Early this year, when Margaret was still three, on one of those nights when Margaret was up later than Elizabeth, I taught her the game of Fox and Hounds. At the time, I had to point out the legal options on every move, and often had to move for her. I also had to go out of my way to make blunders to give her a chance to win.
Yesterday, after not playing with her for a while, I played five games with her. I started out playing sloppily, and she won easily. Then I started paying attention - and she still won! Finally, when I really concentrated, I won a game, and then I eased off for the last game to keep it a good experience for her. Elizabeth reports that Margaret has also been willing to switch sides and take the hounds - she usually prefers the fox - when playing with Duncan.
It looks like we have another gamer in the family. Next step: get hamaguri go stones and introduce her to a game where computers are not yet as good as humans.
When she gets a little older, I'm finding Agricola to be a great learning experience for Dorothy. She's only beat me once, but she's getting better and better at it. Plus she gets to play with pretend sheep.
Edited at 2012-12-17 07:52 pm (UTC)
I just asked Dorothy, and she thinks she could have understood the rules and mechanics of play at age 6, but wouldn't have been very good at strategy.
Her current problem is that she tends to get fixated on making sure that she has enough food and ending up with too much, and on trying to buy a well (which is worth a fair number of victory points, but she makes unreasonable sacrifices to try to get it as early as possible and ends up not doing well in other areas). She ran out of food and had to beg in her first game, and I think it scarred her. :-)