Manic Mondays: Pig Out!

By Amy Toman

Welcome to Manic Mondays in 2017! I am so excited to continue talking about the life of a missionary wife, homeschooling with games, and other relevant content. So far this year we have talked about The Millennial Question, and Digital Cohousing. Today we are going to talk about a favorite game of Alethea’s called Pass the Pigs.

I’m sure there are many of you that have played or at least heard of Pass the Pigs as it used to be called Pig Mania. This game was one that was introduced to me early on in my relationship with Jacob. See, my family wasn’t big on board games; we owned a handful of games but didn’t play them all that much. On the occasions that we did play games they tended to be party games, or PC games like The Sims. When I met Jacob, I was introduced to a whole realm of board games that I didn’t know were around; Jacob’s family used to play some type of card game or board game on many nights, which is when I was introduced to Pig Mania.

Pig Mania, now called Pass the Pigs, is a fun, tactile, easy to learn game that gamers of all ages can enjoy. Alethea received this game as a gift when she was 4 years old. Upon first receiving this game, she was a bit too young to understand all the rules and scoring, but loved the pigs! Like most games, she took the pigs and played make believe with them.  She would ask daily if she could play with the little pigs, which we allowed as long as she kept them on the table.

Pass the Pigs is a game with a handful of rules that are quick and easy to understand. In order to play, you must toss the pigs onto the table; when the pigs stop moving, you look at the point sheet above and see how many points you receive based on the position in which the pigs landed. You have the option of keeping your points or continuing on as many times as you’d like until you get pig out. Believe it or not, this game has a ton of strategy! Jacob consistently beats us since he knows the tricks. One trick he has shared with us is the particular way in which you toss the pigs on table: there is a certain way the pigs need to leave your hand in order to rotate enough to get the high value stances. There is also a ton of strategy in when you decided to stop tossing the pigs and keep your points.

Now that Alethea is 5, we have been working on learning rules to games and playing them the correct way. One night after dinner she requested the pig game. This night, we took the time to explain the rules and the correct way to play. She loved throwing the pigs on the table and then looking at the directions to see how many points she got for the way that they landed. Ezra is still a bit young to play this game, so he enjoyed the last of his dinner while the rest of us played.

This game is so much fun! I love how tactile it is for everyone and also how quick it is. We have found that playing 5-10 turns per person is just long enough for our young children’s attention span.  I can’t wait until Ezra is old enough to carefully and gently toss the pigs on the table so he can join in the fun too. Even though he may not understand the scoring concept, the fun is in playing the game together as a family. This is the perfect fun, quick game for everyone in your family. It is also compact and the perfect car game and game to take on vacation.