A family-created game

Meet the Conciliottoman family’s unnamed un-game!

Creating a family board game

It kind of goes with the whole “unschool” thing – we don’t always play by the rules, we like to be creative, and we’re more concerned with having a good time and working together than with who wins by an arbitrary standard!

So when Chris got out the Sequence and Dicecapades games, dumped out the various pieces and flipped the Sequence board over, we got creative.

Creating a family board game

This game included everything from cards to letter, number and color dice to colored tokens to Lego people to a gigantic rock to a random ceramic cat (acquired on our honeymoon in Mexico, as it happens.)

There was no “win” or “lose” objective. We simply played, making up rules for what to do under certain circumstances, inventing as we went until we got tired.

At one point, we started making towers, which is what Chris and the Lucky Cat are doing above.

Creating a family board game

When we started, the general flow of the game was that we each picked a color of token (represented by our favorite Lego person in our corner), and on our turn, we flipped over a card. The color of the card determined what to do next – if it was a black card, you took the six black dice, rolled them, and added all the numbers. You could then steal that many chips from another player.

Red cards, meanwhile, led to “multiplication war.” You took two red dice, and challenged another player to take two red dice. You rolled your pair, multiplied the two faces, and whoever had the higher product got to take chips from the other. (The number was based on the card you’d originally flipped over, since taking 56 chips was out!)

Creating a family board game

And finally, if you drew a face card, you got to roll the picture, letter and color dice and make up something about them.Β (We were making “number sentences,” like “I have 8 cats and 6 unicycles in my 5 broom closets” – yes, the picture dice have a broom, a cat and a unicycle, among other symbols!) And sometimes, we simply tried to make a word from the letter dice!

We also exhibited some gaming generosity; Sarah got the idea to give BACK the number of tokens she should have taken when she got more of ours than we had of hers.

Let me be clear on one last thing:Β SarahΒ decided these were the things we should do. My “math-hating,” “yuck to anything that looks educational” child made a math game with language adaptations with zero prompting from us.

Now that’s a win!

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9 thoughts on “A family-created game

  1. I still can’t thank you enough for posting about LOF elementary series. That took away our “I Hate Math” daily episodes and instead turned my home into a math loving place to be. Lilah reads her math aloud to me (and now to Grace who has been overheard saying “I didn’t know that!”) and then she explores Orion and Ursa Major and state flags and adds words to her cool word wall and I just sit and smile.

    Having a child embrace something that they previously hated is a joy like no other.

    Awesome game!

    • Jessica, that makes me happy in a way I can’t even put into words. You’re right – that is a GREAT feeling!! I just shared book 1 of the elementary series with my cousin, who homeschools her three daughters, one of whom is a definite math-hater, and they’re loving it too! I think I get the “Unofficial Fred Ambassador” badge! πŸ™‚

  2. Sounds great Joan. I love the way your family interacts. It always makes me smile to see pictures of you all together. We like to change up the rules in games too. Love the picture of Sarah ta-dahing’ the game. πŸ™‚ Maybe you can mass produce it for us all. πŸ˜‰

  3. Love this Joan! Looks like so much fun!! πŸ™‚

    The comment above from Jess makes me feel like maybe we should give LOF another try…we did read the first two, but my girls felt like it was “too easy”, although the other parts were interesting, so I decided not to buy any more of the books. We have a local homeschooling friend who swears by the books too…I just don’t know…

    • You know, they absolutely are too easy – in the math sense. But even I picked up OTHER things – like the fact that Orion’s belt contains a nebula, which isn’t a star, and that it’s not a constellation on its own, and what the letters of the Greek alphabet are… And there are these asides to “adults” that of course Sarah reads. The one in the book we just read was this whole aside on Ford pardoning Nixon and some of the theories behind it, and I was like… uh, OK, didn’t know that!!

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