Oh, kids today. They’re always wanting to play on their tablets or phones, right?
Sure. But I have discovered a window of access into the world of my sons that pierces right through their generationally appropriate desire to be constantly plugged in. Games. Good old-fashioned games of strategy.
As a perfect example, I recently rediscovered Mastermind. Mastermind is a game where one person makes a combination of colored pegs into a four peg sequence. The other person has 10 tries to decode the sequence. How? Trial and error. What’s right? What needs fixing? It requires logical deduction and reasoning—skills that are critical for children’s development.
As a child, my brother and I played Mastermind and it was one of the few games we could play together despite our four year age difference, which otherwise had me excluded from most of the games my brother liked to play.
Mastermind was a great equalizer. Since I introduced it to my sons, we have discovered that it is a game that my boys don’t only play together; I can play with them and it feels like we are on equal ground. The neat thing about this kind of game is that it involves short rounds; it’s not a time commitment of hours, which can be hard to convince my boys to partake in.
Mastermind has provided a way for me and my boys to play together in a way that also doesn’t make anyone feel dumb, especially my younger son who tends to feel he’s the “baby” in the family. It’s a tremendously gratifying game of decoding.
There are so many things from my childhood that I want to share with my sons. The music I grew up with is meaningful to me and to them. Even though they love pop music and I admit that I sometimes do as well, there is something about nostalgia in music, and it is the same nostalgia I have found introducing them to this beloved game of my youth.
It warms my heart to find activities my sons and I can partake in together. It brings us joy to find ways to play together especially as they enter the teen years. I am so happy I have rediscovered Mastermind and have been able to share it with them with such great results.
Purchase Mastermind on Amazon for $15.83.