Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Games People Play.

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned before how most children's board games make me want to poke my eyes out with a spoon. Especially if they're geared to three and four year olds (I'm looking at you, Candyland.) or have anything to do with Dora.

Uno has made the cut, and so have Yahtzee junior and Connect Four, but other than that, there aren't many out there that I would play voluntarily.

This week, my daughter came home with an egg carton math game, that's all about adding, and is actually kind of innovative if not actually fun*. But that's not the important part. The important part is that it reminded me of a game that I used to play when I was a kid; that actually is fun!

Allow me to introduce you (if you're not already familiar) to the game of "Awari".

The rules are simple, and the materials are super easy to find; all you need is an egg carton and thirty-six of something. Seriously; dried beans, marbles, small rocks, little glass blobby things.

(Now, I didn't actually read all the way through the rules in the link up there, but they look a little complicated, so I'll tell you the version that I taught Beege.)


1. Each cup starts with 3 beans/whatevers.
2. Each player gets one side of the board. Their "home" is at the end of the board on their right side.
3. On each player's turn, they choose one of the cups on their side of the board and scoop out the beans. Drop one bean into each of the next cups, dropping one in your "home" pile if you pass it.
4. If you land in your "home" pile with your final bean, you start your turn again, choosing another cup. If your final bean lands in a cup containing any beans, you scoop them all up and continue. If your final bean lands in an empty cup, your turn ends.
5. The game is over when one player's side is completely empty.
6. The winner is the one with the most beans in their "home" pile.

See? Easy!

Not only is it educational (counting, adding, taking turns, following rules), but it's kind of relaxing. Zen even.

Plus, it's good for your humility to get your ass handed to you by a six year old when playing a game. (Not that she has yet, but it's just a matter of time; the kid is sharp.)

Aren't they shiny?

*For me, it's not fun. For Beege, it's fun and educational.


  1. Yay awari! I wonder if mum still has the wooden board with the chip in it

  2. I'm not sure I get it but I'm gonna have a go.
    I used to like Mastermind and Chinese Checkers.

    1. let me know if you need clarification... it makes more sense when you're sitting right in front of it. OOooh.. I used to love Mastermind! And we had this really weird game called "Stock Ticker", where you were basically buying and selling stocks.

  3. I have a fancy board now - ask me next time you are up. The kids can teach me the rules again :)

    1. Get Beege to teach you the rules - Kee is a little fuzzy on 'em.

  4. hmmmmmmmmmm, if you use jelly beans, are you allowed to eat them? how does that impact the winner (besides him or her gaining 5 pounds)?


    1. Ooooh... Mov, you've got the best ideas. I think I'm going to have to pick up some M&M's. Or maybe Skittles.

  5. Is that like Mancala? Also a very zen-like game that involves scooping small stones and distributing them.
    I loathe childrens' games. I don't know why they have to be so dull and unending. I finally donated Chutes & Ladders to charity when the kids weren't home because I got tired of playing it. Then my husband asked why I would inflict that on poor people.