November's game of the month is Rummikub, which I'm happy to say is very affordable. Kiddo traded in his Halloween candy for this game and he agreed that he definitely made a wise decision. Candy for Rummikub? No contest!
(Note: affiliate links included below)
As in the classic Rummy card game, the object of Rummikub is to use up your "hand" (in this case numbered tiles instead of playing cards) by creating numbered runs and sets. Players strategically reorganize the tiles already out on the table in order to play the tiles in their hand. The first player to use up his tiles wins the round, amassing points based on the tiles left in the other players' hands.
In order to make my Game of the Month posts more useful, I am now including a list of special considerations about the game, plus how to play when your younger kids insist on playing, too!
- Rummikub does require some patience. Kids will need to wait while other players consider their next move. Each turn, however, is limited to 2 minutes.
- The length of the game is preset ahead of time. The rules suggest setting a point limit but we usually find that one round is plenty for the attention span of a 7 year old boy. We often do not play for points, with no loss of enjoyment.
- The rules state that opening plays for each player must be worth at least 30 points. If you want to follow this rule, children should be able to add reasonably well. However, following this rule is by no means necessary and superior math skills are not required to play and enjoy the game.
- The manufacturer suggests this game for ages 8 and up. I think many kids as young as 6 will enjoy Rummikub.
How to Play with a Preschooler at the Table:
Let your preschooler sit next to a grown-up and be part of a team. Young kids can choose tiles from the pool, organize tiles by color and numbers and help their grown-up partner lay out runs and set. For added fun and learning, count aloud together as you play tiles.
Previous Games of the Month:
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Actually the time allotted according to the official rules is ONE minute, not two.
I double checked our instruction booklet, and it says "two minutes" but perhaps that has changed in subsequent editions. Anyway, the salient point is that the time is limited. And families always have the option of changing the "official" time, based on their needs.