Tag Archives: family night

I Spy Eagle Eye Game

My youngest loves looking for objects hidden in books, such as the I Spy books by Scholastic. Whenever we visit our library’s bookmobile, he heads straight for the section that holds the “finding books.” So when I found an I SPY game on sale at the store, I couldn’t resist.

Overall, it turned out to be a good game, especially for younger children. To begin, each player is given a playing card made out of very sturdy cardboard with a picture featuring a couple hundred objects, such as marbles, blocks, buttons, toy cars, letters, beads, balls, or tiny figures. Each side of the game board has a different picture, and there are four game boards, making eight pictures in all. The rest of the game consists a bell and thirty double-sided playing cards with eight pictures on each.

Players all play the game at the same time. Each player draws a card from the stack and looks at the eight images on the card, then tries to figure out which ONE object is a match with an object on his game board. The first player to find his particular match rings the bell. So, not only does the player have to find an object first, but he also has to figure out just which object he needs to find.

Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? It was at first, even for me; my six-year-old was finding his objects before I could find mine. It was a good game for our family to play together — everyone seemed to have an equal chance at winning, no matter how young or old they were.

Interestingly, though, the game became easier and easier the more we played. The first few times through, we studied the game boards very closely; after a while, when we drew new playing cards, it was easy to recognize which object we needed to find and easy to find it. So, we switched the game boards around, but again, after several rounds of play, it became too easy, especially for the older children. My youngest became frustrated that he could never win, and the older ones were tired of hearing him fuss about it.

Right now the game is back on our game shelf, but I’m sure we’ll pull it out again. We’ll just have to wait until we’ve forgotten where all the objects are hidden.

Learning With Boggle

During our family camping trip, my mom brought along a Boggle game, one of my favorite games but one I hadn’t played in years. Though no one played it during the trip, it made its way to my house afterward, and my son John got it out. I told him briefly how to play, and he tried it out with his cousins who were visiting. They really enjoyed it.

Boggle is made up of 16 dice that have letters instead of dots. The dice fit into a container that can be shaken, and the letters then fall in a random order. The object of the game is to make as many words (three letters or more) from the dice, using only those letters that touch each other in some way, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Players have three minutes to find as many words as they can. Points are earned only when a player finds a word that no other player has found.

After most of our company had left, John asked me if I would like to play — he didn’t know I used to be pretty good at the game. My mom played too, and she is more knowledgeable about words than I am, having worked crossword puzzles for years. He was in for some tough competition.

Although I still sometimes let my six-year-old win a game, we didn’t let John (13 years old) win — he had to work for every point he got. Then Cassie joined in (11 years old), and naturally, she found even fewer words. While I wasn’t sure what their reactions would be to such a challenge, I was pleasantly surprised.

Round after round, Cassie came up with no points — someone else had found every word she did. Yet still she continued to play. It wasn’t until we had played about 15 rounds over two days that she finally got some points.

John, being older, did get more points, but he never scored as high as my mom or me. But he too, continued to try.

On the last day my mom was here, my daughter Lillie, age 9, joined the game. She found even fewer words, but she kept at it, too.

These past few days of playing Boggle have turned out to be great opportunities for learning. It was good to watch as the children learned:

*New words, as my mom came up with some old English terms and words none of us had ever heard of.

*Definitions, as we questioned her words and had to look them up

*How to correctly spell certain words

*Persistence, as all three of the kids kept at the game, even though they never won a round

*Sportsmanship, as they continued to play with good attitudes

Boggle has become a favorite game for our family. Perhaps it’s even time to break out Big Boggle.  🙂

Daddy’s Night

If you’re like me, you have some extra projects you’d like to get to. Perhaps you like to sew, crochet, scrapbook, or write. And if you’re like me, you have a hard time fitting it into your schedule as a homeschooler.

I like to think that I can spend a couple of hours every night after the children are in bed working on projects. This sounds like a lot of time and a good plan, but it rarely works out. Evening activities such scouts or church mean that the children go to bed later than planned; by the time they’re all tucked in, I’m usually too tired to work on anything. Fortunately, we still have our weekly Daddy’s Night.

 It all started a couple of years ago, and it’s one of my favorite traditions. On a Friday or Saturday evening, we rent a movie or borrow one from the library. Then, when Dad arrives home from work, I disappear — to the bedroom, the study, or the store – wherever I need to go to do what I need to do.

 While I’m gone, Daddy steps in and takes over. He makes supper, usually something simple, such as frozen pizzas he can top with extra cheese and pepperoni. The children enjoy creating the pizzas with him – they’ve come up with some creative topping designs.  One of the children spreads out a towel on the floor of the family room to use as a tablecloth, and the pizza is served as the movie begins. Dad usually provides a special dessert, too– ice cream or honey buns or popcorn.     

 Sometimes Daddy decides to take the children out instead — maybe for supper and an extra-thick milk shake. But whatever they do, I can relax and enjoy the bit of free time, knowing that all are well-fed, cared for, and making special memories with their dad.