Toys R Us

Today we headed to Toys R Us after gymnastics to get the newest downloadable Pokemon for the DS, Regigigas. While we were there, the kids finally decided to spend their Christmas money and each picked out a Lego set. My son got a Spongebob set and my daughter chose a Pirate set. She also picked out a cool “tentacle” ball that had a glowing light gizmo inside. It looks really neat in the dark.

Here are the Lego sets…

Games We Play

Here are a few of the games we have been playing lately…

Batik” is a fast , easy, 2-player game. You take turns putting wooden pieces into a frame and try not to let them stick out at the top. If one does, you lose that piece, dump out the rest of the pieces and play another round without it. When one player runs out of pieces to play during a round, the other person wins.

“Pokemon Yahtzee Jr.” Another fast game, this is a simplified version of Yahtzee using picture dice. Each turn, you get three rolls to collect as many of the same type of Pokemon as you can (“Ditto” is wild and counts toward any group). Then you mark your score on the board. You play until you have collected each type and add up your scores 🙂

“No Peeking” is a great game I managed to find twice at the thrift store when the kids were really little. I used to keep the game pieces in a bag in my backpack when we travelled. The game is basically a bunch of really sturdy cutout picture cards. When you play it according to the rules, you blindfold one player and hand them a piece. They need to feel it with their fingers and figure out what it is. That in itself is pretty challenging. We also have grouped the pieces together by attributes, told stories using them, used them for matching pairs, and made up other games with the bits.

“Pegleg” is a quick, rummy type game that relies mostly on the luck of the draw with a tiny amount of game skill involved. There are 8 “treasure cards” which players choose from at the beginning of the game without showing the other players. The card you draw tells you what things you need to collect in your hand to win the game. The game plays like rummy with players taking turns drawing and discarding until someone gets all 5 cards they need.

Secret Door” is a cooperative memory game where players work together to figure out what valuables have been “stolen by thieves” by seeking pairs and using the process of elimination to figure out what cards are missing. The clock cards are mixed in with the treasures and when you have drawn all 12 clocks the game ends. You do your best to figure out which ones have been taken and then congratulate yourselves on how many treasures you stopped the thieves from getting away with.

This is actually my least favorite game from this company, my favorites so far being “Max“, “Round Up“, and “The Adventures of Harley” which all require more thinking and planning, but the kids seem to like this one.

Sleepover Fun

We had company tonight and the kids all had lots of fun. The boys played a bit of “City of Heroes” and “Spore Creature Creator” on the computer, some “Super Smash Bros.” and “Animal Crossing” on the wii, built with Legos, and then created a cool fantasy world complete with costumes and props. My daughter was included in the dress-up play and got to be the queen and overthrow my son, which included taking his costume. It was fun for me to get to hear them all playing so well together and it gave me some downtime 🙂 The boys took a little bit of time to settle dow to sleep, but when I checked in to ask them not to talk, I found my son reading to his friend and I decided to leave them alone.

The boys sharing J.’s computer:

The role-playing:

While the boys were building with Legos, my daughter and I played “Pokemon Sorry”. I am not the biggest fan of “Sorry” in general beacuse there is usually so much waiting for the 1’s and 2’s and because I don’t dig mean-spirited games with little kids. However, my daughter and I are selectively helpful when playing together and it evens everything out. I really do like the Pokemon version better than the regular version because there are special cards based on what “type” of Pokemon you are playing (your color). Here are some shots.

Swim Lessons

For those of you wondering, the kids did go to their first swim lesson today. They had a blast. Both kids started off in the same beginner class, which was just the two of them and did a bunch of activities to gauge their level. Within 5 minutes, my son was off to join 2 others in the next class up. My daughter got the teacher all to herself for today 🙂

Originally, I wasn’t sure about where to do classes while we were searching. We had considered going to the Natatorium because we have a membership there, but it is over 30 minutes away and the classes are always full. The kids would also have had to go at separate times due to their ages. Our local community center won because it is 5 minutes away and both kids can go at the same time. Now we can add small class size to the list of benefits!!!

Another plus is they are allowed to stay in after class and have free swim so I think our Saturday mornings will be fun.

After class today, we ran some errands and headed out to lunch as a family because J. was home. Then we played some Pokemon cards with the newer decks the kids have.

Playing at the Natatorium

We didn’t make it on time for swimming today, but did make it in time to help celebrate our friend’s birthday. The kids got to play with Pokemon figures and DS games and play hide and seek and some other games by the treehouse.

Here are some of them playing zombie. They would get down on the floor and pretend to be dead, tongues hanging out of their mouths, and then get up and mock attack (?) one of the moms. The birthday boy is first on the left 🙂

Pokemon figurines are hiding in our Halloween bucket.

DS fun.

A New and Different “Pokemon Master Trainer”

I found a version of “Pokemon Master Trainer” at the thrift store the other night and it looked different from the version we already had at home so I picked it up. We got to play it last night for the firt time. In my opinion, this version is MUCH better. The old version (with the circle token Pokemon chips for those who also have it) was a bit slow for me. It seemed to take forever to get strong enough to battle the trainers at the end and often I just fudged the math to get the game over with.

In this version, you try to wind up with the most Pokemon Chips (PC’s) at the end. You start out with some chips, which come in 10’s, 20’s, and 50’s and have the chance to earn more throughout the game by landing on special spaces, getting event cards, capturing Pokemon, battling others, and even by the order in which you reach the finish line. You don’t know who wins until everyone crosses the finish line and you add up all the PC’s.

It was a fun game and faster than the old version. I, without handicapping myself, wound up with only one Pokemon at the end while both kids had plenty. I had lots of chips in my pile, but not enough to make up for it. I am looking forward to trying it out again!

The box

The board all set up.

My son asked what he won for getting the most points. I told him a trophy picture, hee hee. So, here is his pose.