I can remember loving Candyland as a kid.
I looooved it.
And then I became a nanny, and Candyland grew a little… tiresome.
Then, I became a mom. And the sight of a child toddling over to me with Candyland in hand made me want to cringe.
I played anyway.
But I am definitely all Candylanded out.
I played because Candyland is important, but it’s important to know Candyland is not your only option.
Allow me to explain…
How to Grow Gamers with Amazing Gateway Games
Playing beginner games like Candyland is sort of like having an early reader. That first time your kid reads you a sentence? You are over-the-moon excited. It’s a big deal! Yay, she can read! Wahoo!!
Cut to those nights when your kids are exhausted, you are dog tired, and it’s past bedtime.
And your little darling wants to read the bedtime story.
You know what you are supposed to say, and so you say yes, but inside you cringe because you know how long and painful the story will be tonight.
Beginner games are like early readers. It’s exciting and fun and memorable… and sometimes extremely painful.
It’s okay to say that, but do not let them know you are struggling. You are building something bigger.
Candyland is important. You are making memories, building connections, and fostering a love of gaming.
And, truly, you will miss it. I promise you. I was sad when we outgrew Candyland.
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Are you Candylanded out, too?
You aren’t alone.
But, the next time you are sitting through a never-ending game of Candyland, I want you to remember this:
- This is a gateway game
- You are building something bigger
I also want you to remember that there are other options. You can add some variety to your gateway game routine!
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Here are some of my favorite gateway games:
Do you love games, too?
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Lol yes I feel the cringe sometimes too and love your description of gateway games. Going to keep that in mind.
Our favourite gateway games, which we haven’t got tired of so far:
Pick up sticks
Zeus on the loose
Such great gateway games, Priti!
Uncle Wiggly! Taught my little one to count to 100 and the silly rhymes on the cards are fun. It’s an old one from my childhood.
I’m off to check this one out. Thank you!
This post makes me happy! I’m not a homeschooler (yet), but my husband and I both enjoy board games, and have already been trying to figure out some good options for when our now 18-month-old stops putting everything in his mouth and can actually play games with us. This list definitely helps, since all I was really certain of was Candyland and Chutes & Ladders.
You have more options, promise! 🙂
Candyland drives me crazy! Glad to know it serves a purpose. ?
Hi! I’m the monster who grew up and decided that I didn’t like bored games (not all, but most) and card games. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY, and it irritates me…therefore, my goal for this year is to learn to love them. Or least learn to love playing them with our 4yo who seems to think they’re pretty darn cool. Candyland WAS the first, and he loves it as much as I did. Now we’re on to Scrabble Junior, and I’ve got Operation on deck. I’m going to start doing some research today, but is there such a thing as a game library? I know that pieces get lost and cards get bent, so chances aren’t good for such a resource. I thought I’d ask just in case. Thanks!!
Many libraries now provide games as part of their service. I would check with your local library to see! There are also game cafes where you can go and play games over a cup of coffee. Hope you find something fun locally!