Our annual RidgeCon pop culture celebration has become so popular that we have decided to continue the fun throughout the year. The first RidgeCon spin-off will be the launch in September of two recurring gaming programs.  

We Got Games is a tabletop gaming meetup for adults and teens on the second Tuesday evening of the month. Family Game Day will meet on the fourth Saturday of each month and is an afternoon drop-in program for families with children aged 4 and up.  

What does playing Apples to Apples or the Settlers of Catan have to do with libraries? Experts in many disciplines now recognize the importance of play in childhood development, in aiding the retention of mental acuity in later years and in fostering collaboration and teamwork for all ages. Not only do tabletop games offer friendly competition, but many require strategy, planning, critical analysis, storytelling and creative thinking. Playing games with children can help their social development, literacy skills and better recognition of cause-and-effect. These skills are many of the same ones libraries introduce and reinforce in storytimes, book discussions and other programs, as well as through tools such as Kindle Fires for kids and Lynda.com and other online tutorials for adults.

Mary Rindfleisch is assistant director of the Ridgefield Library. She can be reached at mfrind@ridgefieldlibrary.org and 203-438-2282, ext. 11009.