Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pocket Guide to Games

The Pocket Guide to Games, Bart King. Gibbs Smith 2008

"Back in the misty dawn of time, before heads up seven up had been invented, children used to play the Squirrel and the Nut."

This book takes games from Jessie Bancroft's 1909 Book of Games and explains them using humor and illustrations. I smiled remembering playing Centipede Tag and can't wait for summer so my children can play El Globo (think a piƱata and water balloon cross). There are active games, quiet games, contests / feats and beanbag / ball games. Sprint-n-Grab, Skin the Snake and Rounders are just a few. The index breaks the games down into type, number of players and age appropriateness.

Clear explanations allow the reader to pick up the book and quickly play tons of games. It clearly shows the number of players needed and where best to play the game. The author also explains the game a country of origin, if it is PR (potentially rough) and how to play the game with "proficient players." I also enjoyed the short section on how our society needs to transform being "it" into a "prized honor."

I would have loved to have this book when working at a challenge course doing team building. These games not only get children out of their seats and active, but have lessons hidden as well. Gym teachers, camp counselors and coaches also would benefit from this pocket sized game reference. I also think that every parent should have this book so they can remember games from their youth and learn new games to experience with their children.

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