Monday, July 30, 2007

Shall we play a game?

In David's world, stacking blocks with the intent of knocking them down is one game he likes to play by himself or with others, so imagine Nataliya's surprise when I took out the Jenga game to play with David.

Jenga is a game played with wood blocks, stacked alternatively three across to build a structure 18 levels high. Each player then takes a turn removing out one of the lower blocks and stacking them on top until the tower's topples. (Recommended for children aged 6 and up.)

Although I assured Nataliya that David had played the game with me once before, images of David swiping the stack from the table ran through her mind. How could David resist the urge to topple the tower before the game even begun? This is the boy who hides puzzle pieces in between couch cushions, takes apart anything he can get his hands on, and scatters his toys around to make it look like a hurricane came through our living room!

Well, imagine Nataliya's surprise when David not only didn't destroy the structure, but he played the game correctly. Not just correctly, mind you, but he played well... perhaps too well for the two-year old he's supposed to be. He was extremely careful not to disrupt the tower and was successful in placing each piece higher on the tower, even when the height of the game was higher than himself. His hand was steady and you could see the concentration in his face.

David carefully examines the game, trying to figure out which piece to move.

Finding a loose block, David is elated as he slowly manipulates it out of the structure.

Only after the tower fell and the game ended, did David show his age, swiping the fallen blocks around and laughing. As impressive as it was to see him play a game so seriously, it was a relief to see him revert back to our little boy.

Note: If you have an aversion to wood blocks, Jenga will be available in November 2007 for the Nintendo Wii.

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