Medieval Game of Fame: Battleground: Crossbows and Catapults
For hands-on gamers who like all things ancient, here's a Christmas tip from a reader, a new blogger, Jimbo at http://kidswillloveit.blogspot.com, who is delighted to have found this new version of a childhood favorite of his own, Battleground: Crossbows and Catapults War Chest Starter Set. For elementary-age kids who love games of strategy and tactics that are NOT played electronically, this kit offers a lot of fun. The set seems to offer plenty of room for developing skills in organization, independent thinking, and cooperation--setting up catapults to knock down opponent's knights--and teaches a bit of physics in the process!
There are plenty of add-ons, including Battleground: Crossbows and Catapults Tower Attack Expansion, and Battleground Attack Pack - Battering Ram and Triple Catapult, and Battleground Attack Pack - Mortar and Trebuchet
Jimbo's comment came at a good time since I had just finished preview reading The Norman Conquest of England (Pivotal Moments in History) by Janice Hamilton, a solid and fairly scholarly account of the high points of the events around the famous Battle of Hastings (no crossbows and catapults there, of course, but plenty of longbows) and the idea of a medieval combat set seemed really interesting.
This game kit would make a super gift paired with Macauley's classic Castle (if you can get it), Kyle Orlman's and Robert Sabuda's Castle: Medieval Days and Knights (A Sabuda & Reinhart Pop-up Book), Deborah Murrell's The Best Book of Knights and Castles (The Best Book of), or Christopher Maynard's highly readable DK Readers: Days of the Knights -- A Tale of Castles and Battles (Level 4: Proficient Readers).