We are going Monopoly-crazy around here lately. My kids have each decided to make their own monopoly-type game and are really enjoying themselves.
Carmen decided on a fish theme, as she has recently gotten some guppies as her first fish to care for (you can read all about that story on my HSB blog, if you are anxious for the details. Mama guppy has that pregnancy "glow" - due date is early March). Carmen has worked hard on her game and it's a lot of fun. She spent today making more cards for her "scale" and "fin" parts of the game (aka "chance" and "community chest" in the regular Monopoly game). She also searched our bead box (doesn't everyone have a bead box in their home?) for beads that were remotely fish-related. She came up with a star shape for a starfish, a whale and 3 different colored dolphins (she calls them fish and who am I to argue). I let this be her school today and yesterday but, shhhh, don't tell her she's learning while she works on this. She asks when she needs help spelling but she also looks at fish books for correct spelling of words and fish. When you "got the bait" that means you get sent to jail. You get the idea. I played the game with her yesterday, before she had completed it, and I got sent to jail 4 times. She, however, won the money that gets put in the middle 5 times. Personally, I think she rigged the game.
Chad was inspired to make an auto-themed game since he's into collecting pocket-sized cars (I don't want to use a copyrighted name here) so he has "stop" and "go" and properties related to the auto world. He used a ruler to count and measure evenly and make straight lines on his board (something he doesn't usually care about, straight lines I mean). He and Carmen spent all afternoon at the diningroom table, working on their boards. I love to see these two siblings working together, bonding, as I know it's important to Chad to be liked by his little sister. They have never really been very close until the fish entered our lives. A real blessing.
Alec began a navy-themed game with battleships and all but soon lost interest. That's fine. At least I can walk through the kitchen again, as that is where all this begin a few days ago. I have a big roll of unprinted newspaper which is great when you need really big paper and my kitchen was strewn with paper, pencils, rulers and kids. I love it when they get really involved in projects. I especially love it when they finish a project. Does this happen in your home? Really great ideas kind of fizzle out about half the time around here. Is it my fault or is it the natural course of things. Don't know. At least two children have enjoyed the latest great ideas. And with games, you can play them again, which is a plus. Some projects take up a lot of room and then you don't know what to do with them.
My advice - the next time you need or want a project for whatever reason, perhaps making up a game about whatever you are teaching or interested in would go over well. I can't take the credit for this - it was completely my kids' idea. I love that even more.