Sorry! (1 May 2010)

sorry_game_lgPlaying games is a lot of fun.  This past year Bentley has enjoyed playing Uno a lot.  We have pictures of him and grandpa Reg playing Uno in Kho Samui last summer.

Uno gets old fast (for adults!) so last Fall (2009) I played Dominoes with Bentley.  We have a partial set (from a students Rube Goldberg project ...) of double-sixes that have all the "dots" painted white.  I liked that, as color would not be a basis for "knowing" the numbers, Bentley had to count them after ballparking that two dominoes looked the similar.  I saw this as a great learning tool.  However, a partial set was partially fun and the local Korean department store, HomePlus does not carry dominoes and I could not find them as Emart or Costco either.  My Mom in BC, Canada also could not find non-colored dominoes so I started casting about for other games.  

We played checkers, but the concept of staying only on one color square was challenging.  Secondly, diagonal moves that were either into empty spaces or jumping opponents turned out to be a bit abstract and hard to grasp - never mind the strategy on NOT moving into a space in which you would, in turn, be jumped.  Chess was similar but harder (though Bentley loved the castle-looking pieces and the "horses!")

Finally at Christmas, Kila, my sister, brought several games from Canada, including Sorry.  More abstract problems: the latest modernized version of Sorry uses neon light effects and the squares are not all bordered by black lines.  Like the old game, the sliding arrows are painted over the square boundaries and 5 year olds (Bentley and later his friend and classmate, Abi) had trouble distinguishing individual squares.  On this new game I took a big black marker and drew in the "missing" lines.  That helped immediately.

Fast forward: December 2009 ---> May 2010 (5 months):

Playing Sorry today was amazing.  I have not done this for 4 weeks with Bentley.  Today he showed he had memorized:

•  from 'start' a card of 12 means move to the second slide - he doesn't even count the squares now!

•  'backwards 4' card he knows it means move to the start of the long slide - then you slide; no loss!

•  he has figured out which square is 11 from 'home' 

•  he knows the first 'home' square is 5 from 'home'

Playing Sorry is a real window into children's mental development.  It is interesting to see what they can and cannot perceive.  But the thrill, as a parent, is seeing the growth of thinking, memory, and understanding is extraordinary!

 copyright, 2012 Jay Reimer