You don’t need to buy new games to play new games. The games you have around the house can be played with new rules.
Changing up checkers. Bashni is a crazy Russian variation of checkers that involves moving ever growing stacks of checkers around the board.
Scrambling Scrabble. If you have a set of Scrabble tiles at home, there’s almost no limit to the different kinds of games you can play with those tiles.
Monopoly Not Monotony. Ever notice the rules you play by don’t seem the same as the instructions? Ever play with a friend who has rules you never heard of? There are all sorts of ways to vary Monopoly. Maybe you can come up with some new ideas of your own.
These are only a few ideas. Look at the game you have at home and type the name of a game plus the word “variations” and you may get some helpful hits.
Sometimes all you need is a deck of playing cards, and you’re good to go for hours.
Just on this one site you can find 15 different card games. There are a variety of types of card games here, as well as games suited for different ages and for different numbers of players.
Not everyone can hold cards in their hands, so we’re providing a link to products that hold cards for players.
When you’ve run through all the card games you know, and you still are looking for something to do, it’s time to build a card house.
Here is a video that does the best job ever of explaining how, but we’d suggest leaving out the cinder block!
Now that you have the basics, you can do some utterly amazing things. Type card houses into images.google or YouTube to see some architectural wonders. You’re sure to be inspired, and when you are remember to take pictures of your creations and tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram.
Cooperative Games are games in which the players are not pitted against each other. Instead they work together to compete against an element of the game. It could be a time limit or a goal, or there could be chance elements that have the potential to defeat the players. For example, in Snow Storm, players turn up cards as they try to complete errands and get home during a winter storm. Sometimes they draw a helpful card, such as a snow plow, but other times they turn up ice. Cooperative board games are available for all ages, including adults.
Why Cooperative Games? The article we have linked discusses commonly cited reasons for adding cooperative games to your shelf. In addition, cooperative games make playing more accessible and fair. We used cooperative games in our inclusive after school program. The games created a more supportive playing environment for children with differing abilities and reduced the stress level for children with anxiety.
Creating new games and adapting old ones. If you’re stuck at home during the pandemic, you may not have access to cooperative games, but once you have the basic idea, you should be able to adapt some of your own games or create new ones. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Group Goals. Cooperative Scrabble. Cooperative Monopoly. Set a goal to reach collectively. For example, when playing Scrabble, set a goal of reaching a combined score of 500. Raise the goal every time the team wins. If you hit 515 points this time, can you hit 550 the next time you play? Similarly, set a group goal for cash earned in Monopoly. According to some sources, the original version of Monopoly, The Landlords Game, had cooperative options.
Beat the Clock. Cooperative Dragon Strike Game. Set a timer, and try to help all players reach a destination or accomplish a task before it goes off. For example, in Dragon Strike Game instead of trying to collect the treasure for yourself, change the game so that players must get all the treasures out before the timer goes off. This may require passing a treasure to another player if you are in trouble, which can actually be a more interesting way to play .
Adverse Cards or Dice Rolls. Cooperative Candy Land. Many cooperative games depend on all players competing with the game to complete a goal before something bad happens. What if the goal was to get everyone to the Candy Land house before mice ate it? Mark some of the playing cards with a small drawing of a mouse. Every time you turn up a mouse card, cover 1/10 of the house with a slip of paper. (You can adjust the amount of it takes to cover the house to increase or decrease the challenge.) All players simultaneously draw one card per round, and may strategically exchange cards to help one another advance. These more complex, strategic goals may make the game more fun for older children.
Commercial cooperative board games are readily available, and you will be able to find several curated lists by googling “cooperative board game.” Games are available at all levels, from preschool through adult. Parental discretion and a trigger warning: some have violent and/or macabre themes, and the most popular game, Pandemic, just might not seem like the best idea to some families! Here is one list of family-friendly games.
Printable cooperative games. Parental Discretion. This list, like many lists we found, is leveled for all ages and does include some games that may not be appropriate for all players!
Due to a power outage, this post was delayed and will cover the 10th and 11th.
Drawing Room Games.
Today’s activities link you to games that involve drawing. You don’t have to be a great artist to play, in fact, a lot of the hilarity happens when the drawings are less than perfect. We have adapted one activity for players who are non-verbal or unable to hold a pencil. We also have additional suggestions for modifying these activities. All of these games can be played using apps like Zoom or FaceTime. Please tag us at enrichmentalliance when you share your fun.
Draw my picture. Two players back to back, each is drawing the same thing. Or are they?
Drawception. A personal favorite, this hilarious game is a little like “Telephone” but with a delightful twist that makes it ten times the fun.
And the list goes on. We gave you links to two great examples. Want to keep going? Here are 15 more! But why stop there? Invent your own drawing games. Find Enrichment Alliance of Virginia on Facebook and share your rules with us.
Adapting Drawception. For non-verbal players and participants with fine motor differences, fill a basket with objects, especially small figurines, matchbox cars, and other representative items. Set up a barrier such as a trifolded piece of cardboard large enough to conceal the scenes created by the players. Put the basket behind the barrier. For this modified game, begin with the image, not the caption, Have the player pick a small number of objects and arrange them behind the barrier. They may take a picture of the scene to share later or, if playing remotely, to send to a friend.
A second player looks behind the barrier and writes down or dictates a caption on a piece of paper which is then folded in half. The figures are returned to the basket and put out in view of other players. The caption is passed to the next player, who tries to illustrate the caption either by drawing or through same method of creating a scene behind the barrier. Proceed with the above rules for Drawception using these modifications.
Other Adaptations for Differing Abilities. Here are a few more ideas for adapting these games for people with fine motor challenges:
Engage gross motor skills instead by drawing with large chalk on a sidewalk or driveway,
Or using paint and cotton-balls, draw on chart paper or other large paper.
Work in pairs drawing side-by-side, step-by-step. (Team Member One draws a circle; team member two draws the circle, etc).
Work in pairs, taking term. Team Member One draws a circle; Team Member Two draws eyes in the circle.
Work in teams and let one person dictate while the other draws.
Our director, MaryAnna, learned this mind-blowing card trick from her mother as a child and reports that no one she knows has ever been able to figure out how it works. It will work every time, but YOU MUST COUNT CAREFULLY. Practice counting smoothly, too, so that your friend won’t understand how you got to your answer. You can try this at home with your family, or use a phone app. Look up card tricks and mathematical card trips for more jaw dropping tricks.
Magic tricks using a any pen you have on hand. (Until you don’t). As they say, it’s all a slight of hand. Practice these tricks in front of a mirror, or video tape yourself. Then put on a magic show.
Art and Literature
Older children and teens, download a trickster tale in the library and record or illustrate it for a young friend or sibling. If you don’t have a library card, you can download a temporary one. If you want to share your story publicly, you will need to to retell it in your own words or you may get into copy right issues. Here’s a link to the JMRL catalog, filtered by “trickster tales ebooks.” Look for books with “J” in the call number.
Here are two traditional trickster tales read aloud. One of them is signed in a combination of American and British Sign Language. The stories are suitable as stand-alones for younger children.
Retell a fairy tale. There’s always more than one side to every story. This website gives you some great ideas on how to write different versions of favorite fairy and folk tales. If you loved Ella Enchanted, you’ll love this activity.
Story baskets. Adapted. If you are the kind of person who likes props and visuals, fill a basket with action figures, plastic houses, and dragon puppets, whatever you can find that belongs in a fairy tale and use it to retell a favorite story. Share your pictures with your friends and be sure to tag #enrichmentalliance.
Make your own science museum. Fill boxes, baskets, bins, whatever you have on hand, with hands-on science materials. This link will give you some ideas. You are not likely to have the slick looking materials in their images lying around the house, but see what you can do instead. Can you find a measuring tape? A magnet? Share pictures of YOUR science kit with us on Instagram: enrichmentalliance.
Make your own fitness center. If you have cardboard, tape, socks, etc, you have a fitness center. This link is full of suggestions on how to put it all together and turn a corner of your home into your own gym. Post pictures of your equipment and share them with enrichmentalliance.
Art and Literature
Make your own library. The link on the left shares a few ideas for creating your own reading nook. Once you look at these ideas, you’ll probably have more ideas of your own. Make a reading nook and please, send us a picture at enrichmentalliance on Instagram. Now all you need are some books, right? That’s easier than you might know.
Instead of our usual breakdown by subject, today we are listing two sets of short films and one recommendation for online classes.
Online Film Classes.
Inspired to make your own films? Charlottesville’s Lighthouse Studio is currently offering “pay what you can” online film making classes. This very generous offer will turn time at home into an opportunity to develop talents and document an historic episode of children’s lives.
Share your creations as you go. Tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram or post on our Facebook Page, Enrichment Alliance of Virginia.
Look up at any window. You might see a bear. Or if our idea takes off, maybe favorite gaming images instead. Communities around the country are taking the children’s rhyme “Going on a bear hunt” and turned it into a game for the COVID-19 quarantine. The link on the left tells you about the game in Augusta County. Take a walk around Augusta towns and see for yourself.
This sounds like so much fun, we think you could be excused for stealing the idea and giving it your own twist.
Network with your friends to pick a favorite gaming character from any video game. Have everyone print pictures of the character and put them in their windows. You might have figurines or stuffed toys you can put out also.
Use social networking to get the word out to get friends and neighbors. And friends of friends. And neighbors of neighbors. Ad infinitum. In addition to the apps you usually use, neighborhood apps and neighborhood list serves might be especially helpful. Once you get the word out, take a walk every day to to see if the character you suggested is showing up in any windows.
Remember, this will only happen if you get the word out to lots of people.
Art and Literature
Sidewalk Art. Do you remember the sidewalk art scene in Mary Poppins? How the sidewalk came alive with the work of a street artist? Bring your sidewalk alive with sidewalk art ideas. Or draw a gaming character from the activity above, or a bird from the activity below, and encourage walkers to come find your masterpiece.
Science and Math
Birdzilla. Download this bird bingo game, and mark the spot when you see a matching bird.
Bird Bingo Adapted. If listening works better than looking, familiarize yourself with these birdsongs. Each player picks five birds to listen for. Who will hear all five of their birds first?
Make your own board game. This video by the National Museum of Australia is full of great ideas for creating board games using readily available materials. The museum has additional videos and activities.
Movement and Music Games. Yesterday we posted a link to a rock podcast. Use the podcast to play some music and movement games, like musical hide and seek.
Science and Math
Brainteasers. How quickly can you do the penny triangle challenge? This and other brain challenges use materials you should be able to find around the house, but if not, just improvise, sticks for toothpicks, buttons for pennies.
Making Games Work…. This article has outstanding suggestions for making board games frequently played at home accessible at all levels.