One of the things that JC’s family and mine have in common is a serious love of games. My mom is known for coercing people into post-Thanksgiving-dinner rounds of Hedbanz. My granny is the Scrabble queen. On JC’s side, everyone loves games, from board games to video games. His dad has basically every version of Munchkin that one can buy. Fluxx and Settlers of Catan are popular with both sides.

Silas is really into games. He comes by it honestly. One of his many grandmas got him a subscription to High Five magazine, which is a preschool magazine from the people who brought you Highlights for Children. They usually have a little cut-out game in the back. He hasn’t quite grasped the concept of how to take turns, or the idea that games have rules, but he always wants to play them. One of the games was a memory matching game, and we got through maybe one round of that before he got bored and just wanted to mess with the cards.

JC’s family plays Fours, which is more or less Uno with a standard card deck, whenever they are all together. Before Christmas, JC tried to teach Silas the basic card matching that is essential to the game. Some days, he seemed to get it, but others, not so much. When we got together with the family, Silas was a little over-excited. Instead of even trying to play, he turned it into 52-card pickup.

Photo by Katie Smith

Regardless of the rules, Silas loves games. He loves touching the pieces and playing with them. As I write this, he has demanded that JC surrender his copy of Stratego (“The red and blue game”), and is building trains out of the pieces. I had considered trying to find or make Silas some Montessori-style color-matching activities, but wasn’t sure if he was ready for it. One day, he was playing with Boo Who?, my favorite of the preschool games, and did this:

Color matching

After matching them all up with their circles (sometimes calling them “hats,” “boats,” or “plates”), Silas proceeded to play with these pieces for over an hour, completely absorbed in his game. He had some complicated story about the ghosts being mommies to the little people and he put the circles on the ghosts’ heads to color-match them with their “children.” He literally didn’t want to stop for dinner.

I love seeing this sense of order and focus starting to emerge. Maybe in another few months, we’ll be able to teach him about gameplay.

After I wrote all of this, I realized I had a bajillion links to Amazon. I went and signed up for their affiliate program just to see how it goes. I don’t plan on linking to stuff I wouldn’t endorse or link to otherwise, just to make a buck, but if you click through my links and then buy something, Amazon will give me some percentage of your purchase, which would be nice. 


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