They’ll make such cute little gamblers.

One of the fun things about having Auntie Kim in town is that she loves to play games. If we’re sitting still, we’re usually either eating or talking, and if we’re talking, we’re probably playing games. It’s what we do.

Consequently, we’ve already played countless games of Rummy 500 (and regular Rummy when we’re too lazy to get up for pencil and paper), Uno, Memory, and many other card games with the girls. It’s so much more fun now that the girls are old enough to play with us. Even Bee can hold her own in Uno. Of course, she still shows us her cards, but I’m not worried; just give her a year or two and she’ll plot her revenge like her sister with Wild Draw +4s, Draw +2s, and Skips. Funtimes.

Kim and I introduced the girls to a new game this weekend: Pokeno. I remember many, many nights spent playing Pokeno at the kitchen table when we were younger. I knew Gracie and Bee would love the game just like we did. It works like this: each player gets a game board comprised of pictures of playing cards, five columns by five rows. As the drawer flips a deck of cards one by one, the players cover the corresponding card on their game board. Players are supposed to use poker chips to cover the card, but we always used M&Ms. It made it much more interesting, let me tell you. I’m pretty sure the girls thought so, too, but maybe I mistook all the squealing and candy-stealing; perhaps they hated it.

To start the game, each player donates five M&Ms into the cups marked in the middle of the table. We use Pokeno (a straight line up and down, across, or diagonal), Middle, Four Corners, and Four of a Kind (each board has one set of four of a kind). You could make up other cups, I’m sure, but those are the ones we’ve always used. When one person wins Pokeno, the game is over. Any candies left in the cups roll over to the next game. If you’re like us, you can play for gobs and gobs of time – or until bedtime rolls around, whichever comes first.

I will warn you that if you play with little people, like we did, that some of the M&Ms are bound to get a little grubby. Beware! Thankfully, I am a mom and beyond caring about such things. I suppose you could use the poker chips that come with the game if you’re worried, or you could use cut-out hearts or birthday-themed items for a party if you’d like. The cups of M&Ms in the middle could be the prizes for the winners. That way the kiddos wouldn’t be donating M&Ms to the cups that they had just finished running their hands through to cover their game board. Win.

Who am I kidding, though, really – who else would be teaching their little kids games like Pokeno? I couldn’t help myself – it’s just so much fun and it kept the natives happy and easily contained for an entire hour! We also had fun moments like when Bee yelled out, “LAVA!” Kim and I had a difficult time figuring out that one until I had the sense to ask Bee what she meant. “Lava. From a o-cano.” Light bulb moment. Lava. Volcano. Pokeno. Totally makes sense, yo.

So go! Have fun! Entertain your kiddos or just have a fun game night with your people. I promise I won’t tell if I see you sneaking the M&Ms for yourself.

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8 Responses to “They’ll make such cute little gamblers.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Lava! makes perfect sense. I didn’t even have to read the explanation. I was three once you know – a VERY long time ago.

    Sounds like you are all having a great time. Enjoy!

  2. Karyn Says:

    Lava! Love it. That sounds like a fun game. I must learn – even if it’s just an excuse to buy m&ms!

  3. bluzdude Says:

    I always loved playing big family/friends board games or card games. Good times…

  4. Kim Says:

    Oh, sure – *nooow* you come up with a way to keep my chocolate clean!

  5. mrs. e Says:

    What a great time! I’m going to hunt thata game. So glad your sister and you have so much fun with your girls. They are watching your example, sisters!! 🙂

  6. Gayle Says:

    That sounds like so much fun! Oh my gosh, Bee is so cute! I’ve never played Pokeno, I need to look for it. My youngest son loves to have game night, but my oldest won’t play with us anymore. 😦 My daughter still isn’t too cool to play, so at least 4 of us play!

  7. Kate@And Then I Was a Mom Says:

    Ah, game nights. We need more of those around here. Also, UnO. How could I not have played Uno in two decades? I used to live and die by that game. (I was super popular in elementary school. SUPER popular.)

  8. Agent Torklepants Says:

    Hahhahaha!!! Bee outwitted 2 smarty pants with cockney rhyming slang!!!!

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