Both of my boy are really into Pokémon. Sometimes it takes me a while to come around kid products that are clearly designed to keep you buying more, but the other day, while they were playing with the neighbor's son I asked myself the following: what logical reasons, other than the fact that the cards are constantly littering the entire floor of our apartment, do I have for disliking the phenomenon?
None, I realized.
In fact, despite the fact that I have no idea why Pokémon holds such appeal for my kids, there are many reasons to embrace Pokémon.
1. Math practice. I can't pretend to understand the way Pokémon "damage" points work. All I know is that I overhear a lot of calculations while they examine their decks and play games. Or are they called "battles"? Who knows.
More: Like simple? These super easy math ideas are perfect for preschoolers.
2. Negotiation. When I was a kid, I traded stickers. I spent a lot of time contemplating the value of my favorite stickers. Would I trade 2 rainbows for 1 unicorn? Decisions, decisions. Whatever they are trading, there are some serious negotiation skills put to the test.
3. Organization. How does one store a gazillion Pokémon cards, anyway? If you stuff them all in a box you have a hard time finding the one card you want at any given moment. Do you arrange them by color? By strength? By energy type? (I'm sort of guessing at these categories. You've probably figured out by now that I have no idea how Pokémon actually works.)
4. Economics. I'm certainly not going to continue to fund the Pokémon habit, so they need to learn a bit about how to keep up their supply. Exactly how important is it to get another set of cards? Can you hold out until you earn $12 for the 60 pack, or do you purchase the less expensive, but less-economic 10 pack? How many extra chores do you have to do to earn that money, anyway?
5. Literacy. One of the ways you can organize cards is alphabetically. My 5 year old is an emerging reader and he recognizes that in order to compete with the big boys, he has to be able to decode the language on the Pokémon cards.
6. Peer Relationships. Not that the boys don't still squabble, but my 9 year old and my 5 year old can actually get along when they are involved in Pokémon negotiations and strategy. My older son teaches his brother about the characters and game play. On play dates where both ages are represented, the boys can all find common ground with Pokémon.
7. Sportsmanship. No one wants to play with a sore loser. That lesson hits home pretty quickly.
8. Quiet time. Ahhh, my favorite reason to love Pokémon. The boys spend hours either looking at the cards by themselves, or playing together. Neither activity, thankfully, involves me.
Are your kids into Pokémon? How do you feel about it?