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The Best Games You Will Ever Play

You will never play a more fun game than one created by a 4-year-old.  If you have never played a game created by a 4-year-old, you are missing out, because they are awesome. Here’s why:

1. Instructions on how to play are not linear.
Most games played by adults (or older children) have instructions that help the players get from start to finish.  Not so when a 4-year-old makes them up.  The instructions of the game are hardly ever established at the beginning of the game.  Playing a game a 4-year-old has created is a little like being in a foreign country riding a taxi cab. You are pretty sure you and the driver are on the same page with the destination, but in the end, you end up where ever the taxi driver thinks you should be.

2. No two times are ever the same.
Don’t think that just because yesterday you were allowed to take two turns if you were wearing red means that today will be the same.  In fact, it’s very likely that today wearing red will make you LOSE a turn.  Don’t try to out smart them but playing by their rules.  They will just change them.  Which brings me to #3.

3. The rules of the game almost never favor you.
I’m convinced that creating games foster amazing self-esteem in 4-year-olds.  It’s impossible for them to lose, thus instilling in them the idea that they are incredible at games. Once in a while, if you start threatening to leave, they might add a new rule that cuts you some slack, but don’t push it. If you start getting too far ahead, the rules will change again.  It’s best to just lay low if you find yourself winning.

4. No board games or elaborate playing pieces are required.
Yesterday I overhead the following conversation:
“Nathan, let’s play ‘Throw This to There’”
If you need more explanation, the game involved throwing a paratrooper down the steps.  (I feel I should also point out that Nathan never came over to play this game, but that did not deter Jackson one bit from playing for the next 15 minutes.)

5. You will fall in love with this kid by the end of the game.
It is impossible to not find the kid creating the game incredibly adorable.  The imagination flowing out of their mouths is so charming.  The best you can hope for is that this game will go on for hours.  Because 4-year-olds loves to play games.  And they love when you play with them.  And some day, I’m told, they will grow up and not want to spend hours and hours playing games with you. If you are lucky enough to play with them later in life, the instructions will make sense and be consistent. And there will be no flexibility in rules regardless of your shirt color. And to me, that sounds boring.

Comments

patrice
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you perfectly capture the magic.

wlebolt
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Okay – so if you read MY blog post, you will know about the ginormous chess set at the Homestead. After I took that photo a couple of kids barged in and started re-setting the pieces. I thought they were gonna play chess, Ha! The girl captured the boy’s king and held him hostage. Then the swinging of the pieces started. Ah…how I just don’t know the rules of the game anymore. (and if i could figure out the technology, I would post the picture I took of them.)

Playing the Game | Susan's 140 Plus
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[...] to play Chutes and Ladders with my kids. I’ve written before about what it’s like to play a game with a four-year-old. Playing a game with a three-year-old is a completely different story. It requires a lot of [...]

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