Family Game Time

As the season's change, the tone of our Shabbat changes.  Daylight Savings Time makes a stark shift in the leisure parts of holiday.  In summer we have a long leisurely afternoon and evening after services before Havdalah.  In winter, we get home from Shul, take a nice family walk and then it is almost time for Havdalah. 

In the peak of summer, we push dinner as late as possible then light candles early and head off to bed.  In winter, we light candles, sing songs and play for a bit before having an early dinner.  This winter, we have found a new Shabbat joy for the quiet Shabbat evenings.  We play games as a family.

Froggy has taken enthusiastically to all the games we have introduced.  The first was Streetcar.  It is a rail-building strategy game.  It is what I call a "book shelf cardboard game" which means it is full of cardboard pieces you use as you play.  The pieces are not as tiny as some of Abba's game so Froggy was able to handle them but it is not my ideal.  It took her about half the game to catch on but she enjoyed it enough to choose it again the following week.

Last night we introduced a new game at my insistence (Froggy would have chosen Streetcar again).  This time we played Carcassonne. It is a game recommended by lots of our friends as a game the whole family can enjoy for the long term. It is another strategy building type game.  It is a much longer game than Streetcar.  As well, the strategy is much more complicated with more choices and conditions to consider.  I don't think Froggy understood the game as well but she hung in there and seemed to enjoy herself.  She will grow in and with the game.  I would enjoy the game much more Streetcar so she will get lots of chances to practice and learn. 

The final game I want to mention is one Froggy specifically asked for, Apples to Apples.  They have it available at Shul for the kids to play while waiting for services to start or after Kiddush.  Froggy has not played there but was sufficiently taken with it to make a request.   We have the Disney version but can't play it at home since you have to have at least four players.  We are taking it with us to my sister's for Thanksgiving and will play it then.  It is word play game rather than a strategy game so it should be quite a different experience.


  1. I so much miss playing games with my kids on long winter Shabbat evenings!!! The big kids still ask, but half-heartedly, because they know I simply do not have the energy to do anything but read. :-(
    Good for you - it's a GREAT tradition.


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