Weekend Fun: Family Drabbles

The lad, who has just turned five, has taken to asking for story challenges. We had a ball over dinner last night thinking of three things for a story to feature, and then listening to the result.

My challenge to him: a skeleton, a cave, and a clock. Favourite quote from the resulting story:

“So the skeleton was at the tippy-bottom of his deep, dark cave. And he was wandering around evilly, doing evil things.”

I wish I’d recorded the rest of it. All I can remember is there was a skeleton brother with an aquarium shop (vividly and lovingly described), a giant tentacled snapfish with extra mouths on its tentacle-tips and tail (also vividly and lovingly described). There was a crucial and demanding fish-feeding schedule of five times a day, at specified times, which was an issue, because the skeleton was nocturnal and the feeding was mostly by day. I think that’s where the clock came into it.

I’ve been reading brooklynite and oddprofessor’s conversation about algebra games with their daughters. This seems to be our verbal & creative equivalent, I guess, which plays more to the lad’s strengths. (Take that, gender essentialists.) Plus, piles of fun!

What games do you play with your kid? Especially over dinner, and/or prop-free.

Categories: education, fun & hobbies, relationships

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6 replies

  1. I love the “wandering around evilly, doing evil things”.
    As I posted yesterday, most of our games that don’t involve props are wordgames. With props, we’re getting into Scrabble, and occasional chess.
    Of course, we’d do more if we didn’t watch so much TV.

  2. That sounds like a great game to play. We play something a bit more basic around the table which we call “and then”. Each person takes it in turn to move the story forward, and then when their imagination runs out, they say “and then” and pass it on to the next person. It’s led to some quite amusing arguments as my boys (6 and 4) argue with each other about plot development.

  3. Ah, we should try “and then”.
    We also play modified “I Spy”, with the rules changing regularly, clues and questions allowed at the discretion of the spyer, and not limited to letters (colours, groups of numbers, etc are all permitted).

  4. When Boychild was about six or seven, he invented the Opposites Game.
    One person calls “opposites game” and from then on all remarks have to say the exact opposite of what is meant, until one or the other person calls the end.
    “Hi Mum. Opposites. I hate you.”
    “Boychild, you are the ugliest, most untalented boy I have ever met. I hope you had a terrible day at school.”
    “Don’t give me an apple when I get home. I hate them.”
    “Oh, hell’ll freeze over before I give YOU an apple…”
    It’s probably a good idea not to be overheard.

  5. Ooh. The opposites game sounds to be exactly up the lad’s alley. We’ll give it a shot. Though he’ll probably start playing it at kindy, and get in all kinds of trouble.

  6. We like the opposites game.
    It often starts with one of the Pawns saying something like
    “Don’t give me a banana!”
    which leads to
    Parent: “OK”
    Pawn: “It’s Opposite Day”
    Parent: “No it isn’t”
    Pawn: *sound of penny dropping*

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