Lily is really into this card game called Bella Sara. It’s a game sort of like Magic or Pokemon, but substantially less complicated. I think the sole purpose of the game is to give little sisters something to buy when their brothers go into gaming stores to buy things, which is exactly how we got involved with it.
It’s not a bad idea. For one thing, horses are almost always an automatic draw for girls. I don’t know why this is, although I have to admit that I also think horses are pretty great, so what’s not to like?
There is a game element involved with the cards, but it’s all played online and is somewhat secondary to the cards themselves, in my mind. Most of the online stuff is your standard games and activities fare.
But the real attraction, I think, are the cards themselves. They feature pretty nice paintings or drawings of horses, and each horse has a name like Mandalay or Clio or, my favorite, Fylgie. But what really makes the game interesting, to me, are the inspirational sayings that are on each card. Here’s Rose’s card, for example:
Lily’s not able to read, so she’s not going to internalize a message like “Listen to your dreams. What they tell you is important”, but she’s not too far away from that point. And certainly I read the sayings to her. At first I thought they were silly, but the more I read them the more I thought they were important. Here are some others:
“Hope is like magic. It keeps you full of energy.”
“Let your ideas flow. They are meant to be used.”
“Believe in yourself. You are valuable.”
There are dozens like that, some corny, but all positive messages that are sometimes so basic and philosophical that kids may not hear them every day from parents, teachers, etc. True, it’s probably not ideal to leave it up to fictional horses to impart self-esteem and a moral code to your youngsters. But it’s better than listening to a Barbie doll with an 18 inch waist and 42 inch bust tell you math is hard.