As a Montessori teacher, I helped parents and children during the time of settling in…
In our family, we like board games a lot.
My daughter was offered her first board game when she was 2 years old
It was the perfect board game for her with just enough challenge for her at the time.
Now that my children are 10 and 6, we keep playing board games on a regular basis. We try to have a board game night once a week.
As there is a 4 years gap, it is sometimes difficult to find the perfect family game.
Just before Christmas, I came upon GiaBOX, a monthly board games subscription box. You are first invited to fill in a form to tell them what board games you have already and what kind of board games you would like. Then they send you a curated board game box. We receive 2 great family games that I haven’t heard of before. We have received Rhino hero, a balancing game, and my first Carcassonne, a strategy game. Both games were awesome!
My first Carcassonne is the kid’s version of the classic strategy game: The streets of Carcassonne are filled with kids who are trying to catch the animals set loose for the festival. The city has never been so alive! This version of the modern classic, Carcassonne, has been adapted to allow players of all ages to play together. No need to count points! Each turn, you place a tile to build Carcassonne. When you close a street with one or more kids of your colour, you get to put your pawns on the board. Be the first to place all of your pawns to win the game!
We all enjoyed that game and it has become a firm favourite. We even play this one in non competitive way by modifying the rules. In our version, we focus on building the city and on putting all the pawns on the board. The game ends when we don’t have any more cards.
Rhino Hero is a bit like making a castle of cards. It’s all about balance and staying focus to not make it fall.
Super Rhino! presents players with an incredibly heroic – and regrettably heavy – rhinoceros who is eager to climb a tall building and leap other tall buildings in a single bound. First, though, you need to construct that building.
Players each start the game with five roof cards, and they take turns adding walls and roofs to a single building. On a turn, you first place walls on the highest floor, then you choose a roof card in your hand and place it on the wall. Each roof card bears markings that indicate where the next player must place walls on the card. In addition, some roof cards force a player to perform special actions, such as placing a second roof, changing the direction of play, or moving Super Rhino to a new location on the tower. Keep your hands steady!
The first player to build all of his roof cards wins the game. Alternatively, if the building collapses, the player who caused the collapse automatically loses, and the player with the fewest roof cards in hand wins.
Today I wanted to post a little interview I had with Miriam Sanz, the creator of a GiaBOX.
Good morning Miriam. First of all, thanks for sharing your ideas with us. Why board games? How did GiaBOX started?
GiaBOX was born in October 2017, but we worked hard for one year to create what we are now. I say “we” because my partner has been involved on the project as much as me.
It was born from our love to Board Games but It wouldn’t exist without knowing Montessori. Since we discovered the Montessori principles, we realised the world is not as nice as It should be. Because of the way we have shaped it, we have a limited amount of time to spend with our kids and parents sometimes feel they are disconnected from their children. It easy to let children watch TV and use tablets for long periods of time…so we thought it would be fantastic if people would share time together through our little hobby: Board Games.
For me, as a mother, it was really important to look after Sergio, my son at home but I also wanted to keep developing my professional career.
What is GiaBOX?
Giabox is a subscription box company. We send personalised boxes with board games for families, couples, kids, etc. We don’t send the most common ones (monopoly, etc). We send games people have rarely heard of and that I can assure are really fun to play.
Our service includes the selection of the board games according to their likes and needs. When they select one of our plans (Single or Subscription box) we send them a form they need to fill in. Based on their answers, we send them a personalised selection of board games.
In this way, they start building up a good collection at a low and well-spread cost. The subscription can be cancelled at any time.
So, based on the Montessori philosophy, why do you think kids should play board games?
We think the best way to learn is through playing and, although board games are not Montessori materials, they will teach our children some of the Montessori principles. For example, they can help to develop grace and courtesy skills, but also give them the opportunity to make decisions for themselves and evaluate them.
Parents can also use board games to introduce new topics to their children or to reinforce areas they are not interested in enough in a fun and engaging way.
You can check here our post about the benefit of board games on children.
What is the starting age of the board games you send?
We send board games from 3 years old and over. We can send family board games, games for kids and we can send some to couples – we have experienced that playing together help us reconnect.
To end the interview, do you want to share anything else with us?
From GiaBOX we think the most important thing about board games is they bring people back to the table. While a family is playing, they share moments and create good memories. Our main aim since we created the company has been to show people they can have fun together, far away from phones and tablets, just talking, thinking and enjoying.
Thanks very much for the interview, Carine. We are really happy to share our little hobby with you.
Disclaimer: I was offered one Giabox and my review is my honest opinion!
Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.