Care to Play?


We took a trip into Burlington today and visited the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. We go to ECHO often enough that we have a membership. Seeing the fish and turtles and ocean touch tank are interesting pretty much every time. They also, however, have a rotating exhibit. The current one is called Playing Together, which is all about games. They have games on display, such as a giant chess board and hopscotch and, one of my favorites, skittles. All of them are available to play, so whether the ancient game of Senet or the more modern Backgammon, fun can be had.

We wanted to play chess on the giant board, but it was never available. That thing is popular. My children played Bubble Hockey, which is like foosball, but hockey instead of soccer. My wife played hopscotch several times. We did not come close to playing all the games. We will have to go back.


Skittles uses a top to knock down pins–the harder the pins are to reach the more points they are worth.

I love games. Before children games were a major source of fun in our house. We still play them at home, but different games and not as competitively. One winter night our pipes froze and my wife and I stayed up all night trying to thaw them out. While we waited for steam to do its duty, we played Quiddler. We played hand after hand and got such high scores we were impressed with ourselves with such an amazing display of wordsmithing. Then we realized we had played several hands too many. We stayed up way too late that night, and the pipes never thawed anyway.

I taught my son chess a few years ago, and then gave him a chess board for Christmas. We play occasionally. I don’t cut him any slack but when I stop paying attention he sneaks up on me. I am not all that good at chess so I imagine he will surpass me if we play enough.

We should get back into playing games more often. We have played a few of them this week, as we are all off for the school break. It would be a good habit to keep up. Maybe another visit to ECHO will inspire us again to make it a regular activity in our house. The exhibit was inspiring. There are just so many fun games to play. Games night anyone?

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