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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET games is so much bigger than Tag. I believe there are two broad categories of games, those I call “playground games” and those I call “table games.” Playground games include running-around games such as Tag, Kick the Can, and Ghost in the Graveyard, as well as jump rope games, ball games, hiding games, clapping games, and thumb wrestling. Table games include any kind of board game or card game or games using dice or playing pieces, including pen-and-paper guessing games.   The pleasure of playing games with other people is very different from playing on your own. It’s like the difference between humming your own sweet tune and having an opportunity to play a musical instrument in an orchestra. Each activity brings very different pleasures and very different challenges. The social interactions, the turn taking, the negotiations and alliance building that go on during game playing make this a truly essential play experience. Through games, children learn to understand and follow rules, self-regulate, listen, remember, and strategize.   Also, playing games with friends and families can be hilarious. Think about the times in your life when you laughed so hard you almost peed your pants. I bet it happened when you were playing a game. Parents, however, are sometimes bored with the repetitive nature of children’s games and may be reluctant to respond to their children’s pleas to “Play with me!” Chapter 7 examines some of the possibilities for parents to find games they truly enjoy playing with their children. For example, we’ll discuss the widespread mis- conception that Monopoly is a great family board game and look, instead, at the wide range of alternatives. 8  •  Finding and Collecting Things When my daughter was young, from about age two to five, every time we went for a walk in our neighborhood she would pick up at least one rock and bring it home. We collected so many rocks her room began to look like a quarry. Collecting things is a common childhood activity. Many children (and adults) enjoy collecting items that can be purchased from stores, such as Pokémon cards, comic books, or charms for a bracelet. But this essential play experience is not really about things you buy at the mall. It’s about the 8  …  Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL