The last time I sat down and played a game of Risk was likely sometime in the 80’s. It’s been a while.

I loved playing it, of course, but I also remember it being a fairly complex multi-hour undertaking.

So, when Bode found the game board at the hostel and asked to play, I initially deferred. I assumed it would be too difficult for him and more trouble than it’s worth. He could take it out of the box and play with the pieces and we would talk about it later.

Once he saw that the pieces had guys with rifles and canons, he pleaded with me to teach him to play. He’s definitely at the stage of having that boyhood fascination with wars and weapons. He asks me for updates on the situation in Libya every day… seriously. You should hear him explain the conflict in conversation – it raises eyebrows.

In no time we were staking claims to territories (he took Peru first) and mom was even invited into battle. He took to it immediately and after an hours-long match, he and mom had banded together to wipe dad off the map.

Aside from having fun together, we also worked on learning all the continents and oceans. Lot’s of math. Reading. Alliances. Odds. Strategies for land wars in Asia.

Maybe more importantly, he knew that Parker Brothers thinks you need to be 10+ to learn the game. When some friends walked in and were impressed with his play, he was full of pride when he told them he was only 5.  It’s a good thing they didn’t ask him about Libya.

6 thoughts on “Risk

  • March 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Great to hear about your Peruvian adventures. Here are some of our recc based on the highlights of our trip with kids in 06:
    Machu Picchu – must see
    Arequipe – spanish influences, built with local white stone, family favourite, including mountain bike ride down volcanoe
    Ollantaytambo, “a living city of the Incas that boasts Incan streets, houses, and an intact irrigation system”
    Lake Titicaca – just to say we’ve been there and got the t-shirt – that was enough for our kids.
    If you want to trek check out waykitrek.net and ask for guide Edgar. We did the 4 day inca trail with Edgar (incredibly knowledgable about Incan and Peruvian everything), fabulous cooks and porters. Luxury camping for those who usually tent. Might be a lot for Bode but given his success at Risk, maybe not! Things others recc but we missed Colca Canyon to see the condors and trip to the islands in Lake Titicaca. Enjoy!

  • March 25, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    I watched President Obama’s inauguration in that hostel! Good memories. Maybe Bode’s early strategy sessions will prepare him for the oval office someday. Not a bad upbringing for a future president when you think about it: exposure to international cultures, interest in world events, knows how to charm the big kids, has a balanced personality and good karma from living in a VW! He sounds like the perfect candidate! Tell Bode he’s a bright young man and I’ll vote for him in 2046, he just needs to listen to his parents and do all of his homework in the time between now and his election!

  • March 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    As soon as he figures out the New Zealand gambit, he’ll be unstoppable.

  • March 25, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    That’s fantastic!

  • March 31, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    I agree with Chad’s comments above. Bode’s the man, and he’s so lucky to be on this incredible journey with you. Not sure how much you’ve been following the ongoing State and Federal budget news back here in the US, but there are ongoing and continued draconian cuts for funding public education, all the way from K-12 through colleges. It’s ridiculous, disgusting, and it’s getting way out of hand. Sad to say, but with the way things are going, I seriously think Bode is learning more abroad, and certainly getting a more enriched education, than he ever would get back here in the US.

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