Fun stuff

Just a quick post today because for the first time in weeks the weather is warm and I want to enjoy it.

A week ago, a friend gave us a stack of old games which had been passed along to her. When she asked if we wanted them I readily agreed because we are always up for new games around here. (Or old games as the case may be.) Often older games are just more fun than the newer ones, though the initial learning curve is a little steeper. Am I the only one who feels modern board games (excluding strategy games) have been dumbed down to the point where they are virtually unplayable?

Here are a few...

It was an interesting collection... a puzzle, a board game that combines checkers and rummy, a civil war game, and some others. We haven't tried the checkers version or the civil war game yet as I need some time to sit and figure out the instructions first. TM and D. were really interested in Battle-Cry, but opened the box, saw all the pieces and instructions and put it away to wait for me. It could be a good project for Saturday.

That large school bus box isn't a game but is full of SRA readers. Depending on when you went to grade school (or if your father was an elementary teacher), you might remember these small reading 'books' (though they're really like pamphlets). They have very controlled vocabulary and the gradations between levels are very small and there are hundreds of them in this box. I am actually very excited about them because I foresee at least two of my children who have learning to read ahead benefiting greatly from them.

The hands down winner of the stack, though, is the box of top:  Drag Strip!

At first glance, it is a silly enough game, but it has been played nearly constantly all week. It has a molded plastic base with two ramps that go in either direction. The ramps each have four lanes for the cars and a fifth lane for the marble. It is like a pachinko game... you use the springed lever to propel the marble up the ramp with the goal of the marble pushing a car down the ramp. Each player continues to shoot his marble until one player pushes all the cars down.

It is the very rare game that everyone actually enjoys playing and that even young children (or children who don't speak the household language) can play. And for this I love it. If you ever come across one, snatch it up! Your children will be thrilled.


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