Family Games: Checkers

by Stefani on 27-May-2010

Hey y’all!

The mercury is rising at an alarming rate around here and I’m determined to put on my Steel Magnolia face.  I will greet the season with determined grace. I will not give in to whining about the heat. I will not.

Well… not right away anyhow.

Phase one of my “beat the heat” plan is to pull out all the many many games that we own.  I’m going to retrieve them from their varying cubby holes and find a good accessible way to store them all together. That way, when we’re huddled under the air conditioning vent together we’ll have something with which to pass the (5 long months of) summer.

While I’m at it, I thought that from time to time I’d share some of our favorite games here.

First up… checkers. We got our big oversized rug board at the Cracker Barrel. You can also find it online here.

I know. I know. Everyone knows about checkers. But did you know how many fun variations there are? I didn’t. Turns out, there’s at least 24 Games You Can Play on A Checkerboard.

I think our favorite is Giveaway Checkers, which is the exact opposite of regular checkers. The goal is be the first to lose all your pieces.  We’ve had a lot of  fun learning the different games that we can play with just one board, and considering the giant pile of games that are adding up to a major storage dilemma around here, a board that can multitask is well appreciated.

Some of my favorite summertime memories were lazy days spent across a game board from my great grandma. So I think if we throw in some popsicles and some summer of 69 music from Pandora, we just might have ourselves a summer to remember.

Cassandra May 27, 2010 at 11:33 am

Please please please send some of that warmth our way (not all of it, just maybe enough to make us both comfortable!) It’s so unseasonably chilly here!

Stefani May 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

I’ll do my best to blow a little your way. I’m looking to get rid of about 15 degrees. Will that help?

Catherine May 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Stef, Have you played the ice race? You put water and ice in a large bucket or bowl, give each kid a small bowl, set a timer, and see who gets the most ice out of the bucket into their bucket. For a day when you must leave the confines of the house before you go too stir-crazy. The girls did this last summer as an opener to a summer book club.

Stefani May 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

We haven’t played that, but it’s bringing to mind a number of fun and COOL water relays that I used to play as a girl. We’ll have to bring them back! Thanks for the tip!

Hannah May 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I double-dog dare you to make it until June 1st without complaining about our lovely Texas heat!!! 🙂

So, your kids have about the same age spread, approximately I think, as mine. How do you navigate the age differences while playing board games? I find it challenging to track down games that they will ALL play happily together. Especially because my oldest is much more into verbal games than strategy ones, and the younger two don’t read well enough yet.

Maybe checkers is the answer to all our problems? Please advise. 🙂

And I love Catherine’s ice idea!

Stefani May 28, 2010 at 11:34 am

June 1st I might could manage… but not much beyond it. We finally turned on our air conditioner over the weekend. We’d been pretty proud of ourselves for putting it off, but I just couldn’t stomach being sick AND hot. No thanks.

Most of the time we don’t have too much trouble with the age difference. If it’s a game that Ryder can’t manage well on his own, he and I team up (I read the card, we discuss the strategy, he moves the piece… something like that). Sometimes it annoys the other two, especially the oldest, that Ryder is getting the advantage of my help, but it’s lead to some great conversations about sportsmanship, looking out for those less able/fortunate as yourself, etc.

As I’m going through the games over the next few days, I’ll shoot you an email with a few that might interest your group.

Relyn May 28, 2010 at 10:56 am

I’d swear sometimes that Sloane asks to go to Cracker Barrel just to play with those huge checkers. It’d be cheaper to buy her a set.

Stefani May 28, 2010 at 11:35 am

And easier on the hips! I think I just gained give pounds sitting here thinking about Cracker Barrel… chicken fried steak… mashed potatoes…. rollls…. cobbler… mmmmmmmmmmm!

brit June 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm

we are just getting the hang of checkers here…!

~Heather June 23, 2010 at 8:00 am

Just got the checkers book out of the library Tuesday and caught my 6 year old reading it at 7am today – he thought the chicken and wolf version was the funniest thing in the world. So now he’s in charge of teaching us new checkers games on our vacation next week! Thanks for the reading/gaming suggestion.

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