September 18, 2013

Hansel and Gretel Game

Every once in a while, our family heads to this restaurant in Weiden called the Brau Wirt for dinner. Usually when we have guests. They typically have great Bavarian food, and of course, great beer, so its a good introduction to Bavaria. Well, at this particular restaurant, they have a few bins of toys for kids to grab from (nice, eh?). Each and every time, Cooper grabs a German book full of Grimm fairy tales with beautiful, but scary, pictures. Before I even have a chance to read the menu, he's searching for the story of Hansel and Gretel and implores me to read it over and over.
 Reading Hansel and Gretel brings back a vivid memory from my childhood of a game my mom would play with us. We were living in Hawaii and I was around Cooper's age. There, my mom invented the "Hansel and Gretel game" for us. We'd beg to play the game because it was pretty darn special. We'd leave the room and she'd do the set up. She'd cover a table in blankets to build a life size gingerbread house and cover the blanket in cookies and treats (taped on). She'd drape a blanket over her head and crouch around and invite us to come to her lovely house in a creepy, witch voice. Terrifying for me actually. Our first time playing, I chose to be Hansel. She locked me in jail (I sat under a smaller table) and fed me candy and kept checking my finger to see if it was fatter while she made Gretel do chores.

I thought I picked the good role to play the first time. My sister Missy was Gretel and was sweeping away and gathering firewood in our little make believe world while I ate cookies. Until my mom, the witch, pretended like she was going to cook and eat me! I cried and didn't want to be Hansel anymore or ever again. We switched roles and I got to push mom in the oven and she shriveled and shrieked and gave us a good laugh.

So, just a week ago, while my mom was still here, we reenacted the game for Cooper and Lily.  As you can guess, I haven't had a day go by where Cooper isn't begging to play the game again or begging to make a real gingerbread house. I don't have many sweets around the house, so with the few I found, I divided them out sparsely on the blanket. He was still thrilled. I'll definitely play it again after Halloween to use up some of the goodies he gets, and probably again around Christmas time, when we actually make a real gingerbread house.

How about you all? Do you play any games like this with your kids, or any favorite books you like to act out? We do "The Knight and the Dragon" still once in a while still but could use some more good ideas.

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