This has been an incredibly busy week. I have spent a tremendous amount of time finishing a batch of wands and working on the website build, in hopes of getting all the little ducks in a row to start selling locally (filling out applications and linking back to the website is next on my list of things to do today!)
So I thought I would take a break and shine a spotlight on one of our Kempfert Family favorites.
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that the kids and I recently took a trip down to Tennessee, which involved no shortage of airplane flights and layovers. I also mentioned some of the games we brought along. Today I'm going to tell you a little more about our favorite:
The Ultimate Monster Maker got it's start last Christmas Eve, when I realized that I had neglected to get any kind of stocking gift for the kids - I'll be the first to admit my Christmas spirit is generally kind of lacking, and my gift-buying skills are sub-par on a good day.
So, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except Mom, who was digging furiously through her workshop for something to give the kids that would make a good stocking-stuffer.
The idea was pretty simple - give my kids something that would keep them busy and entertained that was easy enough to take with them on holiday trips and would be easy enough to understand that there wouldn't be any frustrated meltdowns on Christmas day.
I ended up hitting a bigger home run with the Monster Maker than I ever expected. I don't remember what else the kids got for Christmas - I do remember that they played with the Monster Maker non-stop until school started up again after the New Year.
It is a lifesaver at restaurants, especially if it is busy and the wait time is long.
But what made the Monster Maker so successful? I think the answer to that is its simplicity, and the relative elasticity of the rules.
Quite simply, the Monster Maker offers guidelines and ideas, and your child's imagination does the rest.
There are four dice contained in the set; one with the six basic colors of the rainbow, one with the numbers 1 - 6, one listing six basic body parts, and one with various shapes.
Everybody takes turns throwing the dice, and draws according to the results of the throw. Sometimes my kids play together. Sometimes they play separately. Sometimes they roll "LEGS" three times and keep adding legs onto their monsters.
The rules are completely malleable. The game is over when you are happy with your monster. The game can take as long or be as short as you want. It's all up to you.
One of my favorite things is how imagination and interpretation plays into the game.
My son and I played a round recently. We took turns rolling, and drew our monsters according to how we interpreted the results of our rolls. My son interpreted "three round, blue eyes" to mean that each of his monster's heads needed three eyes. I interpreted it to mean that my five-headed monster only got three eyes altogether, making for a rather silly situation.
My son created "six blue triangle arms" by stacking blue triangles to make long, wiggly arms. I tried using the parameter to make simple but expressive arms.
This game is a great way to pass the time, and I have been really pleased with how it has grown with my kids. Young children will develop number recognition, color awareness and motor skills as they learn to draw their shapes, while older kids will have to think and develop spacial awareness as they learn to place their shapes on the paper, often out of order, to make more complicated versions of their monsters.
If I were only able to recommend a single product from our line for families to try, it would be the Ultimate Monster Maker. It is a never-ending source of smiles and entertainment, and definitely ranks highly on our list of Family Favorites.
Somebody rolled a triangle shaped mouth, and suddenly we're trying to mimic the shape.