I tried to teach my 4-year-old son how to play Dinosaur Snap. It was a massive fail.
Like many parents in a digital world I try to limit the amount of time my kids spend on screens. We currently have a rule of 1 hour per day for computers (iPad / XBox). Things are a little more relaxed around television viewing.
The rest of their time is spent building dinosaur parks out of Lego and chasing each other around the house with plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex figurines while roaring at each other.
I have fond childhood memories of playing things like solitaire (with actual cards, not on the computer), checkers, chess and Uno.
When the last Scholastic Bookclub catalogue came home from school I decided to leverage the boys’ love of all things Jurassic and bought a deck of Dinosaur Snap cards.
Mr 6 already knows how to play snap so I decided to teach his brother the basics before trying a 3-way game. I got Mr 4’s attention while he didn’t seem to be doing anything else and Mr 6 was watching a documentary about a hunt for a giant Japanese salamander (which he conjectured MIGHT have evolved from dinosaurs… you never know).
Teaching Dinosaur Snap
First I introduced Mr 4 to the concept of yelling ‘SNAP’ when 2 of the same card came up. I flipped them up one by one, he yelled louder and louder.
All good. Heaps of fun.
Next I dealt him his own set of cards and introduced the rules of ‘ONE CARD AT A TIME’ and ‘TAKING TURNS’. At this point things started to disintegrate fairly quickly.
Mr 4: (Starts turning over several cards from his deck, looking for matching ones.)
Me: No, you have to take the top one. And you’re not allowed to look at them first.
Mr 4: But I need one that matches.
Me: You’ll have to wait your turn. That’s the whole point.
Mr 4: (Starts turning over several cards from his deck, but only one at a time.)
Me: No you have to take turns. One for you, then one for me, then it’s your turn again.
Mr 4: SNAP! ANKYLOSAURUS!
Me: That doesn’t count, it wasn’t your turn.
Mr 4: (Takes the pile of cards from the middle gleefully.)
Me: No you don’t, it wasn’t your turn. Put them back.
Mr 4: (Puts cards back into pile.) You can play Dinosaur Snack on your own, Mum. I’m not very hungry anyway.
Me: (Trying not to be huffy.) Well, I guess it’s more of a big boys’ game then. Mr 6, would YOU like to play?
Mr 6: (Glancing up from the TV) Um, not really thanks Mum.
Back to the drawing board…