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Friday, January 21, 2011

This is the Game That Never Ends

Have you ever played Monopoly?

Okay, have you willingly played Monopoly since you reached adulthood?


Monopoly is a mind-numbingly LONG board game. You can start the process all full of enthusiasm. This is going to be great! You will strategically buy property and manage your money in such a way that you garner instant and immense financial reward. Yay!

But it's never quick. It takes quite a while, unless you are playing with a lot of people, even to see all of the properties on the board sold. Then the building begins. And good Lord, unless someone has had some really crummy rolls or is just fantastically bad at managing their funds, the wait for the first person to declare bankruptcy is like waiting for the next season of your favorite show. Which you didn't realize got cancelled. So you keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Okay, so. Um. My kids discovered Monopoly. And they LOVE it.

I'm trying to be all geeked out about it and look at this from a "natural education", unschooly perspective. I mean, the fact that both of them are sketchy on math skills and can pretty much only read one-syllable words does not seem to detract from their enjoyment of this game in the least. (Yet, the kids who can't seem to decipher a traditionally-written equation are making change with confidence and surprisingly few errors. Score!) And despite the fact that my youngest typically has the attention-span of a fruit fly when engaged in any activity other than building (seriously, he can work the Tinkertoys for hours, but try getting this kid to stay in his chair long enough to eat a will test the patience of the saints!)...well, that's encouraging, too. I mean, I have a FOUR YEAR OLD who not only happily plays Monopoly, but often asks to...and usually keeps up with the game. He buried me two days ago.

It's also an interesting forum for observation of social skills. T, with his ever-generous heart tried to *give* me Boardwalk to match my Park Place yesterday evening, because "I have enough money already." He may lack the killer instinct that true domination in this game requires, but he was right...somehow he was a good $2000 or so ahead of any other player. Obviously, he's getting something out of this exercise, and without losing his sense of empathy. Woot?

I jest. Mostly. It's actually pretty cool to see them so into this. But it's been about a solid week of them wanting to do little else and although I am a good sport, my brain is starting to default to test-pattern when they ask, "Can we continue/start a game?"

Help me.


  1. Ha!
    I remember playing it as a child. My sister and I (she being 4 years older) found it incredibly boring and LOOOOONNNNGGGG so we made up our own rules. We changed things around with just about all our board games to make them more fun and less laborious. (Ok, that was more me than her...she being more of the 'follow along' ilk and I the 'dominate the world' type. ;)

    And, YES! it is fabulous that your littlest one is so into it. :D

    This will pass. And everything you can do in these next months to help them play independently together will help you sometime this summer. ;)

  2. I love Monopoly! But like Mary, my older sister and I made up some "house rules". Our rules actually usually meant the game went on for DAYS. And she and I played into the wee hours of the morning ALL the time. It was great. But I haven't played in a while. We have the European edition- and while its kind of fun, its also weird to play with the 1 euro coins, and NOT have old familiars like Park Place and Boardwalk. Not to mention how kind of elitist it is that certain places in the EU are "worth more" than others...

  3. LOL, well for a while we played "Wild Animal-opoly" but it was short on cash (it seems to get "borrowed" for other play) so a few days ago we opened the Star Wars board. So in all honesty, T offered me not Boardwalk, but the Coruscant Jedi Temple. ;)