In my Simplicity Parenting classes we do an exercise where we remember a “Golden Moment” either from our own childhood or from time spent with our children. It is heartwarming to hear the joy in people’s voices as they describe these moments. It is always instructive to notice that never, not even once, has a participant’s golden moment included electronic media and that, most often, the golden moments have taken place in nature.

Some of my golden moments, however, both from my own childhood and with my children, take place indoors, at a table (or on the living room floor, or, even, on an airplane) when we are engaged in playing a game together.

I’ve always loved playing games and I have wonderful memories of going over to my great-aunt’s house for big family get-togethers that would always include games– one favorite was where you were blindfolded and attempted to scoop cotton balls into a pot with a big spoon; it was equally funny to remove the blindfold and discover you had, after diligent effort, gotten one lone cotton ball into the pot as it was to watch your relatives scooping and scooping “spoonfuls” of nothing into the pot.

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When my boys were small, I excitedly awaited the day that we would be able to play board games together. Well, happily, those days have arrived and now you can often find us engaged in a game.

Even if they were “just” for fun and family connection, board games would, of course, be “worth” it, but I was not surprised to read this article recently about how board games develops children’s executive functioning.

In my next post, I will share some of our favorite games. Until then, don’t forget to throw in a deck of cards or a travel-sized game when you head out on your next summer adventure!