So one of the best things about birthdays/Christmas in these parts is that there are always new games to play. Since Harper was about three years old we've requested and given her games as gifts (this Christmas Michael will get some too). For her birthday this year Harper received Mouse Trap, Dizios, Toy Story Kerplunk!, and the Pictureka card game.
Tonight was family night and Harper chose games as the activity. While Michael was still awake we played Kerplunk! I don't know if you have any experience with that game - I think it's been around a long time - but the "regular" version uses marbles as the tumbling objects. The Toy Story version uses those little green aliens. In the game they are sort of rubbery and therefore this version makes a lot less noise than the original. We had Michael partner with either Matt or myself, to help direct his enthusiastic efforts. He was so happy to be included because he has watched Harper play games his entire life. The child was practically leaping out of his seat. Each time he pulled a stick out of the game he yelled, "Me ween!" (I win!) He also cheered whenever he made the aliens fall down, even though that was the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Michael pretty much epitomizes the whole, "It doesn't matter if you win or lose..." thing.
Because it is so easy (and quick) to set up and play, I think Kerplunk! will see heavy rotation in our house. Do you have any favorite family games?