How to Adapt Adult Board Games to a 2 Year Old
So last week my daughter discovered our game cabinets. (I wrote about how we built them in under our stairs here.) For some reason she had only gotten into the cabinet I filled with her own toys up to this point, but now she has discovered the joy of Daddy’s games. We have a ridiculous number of board games, and now that she’s started she seems determined to try them all. Surprisingly, a few of these games have turned out to be great fun for her! So here are a few of our favorites, and how we adapt them for someone who doesn’t really follow rules yet.
Set: This card game was the clear winner. She nearly plays it right =) The point is that there are cards with four variables, 3 different colors, shapes, patterns, and number of objects. You make sets with either the same attribute, or all different, like one of each color, but all with two solid diamonds. She loves to find sets! She’s always been big on matching colors, and she’s in heaven when she can dig through the cards to find matches. She even knows what she needs to look for, like if she has one green squiggle and the three green squiggle, she goes hunting for the two green squiggle. It’s great for color matching, shape matching, patterns, and so much more!
Dominoes: We have the colored set of dominoes, and the games we have come up with for this are hilarious. I tried to show her a basic Mexican Train, where you start with one domino and match the ends to make a long train. She loved that, and had me count how many tiles were in her train over and over. In Spanish, for some reason. Then she decided that “Catorce” (the fourteenth tile in her train, ironically the 10/3) was special. She pulled it out and said, “Oh no, my train is broken! It won’t go!” So we started doing a lot of role-playing with the dominoes, with Catorce as the star. We made bridges, rivers, paths, houses, and boats. And then she found the double seven, which we now call Pinky Pinky. She needed her diaper changed, and food. So much random, open-ended, creative playtime! It was great!
She loves all the card games we have, and even a regular deck of cards is great for matching. We also have chess, and Chinese checkers. Although I have to sit with her the whole time when she’s playing with the marbles, it’s great practice for hand-eye coordination, and she loves matching the colors to the diamonds. So far she hasn’t tried to eat them, but I am not about to leave her alone with them anytime soon.
She also likes the games with little figures, like our Star Wars game and X-Men.
The day she pulled Apples to Apples I figured that she would look at the cards for two minutes and move on. But no, she decided it was great fun to read the cards! She sounded out words like Wicked and guessed Octopus for Outrageous. So, Apples works as toddler flashcards as well.