Damien Learns Board Games

It’s that time again! With a 2-and-a-half-year-old now running around our house, we are looking for some quiet ways to tame those crazy moments. You know those moments where there is so much roughhousing that someone sprains his fingers. True story. Poor Aiden. 

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Anyway, we recently started revisiting early board games with Damien. When Aiden was about this age, he was beyond obsessed with the Curious George Discovery Beach game. Damien will play it a little, but is honestly more interested in throwing the cards around after just a couple of turns. He has no interest in spending an hour looking for every last object. 

More to his taste are Perfection (honestly he’s so patient with it!), Uno Moo and Candyland. In all honesty, Candyland is the only game he will “play,” whereas the others he just wants to make up his own games with them. He wants to smash in the animals on Uno Moo, fill up the board on Perfection then turn it on and anxiously wait for the pop, or put together some of the other games such as putting together the hammock on Who Shook Hook, but never actually playing the game.

Damien is a much more “open ended” kid than Aiden was. Aiden has always loved the rigidity of rules and instructions. Whereas Damien will happily build his own sets using Hexacus or Mega Bloks, Aiden wants to follow the booklet or design a specific ‘thing’. Each way of thinking is so amazing, and I am endlessly fascinated with the variability in the development of our (and all) children. 

At this age, I rarely enforce ‘rules’ and would rather Damien explore materials on his own terms (as long as he’s not destroying them). When we sit down to play a more formal game like Candyland, he seems fine following the rules and waiting for his turn, even if he doesn’t yet understand exactly how to play. 

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