Holidays are a time for family to get together, make new memories and reminisce over old ones. They’re also a time to be surrounded by a bunch of cookoo kids and cousins. During our festive gatherings I typically witness the rowdy sugared up version of my children as they actively try to destroy one another in the form of “I’m bored and cooped up in this crazy house” entertainment.
One effective way we’ve discovered for dealing with crazy kiddos over the years aside from technology is to create a fun diversion. Lego Gauntlet, as our kids affectionately call it, is a contest between cousins to see who can master the speed and art of lego building. There is no limit to the number that can play. All you need is a large bucket of random legos, a rowdy group of kids (or adults for that matter), and a desire to have some organized fun.
Here’s how it works. One person is the score keeper and idea creator.
In our case, that someone was Uncle Matt. You can see the tally sheet above. The names of the kids or adults participating runs across the top. For scoring, “S” = Speed, “Q” = Quality and “T” = Total. We typically play four Rounds and one Final Round. The person with the highest points from each of the first four rounds wins that round. For the final round, the selections are voted on by the “non participating” relatives and the one with the most votes takes the prize. Speed is ranked from 1-5; 5 being lightening fast and 1 being turtle slow. Quality is ranked from 1-10 with 10 being Van Gogh worthy and 1 being something my 2 year old brother put together. Multiply the two numbers and you get your final score.
To begin a round, the score keeper states what he wants to see built and then the game begins. You have 10 minutes for each round and once time’s up, you need to present and describe your final masterpiece to the group in whatever state it’s in. Building ideas can come straight from the scorekeeper or you can make it similar to a game of charades where you toss a bunch of ideas into a hat and whatever idea is pulled, that’s what you build. The faster you finish, the more speed points you’ll amass. The more creative or accurate the rendition, the better you’ll score on quality. Rock both categories and you take the round!
Here are a few of the entries from the ideas listed above:
These were the deer from round 3. Which is your favorite?
And here’s the winning entry from the final challenge: Thanksgiving Dinner.
The inclusion of Batman and baby Alden in the back left corner (the newest addition to the extended family) sealed the deal.
We’ve played this game for the past two family holiday visits. It’s become such a core tradition that the kids begin asking to play before the bags are even unpacked! If you’re looking for a fun diversion this holiday break that will buy you a few hours of fun and cooperation, then give Lego Gauntlet a go. You’re welcome. 🙂
How about your family? Do you have any fun activities or games that you play as a part of a holiday tradition?