We’re off for a week in a cottage in Cornwall, there will be no internet access, no wii and the evenings will be long and dark. We do this every October half term and it is my favourite holiday of the year. There are no expectations, we don’t have to do anything, we can just kick back and relax. However, I do have to take some stuff to keep everyone occupied. They will pack hand-held games (I’ve given up trying to remember which console is which) and towering stacks of books so it is up to me to provide games we can all play together in the evenings.
I try to pack something for everyone which is a bit of a challenge when I am catering for 4, 10, 12, 14, 42 and 43! Bonus Boy goes to bed before everyone else so we will be playing Hedbanz and Cranium Cadoo with him before he trip traps up the wooden hill.
These games are aimed at 7 years and over but because they are hands on and there are willing helpers, he really enjoys playing them with us. Hedbanz always causes great hilarity and we still laugh and fall about when someone gets the pea card and we can all shout ‘Daddy’s got a pea on his head!’ Bonus Boy often gives the game away as he hasn’t quite got the hang of questioning and answering yet but that all adds to the fun!
He loves playing Twice Upon A Time The Storytelling Game. We pair him up with someone else as he can’t read yet but he is a FANTASTIC story-teller with a very vivid imagination and understands story structure and the importance of a bit of drama. This game is aimed at 5 and up and has given us hours of fun over the years.
Once he has gone to bed it all gets a bit more competitive. We team up to play those old favourites Trivial Pursuit and Cluedo but I shall also be taking Mancala, Gobblet and Once Upon A time with us which are all real family favourites.
Mancala takes ‘minutes to learn and a lifetime to master’ and is tactile and a bit addictive to play. We find we are ‘just having one more game’ quite a lot which delays bedtime nicely! It is a game which the eldest is happy to play with any of the others and Bonus Boy even joins in occasionally although he is a bit of a liability as he tends to just pick out the pretty pieces he likes!
Gobblet is Four In A Row or Connect Four with attitude and is quite simply a brilliant game. Addictive and tactile like Mancala you have to think really hard to succeed in this game and my children are much better at it than I am! You can Gobble up other people’s pieces with your larger Gobblets but you have to remember you’ve done so because if you pick your big piece up to use elsewhere and reveal a small opponent underneath that piece is free to roam again…I have been caught out more times than I care to tell!
Finally I will be taking Once Upon A Time a card game which I remembered during a Twitter conversation with Maggy at Red Ted Art this morning. This is storytelling on a family scale and we love it. Players create a story together using cards that show typical elements from fairy tales. The Storyteller creates a story using the ingredients on his/her cards, guiding the plot towards his/her own ending. The other players use their cards to interrupt and to become the new Storyteller. The winner is the first to play out all their cards, ending with the ‘Happy Ever After’ card. We have had some magical evenings playing this game and it takes up no more room than a small book so it has been on many adventures with us!
Maggy has very kindly offered to make Bonus Boy some story telling cubes and to send them down to the cottage for us which is incredibly kind and thoughtful; she is a very lovely person! Do have a look at Red Ted Art where she shares lots of wonderful crafty activity ideas!
I was not sponsored in any way for this post, I just thought you’d like to know what I’m packing! I will be taking playdough, paper, puzzle books and colouring in too and will be using my ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST as usual! I’ve tidied up for the housesitter and have even brushed the cats, much to their dismay…all I need to do now is pack rather than just writing about it! If you can spot anything I’ve forgotten or can think of a game we might like and haven’t tried yet, let me know in a comment!