Nearly every weekend dinner with my adult family concludes with a fiercely competitive round of Play Nine, a lively card game loosely based on a round of traditional golf. To say we’re addicted, or at least some of are addicted, is not far from the truth.
This past weekend signaled the first weekend of school’s summer vacation and the ordinarily quiet neighborhood was host to more skateboards, scooters and bicycles than normal. It occurred to me that I spend alot of time at Gifts To Go focused on quality, educational books for children and teens and to date I’d completely overlooked the educational value of the simple, but challenging Play Nine card game we stock.
The goal of the nine holes, otherwise referred to as hands, is to transform the initial random eight cards dealt into the lowest net score. Aside from the simple eye-hand coordination of handling standard sized cards and taking turns to play, number recognition and matching are important skills that younger family members can master while playing. The initial eight are arranged face down in two rows of four cards one row neatly above the second row. At each player’s turn, one of the original eight cards can be unveiled or replaced by selecting from the previous play’s discard or drawing anew from the deck. To minimize the net score, match the top row card with the bottom row card so the pair registers zero points. And for the strong nerved players, bonus point reductions can be achieved by matching not just two cards but two sets of two cards or three sets of two cards! The game continues player to player until one goes out after uncovering all eight cards. The strategy of going out is to reduce your own score while leaving the other players with higher scores. And just for fun, there are four Hole In One cards with a negative point value which add even more drama to the game.
Family game nights have been long proven to build family ties and bridge generation gaps but in today’s age of electronic gadgety are more important than ever to building basic social skills. Pick up a set of Play Nine cards before the long weekend arrives and you’ll be prepped with a fun activity for the family, neighbors, friends, anyone!
Be sure to tell us if these were a hit at your home!