Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Game On!

If the summer slump has got you down, you can always try to entertain your kids by yourself. Like the mom I saw at Wal-Mart today. She had given her fourish-year-old son a frying pan and he was swinging it like a baseball bat. In the light bulb aisle.

Or, you can do what we like to do and let your children entertain you. Dance monkey dance. No, just kidding. It really is entertaining when they come up with their own games for everyone to play. The youngest is particularly adept at this skill. It’s a cool thing. Her father’s company should go ahead and get her under contract now. She’s pretty much the best games designer I know. His company does have a decent track record with games so I think it would be a win-win.

I mean, I have no Clue if they will get upset about her copyright infringement with the name of her most recent game. I am sure she would say she was Sorry about it. I guess they do kind of have a Monopoly on the games market, what with them Connecting 4 of the biggest game companies together and forming one big company. I think she wouldn’t have to Scrabble around too much and wrack her Cranium to come up with a new name, so that’s probably a moot point anyway.

So, I am finished with my super-excellent-company-name-disguising now. I am NOT a name-dropper!

The child in question is eight. If you followed my blog way back in yesteryear when I actually wrote semi-routinely, you would have seen some of her earlier work with full-scale whole-house candyland (lower case to show how different it is from the commercially-sold game).

This time she was even more inventive. She dove into the craft room with paper and scissors and glue galore. Snippets of paper were flying everywhere, cats were camped out under the table to bat at each new piece.

Later in the afternoon, she began taping letters to the breakfast nook blinds. Where we tape our hastily scrawled “Happy Birthday (your name here)” banners before the birthday person makes it down to breakfast. We are such planners.

The letters looked like this:

Yes, she does semi-copyright her game on the sign, despite its incredible likeness to two different and previously copyrighted games. 


Kahoot is a website and app that will let the user create a quiz and then allow others to “join” the quiz with the use of a specific password. The quiz is viewed on a main device and participants have to log their answers on their personal devices. In this application, she used a laptop as the main quiz device and we all logged in with tablets or phones.  The kicker is that the full answers appear only on the main device, with a corresponding shape that shows up on your personal device. You have to be able to view the main device.  Tricky!

I think that most of the free world and 96.8% of the people in undeveloped nations know how to play traditional Candyland. I will not describe it here.

The child has mad skills. She knew we were having friends over to eat dinner and, therefore, she gained a captive audience. They knew something was up, because this was greeting them when they first came in the house:

“Is the panda reeeeeally necessary???” asked one of her super-supportive older sisters.

“Yes. The panda is necessary because pandas are awesome.”

Um, duh!?

Since there was a plethora of adolescents in our party, there were plenty of devices. After dinner, she said nonchalantly, “Does anybody want to play a game?”

She was sweetly using her status as the youngest.


“Awesome, I’ll be right back!”

She sprinted to the craft room to retrieve the game board, cones, and many baggies. She also had various construction-paper shapes that were our game pieces.

“You can all choose what you want to be. You can be a stick, a pyramid, a beach, the grasslands, a monster, the sky or a Rocky Mountain.”

She returned and directed us all to log into the Kahoot quiz she had created. Actually, it was the first of three quizzes. We would answer the questions on Kahoot via our devices. Whoever answered each question correctly would get to draw from the “forward” cone. Small, colored paper squares with numbers on them filled the cone. Whichever square you drew determined how many spaces you moved on the board.

“So, that is really the funnel of fun,” asked one of the teens.

“It is the forward cone… If you get it wrong you draw from the backward cone.”

“So, the cone of shame?”

Really the teenagers were quite merciless to the sweet little one. Her revenge was swift.

“Okay, get ready. Here is the first question.”

What is 100,245 minus 25,107?

I kid you not. She designed the quiz herself and wrote all of the questions. And you have only a few seconds to answer. And your point value drops the longer you take. Luckily we weren’t playing traditional Kahoot. This was Kahoot Candyland. Points didn’t count.

The game progressed forward (with a few having to dip into the cone of shame) and we completed the five questions in the math quiz. Up next was the animals portion.

Witch animal has 12 kinds of it's kinds?

*Spelling has not been changed to support the authenticity of Kahoot Candyland.

We moved through the board, people uttering phrases like, “can you please move the stick up three oranges?” and “I need the monster to move one blue.”

We finally reached the end (after a whirlwind "summer" quiz) and a winner was announced. Hooray!!!!

And then we had to play for 2nd-7th places. Hooray…

When we finished, she disappeared for a short time and we could smell a Sharpie in use.

“I have to add something now that I know who won,” she yelled to us.

When she returned, she handed out a baggie with a certificate that read:

“First place? Congrats! Way to go! You must know a lot about math, animals, and summer.”

And the baggie contained a rubber-band bracelet and a certificate for:

“3 free sissy time and breakfast in bed.”

She tailored the prizes to the winners after she saw who won. So customized!

Second place? I'm no slouch myself! I mean, I’m not 10 like the winner, but…

“Just barely way to go.”


“3 free mommy and Sammy time.”

Yep. That’s what my certificates said.

Third place got a certificate that was elegant in its simplicity. It read: “Almost.”

But it did include a bracelet.

Fourth place elicited a “good try” and a “Three free sissy time” certificate.

Fifth place, “nice try” and a bracelet.

Sixth place said “You’ll get ‘em next time.” and seventh got lost before I could write down what it said. I know they both included bracelets. Seventh probably had a platitude like, “Wow! You’ve got a pulse,” or, “Who’d have ever thought you would have known the names of the colors on the board? Kudos!”

In all, we had a great time. The game was well planned and executed, personal and detailed. And fun. Success!

Are you taking notes, company that doesn’t make Barbies?????

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