Saturday, August 13, 2011

From bored to board (game), and a giveaway

Have you ever wondered what people who do not have a television do for entertainment?





Back when I was in 7th or 8th grade my class was on a school field trip hiking through the woods in a very backward part of Bavaria (Germany). We passed near an old farmhouse, and one of my friends whispered to me that she had heard the family who lived there didn't have a TV. It was as if someone had told me they believed the Earth was flat. No TV? I mean, did they even have electricity and running water? Surely, they must have WANTED a TV, but just weren't able to have one for a lack of electricity?

The idea that a TV is as much a household staple as, say, indoor plumbing was ingrained in me, even though growing up we were (thankfully) not allowed to watch much. Not much by American standards, anyway - we probably averaged an hour a day.

Ever since my husband and I have been married, which will be 11 years tomorrow, we have never had a television. And honestly - we NEVER miss it. We never feel "bored" - I wish there were more hours in a day, there's so much to do!

 I have loved and played this game since I was younger than Solomon

One thing all of us enjoy are board games. We have had so many hours of fun together playing games - well, until someone loses, that is. 

But - all board games are not created equal. There may be hundreds of different kinds of "Monopoly" out there, but that does not make the game any more appealing.

Just like there are book publishers, there are companies that publish board games. Certain companies  tend to publish certain types of games. In the world of board games, "Milton Bradley", "Hasbro", "Parker Brothers", and the like are what romance novels are to fine literature.

A great place to find "specialty" (i.e. prize-winning, high-quality, and usually imported) board games are game stores at the mall, so long as you can get past the columns of Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. The staff there should also be able to help answer your questions, and make recommendations.


 These are not all of our games and puzzles, but most of them. The last shelf was messy so I am not including a picture of it! :)

The most reliable indicator for great games is the German "Game of the Year" award, and  I am not just being biased here. It is BY FAR the most prestigious board game award in the world - it's what the "Oscars" are to movies, minus drunk floozies in scandalous outfits. If a game has it, it is guaranteed to be truly great, and something you will enjoy playing for years and years.




Below is a list of past winners. The ones in bold are games we currently own. The ones in italics are ones we have owned or played a lot in the past. 


2011: Qwirkle
2010: Dixit
2009: Dominion
2008: Keltis
2007: Zooloretto
2006: Thurn and Taxis
2005: Niagara
2004: Ticket to Ride
2003: Alhambra
2002: Villa Paletti
2001: Carcassonne
2000: Torres
1999: Tikal
1998: Elfenland
1997: Mississippi Queen
1996: El Grande
1995: The Settlers of Catan
1994: Manhattan
1993: Call My Bluff / Liar's Dice
1992: Um Reifenbreite
1991: Drunter und Druber
1990: Adel Verpflichtet / Hoity Toity
1989: Cafe International
1988: Barbarossa
1987: Auf Achse
1986: Heimlich & Co. / Top Secret Spies
1985: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
1984: Railway Rivals
1983: Scotland Yard
1982: Enchanted Forest
1981: Focus
1980: Rummikub
1979: Hare and Tortoise


Other than buying a game based on awards (and nominees for awards), these are the names of board game publishers that reliably release great games:
 
Rio Grande Games
Ravensburger
Hans im Gl├╝ck
Kosmos
F.X. Schmid
Schmid Spiele

Especially for kids also:

Gamewright
Haba
Selecta

Board games are great fun for kids of all ages. I have so many memories of playing games with my older brothers. Our kids, in turn, play games pretty much every single day, and also enjoy building puzzles that actually fit properly, and only one way. Next time you are at the mall, why not see if they have a board game store? If you end up buying a game, it will make for wonderful nights of family fun.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For now, here is a little giveaway to reward those of you who have read through this long-winded post:

the game "Orchard" by Haba



This is an extremely popular specialty children's game. So popular, in fact, that about 10 different variations have been made from it, but this is the original one. It retails for $35-40. I snatched up this particular copy at the thrift store for $1.50, planning to give it away because we already own a copy of it.

This game is what is known as a "cooperative" game, meaning that instead of children playing against each other, they all fight together to win against a common enemy, in this case a hungry raven that wants to eat the fruit in the orchard. The children either all win together, or all lose. I am not against competitive games at all, but this one is not that type. 

The fruits are all made from wood, as are the little fruit baskets for collecting the fruit. This game is great even just used as a toy, to sort fruit into baskets, or for pretend play.


To enter, simply leave a comment below about your favorite board game, games you enjoyed playing as a child, or other ideas for spending quality time with the family that do not involve electronic gadgets.

The fine print:

  • Open only to US residents (Sorry... the box is very big and would cost a fortune to ship overseas)
  • Anonymous comments are ok, but you must include your name. You don't have to like me to win, but rude comments will not be published. If you win, I will obviously need your shipping address, though.
  • Only one entry per family
  • The game is complete, but in gently used condition.
  • Giveaway ends 11:59 PM next Sunday, August 21st.

60 comments:

  1. What is the name of the game being played in the first picture? It looks very familiar but I am unable to place it.

    Thanks,
    Debra

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  2. Wow! Nice giveaway! I am NOT entering, tho, but had to say: I'm a jigsaw puzzle junkie!! LOL! And...I used to be a t.v. watching addict. Turning my attentions to jigsaws (at the beginning) was what helped me get off the t.v. We still have one, but it sits unused and maybe 3 hours a week it is on. Fortunately, our son has no interest in it. Wow on your puzzle collection! I am impressed!!

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  3. This was such a great post! You have sooooo many games...I REALLY thought that I had a lot of games...ha ha! :)

    Wow~ it's hard to pick a favorite though. I think the game we really love right now (which may sound kind of boring) is SET (card game).

    Well, awesome giveaway!!!

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  4. I would really love this for my kids and have been looking for this game. I have not been able to afford it though.

    I scored a Ravensburger game at a salvage store in perfect condition...the "Rivers, Roads and Railways" one. It's basically got little square cards where you all work together to create different scenes every time.

    I'm not against competitive games either but I prefer cooperative ones, as children do need BOTH skills, yet we tend to need to cooperate more than we need to compete in real life.

    Thanks for this post, this is one of my favorites.

    I liked Monopoly growing up, but that's because it's all I knew. So many of these other games look so much more exciting, and with my children in particular, look more like something they can play.

    I'd love to win this game.

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  5. We are also a TV"less" family and play a lot of board games. There are quite a few that we really enjoy. Life on the Farm by We R. Fun, Rummikub, and Construction to name only a few. This game sounds very interesting and I'm sure our children would enjoy it.

    ajoyfulnoise(at)live(dot)com

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  6. I've heard about cooperative games, but I think I've only played competitive ones. How cool!

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  7. I know that game ! I played it A LOT when we were younger, my sister and I ! It's very nice, and funny, and I just LOVED the cherries !
    I think what I liked the most was even before we played, when we had to put the fruits on the board.

    I'm so glad you wrote something about your family life, this is always what I like in your blog. Living without a TV doesn't seem that hard for me, as I hardly ever watch it, but it is so rare those days to meet someone who willfully doesn't have one.

    My favourite game is called "Time's up", but it's a french game. Do you know it, or does it exist in English ? There are cards on which names of famous people are written, and there are three parts. This is played in teams of 2. First, you pick the packet of cards and you make your partner guess which character you are describing. Only talking, so. When he/she guesses, you won the card and take it from the pile.
    Then, you have to mime the characters (it's always the same pile of cards, so every card has already been played, and you know about every person that appears).
    And last, you just say one word and the other has to guess who you are talking about. For example if the name on the card is "Jesus" you could say "Saviour".
    The game is called "Time's up" because you only have little time to make your partner guess, 2 minutes each time, then the next person gets the pile and makes his/her own partner guess.

    You can make it yourself, as it doesn't need anything except a timer and cards. You can put people you know, for example, or Bible people, because they know the Bible pretty well.

    It's very funny, and it can be played by as many people as you want, you just have to get more cards the more you are.

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  8. We are trying to become a TV-less family. I wish we had done it before having kids so it wouldn't be a big deal now.

    We do love to play games. We like Battleship, Parcheesi, Mancala, Life, Catan, Rummy, Yahtzee, and so many others.

    We also like puzzles. And we read a lot. We often read in the evenings, as a family, to end the day and head to bed without the TV.

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  9. Unfortunately as I'm in Ireland, then this giveaway isn't for me...BUT I just had to say that I am amazed at your board game collection. We thought we had a lot!

    As you know "Settlers of Catan" is our favourite at the moment. But just this week I have been researching board games, for our family to give to each other for Christmas this year. The ones I liked the sound of most were: Qwirkle and Carcassonne.

    Good luck everyone! ;)

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  10. Looks like fun! I am always looking for good games at our Thrift store too, I would never want to buy a game at a regular store and pay the $$$ they ask for them:-) I hope I win!!!!

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  11. One of my family's favorite games growing up was called the Farming Game. We had sooo much fun creating farms & just spending time together as a family :)
    Jennifer

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  12. Love the post, and I would love to enter the giveaway!! One of my favourites growing up was Pictionary.

    My ultimate dream is to become a TV-less house.... not happening any time soon, but I can dream (and pray!).

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  13. We would LOVE to win this game--we are game addicts here, too. We have a TV, but it only gets used once a week for "movie night."

    I have to say our favorite game is probably not very exciting to most people: UNO. With 7 children from 15 down to 2, it is one game everyone (except the 2yo) can play. We often have tournaments. No one ever gets bored with it!


    Love your blog.

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  14. I'm entering for a chance to win. That looks like a game my children would enjoy very much!

    One my favorite games a child and even now is Carrom. We would play it during the winter months on our breaks at school. I saw one for a few bucks a couple of years ago and snatched it up for our kids. We also have been buying more "brainy" games like Scotland Yard and Ticket To Ride in recent years and will continue to do so.

    As a homeschooling family, I am always on the lookout for fun things for us to do/see. One thing I recently discovered is that there is a Moravian Cookie manufacturing facility in our area. We are definitely going on a tour there this year! :D

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  15. I would love to win this game for my daughter. My favorite family game growing up was Rummikub. A couple that I really enjoyed playing with my sister were Uno and Sorry!. I also remember my dad having a puzzle table and he would buy a big puzzle with so many little pieces and our family would work on it little by little each day. He usually ended up doing most of it but the rest of us would get really excited when we would actually find a piece to fit in. Good times.

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  16. I would love to win this game. We are not tvless but I would love to get us to the point that we only watched it for great movies. Growing up I liked Pictionary and Yahtzee but my favorite memories were sitting on a stool and watching my parents and grandparents play Pitch (a card game). Thank you for sharing about all the games.
    Blessings,
    Rashel

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  17. It really does shock TV-people that it's possible to live without one. One of my coworkers just gaped for a minute after I told her we didn't have a TV before finally saying, "What do you DO?!"

    I spend time with my husband and son, cook, go for walks, knit, read my Bible. There's never enough time in the day for what I want to get done.

    Honestly, I don't know how people have time TO watch TV. I'm always busy - I'd love to know where they find that spare 4 hours a day or whatever the average is.

    We aren't a game-playing family now...but our son is only 2 and we really want to be, so I'd love to win this game. :)

    -Ashley

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  18. Hello, Mrs. Anderson! I have three stepchildren who are TV and gadget dependent. I've taught the youngest to play chess and actually got him to put his iPod down on a recent visitation with us. He is enjoying learning to play games, and I would love to have a new game to teach him. Thank you for this kind giveaway!

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  19. I hang out on Board Game Geek, especially their thrift store find threads, to find recommendations for good ones.

    http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/70696/your-thrift-store-bargain-finds-8-14-august-201

    I too search the thrifts for games, even tho you sometimes have to find 2 to get all the pieces. The bonus in that is then you have extras for when even more pieces get lost.

    Our favorites have been Blokus, Risk, Make N' Break (got 2 sets so 2 people can play at a time), Hangman (the one with those fold out boards, the kids love those), Uno, Take Off!, Pathmaker (like battleship but with a maze), Sorry Sliders (looking for an extra set to make extra long tracks), Stay Alive, plus more I'm sure I'm forgetting. I love buying a game for $1-$2 and if it's a bust, oh well.

    I see all the Haba's on your shelf. My daughter has the Princess and the Pea one, so cute.

    Have you seen the game, A La Carte? I am so tempted but it's $50 or so. The pieces are incredible.

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  20. What a great post! Thank you for so many great suggestions. Our family favorites growing up were Tripoly and Mancala. My kids would love the one you are giving away.

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  21. What a great giveaway! Growing up I wish my parents would have bought us board games but we only had Candyland, and that was only because I begged my parents for it after playing it at a friends house! We like to play the game Operation with the little kids and Hi-Ho Cherry-O is their favorite but all those little cherry pieces seem to go missing after a while! :)

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  22. Have never commented before, but love your blog! I too was raised without a TV and played lots of board games. My favorite was a card game called "Touring".
    I would love to have this game!!

    Blessings
    Kim Chrisman

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  23. I guess my favorite is "das wer ruckte labyrinth" or just Labyrinth (Ravensburger rocks!). I must have played it at least 2000 times, it´s an awesome game. Easy and simple, yet with this cool mission to collect magical things from the labyrinth. I was always playing board games or cards and all the older people that were around (like my grand-dad´s friends) would totally sit down for like 30 minutes to play cards with a little girl. I also played a lot with my friends. I have so many great memories, awww. Nice to think of this stuff. I never allowed my game playing to infringe upon my tv time though, I just don´t know how I was able to fit it all together :)

    Since I´m living on a different continent it would be better for someone else to get the prize, I mostly wanted to vote for Labyrinth. Take care.

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  24. A game me and my family play that is extremely fun ,but can get a little messy is Fort Water(We made the name up lol).We build forts with sheets and covers then we get little spray bottles and just try to spray one another with water while going for cover inside the forts when possible.It's the girls(Me & My daughter) versus boys(husband & Son).

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  25. Hi,
    We love board games. What a nice collection! You have inspired us :) We are trying to build up our collection. We like to play Bible Scrable and Geografacts.
    Hope we win.
    Love, Brenda C.

    P.S. It is our wedding anniversary tommorrow also 12 years! :)

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  26. Awsome collection! I'm going to have to write some of those down to look for.
    I always played board games with my mom (loved mancala) but my special favorite was when I played checkers with my dad. I think it was one of the few games he really enjoyed playing. He'd always sneak moves and cheat then get mad that I wasn't paying attention to catch him! lol Board games are fun but it's really the special time with people that's even better.
    -Karen Elderkin

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  27. Happy Anniversary!

    The only games I really remember playing as a child are Uno and Monopoly.
    I can't wait until my kids are old enough to play boardgames with us.

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  28. As a child, I loved the game Pizza Party.
    My boys really like the game Touch. It's a dome shaped thing that different types of pieces go in. You put your hand in to find certain pieces and have to be able to find them only by feeling them.

    trheath(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  29. I don't want to be entered for the give-a-way, but do have a game to mention. This would probably be for the older children with math skills for adding up the mileage.

    It is a French game called Mille Bornes, which means a "thousand milestones."

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  30. We have three different versions of Monopoly sitting in our closet. My seven year old son does not count money well enough yet to play and my youngest son is only 19 months old. It's hard to get together a group of adults for a good game.

    These games look wonderful. I would love to start a tradition of a family game night with our children.

    Blessings,

    Brittany

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  31. Great post! I love you blog and read it often....I think my favorite board game growing up was probably Monopoly. I liked it because it always lasted a long time and it meant my dad had to sit there and play for hours =) Thanks for a blog that I always look forward to reading!

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  32. My family needs to expand our board game collection. I only remember playing Rummy when I was a kid. I grew up in a "tv on all the time" house though.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Erin

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  33. One of our favorite games to play is Phase 10 (not a board game, but still fun and challenging). Our son is only 18 months old, but one of our favorite things to do as a family is cook new things. Our son is starting to enjoy doing very easy things with us in the kitchen, and the rest of the time one of us wears him in a carrier on our backs. This looks like a fun game for our kids as they get older!
    Rachel

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  34. We love board games. My kids would love that game. Sign us up.

    Kimmie

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  35. I love board games! Nice to see a family actually spending time together. I am TV-less too and absolutely don't regret it- whatever few shows one might want to watch are easily available online, and kids especially don't need to spend all day glued to the tube. Kudos to you for getting your family together.

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  36. Yes, yes, yes, Zsusanna!

    My grandmum survived WWII in England, which meant at night, they were forced to go into a 'dugout' in the backyard. I tried to imagine what they did for hours, until my grandmum told me they played games, talked, had fun, in a way. (Now, this is obviously before television.)

    My father, a professor of mass media, ended up taking me to movies that frankly, I should not have seen at that age.

    Really, what I'm curious about, is do you let your children see ANY television or movies off your computer or anything?

    Thank you, Zsuzanna, for making a wonderful point.

    May God bless you, Dad, and the six,

    Mindy

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  37. I enjoyed this post. I love all the ideas for games. I grew up TV-less and I don't regret it. I wish the same for my children. My husband is the controller of the TV. When he's gone I keep it off. As a kid I remember playing UNO a lot. I hated Monopoly because my brother always cheated, and changed the rules in the middle of the game. I also enjoyed playing Dutch Blitz. As an adult my sister taught me the game Apples to Apples. I love this game because of the silly things that we come up with, and the good time laughing at each other.

    My greatest find was The Phonics Game at a yard sale for $20. It was brand new, never played. I've really gotten my money out of it. I used it when I was teaching and I use it now with my kids.

    Thank you for the ideas. My aunt enjoys buying my kids educational toys and games. I should suggest some of these games. Now I have something new to look for when I go to the thrift stores and yard sales.

    Julia

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  38. we play lots of board games - the standard ones we have all played - monopoly, trivial pursuit, etc-

    both my girls are older (16 and 21) and lately we have played scrabble, scrabble flash.

    Enjoy your blog, by the way

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  39. Our children range in ages, between 32-8, so we have had many "favorite" games. My favorite growing up was not a board game but a card game "Spoons". This game looks like a lot of fun.

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  40. When my husband and I registered for our wedding, we registered for a ton of board games. We now have a closet full, and we love them. We love "The Settlers of Catan" in our house.

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  41. I don't live in the US, so I'm not entering, but thank you so much for this informative post! I love good literature and try to get high quality books for my children to read. But, in the board game department, I now realize I've basically been buying all the low-brow stuff (or getting it as birthday gifts)! I'm ashamed of myself :-) I'm going to have to get a bunch of these games. And I also have one "high-brow" recommendation for you: the game "Bla bla bla." It is a thinking game; made by some French company. Would be curious if you've ever played it...

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  42. We have a lot of the same games. I love Haba and Gamewright. Slamwich and Chomp are hiding in my closet right now waiting for my son's birthday and Christmas. I find a wide selection of quality games at my local bookstore. Have you tried Eboo? They produce nice games for young children. I prefer to think of myself as "TV-free" not "TV-less". My family enjoys playing games together and my husband and I play games after our son goes to bed. We even play kids game with a twist such as chinese checkers with two colors each or Guess Who with two people to identify...
    Shelby

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  43. I love board games, hubby not so much, but I do have a couple of people here that will play with me if we had some.

    I remember playing Monopoly,Operation,Scrabble Uno. I am so tired of those. I want something different!

    Happy Anniversary!

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  44. Would love to win.
    Barbara S.

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  45. When I was growing up I would play lots of games with my Grandma. She doesn't speak English, so we would make up games. She would take dice and roll them, and we would all (My cousins and I) try to guess what the amount would be. Whoever was closest would win. I would take a deck of cards and place them all face down, and we would play a sort of memory type game. They only board game she liked was "Sorry". I have happy memories of those times. :)

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  46. That game looks fun! Currently the favorite game in our house is Lego Creationary. Bethie

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  47. I have been searching for board games to play with my 4 little people. We usually play matching games because they are simple. I also picked up a Bible bingo game that I have yet to play with the kids. This game looks interesting. This is my entry. :)

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  48. I would absolutely love to win that game for our family. We are trying to build our collection. Growing up we did not play many games because my family used the TV at all times but we did play UNO once in awhile.

    After I met my husband I enjoyed learning to play pitch and canasta with his family. Since we have been married our favorite two games are hand and foot and settlers of catan.

    My oldest has just turned four years old today and I got her a princess board game that I found on clearance. We all played together tonight and had so much fun. It was her first board game. Until tonight she had only played memory and some learning games. I hope to one day get a collection as large as yours. Thanks for sharing.

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  49. My 7 year old has really been enjoying learning new games. He is a Monopoly fanatic and we have really enjoyed Monopoly Deal as of late. But one I used to play a lot with my siblings was Milles Bornes. We loved that game. My Dad and I were always up for a game of Scrabble and another word-based game called FOIL where you create words (like Scrabble), mix them up, and other players have to try and guess the words. We love trying out new games and would love to win one. Also going to check out your other suggestions. Excited to learn about new games!

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  50. My husband and I got rid of our TV 4.5 years ago when we had our first baby. We will never go back! Our children grow too fast and I can't imagine missing anything becasue my soap was on. After the kids go down my husband and I have been known to play a mean game of battleship. That's been so fun. We never did this when we had a TV. Thanks for sharing about all these great games. I never knew about them.
    -Kim G.

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  51. Currently trying to move away from letting our 2 children watch tv so often. This game that you're offering looks very interesting! Would love to be in the running for winning.
    Oh and your family is lovely! Stumbled across your site one night on a google search and bookmarked you, praise God I did.

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  52. I love to play Apples to Apples. We ladies usually play it at my mother's New Year's Day party. It is such a blast!

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  53. I'd love to win!! My husband and I have been looking for a good kids' game now that our son is getting a little older. He loves puzzles and old maid, but this game looks really neat! Thanks Zsuzsa--I hope we win!!

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  54. We love games here too. Growing up I played scrabble with my maternal grandma and have so many good memories of that. My other grandma loved to play parcheesi with us and we played that game every weekend. My kids would love to get the game you are giving out.
    K

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  55. I would love to win this game it looks like so much fun. We like to have family game night at least once a week. My 7 year old loves to play games as do the rest of us.

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  56. I enjoy playing board games and card games...Dutch Blitz and Apples to Apples are my favorites. I've taught my husband to play Dutch Blitz and he's actually won a few times.

    My sister (Julia) said I should enter so I have a game to play with my neices and nephews when they come to visit.

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  57. I won't enter. Have you seen the educational games at Christian Liberty Press? We had the SomeBody game($25). The only games we have left in the closet are Scrabble,chess, checkers and Wordigo. I saw Alphabet Bingo(preschool-$12) and Money Bingo(kindergarten-$12) at covenanthome.com-a homeschool curriculum. I saw games in the rainbowresource.com homeschool catalog.

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  58. Qwirkle is our favorite and number one on your German list!!!

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  59. I'm not against the tv, and not sure I ever will be. I think you can choose to look at the good and choose to not look at the bad. There are plenty of other things to do in life, so if tv is a problem for someone I guess they shouldn't watch it. I also like my computer/internet and radio, too, and phone, but realize one can and may have to live without such things.....especially after being without electricity after a tornado went through this Spring. I have plenty of good memories at my house growing up that involved and did not involve tv. I'l go ahead and list both....just realized that's not what you asked for, sorry but I'll go ahead. With TV: I enjoyed watching a lot of Christmas Specials. That's the first thing that came to mind. PBS was on at our house a lot. I really like all the specials they show around the holidays.....singing, orchestras, operas, musicals, etc. Around the holidays and even other times around the year, my family enjoyed watching old black and white movies. I still enjoy all the educational and learning shows on tv. A lot of them were popular on cable the last few decades, but I have found that PBS shows a lot of diversity, so I stick with that. We don't have cable anymore in my adult household, and I think we will keep it that way. OK, for without TV: Board games are great. We played a lot growing up. We also caught lightening and june bugs, swam at the pool down the street everyday during the Summer, took piano, violin, and other music lessons--can't say as a child I enjoyed all the music, though, but do wish I were better at it now. My parents always for decades had a vegetable garden, and fruit and nut trees, so we worked in that. We didn't like it as much once we got to be teens of course. We played outside and in the cotton field out back. We roller skated and played the Twister Game outside. We used the pine needles from all the pine trees to build forts, and played in piles of raked leaves. We went to Summer camp, played in creeks, went on vacations, went for walks around the blocks after a good holiday meal. We played tennis at the courts where the pool is. We played freeze tag, tv tag, and other variations of that game, and other outdoor games. We made homemade ice cream with a crank, and made homemade butter with a churner. We had an aquarium, a terrarium, dogs and cats. We had a lot of books to read. Thinking of music again, my mom taught music, so there were two pianos in our house and an organ, drums, cymbals, and little instruments like clackers, sand blocks, and finger cymbals. We camped a lot. We had bikes and building blocks. I guess I could go on but I'll stop. Things I like to do as an adult have included: camping, hiking, traveling, going to the beach, swimming, rollerblading, biking. I've been trying to improve some of my domestic skills the last couple years. I grew my first vegs. myself this year, and some were actually edible!! :) Last summer I started some flowers and have more, and I have started some herbs and some flower vines. Can't say it's all that great, but I'm trying. As kids, and even as an adult still living at home, we always thought it was a treat when the electricity would go off. We would light a kerosene lantern and get cozy and read a book or something by that light. There are always many non-electronic things to do........but I guess my vote is to get outside and enjoy nature and the beauty of God's creation........those are my thoughts.....don't care if I win. Just thought I'd share........Robyn

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  60. Good books that talk about tv: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, Fahrenheit 451(anniversary edition) by Ray Bradbury(novel written in the 50s when he saw us becoming an image-based society and no longer a word-based society due to tv and movies), The Way Home(and its sequel) by Mary Pride(anniversary edition at home-school.com),The Plug-in Drug by Marie Winn(and her other books), Remote Control(answersingenesis),etc. If it was up to me we wouldn't have a tv. Our son pays for our tv programming so he can watch sports(baseball and football) when he visits. Our children were mostly outside even in the winter.

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