Our kids are growing up so fast. I have been told again and again to stop and enjoy them while they’re little….and my goodness, how I’ve tried! But I’d have to say that I am starting to see some of the really fun things about having kiddos who are getting older. I mean, I don’t quite have teenagers yet (2 more years until that becomes official)…..but our older kiddos are becoming really fun to joke with, have lengthy discussions with, and yes, even tease them! My husband Steve and I are both the youngest in our families so it’s finally our turn to tease someone younger than us! ;)
Anyway, something that has become a favorite lazy evening (or Sunday afternoon) pass-time for us with our bigger kids is playing games. Nope, not electronic games, but board games, card games, puzzles, etc. If we have a few spare minutes after dinner chores and it’s not quite bedtime yet, they always ask to pull out a game. I asked Connor pretty recently what his favorite family vacation we’ve ever had was….and he told me all about our family slumber party we had this past summer, where we played all sorts of really silly games together, all night long. I was kind of surprised it wasn’t one of the trips we’ve been on but he explained it’s the most fun when we’re all just hanging out together that he loves best! (Sweet boy. I guess the fact that he leaves dirty socks all over the house is forgiven. ;) )
Anyway, playing games is kinda our thing! So, when Spin Master asked if I’d like to try out a new game with my family, I quickly said, ummm, YES PLEASE!!
That’s when Otrio showed up at our door. After un-boxing it and setting it out on the counter, my kids thought I accidentally left out an unwrapped Christmas gift. Haha! Once I explained that we were going to test it out, to see how we liked it, they were SO EXCITED!
I do also love that it’s beautifully made. The game board is a smooth bamboo, so it’s nice and sturdy……and it’s one of those games that can be left out on a coffee table or counter, without feeling like clutter. And see how nicely it sits atop our padded ottoman?
Otrio is a great way to decorate a family living space by adding bright pops of color from the game pieces, especially in a neutral toned room like mine. But I also kinda love that it’s beautiful enough to sit alone on any surface.
And it’s a great game to have sitting out, ready to play a round after dinner…..or to quickly teach friends who are visiting! No doubt it’ll be a conversation starter though because, aren’t you curious how it works?
Let me tell you, Otrio is easy enough for young children to play (it’s a 6+ game but even 3-year-old Oliver can “sorta” play)….but there’s enough strategy to make it fun enough for Steve and I to play too.
Okay, so the basic concept of Otrio is similar to Tic-Tac-Toe…..but way more strategic and challenging! (I hate playing regular ol’ Tic-Tac-Toe with my kids because it’s just kinda mind numbing and it bugs me when it ends in a tie, ALL the stinkin’ time!) However, with this game, there are 3 ways to get a “3-in-a-row” type of win! You can line up 3 of the same sized “O’s” on the board (like the blue pieces below), or line up 3 of your pieces in ascending or descending order (like the red pieces below), or place all 3 sizes within each other at the same location (like the green pieces below).
It was easy for my kids to catch on, but let me tell you, their brains began twisting and turning, trying to outsmart their opponents as they each took their turns. And because there are different colors and different sizes, it’s sometimes tricky to keep track of what your opponent is scheming.
Once someone gets 3 in a row, they shout, “OTRIO!!!” (And yes, Ellie is one of my most competitive game players….so she loves a sweet Otrio victory! Ha!)
I actually really like playing the 2-player version too because it becomes even more complicated when you are playing 2 different colors and alternating between the two colors on each turn. It definitely makes my mind work, which I love! But it’s also really fun to play all 4 players, especially because then more of my kiddos can play.
Even though my 3-year-old Oliver doesn’t quite understand strategy, it’s not going to mess up the game to let little players take a turn and place their “O’s” on the board when it’s their turn. Plus, it gives Oliver good training in taking turns and good sportsmanship.
Another thing I really love about this game though, is that it can be really quick to play. Sometimes I hate pulling out a game, knowing that I have to dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to play. But if we only have a few minutes before bed, this has now become our new “go-to” game to play real quick, and help us all wind down.
(Plus, games always get my kids talking and I kinda love having a distraction in front of them, while I dig into their day and see how they’re feeling about school, friends, tests, etc. However, when Steve and I play each other….it takes a little more time. And a little more trash talk! Ha! :) )
Anyway, sometimes it’s a struggle finding gifts that work for the whole family…..so let me tell ya, this would definitely be a winner! And I don’t know about you, but playing new games during the Christmas holiday is one of my favorite things! (And I actually already bought a second game, to give away to some good friends of ours who have kids. SO excited for them to try it out! :) )
If you happen to give Otrio a try…let me know how you like it! And if you want a new competitor to go up against, I’m your gal! ;)
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This post is sponsored by Spin Master. However, all opinions are mine and have been presented openly and honestly…but let’s be real, I would never share anything that I didn’t absolutely love and support. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this site! :)