I'm finding that structure to my play time with Henry makes it easier for me to do a good job. I'm a structured person, what can I say? Creative play doesn't come naturally to me, and I feel quite ridiculous trying to do it. Given that Hank is now three and a half, I figured there would be some age-appropriate board games that we could try together. In that spirit, I headed to Target yesterday, and found that they were having a sale on preschool games. Some old favorites there. Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Mouse Trap...But I thought that they still might be a tad advanced for my Henry. I ended up with Hi-Ho Cherry-O. It comes with some cardboard trees, a million tiny little cherries that I'm sure will be visiting the inside of our vacuum bag sometime soon, and a spinner. Each time you spin, you receive guidance on what to do with the cherries on your tree. The object is to pick your tree clean and get all the cherries into your cherry basket. So, you spin and get a 4. You take 4 cherries from your tree and put them in your basket. Of course, there are a few results on the spinner that could throw a wrench into your picking. The knocked over bushel of cherries means that you have to take all the cherries from your basket and put them back on your tree. A bird or a dog means that you have to take 2 cherries from your basket and put them back on your tree. First person to clear their tree wins.
Well. I show this to Hank and he's all excited. I spin and do my thing. He watches with wide-eyed fascination.
"It's your turn honey."
"Ok Mommy." *grabs spinner and forces it onto the bird* "I pick the birdie!"
"No no honey. You have to spin it, see? Like this. You can't pick which picture to land on."
"Oh." *spins halfheartedly* "I no like that one. I spin again."
Thus, the spinner required more explanation than I originally anticipated :) But all in all, it went over very well. We played about a half dozen times last night, and he's already asked to play again today. This particular game is definitely good for their fine motor skills, and for practice with counting. I enjoyed playing with him; it really does get better and better with parenting.
"Oh no! I got the dog! I have to put 2 cherries back on my tree."
"Oh don't worry Mommy! Here, I'll put the cherries on my tree so that you don't have to."
Isn't he just the sweetest?