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Play These Games: 101 Delightful Diversions Using Everyday Items Paperback – May 1, 2012
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Reviewed by Sarah L.
Review Copy Provided by the Publisher
Play These Games is the perfect handbook for those looking for inexpensive, easy to play games for a variety of ages and number of players. This book would have been a lifesaver for me the summer I was the games instructor at my son's day camp or even back when I had my own in-home daycare. Each game has good detailed instructions including how many players, a brief overview of the game, materials needed, prep work and how to play. While the illustrations are fairly basic, they are still easily understandable.
The games are broken down by categories such as balloons, hula hoops, paper, cardboard boxes, etc. Each category starts off with interesting tidbits about the main item. For example, did you know that "early balloons were made from dried animal bladders"? The book is filled with lots of fun, interesting facts. Most of it probably could be called useless trivia but the kids and I got a huge kick out of it.
The book kind of reminded me of the game show Minute to Win It. I like how basic everyday stuff around the house was used in fun and unique ways. One thing I would have liked to have seen included was alternate directions for some of the games involving lots of players so they could be adapted to smaller groups. Some categories like balloons seemed to have mostly games for 3+ players but buttons however were geared more for 1 or 2 players.
Finally, I like the variety of skill levels throughout. Some games such as balloon battle or house of books were pretty basic but some like the pinball machine and mini foosball were much more elaborate and will be tackled sometime in the future. My family's favorite so far is indoor tennis.
How about a goofy game of "Loony Balloons?" All it takes is writing paper, pen or pencil, scissors, plenty of balloons, and the ability to write goofy directions on paper, like "Rub your belly and pat your head while singing the Star Spangled Banner," which will be inserted into the balloons. The game involves bouncing the balloons until they pop when one discovers secret directions to follow. Silly but can liven up a party for sure or a boring afternoon. Trivia questions can be substituted in place of silly directions for any age group.
Or perhaps you might like a game of "Money in the Bank" where one plays with buttons representing a nickel, dime or whatever value you choose. On the other hand, maybe you love puzzles and can create your own with craft sticks, messing up the sticks after drawing your picture on the sticks and then giving your players a set (or no definite) time to reassemble the puzzle pieces.
These games also involve beanbags, books, cardboard boxes, dress-ups, felt, foam boards, paper cups, digital camera and photo printer, ping-pong balls, and so many more items that are cheap and will provide hours of planning and fun. The games range from easy to complex which obviously covers a broad age range.
This is a great book and one this reviewer intends to keep and use with my next day or evening with friends, family, and acquaintances. Eating and drinking are great at a get-together but adding one of these games will provide a memorable time for all! Unique and very nicely done, Heather Swain!
Pen or pencil
Write silly actions on the papers like..Bark like a dog, act like a chicken, Moo like a cow, etc. Write enough actions for each person playing. Put the papers in the balloons, blow them up.
How to play:
Everyone sits in a circle on the floor. Hand the first balloon to the first person, who bounces on it three times. If it pops, the player finds the instruction and follows it, than moves to the outside of the circle. Repeat until everyone has had a turn.
Love to play golf or even miniature golf. Well you can play it at home. Stuffed animal charades. There are so many games that I know me and my nephews will have tons of fun trying them all out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have a 4 year old and 20 month old and this book has brought many smiles to our family on rainy days.Published 21 months ago by Wayne
The best toys cost close to nothing, and can be made from around the house. This book tels you how.Published on October 31, 2013 by Peter Pumpkin Eater