Games and Crafts - Down Time with Young Gamers

Loving the artwork from Castles of Caladale?  Have you ever needed to keep some members of your group busy while others figure out a new game? 

The whimsical artwork from Castles of Caladale recently inspired this young artist.  While the oldest child was reading the rules, and the middle kid was punching out and stacking up tiles, the youngest member of the family was thrilled to have her own important job.  This little one found an empty chipboard sheet and began creating some artwork of her own. 

Before she was done coloring, the game was set up and rules were read. She was able to jump right into the game with us, and start building her castle.  When the game was over, points had been totaled, and a winner declared, she jumped right back into drawing her own version of the game, with kitties, foxes and puppies.

Next time you’re opening a new game, try creating your own canvas by taping a blank piece of paper to the back of the empty cardboard.  The punchboard creates lovely frames for a cartoon or individual small drawings.  We found that the round holes left from punching out a copy of Shibu Inu House made perfect circles for funny faces.

You could encourage a child to cut the pieces out and incorporate them into a game, or leave them together and hang them on a fridge.  We like to staple a few sheets of these together into a book.  This little one had a wonderful time giving her parents and older siblings assignments, telling us what to color in the frames she made for us.  For the square boards of Castles of Caladale, she instructed us to fill one box with a cat, another would be a monster, etc.  My personal favorite is the star she turned into a fox.  

Weather sorting cards, punching out pieces, or pulling plastic off of decks of cards, opening a new game provides many opportunities for even the youngest family members to be excited and engaged.  Whatever you do with it, enjoy the process, maybe pick up a pencil yourself, and let your imagination flow with childlike wonder. 

About the Author: Jenni Kingma
Jenni is Renegade's Customer Service Expert, a stay at home mom for three lovely children, and a crafty gamer!