Question: My kids are 3 and 5 and I don’t like buying them board games because it always ends with a fight. I know it is not always the best thing to do, but sometimes it is just easier to let them watch TV in peace
Answer: Misti: Yes, we sympathize at the age your kids are now. They are just learning games and “winning” and it isn’t easy to lose to a sibling at the best of times, especially for the older child. The solution is to get them a “cooperative game” These are games where your children play together against the game. They can still master winning and losing, and even master some preschool skills—but they do so together. What’s even better is that there is a great variety in our favourites by Peaceable Kingdom—but our best seller is Feed the Woozle.
Gary: Cooperative games are fun for dad as well. It has the word ‘cooperate’ in it that really impresses mom when she gets home. BTW. I love the word ‘Woozle’.
Question: My son doesn’t seem to be interested in toys any more (he is 10)—he only wants to play with his video games. Any suggestions on a toy that he might like?
Answer: Misti: Yes, we all seem to be masters of playing by ourselves these days. Something that would be fun for your son would be to find a board game that the two of you can play together. Even though we have a toy store, we found that our family had to discipline ourselves into Family Games night. We had to move it around and reschedule, but our best memories as a family are when we play board games.
Choosing the right one would be based on your likes—strategy? Logic? Light? Party? Time to Play? But it is worth figuring it out (and we would certainly be delighted to help)
As for a traditional “toy”, some of our favourites for a 10 year old include great magic kits, cool puzzles, a stomp rocket and even a good old fashioned pogo stick. Depending on the preferences of your boy, I’m sure we can find something to intrigue him.
Gary: When I was 10 I liked to build things. I also liked to figure out how things worked. There are different kinds of kits that help one understand how radio’s work, how hydraulics work and even beginning electronics. The first video games (like Pong) were invented by guys dabbling in electrical circuits. Try the robotic hand by a company called 4M or maybe their Dynamo Torch (generating light without a battery) 4M has really cool stuff. If that fails, maybe try a set of poker chips…..