Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 1401 - Activities with the Kids

You're never too old for "Trouble"

As the kids get older it's easy to get lazy as a parent.  Sure you spend half your life being the taxi driver for sports, school, tutoring, training and friendship gatherings, but the days of craft, baking, jigsaw puzzles and board games often disappear into a world of homework, X-Box, Facebook, television and texting.

With my kids being 13 and 9 there's a point of relief when they reach an age they no longer need to be entertained by Mum.  A point where you start to sit back and focus on yourself while they're off doing their thing. A point where you take on your own projects knowing the kids are happy, fulfilled and entertained without you.  Then there's a point where you think "hang on, the kids are happy, fulfilled and entertained without you!"

In our house we spend our mornings doing homework and our evenings running between cheerleading, soccer, bowling and tutoring.  Tahlia of course still has evening homework and assignments as well. The only nights where we are all at home together as a family are Mondays and Sundays, (and Fridays and Saturdays if the kids or parents don't have friendship gatherings).  Those nights at home are usually spent eating dinner together, talking, and cuddling up on the couch for some TV.

Last night however Derek went all sports husband on me and sat flicking between the Monday night football and the Ashes.  So the kids and I adjourned to the parental suite and waited for X Factor.  We had an hour to kill before it started so rather than us all go off to separate corners of the house I thought it might be nice to organise some good old fashioned activities.

So I got the drawing gear out and gave them tips on how to sketch cool palm trees (in honour of our recent Hawaii travel), then I challenged us all to create pictures of a dog only using circles, triangles and squares. Once we were done with the drawing we had an epic game of Trouble which went for AGES! Tahlia spent most of the game with three of her pieces stuck in the start position with the 6 forever eluding her, as Darby and I battled it out for first place.  In some sort of weird vortex style switch she suddenly got three 6s in a row to come and swallow us both whole and win the game.  Crazy.  Exciting. There was screaming.  We were pumped.

By the time X Factor started we couldn't stop! The game was then played in the ads in a frenzied rush as we all sped our pieces around the board in "a quick game's a good game" mentality.   This going back to basics was fun! I'm thinking of creating a regular "Mummy's Monday" rule in the house so we schedule this kind of thing each week.

But then perhaps it's the lack of scheduling that made fun in the first place.

I don't know.

All I know is, this won't be the last time we're seeing Trouble.

What's your all time favourite board game?

Do have any good "old fashioned" family fun time secrets? 


  1. We used to play all the time at home, now we go for weekends away where we all play - mainly Bananagrams and 10 Days in Africa....42 people and about 25 playing board games at any one time (mainly adults with a few kids joining in) It's fun...

  2. Great idea to get everyone in the same room, it sure is easy to just all go to different sides of the house but takes some organising and enthusiasm to get everyone onto the same activity. We have game night once a week, instead of movie night. My hubby researched and found half a dozen new unique board games. They are really fun and even the 4 year old can hold his own on some of them. #teamIBOT

  3. Current favourites in our house are Lego games, chess and Dungeon. There is nothing like having all the kids home, crowded around to play, laugh, squeal and enjoy the interaction... Sometimes it's also sad when there isn't quite enough room for everyone to play!
    Since tv is a rarity in our home, games, reading, cross stitch and connecting take up that slack. Perhaps we are lucky. :). So glad you found that connection again Leanne! xxx

  4. Sounds like you had a great evening !!!
    We used to play cards or Rumicub as a family more than board games - we had heaps of fun with them.
    Have the best day !

  5. I love Trouble. That pic brought back memories. Even though I do long for that me time and for the day when the kids can play independently, I know I will miss them terribly. This post is a great reminder to enjoy them while I can :)

  6. Funny, my son was given this game for his 4th birthday. I haven't played it in years, but we pulled it out the other day and had a ball (that was until I won and he chucked a tanty to end all tanties! )

  7. SNAP! - I adore Trouble, we used to play it all the time as kids, I can't wait til mine are old enough to understand it. And wow what a busy life you have xx

  8. Trouble was my favourite board game as a kid, and it's still big in our house now. We're also big Monopoly fans in the school holidays when we have a whole day to laze. x

  9. I find I'm already salck at doing much with the kids, and happy for them to entertain themselves. I do need to change this though, cause Miss Ava is still very much in need of play time with mummy

  10. I used to love trouble as a kid, so much fun popping those dice. I had plenty of bros and sisters close to my age to play with. My girls love to play with the connect 4 game, but have no idea yet what it is all about :)

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  12. I haven't played Trouble for years! I think I may have to go and buy it ... such fond memories :) My son and I like to play a game called Pentago. It's won a stack of awards and is really easy to learn but that doesn't mean it doesn't make you use your brain! Ooo and as for family secrets (great question btw!), I've got a few that I'd better not tell and this little one that I'm sure I can tell now: my grandmother and her mother used to go to the races in the 1930s. Somehow or other they made friends with some jockeys. The jockeys would get my grandmother and great grandmother to place bets for them (because they weren't allowed to bet themselves). My grandmother told my mother (who told me) that they jockeys rigged most of the races between themselves and profited quite nicely from their secret bets! I don't know how much my GM and my GGM profited themselves from it ... maybe they just followed the jockeys' lead and bet on the same horse they were betting on, or maybe they took a cut. I found this out after my GM had passed away.


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