Family size may have shrunk over the years, but these classic evergreens sure haven’t!
At The Better Toy Store, we may have a wide assortment of fun and unique games, but we also still fully believe in the play value of some of the world’s most classic old favourites. From Snakes & Ladders and Old Maid to Ludo and Backgammon, these old-school bestsellers are just as useful in teaching rules, fairness, specific developmental skills, and even social graces.
This month, we celebrate our Games Month Special by highlighting the best of our card and board game classics here at our stores!
MISTIGRI / MISTIBOO
More Commonly Known As… Old Maid
The Basics: Also known as a ‘scapegoat game’, the goal is to avoid being the one with a particular card. Whoever is holding on to that card when the game ends, loses.
What Kids Learn: To be a good sport.
Keep In Mind: Because this is, essentially, a scapegoat game, the effects of losing tend to be somewhat stronger and more dramatized. While DJECO’s Mistigri and Mistiboo de-stigmatize ‘Old Maid’ with its cute and quirky illustrations, you might still want to be gentle with introducing this to beginning players – especially if you haven’t quite acquainted them with the concept of losing yet.
More Commonly Known As… Snap
The Basics: To win all the cards by being the first to spot matching cards. Bataflash makes it all the more challenging with different combinations of animals in one card, making it harder to determine identical pairs.
What Kids Learn: Speed, Observation
Keep In Mind: The level of speed and observation from one child to the next can vary drastically with age. Try to keep the group size close in terms of age and ability: for example, you wouldn’t want to pit a six-year-old against an eight-year-old.
More Commonly Known As… Bluff.
The Basics: A game that requires you to bluff with conviction (and be able to call others out on their bluff) to win. Players aim to be the first to get rid of their cards by matching category type (hairy, naked, feathered, or dressed). If they don’t have one, they can either be honest and pass their turn, or try to ‘bluff’ by putting a different card with hopes that no one calls you out on your bluff.
What Kids Learn: EQ, Being able to accurately read expressions and body language.
Keep In Mind: This game was designed to develop a child’s EQ and to help them be more aware of their emotional surroundings; and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a game that ‘teaches children how to lie without batting an eyelid’.
The Basics: To collect as many sets of families as possible, by strategically asking other players for the cards they need.
What Kids Learn: Social Interaction, Memory, Honesty
Keep In Mind: This game is a fantastic way for you to observe your child’s degree of integrity and honesty because, 1) You cannot deceptively ask for a card to a family you don’t have (just to thwart other players); and 2) when asked for a particular card and you have it on hand, you cannot not hand it over. Trust us, there will still be lil rule breakers who will conveniently forget these two game rules whenever the situation calls for it!
More Commonly Known As… UNO.
The Basics: To get rid of all your cards by associating with the previous card’s color or animal.
What Kids Learn: Offensive and Defensive Strategizing
The Basics: To move all of your checkers around the board and back into your starting home point. The rules of this game are simple, but strategizing can get complex depending on the skill levels of the players.
What Kids Learn: Strategy
SNAKES & LADDERS
The Basics: Throw the die to move your pawn up the board. Land at the base of a ladder and you get to climb up. But if you stop at the top of a chute, you’ll slide back down.
What Kids Learn: To take turns, count spaces, and accept rewards and consequences.
Keep In Mind: At this age, games are more about the journey than the destination. For a preschooler, this game could evolve into an elaborate fantasy. Your kid may actually want to go down the ladder. Let him.
The Basics: To make valid moves to empty the entire board until only a solitary peg is left in the central hole.
What Kids Learn: Patience
Keep In Mind: This game requires a lot of patience and countless times of trials and errors. If it’s your lil one’s first time at this, you may want to sit with him. Solitaire can prove a challenge even for the grown-ups, not to mention that it provides perfect bonding opportunities for you and your child!