Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Rainy, Friendless Day

For the most part, Ryder is pretty sociable. He goes to school all day and not even 10 minutes after he gets home, someone is knocking at our door. "Can Ryder come out and play?" As a parent, you probably know how much joy it can bring you to know your kids have friends.

But, every once in a while, either because of weather or other things, Ryder is left friendless. He's not a kid who plays great on his own. So, of course, he leans to his default friend. ME. Which I love but at the same time dread. My husband works away for 10 days at a time so for part of the time it's like being a single parent. (kuddos to you single parents out there, you rock!)

I had things around the house to do and dinner to cook and I hadn't really factored "play time" into that schedule. So, I asked him to amuse himself for a couple hours with a promise to play after dinner was finished and cleaned up.

6:30pm. It is now time to own up to that promise. He suggests video games. As this is a weekday and the day is winding down, that was a definite "no". I suggest a board game. We love board games so off he went to the shelf to grab one. Tonight's game of choice: CANDYLAND

Today was a stressful day for me of which I had no time for so I was very happy to play a mindless "race to the end" type game. 

If you have never played Candyland before (have you been living on Mars?), here is the gist of it:

1. recommended for ages 3 and up. I consider this game geared mostly towards pre-school children. It  is extremely simple with no thought required. It also, only takes about 2 minutes to play. I suspect the age rating is purely for choking reasons. However, my son loves it and I know many other children his age (7) and even older who like to play it.
Everything included in Candyland

2. The game comes with 4 playing pieces; A gingerbread person, some sort of gummy candy, an ice cream cone and a marshmallow. My son always picks the ice cream and insists on me being the marshmallow. It has one game board, instructions and a spin dial. 

3. Youngest player goes first and gives the dial a spin. You move to either a single color, a candy square or move forward two colors if you spin a double color. Along the way you pass though different candy lands; Peppermint Forest, Nana's Nut House, Licorice Lagoon, Lollipop Palace, Frosted Palace and finally the winner arrives at King Kandy's Castle by spinning any color. Super simple, super quick.
Game play!

I like Candyland for a few reasons. It's mindless, no thought required. It's quick. Set up is minimal. It comes in a smaller box compared to normal sized games. But, what I really love is that, I think because it is so simple my son uses his imagination to make it more interesting. He does voices. He pretends he is going fast or slow. Sometimes he gets caught in sugar (quick) sand. Licorice Lagoon is the bad guy. Sometimes, its stormy in Candyland. Sometimes we use 2 playing pieces each and have to work as a team to win. There are also a few useless pink candy spaces along the board that serve no purpose. We haven't really come up with a way to use them in the game but would love to have some ideas!

Candyland is also a retro game. It first dazzled children back in 1949! It has changed a bit since back then. You used to use cards to decide where to move to instead of a dial and some of the names have changed. It has certainly stood the test of time. I didn't have Candyland when I was a child. I did, however, have a Candyland jigsaw puzzle. I have searched mercilessly for a picture online of the puzzle I had but to no avail.
1980's version that I remember playing

In the end we played for about 45 minutes which was awesome! That took us right up to bedtime snack time. I was going to pass Candyland along to a younger child, but I think we will keep it for now. It was a great way to spend some time together without using any kind of screen. And to me, that counts for quite a lot.