School is back in full swing again, and a sense of routine is beginning. My maternity leave has also ended, and I’m getting in the groove of working again, just with another little person at home waiting for me! With all of the routines comes homework each night, running kids to school, and sports practices. It also seems to come with a healthy dose of back-to-school grouchiness in the evenings. We’ve tried a few strategies this year to combat new routine stress like spending evenings outdoors, going for walks, and playing some games. While we all love games, it’s sometimes really hard to find games that our boys can play together since their skill level is significantly different. Blue Orange sent us two of their brand new games to try out over the past few weeks, and we’ve definitely found some winners that work with the whole family.
Gigamons is a game that pretty much speaks to Aiden (in my own humble yet biased opinion, an incredibly smart 6-year-old). He loved it from the first time we played it, and has since requested to play it every day since. Gigamons is essentially a memory matching game with card tiles that can be added upon based on skill level. It consists of laying down a 3×3 grid of cards face down, and each player takes turns flipping over 2 tiles to try to select a match. Once a match is selected, the player keeps the tiles, eventually trading in 3 of the same Gigamons to get an Elemon. The game is over when one player collects 3 Elemons. In addition, Gigamon pairs also have a special rule that is played whenever a pair is turned over and collected. It’s simple enough that Aiden had no problem understanding how to play, but the additional rules made it more challenging and fun.
Both my husband and myself enjoyed playing with him, and it was really nice to find a game that gave our 6-year-old just as good of a chance as winning as we had. (Read: we didn’t have to pretend to forget where tiles were just so he could win once in awhile!) Plus, it all came in a nice, sturdy box, so I feel confident that it will stand up to future playdates with a bunch of rowdy boys.
Top That! is a magic-themed game based on matching real life game pieces to pictures on a card. Each player has a stack of objects that would make any good magician envious (including a rabbit!), and everyone races to stack the objects shown on the card. The first person to yell “Top That!” and then prove that they stacked the objects correctly wins that round.
Once they understood the concept of stacking, we started using the rules. If the item was pictured in grey, it must be in the stack, but hidden inside something. If it was in color, it had to be stacked and visible. If it had special stars on it, that piece had to be the one with hidden objects inside. Even our 4-year-old understood the concept and was able to play along with us and big brother. I probably wouldn’t even hesitate to pull it out at game night with our adult friends because the fun flurry of stacking everything correctly gives you a bit of a rush!
Both Gigamons and Top That! are fun, family friendly games that I know for sure my boys will be playing for a while to come. Geared for ages 6 through adult and available now, check out the Blue Orange website for more details!