145 – Mother’s Day with Linda Wrobel – The Family Gamers Podcast

Episode 145: Mother's Day with Linda Wrobel

Our guest this week is Linda Wrobel. In addition to mothering two young boys, she also has a day job as a teacher and covers board games for Engaged Family Gaming. Hi Linda!

Linda is the Managing Editor of Board Games for Engaged Family Gaming – she’s the primary board game review writer & spearheads any other tabletop coverage. She’s also writing a few parent resources, like her Educator’s Perspective on Nintendo Labo.

Linda has been teaching first graders for seventeen years! She tells us it’s a lot of fun. It’s so important at this level to use games and resources that don’t require (much) reading. Most kids this age are still learning to read and are not yet “reading to learn”.

In her teaching, she likes to do gamification of “centers” (using dice to do math, etc.). She also enjoys a few Gamewright games for indoor recess, such as Too Many Monkeys – it only has numbers 1-6, and no reading, so it’s perfect for this age range.

At home, favorites for her boys (ages 7 & 10) include Exploding Kittens (minimal reading, quick start, portable) and Taco vs Burrito (get the most points in your hand – disgusting food is worth the most points).

Anitra and Linda both appreciate ridiculous games, like Hoagie and Sparkle*Kitty. A more “adult” silly game is Unspeakable Words – a Cthulu-themed word-creation game. The more sanity you lose, the less your words need to make sense.

A few games Linda enjoys that are less silly but more relaxing:

  • Seikatsu – we love this one too, of course. Linda recently played with her mother in law, but also suggests: try playing it outside!
  • Photosynthesis – pretty and not too complicated. (Anitra is a little jealous that Andrew has gotten to play.)
  • Skyjo – a card game. Each player gets a field of 16 cards face down. Take turns drawing cards and trading for a card still on the table, aiming for the lowest score. Light, great for kids or for sitting around chatting.

Skyjo was first recommended by Sarah Reed on the “Our Turn: Gaming for Everyone” podcast – hosted by Kathy Ford. Neither Linda nor Anitra have ever felt unwelcome, but it’s nice sometimes to see and hear a few more women in the boardgaming community.

Mother’s Day

Linda and Anitra are both at the ages where we are trying to celebrate our own mothers on this day. It makes the day a little crazy, but we’re both blessed to have our mothers (and mothers-in-law) nearby.

It was nice to see our kids enjoying their family, but didn’t have much time for gaming. We discuss our efforts to make allowances when playing games with “grandma”.

Linda tells us “I got into gaming backwards” – after getting married, got into LARPing (thanks to Stephen and Jenna Duetzmann), then moved to tabletop RPG, then finally into boardgaming.

What’s Next?

Linda: looking forward to ConnectiCon and CTFIG (in July), a sort of preview of the indie games we’ll see at BostonFIG (September).

Anitra: Looking forward to Origins for the first time! We are also planning on Boston FIG and PAX Unplugged with our kids again.

Find Linda Online:


Instagram: dragonrose720 (gardening and home renovation and kids)

Twitter: @moms_stories

Enaged Family Gaming community (and The Family Gamers community!)

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This week’s opening and closing music is Orchid by You Bred Raptors?.