Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Twelve

On the twelfth day of Prepping, my Prepper gave to me,

... games and toys to play with;
... pins and sewing needles;
... thermal underwear;
... a spice rack full of flavor;
... hand-tools for the kitchen;
... Forager's cooking kit;
... a Diva for the ladies;
...canning jars with rings;
... a cast iron skillet;
... a French coffee press;
... black turtle beans;
... and a sapling apple tree.

There's that saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

I think the word "dull" doesn't necessarily mean "boring", but rather, I think not learning to play makes people dull-witted. I think using our imaginations is key - to our sanity, to our success, and to our happiness; and really, when I say "happiness" I mean it to be synonymous with success.

Game playing can satisfy a lot of needs. It can be for pure fun, but it can also be educational, and frankly, many of the games my girls play serve both purposes. Like Yahtzee. We may not think much about it, but really, Yahtzee is all about mathematical skills - counting, addition/subtraction, grouping.

We play a lot of games as a family. In fact, we had to have a whole closet to house all of the games we have, from simple word games (my favortie - Scrabble!) to very complex reasoning games (we have three or four different chess sets). Currently, my girls' favorite game is Apples to Apples, which doesn't require a lot of skill, but can be just pure fun ... or it can require a lot very complex reasoning and association skills, depending on who's playing.

When I mentioned this was my topic for this post, Deus Ex Machina told me that he's been looking at the game Wild Crafting for a while. I asked him why he hasn't gotten it, because it looks exactly like something our family would enjoy.

Games are an excellent tool, both for learning, but also for just spending time ... and in my experience a game is a much better way to while away the hours than television.

It might be a little late to start looking for presents for those hard-to-shop-for people, but if there's still someone on your list, consider a game. And games don't have to be bought. There are plenty of games that can be hand-made pretty quickly and easily - often with things on hand.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday and abundance in the coming year. Just remember: don't focus on limitations, imagine possibilities and when you do, you'll always thrive, not just survive.


  1. We have Wildcraft and really like it! We recently invested in a fold-up wooden chess/checkers/backgammon game and some card games as well. UNO! is one that even pre-readers can play with a wee bit of help at the beginning. My little guy loves to take out the cards from the Scrabble card game a friend sent us last year, and try to make words with them. Same with the regular Scrabble game. I'm forever finding Scrabble tiles and chess pieces built up together - but I can't blame him much as the wooden game pieces definitely call to me too. Another fun one is Gardenopoly - but I think Wildcraft is better for learning about medicinals, etc.

  2. By cutting back on work by 25% in February, March and April (on a trial). I hope feel less stressed to be able to squeeze in weekly board game nights again.

  3. Great site (WildCrafting Game), Wendy... Thanks! I downloaded their free eBook on Healing Herbs, and also their free Wild Foods Cookbook. Their game goes on my Wish List.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. A deck of cards, or maybe two or three depending. It's amazing how well cards scale from one player (zillions of solitaire variations) to many (canasta and others). I remember my parents playing Peanut (aka Pounce or Nerts), a really fast-paced card game for two, many of my childhood nights. Less often, they'd play Pinochle. Cribbage was a staple of my spectator days as well.

    Once in a while, we'll break out the dominoes and play (usually) Mexican Train. They're for more than chain reactions!

    We got Mason a train table for Christmas, the kind with wooden tracks and train cars, and it was a good choice. No power required (although some of the accessories have batteries to run optional noisemakers) and the main problem is tearing him away from it to eat or sleep.

  5. Just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed your Twelve Days of Christmas posts. And my favorite word game is also Scrabble. My husband and I will keep the board out for months (a really cool one - it swivels!), playing at night, before we get tired of it and pack it away for a while.

  6. This is a great series of posts!

    We have Wild Craft, and my 5 year old loves it! Last year (or was it two years ago?), when I got a bug bite, he said "find some plantain!" :)