Hurricane games

Sandy blew through our town last week. We didn’t have power for a couple of days, and the kids’ colds got worse without heat, but compared to many other families’ situations in New Jersey, this was nothing, and we are grateful we got off so easy.

One of the most amazing things about children is that despite what is going on—whether it be wind and rain or the cancellation of Halloween or the loss of electricity—they are compelled to continue playing. No matter how dark the house or how scary-sounding the wind outside or how worried-looking the adults, they will scrounge up some fun and insist on merriment. So, while on one hand it is more stressful to have little ones to worry about and take care of during times of emergency, on the other it is such a blessing to have pint-size party people around and be able to hear so much [unironic, unhysterical] laughter during those times.

The blackout inspired much flashlight play, of course, and “picnics” consisting of culinary odds and ends and random junk food. The sounds of wind and rain got Nica started on some tall tales that ended up scaring her. Ham somehow didn’t even seem to notice the pitch-dark conditions; he continued playing with his toys even without a flashlight. Is he a nocturnal creature? That would explain so much.

In the afternoons, while Ham took his nap, Nica played some board games with Archie and me. Two that Nica really enjoyed were Guess Who? and the Disney version of the Pretty Pretty Princess Dress-Up Board Game, both of which Nica had recently received as birthday gifts.

The object of Guess Who? is to guess correctly the person or animal your opponent has in mind, by asking questions to try to eliminate those that are not The One. The pictures of the suspects are behind open doors, and as you eliminate suspects, you close their doors until hopefully you end up with one open door.


The game is sort of annoying to assemble and the parts are cheaply made, but once play gets going, it’s pretty fun. After a couple of games—plus one bratty preschooler display of sore-loserness and subsequent parental lecture about good sportsmanship—Nica got quite good at coming up with questions that would effectively eliminate many suspects from the running.

The Pretty Pretty Princess Dress-Up Board Game ingeniously combines standard board-game play (each person gets a piece to move around a board, a spinner tells you to move a certain number of spaces, and you do whatever the space you land on tells you to do) with a little girl’s greed for bling + her love of dressing up.


The object of the game is to be the first to wear all the pieces of jewelry in your assigned color plus the crown. We had a lot of fun playing this. At least, Nica and I did.


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