My Sunday Photo: The games children play

There are many things I like about our kids (and a few I don’t, but let’s not go there). They work hard in school. They are curious about the world around them. And they enjoy playing games.

Heather and I both love our games, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that our children have followed suit. But it’s nonetheless gratifying to see that there are few things that generate as much excitement in our house as when I return from a blogging event with a new game in my bag or when one is delivered to our doorstep.

Their enthusiasm wanes quickly with some games that fail to capture their interest but when one is declared a hit, it will end up being played on heavy rotation for weeks and months on end. We had just such an instance recently with Dimension and a card-based strategy game called Splendor but one other that has been a favourite for over a year now is Guillotine, which is what Toby was playing here during a full-on afternoon session last Sunday.

It’s Toby who impresses me the most. Isaac is both highly logical and benefits from being the oldest child and Kara, who is still only five, works hard to hold her own when it comes to more complex games. But Toby – two years younger than Isaac, two years older than Kara – occupies that tricky middle-child ground. Yet his brain works at almost the same level as Isaac when it comes to strategic game-play. And when playing a game that allows him to exercise his creative side, some of the solutions and approaches he comes up with are phenomenally good for a seven-year-old. Heck, they’d be phenomenally good for a 47-year-old.

What this means is that the boys in particular can play a lot of adult games with us. Within a couple of goes, they will usually have worked out a sound tactical approach – or at the very least seen what Heather and I do and learned from that – and will be genuinely competing on a par with us.

I love that. Even if it means I don’t get to win all the time. I don’t think it will be long until they are winning more against us than they lose. I look forward to that happening – as long as it doesn’t happen too soon.

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