Winter Exercise — Stair War and Stair Chemistry Fluxx

We live in a 30 story building. In the summer the kids can run and play outside but in the winter they need to get their exercise inside the building.

So we started to climb the stairs inside our building. The building is 30 floors high so getting to the top is a nice workout. When Blake was about 3, he would climb to the top of the building with excitement. We even started learning numbers. We learned that there is no number 13 in our building — or is there? But as the boys got older they want to do something more exciting so we created a game called “stair war.”

The rules for stair war are the same as the card game of war but every time there’s a war you go up that number of flights of stairs. This makes climbing the stairs a bit more interesting. The game has a number of interesting properties:

  1. Each time there’s a war you go up on average 7 flights assuming you go up ten flights for J, Q, K, A
  2. One out of every 13 plays, on overage, is a war. There are 169 ways that cards can lay between hands 13 x 13. But only 13 of them are wars.
  3. On average that’s about half a flight on average for each card flipped you go up 7 flights every 13 plays.
  4. But there’s a lot of uncertainty which adds to the excitement. You don’t know when the war is going to happen!

Blake is 8 now so we can play more interesting games. Our new favorite is now Chemistry Fluxx (sample game) on the stairs. We play a game of Chemistry Fluxx and then go up 10 flights of stairs — repeat until exhausted. Chemistry Fluxx is part of the Fluxx series, a card game where the rules and goals of the game are always in “Fluxx.” Watch the sample game and you’ll get a good idea of how it works. We speed up the game by changing the initial rules to something to draw 2 / play 2 to speed things up. Also, Chemistry Fluxx teaches them a few chemistry facts while you play!