Saturday, August 25, 2012

Candy Land

This past week the kids at Olives have been on summer holiday.  Instead of having classes, we’ve essentially been having summer camp.  Most of the kids are busy at home or up country visiting relatives, but we’ve had a pretty steady 30-40 kids from the village turn up to play games and do puzzles. 

It’s been loads of fun to get to just relax and play with the kids.  Most of them don’t really have access to games and puzzles, so it’s been interesting trying to teach them through the language barrier.  They’re having a blast, though.  They come in and get right down to the business of playing.  I’ve been really impressed with how respectful the kids have been with all of the materials.  The first couple days were a bit chaotic but now, by Friday, everyone is happily occupied with their game of choice and actually playing it correctly, which is an achievement.  Thanks to all the volunteers for having the patience to teach everyone!

I think it took Jan several days before the kids started to understand how ConnectFour works.
I managed to pull Standard 8 away from their studies for 3 mornings in a row!  They were fans of Scrabble.
I think the thing that’s been the most fun for me this week has been the reminder of how simple games can surpass so many boundaries.  It’s been surreal to see our village kids playing the same games as the kids back home, half a world away.  I always appreciate these little reminders that all kids everywhere are essentially the same.  I also think it says something for the games themselves that something like Candy Land can stand the test of time and be so universally understood.  
Candy Land, unlike ConnectFour, was understood and enjoyed almost immediately.

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