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Friday, November 23, 2012

Playing games with kids

Have you ever tried playing Monopoly with a six and ten year old?  Even in the best of circumstances, Monopoly is a long, sometimes boring game.  Take a couple of kids with short attention spans (who really want to play the game) and you have the potential for a looooong afternoon.  So, what did we do?  We made up our own rules to fit the kid's level of interest.  It was a mercifully short game, pretty fun, and the six year old won  :)

One of my favorite comic strips is Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes.  Calvin is an imaginative six year old with his stuffed tiger, Hobbes (who is alive in his world).  One of the recurring themes of the strip is Calvin and Hobbes playing "Calvinball", which boils down to making up their own rules to the games they play.    

"Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!"
Part of the Calvinball theme song.

For some reason, when people play games, they think they need to "play by the rules".  Who says you have to do that?  Play however you want! Games get too complicated anyway.  Have fun!


  1. Sounds like C-3PO's advice to's better to "let the Wookie win" than to have your arms torn out of their sockets, right?