Life Lessons: The Big Monopoly on Fun & Games

The other day, I overheard someone saying that “Monopoly” is one of the worst board games ever. I responded jokingly, “How dare you!? That’s one of my all-time favorite games!” “It’s just too long of a game,” the person replied. I said, “But that’s the whole point. It’s just like life and is all about strategizing.”I used to play Monopoly for hours with my sister and brother. Luckily, my six year old feels the same way as me and can’t get enough of Monopoly Junior. I asked her what she likes about the game, and Quinn said, “I like buying properties and collecting rent, but I have to be smart so that I don’t run out of money paying other people rent.” What great life lesson some adults are still learning!

One time when we were shopping we saw an LOL version, and she asked me how many different Monopoly games are there. After doing a quick search, I was amazed to find out that there are 1,144 different versions! There’s a Fortnite version, Stranger Things, a Pizza version, Cheaters edition, the classic version, and the list goes on and on. Who says video games and electronic devices have the monopoly on fun? Some kids do like good old fashioned board games. It’s a great way to have family time, talk, sharpen those critical thinking skills and to address the importance of not being a sore loser or an overly gloating winner for both the kids and the adults.

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Say Word!? There’s a Scrabble Junior for Preschoolers!

Six months ago I posted a blog entry about the game Scrabble and my daughter’s fascination with it. Then, a couple of months ago I stumbled upon Scrabble Junior. Though the game says, “Ages five and up,” I figured I’d still get it for my, now, three and a half year old because it was a good alternative to the version for older children and adults. As soon as she saw the game, she loved it and was excited to play. Sometimes, I modify instructions to games or let Quinn come up with her own way of playing when it is meant for older children, but she was actually able to follow the instructions.

You may be wondering, “Wow, your three and a half year old can spell?!” No, not exactly. This awesome game has a double-sided board. For younger children, the words are already spelled out. It is a matter of the players selecting the tiles to put on top of the words. The player earns points and gets to move across the board as he or she spells the complete word with the tiles selected. Whereas the other side of the board is played in the more traditional Scrabble way for  when Quinn begins learning how to spell and wants more of a challenge.

At first, I figured I’d hold back on spelling the words out to build up Quinn’s confidence, but I soon realized that I did not have to do this because she actually is good at this game and caught on to the concept quickly. She was even able to use some of the pictures to figure out what the words spelled. I just love games that are fun and educational, and Scrabble Junior fits that description. It’s a great way to not only get my daughter even more interested in learning to spell and eager to learn but for us to have a great time together! How did I not know that Scrabble Junior existed? Well, I know now and highly recommend this game, which is about $14 or cheaper if you get it on sale, to anyone with a young child who is interested in spelling or reading or if you are looking for a fun way to get a child interested and eager to spell and read.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Let’s “Scramble”for Words as Easy as ABC: What to Do When My Three Year Old Wants to Play Scrabble

Yesterday, my teenage nephew and I played “Scrabble” while my three year old daughter, niece and husband played “Pop the Pig.” Every so often, Quinn would sneakily creep over to our table and take a tile or two from my rack and scurry away giggling. This morning, upon arriving downstairs and seeing me take the “Scrabble” game box from the dining room table to put it back with the other games, she pleaded, “No, Mommy! Please don’t put the game away. I want to play Scramble!” As I explained, “Honey, you need to be a little older to play “Scrabble,”(I thought it was cute that she called it Scramble) and you need to know how to read.” She persisted, “But I know how! I know all of my letters in the alphabet. This is an “S.” This one is a “C…” She identified every letter in the word Scrabble and every letter on the tiles on the box and then told me, “See, I t0ld you I know how to read. This means we can play, right?”

I was impressed with her logic and argument for why she should be able to play, so we did a variation of the game, which is meant for ages eight and up. She purposely sought out the colored blocks on the board and identified the letters then looked for the tiles to spell what she saw, such as the word “double” and “word.” Then, I would ask her to find specific letter tiles or to find one that makes the “Ba” sound or “What letter does Kangaroo start with,” and she’d find the tile and put it on the board. This was enough to make her happy playing the game an feeling like she was spelling words.

Something I thoroughly enjoyed doing when I was younger and still do today is playing Scrabble. Yes, it can be a long and somewhat arduous game as I run out of letters or spaces on the board, but I love the way it stimulates my mind and critical thinking. Plus, I may learn some new words along the way. I’m looking forward to playing Scrabble the “right” way with my little girl when she is a bit older and “really” does know how to spell.

Al the best,

Tanya