If there is one thing the children at Love & Hope are good at, it is playing. Even more, growing up around so many other children, they are great at playing together. The Love & Hope kids have a great talent for taking any object and imagining it into a plaything or taking any situation and creating a game. It is entertaining to watch them be imaginative and creative, and even more amusing to join in the fun! Here are some of the games and toys they like best:
Bingo: Bingo has been a Love & Hope tradition for many years thanks to our friend, Mandy. Once every couple weeks, we pull out the Bingo supplies: homemade cards and chips, a bag of balls for calling the numbers, and prizes. Usually we play until everyone has had a chance to win once!
Sardines: Sardines is similar to hide-and-go-seek. After turning off all the lights in the house, or heading to the park when it is dark, the kids select one person to hide while everyone else waits in another room. After hiding, all the players separate to look for the “hider.” Once found, they hide with the other person, until everyone has found the hiding spot. Playing this game in the past, we’ve seen more than 10 of our kids, young adults and caregivers, squished and hiding together in closets or showers, trying not to laugh as they wait for the other players to discover their spot.
Card games: The Love & Hope kids love card games. Decks of cards wear fast in this house as the kids play and play all kinds of card games. Some of their favorites are War, Stress, Speed and Poker (innocently, of course). Linda loves a card game called “Dutch Blitz,” and when she brings out the special set of cards, the other kids gather around, anxious to play. Linda is tough to beat though!
Legos and toy animals: Keeping the boys busy is easy; just leave them alone with a box of Legos or toy animals and soldiers. They stay occupied for hours (literally), building, modeling, making simulations, setting everything up. The boys create little battlefields in the dirt, or fly their Lego planes around the house.
La Casita: Love & Hope Children’s Home was recently blessed to be able to construct a small playground on the lawn. Everyone has been referring to the playground as “la casita” or “the little house.” The kids love to sit up on the platform to play, talk or read. They use the swings everyday. We’ve also attached some rock-climbing holds to the back side, and hope to add a hammock underneath. The platform is also high enough to see over wall surrounding our house. If the restaurant across the street erupts in cheering during a big soccer game, our kids run to climb up the platform and see who scored the goal on their big-screen TV’s. During our “family meals” on Tuesday nights, we can always find a group of kids eating their dinner on the platform. La Casita has been a great addition to our house, and the kids (and adults) love it!
The children at Love & Hope also, of course, love electronic games and watching TV. But we are encouraged by the fact that they can and want to play together outside or share in a board game. Our children are fortunate in that there is always someone to play with nearby! What are the games your children play?