never fails, I walk into someone's house and I (in)conspicuously start taking in my surroundings.

You see, I hang out with a lot of home schoolers and any home school mama will tell you that we can be a freakishly nosy bunch.  What books are you reading?  What games do you play?  What chores do the kids do?  What classes are you involved in?  What do you eat?  What music do you listen to?  What technologies do you use?

And the mother of them all:  What curricula are you using?  What do you like?  What do you dislike?

Also, if you're not a homeschool mama?  I'm still looking to see what you've got laying around.  Because, if you have kids, you are a teacher.  You are doing things with your kids that mold their pliable little minds.

Here's the thing that always catches me off guard:  Other people do the same thing.  They walk into my house and look at whatever is laying around in the living room or stacked on the school table or crammed on the shelves in the school room.  They ask about the games in our game cabinet, laugh when my kids sing Ray Stevens songs, and ask who our piano teacher is.

It's not unkind or judgmental: It's gleaning.  It's looking for ideas for our own family.  We all want the best we can give our kids, right?

Once a year, I host a gathering of homsechool mamas.  We leave our children with their daddies, bring our schedules and favorite schooling (or non-schooling) ideas and daily outlines and recipes and we sit and talk and share all. day. long.

It's a beautiful thing.

So, since I can't have all you lovely people over to my house (I mean, you're welcome, but it might be a bit of a commute for some of y'all), I'm just gonna toss out our 8 favorite games we love to play in our home. 

1. Perfection

I loved this game in a big way as a kid and when I ran across it again as an adult, I snatched it right up!  Fair Warning: The kids laugh and shriek and yell a lot when they play this game.  Yours might not, but mine do.

2. Spot It

We all love this game, including the cute little round tin it comes in.  It's kind of like playing Match, only with a wicked twist - there are multiple pictures on each card.  You have to be the first to match one of the images on your card with one of the images on the up card.  When you 'Spot-It' you snatch the up card and start all over.

3. Set

 Another visual perception game.  This one stretches your mind in several directions at once and still has the favorite factor of yelling.  What can I say?  We're noisy!

4. Sequence

A classic my kids can't get enough of.  I'm pretty sure they play by their own rules unless I play with them.  I love that it takes strategy instead of just luck, like this one...

5.HiHo! Cherry-O & Candy Land

No strategy needed here.  None.  These are the first games we play with the kids, fantastic for pre-schoolers.  They are fun and simple games to reinforce numbers concepts.  I love that the older kids get a kick out of playing these with the younger kids. 

6. Monopoly

Speaking of classics, this one made an appearance this summer.  I always dread my kids asking me to play this game with them, but I'd be remiss if I left it out.  Our kids love it.  I can't define why.

7. Phase 10, Skip-Bo, & Uno

Lookie, it's a three-for-one special!  We love these games.  They are easy to take with us when we travel and everyone can play or be a helper (our kids have always loved plucking the card from our hand and tossing it on the discard pile for us). 

8. Gobblet Gobblers


Imma be honest: I have no idea where we got this game.  It appeared sometime back in August-ish after the birthdays were over.  So, if you're the person who gave this game to us, thank you!  We love it!!  It's like 3-d Tic-Tac-Toe on steroids - you can eat your opponents gobblers.  Great for the 4-5-6 year old range.

So, there you have it.  Our 8 top favorites (plus 3 freebies!).  We are getting a handful of new games for Christmas, so this list may look vastly different in February, but for the here and now, this is how it stands.

You're turn!  What games do you and your kids love?

Also, what else would you like to know about that we use in our home?  For schooling or not for schooling?  

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