Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bring Back Family Day Night with Hasbro

My parents brought us up on board games. I remember playing all sorts: Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble, Monopoly, Cluedo, UNO, Game of the Generals, Mastermind, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Boggle etc. Those were the days when the internet was nonexistent, TV did not have cable yet, and life was simpler. It was a time when family bonding happened around the four corners of a table with family members hunched over a board, intent on making a move, then bursting out in laughter or in groans depending on who was winning. Those were the days...

Nowadays, games have grown terribly sophisticated and individualistic. Almost all popular games are on the computer, played alone or with others on a network. Handheld devices lead to people sitting by themselves in corners, intently maneuvering their PSP, iPod Touch or iPhone buttons. Family bonding is all but an afterthought during brownouts or in places where internet signals are nil.

Hasbro, an edutainment company, thinks that board games are not passe. In fact, there are many reasons why families should continue playing board games:

1. Family bonding - Game play allows kids to learn from you and from each other, encouraging a sense of connectedness and respect among family members.

2. Learning - Deductive reasoning, strategy, importance of money management, simple math are all built into different games

3. Life skills - Games teach kids a lot of important life skills such as patience, teamwork and perseverance. It even teaches them how to take losing and how to win graciously.

4. Laughter - Board games elicit a lot of innocent ribbing, giggles and outright laughter. That's a lot of endorphins that are not just healthy but also breed good, positive feelings among everyone.

If it's been a while since you've bonded as a family over board games, this coming Christmas is a good way to revive it. They say that one of the best things you can give children are loads of good memories. You can always give them money but when they grow up, that is not what they'll remember. They will remember those days when, as kids, the family played exciting board games. For sure they would remember what some would think trivial at the time but which sticks to their memories until they themselves are adults.

Recently, we were introduced to some of Hasbro's board games as well as to their newest release, the FurReal Snuggimals. These Snuggimals look almost like the real thing, but tiny. They respond to your touch, wagging their tails and nodding their heads when touched on the back. I tried touching a brown puppy FurReal Snuggimal and he looked so cute wagging and nodding. This is a great gift for little kids who cannot still have a real pet of their own.

(FurReal Snuggimals, 4-12 yrs, SRP: P429.75)

I plan to buy Taboo which some mommy bloggers and I played at the Hasbro event. You pick a card with a word for your teammates to guess. You can use English words to give clues. The complication is that the card contains words you can NEVER mention while giving them clues otherwise the point goes to the other team. And you have a time limit (an hourglass filled with sand). Take it from one who never played it till now, this game is exciting, stressful but loads of fun for hours!

Comes with 504 cards, card holder, buzzer, timer, scorepad
(Taboo, for Adults, SRP: P1,999.75)

Comes with 50 cards, mini timer & squeaker
(Taboo-mini version, for Adults, SRP: P399.75)

I came home from the event with one other game that is suited just for the ages of my kids (and for us). It is called Scattergories. This game starts with you throwing the dice to choose a letter. The card you draw has several categories in them (for ex, name of a fruit, name of a hero, etc) and you would need to name one from each category beginning with the letter chosen. I'm excited to open this when my family has a Christmas reunion. For will be a riot.

(Scattergories, for Adults, SRP: 1,499.75)

Just to give you an idea what else is out there, here are some more for you to consider as Christmas gifts (Hint: If you order online, you may get it cheaper than SRP. Go to

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