These games are the middle ground between the more complicated games and the super easy (baby) games. Some of them require a good deal of coordination, more advanced number skills, or some other skill.
These are 3 of the most played games in our house.
Keeping score practices good math skills. If you get “gin,” you’ll get 25 points, plus whatever non-matched cards your opponent has (the number cards equal the face value and face cards are 10 points each). If you don’t have gin, you subtract your points leftover from your opponents points.
I never pressured Caleb to add up the score, but after we’d been playing it a few weeks, he insisted on adding it up himself most of the time.
Rook is played with Rook cards, not regular playing cards, which is possibly why it was such a hit in my father’s family, seeing as how they were forbidden to play with regular cards. Anyway, we play the “Kentucky” version, where you remove the 2,3, and 4′s from the deck. You can play with 2, 3, or 4 people. For obvious reasons, when we’re at home we play 2 man.
In Rook, you place a bid or a guess at how many points you think you will take. Not all the cards are worth points, and all the point values are in increments of 5. I would say adding up the points in Rook is what really got Caleb comfortable adding by fives.
Dutch Blitz is a super fun game. You can play with 2-4 players, though 4 is best. At home we play with 2, because that’s all we have, but it’s a much slower game then (which isn’t a bad thing with little kids).
You have to be quick, coordinated, and alert to be good at this game. The way the scoring works is that you can get points off if you aren’t the winner of the round. And if you don’t get enough added points, you go into the negative.
Dutch Blitz introduced Caleb to negative numbers, and after a few explanations, he understood the concept, and now uses them with ease in addition and subtraction.
We play at least one of these three games every single day. Many times all three of them. They are fairly quick games (with the possible exception of Gin Rummy), so we usually play best of three (or lately, the best of three best of threes).
I need to get back to work, but I’ll have a few more games for you tomorrow.