Games That Teach: Go Fish!
Recently I planned a day of beauty and rest for myself. I was headed to get my hair done and get a facial. No kids, no husband, an all-day just for my outing. The world seemed to be against me though. My husband also got a last-minute side-job that required him to be gone and unable to watch the kids for part of the time I would be gone. Since my husband drives a company vehicle, and he could not use it on a side-job, he was in need of my vehicle. I was going to have to take the kids with me for an hour until my husband could show back up at the salon and play with them for the remainder of my appointment.
While my salon is family-friendly they don't really want kids running around because of safety issues. This can limit the types of toys I can bring for distraction purposes. Toy cars and blocks were my go-to, however, the kids lost interest in them very quickly. On this particular day, we were also out running errands prior to the appointment. It became such a long day that all of the electronics died. I was sitting waiting for my husband to come to entertain the kids when I saw a deck of cards in the hairdressers' station. I brought over both kiddos and quickly explained the game Go Fish. We dealt the cards and played a game while I had my hair done. The kids were hooked! Haha. My husband arrived and was immediately dealt into the next hand. Both kids picked it up like it was second nature, even the 3-year-old was winning.
The hairdresser was so impressed with how nicely they played, and how good they were. We started to discuss how important it was for kids to continue to play old-fashioned games like these -- how these games not only were simple fun that didn't require a screen, but also how they taught important lessons like memory, matching, number recognition, listening skills, sharing, sportsmanship, and dexterity. Kids have to deal the cards, hold them properly so that they can see them but no one else can. They have to know their numbers, and properly pair them up with matches. They have to be able to count how many pairs they have collected. They have to practice honesty and good sportsmanship. The game cannot end unless all of the cards are played, and how can that happen if a player lies about the cards in their hand? The lessons that are taught during "old-fashioned" games like Go Fish, Old Maid, and other card games are more important than we realize. When we were kids we played these games often. Now they are archaic forms of killing-time that do not get the recognition they deserve.
I am not sure that my kids would have ever played the game if I hadn't been in a situation that left the kids with little else to do. They sat nicely with their Dad playing Go Fish for another two hours. When we left for home the kids wanted to play Go Fish again. For days we played it every time they weren't busy doing something else. We have since taken an out-of-town trip with my parents and most of our hotel stay involved Go Fish. Now we bring a pack of cards with us everywhere we go, and we no longer refer to "old-fashioned" games as just time killers. Check out the pack we purchased so that we always have a deck with us!
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