Fast and furious, fun and frantic and just silly to boot. I give unto thee a plethora of games for the simple pleasure of group fun and social bonding. WARNING: Some of these games may not directly promote higher level thinking! Be forewarned that madcap rumpusing may ensue!
Dancing Eggs by HABA is, as you see, an egg carton filled with 2 die and 10 eggs. The goal of the game is to collect as many eggs as possible. How do we collect said eggs? By rolling the red die which has a series of tasks associated with the faces. You may have to be the first to run around the table, to cluck like a chicken, to snatch the die, or to catch one of the rubber eggs as it is bounced off of the table.
Enter die #2, the dreaded WHITE die. This is the die that you roll after you win an egg that tells you WHERE you need to keep that egg for the remainder of the game. SOOOOOO, you may need to prop that egg under your chin, in the crook of your elbow, or between your knees. Now imagine running around the table with an egg under your neck, your armpit and between your knees. Not so easy!
The game continues until one person drops an egg, at which point all of the players add up the eggs that they managed to keep. The rubber eggs are worth 1 point, while the wooden egg (which is much more difficult to keep a hold of) is worth two. Fast! Frantic! Fun, Fun, Fun!
Say Anything by North Star Games LLC is a clever twist on the standard party question game. In the game, players take turns asking questions that can be fairly open to interpretation. If you are playing with students, scan the cards for the few that are definite no-no’s and remove them before play. After the question is asked, each of the other players writes their answers down on a dry erase board and place them out for everyone to see.
<yawn> Boring, right? Hold it now…. hit it! The person who asked the question now selects their favorite answer from those written by the other players. Once the secret selecting has been done, then each of the players place two tokens on the answers they think that the questioner may have chosen. This may be their own answer or another player’s. They can split their chips or place them both on one answer. Say Anything has players crafting answers based on the person asking the questions and reflecting again once all of the answers are played out. It is a wonderful way for students to put themselves in the perspective of their peers. They often will be pleasantly surprised at what they learn about the people they are around each and every day.
Castle Knights: Together we are Strong is a great dexterity game by HABA for the kiddies, though I am a tower building junkie I admit. Up to four players can take part as they take an end of an elastic strap that, when pulled tight, expands a central elastic square. Racing against the clock, students need to work together through communication and coordination to erect three towers before the king arrives at the castle.
In typical HABA fashion, the components are top notch. Each of the tower pieces are big and chunky pieces of wood in varying shapes and sizes and the game box serves as the castle grounds. Students young and old, love the pressure as they struggle to gather the pieces, secure, move and balance them one atop another in the race to build the towers. Communication is a must in this game as students need to work together to orient themselves so they can master these feats of dexterity.
Not every gaming experience need to tie so strongly to the curriculum. Our students need time to interact and relate with each other in ways that will help them develop bonds and grow as individuals, finding their place within the social strata of school. Games create a community of play that sets its own guidelines for interaction that often supersede the chosen divisions of cliches and niches inherent in youth. For those brief moments, students are simply in the moment… working together. A skill we could stand to hold onto well into adulthood.