Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bored Games: How to Make Board Games Bearable for Grown-ups

Dear Ann Abler, 
It has been two months since my last #mommyconfession. Yesterday I realized something about myself that I wasn't ready to admit up until this point. I think Candy Land is horribly boring.
Am I a terrible parent?

Dear CandyCrushed,

Drink Responsibly. A message from your Ann Abler
No way! Well, maybe. But not for not liking Candy Land. You are a normal adult with the desire to deploy your brain cells every now and then. Sometimes board games are a bore, and you need to think outside the cardboard box to make it better. Here are some simple ideas to mix up the monotony of Monopoly, Sorry!, Chutes and Ladders, and the like.

CHEAT. While this may sound cold-blooded at first, most parents know that their children are the #1 cheating champions, and it will either teach them a life lesson about honesty, or hone their skills as cheaters so that they can perfect the craft and be well on their way to Wall Street. It can also be a fun way to test your slight of hand and see the shock on their little faces as you constantly collect all the best cards.

DRINK. Okay, this is a little obvious, but an ice-cold Newcastle can really take the edge off a mind-numbing 17th round of Uno. Don’t drink so much you forget to say Uno. Drink responsibly. ~ A message from your Ann Abler. (Ironic, I know.) 

Beware the evil carrot
INVENT. Add a level of difficulty to any game by making up new rules. It can be as simple as having a 'speed round', or you can introduce a new Evil Carrot character who moves backward through the lengthy labyrinth of Candy Land, and if he lands on the same square as you, sends you back to Start, where you must strike out all over again on your Sisyphean struggle. That's an opportunity for some life lessons. Don’t spend your life trying to get to a castle made of candy? Avoid carrots? Be creative? Don’t make your mom play Candy Land? Something along those lines.

REMINISCE. Even if you are slightly saddened by how the updated design of a game seems to strip it of its original magic, use this time to travel down memory lane and share stories from your childhood. Stories about how you always listened to your parents, for example, or how you better be prepared for some no-holds-barred cards if you're playing with Great Grandma. 

Old School Candy Land
DANCE. Demand dance breaks every 5 – 10 minutes. If we learned anything from The Bible, isn’t it what Kevin Bacon (as Ren) taught us in Footloose? “David danced before the Lord with all his might... leaping and dancing before the Lord…Leaping and Dancing!" If you need dance tips, I suggest re-watching Breakin' (both 1, and 2: Electric Boogaloo), or there's always these lessons from the great Tina Fey.

photo from The Daily Beast
Now say three Hail Mommies and get your dance on.
Ciao for now.


1 comment :

  1. Great tips! Although my favorite (and most frequently used) one is the adult beverage. Game on!