Family Game Night is a great time to put aside all the problems and challenges that we face on a daily basis, and just enjoy each other’s company. Time filled with laughter and children, make really good memories!
While on holidays I found this great game that can be played with adults and children alike. I love games that cross all those barriers. When you have a game that can be played with every member of the family, that game is a winner in my books.
Introduction to Mexican Train
Dominoes are fun to play with for everyone in the family. Little people can learn to count while they are admiring the shiny dots on the tiles. But with Mexican Train, there is a Big Twist. Most dominoes are just black and white with dots of black marking their value. With Mexican Train, the Dominoes are multicolored and still sport the same dots as their regular cousins. This is part of the twist in the game that makes it so much fun for the whole family.
How to Play
Everyone is given a little train in a different color. You turn the dominoes out on the table face down and everyone gets to pick their own dominoes from the tiles in front of them. Depending on the number of people in your family, playing, this number of tiles will vary. Each game starts with the person who has picked the Double 12. If no one has this in their “pile of tiles”, tiles are turned over until it is found. This tile goes into the center of the “cog” where everyone’s train is stationed. Subsequent games will start with the double “11”, double “10”, double “9” and so on until you are ready to call it quits. So far it doesn’t sound too difficult, but just wait, the rules become more difficult as tiles are played and their numbers decrease.
I love the way this game of Mexican Train is all self contained. Everything goes back into its case and is ready for the next time someone in the family wants to play!
Everyone for themselves and then……..
As the game begins, everyone has to start with the number that is in the middle of the “cog”. If you don’t have a “12” to start, you must pick up a tile from the ones face down on the table. If you draw a “12” you can then start to build your train. Once you have started your train, you keep your train close to you until you can no longer play a domino. Then your train gets loaded onto your string of tiles and everyone else in the family will get a chance to play a domino on your train. Hopefully one will come up soon so that you can get back into the game. Otherwise you will be picking up tiles and points too!
And then……some more……..
At times there will be only one train (your own) to play on and at other times there maybe as many as 4 or 5 trains that you can play on. It all depends on how lucky you are in drawing tiles from the table. Doubles will get you in trouble, sometimes, if you don’t have a domino to follow it. Doubles requires that you play the number first before any other tile can be played. If no one can play, they keep picking up dominoes to add to their pile. Once the double has been laid away, normal play continues.
In the End….
Once a player has played his/her last domino, everyone is given on last turn to play a tile. Then the whole family counts up their dominoes! The one with the least amount of points is the winner of that round.
Next round starts with Double “11’s”
Play continues going through all of the tile markers, with the game ending when you have had enough or are tired. One thing is certain, the laughter and fun is infectious especially when you have a few people playing. It makes you search for open trains, and recognize all the different colors and markings on the tiles. Children and their parents can have lots of fun learning how to play this game and it’s not so highly competitive that it spoils the fun.
This game is fun because you can start easily and work your way into harder rules if you want to, but even the regular rules make this a game that evens the playing field for the whole family. There is no innate skills involved other than observation and concentration. These are great skills to have in life and you teach them by playing.