Friday, October 19, 2012

Monkey Business Board Game with my Kids

So as described in yesterday's post I sat down with my kids last night and played a board game called "Monkey Business", by the Early Learning Center people.  This game as you can probably see from the image involves hanging plastic monkeys on a tree like thing.  The tree canopy is attached to the tree with a magnet.  When enough monkeys are hanging the magnet detaches and drops the monkeys into a pool of crocodiles at the bottom. Each player takes a turn to spin the dial to see how many monkeys they have to add, and I think the person who adds the monkey that "breaks the camel's back" so to speak, is the loser.  I worry about that a little for my boys since the focus in the game is on a single loser ...

I played this game with my three-year old boys Jack and Arthur, and it proceeded reasonably well.  We took turns hanging monkeys from the tree.  Occasionally individual monkeys would fall off, without the entire tree coming down, and there wasn't anything in the rules to cover this.  We didn't finish the game properly as after about 6 turns Arthur got frustrated and knocked the canopy down, which was a shame, as I have yet to actually play the game to completion :-)

Part of Arthur's frustration might have been related to the previous set up, which was that boys all had to have showers and be completely ready for bed before they could 1) do their homework, and 2) play games.  My seven year old son Luke had mathletics homework from school, which he enjoys, so he rushed down after showering to do that on the computer, and by the time the twins were down as well he had finished that, and all three boys moved happily on to their Kumon Japanese alphabets homeworks.

Now, while the boys quite like their Japanese alphabet homeworks (in fact Luke asked to do it when he woke up this morning), I have been setting a trend of letting them play on tablets after they do it. So Luke was still working on his Kanji, and Jack & Arthur had finished their Hiragana work when I suggested the monkey business tabletop game.  It was greeted with enthusiasm by the twins.  However during play I think I may have been occasionally distracted giving support to Luke doing his Kanji homework, and I think Arthur was thinking "I really want to get on to playing with the tablets and I've had enough of monkeys, and Daddy's not completely focused on our game", when he decided to knock everything over.  I was rather upset.  I told him he couldn't use the tablet now, and he was also upset.

The evening ended with Luke finishing his Kanji homework and us all playing 4 way Wii Mariokart on our wall projector.  Initially Arthur was still in a bad mood, but he actually made great progress controlling his kart, and finished two or three races for the first time.  Luke beat me in almost every race, and Jack got frustrated that he couldn't finish the course when Arthur was managing it.  He needed some scaffolding and reassurance that everything was okay, and it would take time to master MarioKart.

So in summary, I'm glad I got the board game out and want to do it more.  Any recommendations for good board games for a dad and three boys aged 7, 3 and 3?


1 comment:

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