I have been building our board game collection in the library over the last few years. Buffy Hamilton's recent mention of adding new games to her library this year inspired a quick shopping trip! Her post reminded me that I wanted to add some new games to our library too and I was near one of my favorite local toy stores.
When I think about my big goal for the K-5 library, I want kids to see it as a place for learning, thinking, exploring, discovering and creating. I want them to know that there are lots of tools for these things and that the library has a variety of tools to support the different learning they might do. Books, laptops, Legos, puppets, board games, cameras, magazines, and ipods are some of the tools available to kids in the library. I want them to think about which tool will support their learning and have access to a huge variety. I want them to see the library as a place that will support them with whatever tool it might be that they need and I try to fill the library with the best learning tools for elementary students.
In terms of games, some of the popular games that we have in the library are BANANAGRAMS, SCRAMBLED STATES, SET, and COUNTDOWN. Each of the games we have in the library supports learning in a different way. Some are strategy games, others connect to books. Some connect to specific learning that K-5 students do. Along with more strategy games (which I believe you can never have enough of!), I hope to pick up the new DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS board game as well as a FANCY NANCY board game for the younger kids. Some of the fourth graders asked about learning to play GO this year and having GO Tournaments, after reading HIKARU NO GO.
I picked up two new games that I am excited about today. The first is MULTIPLAYER PENTAGO. We have two of the regular (2 player) PENTAGO games in the library and they are a huge hit. If you don't know Pentago, it is a great visual strategy game for two players. Kids of all ages loved this game and after the first few days, I never won a game! This new 2010 version, is the same game but is made for more than 2 players. The board is colorful and up to 4 players can play this one. The 2 Pentago games were almost always in use so I am sure the kids will be excited about the new challenges and fun that this one provides. I also just discovered that you can play Pentago online--with a friend or against the computer. That will be another way kids can enjoy this great strategy game!
I also picked up SQUARE UP. It looked like a good game and I trust the Parents' Choice Award when it is on a game. This is a pattern/puzzle game in which two players race to slide cubes in order to match a given pattern. Although this is designed to be played with two players, it looks like there are ways for individuals to play and learn.
I also like to have some puzzles in the library. Most are either strategy puzzles or puzzles that go with books. I think puzzles encourage collaborative work in a way that other tools don't. When I saw the CRAZY CHEESE MATCHING PUZZLE, I thought it would be a great thing to put on a table during Student/Parent Walk-Through Day. I love to put things out that encourage parents and children to explore together. I think families could have fun with this one.
I don't have a huge budget for games but I do want to add a few more quality games this year. I would love to hear what other librarians are putting in their libraries in terms of games.