|Backgammon with Daddy, age 1 year, 1 day|
*Please, be smart about choking hazards. Never leave your child around choking hazards unattended, and supervise them closely when you're with them.
Our toddler modified rules:
We mostly follow the normal rules. We found an online trial of Monopoly, and that really gave the Bibliophile an understanding of the basics, and then we switched to our board version. So, we pick our piece, roll to work our way around the board, choose to buy or auction a property when we land on it, act out the community chest and chance cards, etc. If we mortgage, we don't tack on any interest to unmortgage. Also, if we're lazy, we just give us each a pile of money without counting it out. And to end the game, we usually just declare that it is time to see who has the most properties, and that person wins.
What he learns from it:
- Counting - the obvious "one square per number" of moving when you roll, but we are also working on adding with money. Just baby steps, but it lays a foundation and makes it fun.
- Reading three-digit numbers. He was doing this for awhile, then forgot how, and now has it mastered again after a week of playing monopoly.
- Bidding/negotiating. "I bid $2!" "I bid $10!" - this not only gets him ready for an antiques auction one day, but also hones his "which number is bigger" recognition.
- Reading. He reads the place names, and attempts to read the Chance and Community Chest cards.
- Vocabulary. Lots of new concepts here, like mortgage, tax, go to jail, etc.
We roll the dice, count out where to go, and then ask a question depending on the color square we land on. Any correctly answered question gains a wedge (you don't have to be on the special wedge squares in our toddler version). If you already have that color wedge, you just roll again. We don't use the cards that come with the box at all. Instead, I just ask him a question within the appropriate category. He also asks me my questions, sometimes to my great amusement. He has actually gotten quite good at coming up with questions now. They tend to be things like, "which animal puts his head under water to hunt for fish" (answer: the swan we saw at the aviary today). But, the first few times he asked me questions, I actually grabbed a pen and paper to write them down to share them with Daddy, because they made me laugh so hard (inwardly). For instance, I landed on blue (people and places category). So he asked, "who has a very big head?" Answer: Mama. I should say that we never get questions wrong. I ask him questions that I think he can get right, or that I can gently nudge him to get by having him go get his globe to help him, for instance. And he pretty much tells me I'm right no matter what I guess. Anyway, the person to fill his or her circle with wedges first wins.
What he learns from it:
- Anything I want in terms of questions. I can use the trivia to gently reinforce things we have learned that day (like, "what is the word for an animal like an owl that sleeps during the day and stays awake at night?").
- Counting - again, the square to square hopping.
- How to formulate questions. I was beginning to doubt his ability to do this, since he sits up in bed every morning with me and says something along the lines of: "Mama get breakfast now!" Lo and behold, in the context of a game, he actually does understand how/what/who/when/where perfectly fine.
- Dexterity. I'm amazed how quickly he pops the triangular wedges into the circles.
Comment: What adult board games do your wee ones most enjoy? Have you tried kids versions of adult classics? We have the junior monopoly on his birthday wish list.
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