Recently, we introduced the boys to Risk. We've had this game for many years. It was Husband's before we got married, but it's been taped up through half a dozen moves. For obvious reasons, we never untaped it. Have you ever seen what young children can do with a Risk game? At any rate, we pulled the game out, cut the tape off, and played a game. The Youngling spent his time organizing his troops- all those not being used on the board. He had massive, intricate battles going between the Brits and, at various times, the French, the Romans, and the US. The rest of us played. I lost quickly, and happily went about my business, while Husband proceeded to trounce the older two boys.
This game took approximately 12 hours, total, to play. That's 12 hours that a twelve year old, nine year old, and six year old were intensely involved in strategy, math, and fun. The older two frequently commented on how wonderfully old fashioned, and like a movie, it was. I was happy, and so were they.
There will be another board game under the tree this year. We just have to figure out which one.