Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rush hour

The toy de jour: Rush Hour. Not the kids' edition but the adult edition.

The colourful little toy cars caught the kids' eye. Rather than let them play with the loose pieces and lose them one by one, I made them sit down and try an actual puzzle.

It was a big hit. Now Owain and Cait are fighting over who gets to play Rush Hour a.k.a The Car Game. I get to use Rush Hour as a promise for 'after you get home from school', 'after mummy gets home from work', 'after you bathe/eat/sleep' etc.

When I am on the PC, as now, Owain or Cait would play Rush Hour on the floor next to me.

Both of them are now at the Intermediate level, playing Intermediate cards from both Set 1 and Set 2. I find that going beyond Intermediate is generally too hard for them although Owain has solved puzzles from the Advanced level, but these are rare.

Playing Rush Hour reinforces concentration, attention, logical thinking and builds confidence in their own skills. They learn patience and perseverence because I tell them not to give up even if they get stumped. They do tend to ask me when the puzzles stump them. But I tell them to take their time to solve it. If they can't do it now, take a break, come back to it later (unless the other kid is breathing down his/her neck to solve it so that s/he can get a turn). And when they do solve it, they are elated. There is also some 'competition' among both Cait and Owain. Each gets a bit smug when the other can't do a puzzle and s/he can.

I like games of logic and thinking. I also like board games. Many a happy hour was spent with my siblings when growing up, playing monopoly. Today in my house, there is Monopoly, Risk, The Game of Life, Cluedo etc.

We now have Sudoku in the house which Caitlin plays. I am eyeing Blokus. The stuff from this site: is also interesting but a bit expensive. I also like the stuff from Borders - expensive stuff but not often seen in the usual toy stores.

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