Simple games are best, because they have almost infinite replay potential. Tonight I taught the older Nodlings - Wynken, Blynken, and Nod-girl - how to play Yahtzee. Even Nib watched for a little while and made doodles on her paper. We couldn't find the game, so we just grabbed 5 dice and some paper and made our own scoresheets.
The kids loved it. I liked the fact that it forces them to do Math in a way that they don't mind. It teaches patience, strategy, and good manners too. I told them ahead of time that probably nobody would get a Yahtzee and they'd have to "scratch" some category. Just to prove me wrong, two of them actually rolled a Yahtzee, and Nod-girl didn't miss a single category. She was also the only one to get the bonus for the top half. Needless to say, she beat us all.
Everybody took it with good humor; I think we've found a game that we can all play relatively quickly and we can all feel good about. It's a fun game, but oddly enough I really don't dig poker - Yahtzee is just poker using dice instead of cards. We used to play hour upon hour of Yahtzee with my great Auntie who was over 80 when she died. I always thought she had an odd way of counting up her dice, but the numbers always came out right, so I just ignored that and did mine my way. Still it's a fun memory of her.
And there's nothing like the unexpected cry of delight -- "Yahtzee!"