Having a quiet weekend home with the family. We decided to introduce the kids to Dungeons and Dragons. We don't let them play violent computer games but they watch us play some (nothing too bad) and they're allowed to play games designed for kids, some fighting but no actual blood. The younger child is about to turn seven. D&D, if you don't know, is a game of the imagination. One person, the DM or "Dungeon Master" (me, in this case) creates an adventure and the other players create characters and decide what to do. You have certain skills and you roll dice to add a luck component to actions. [So for instance, to see if you could balance on a narrow bridge over a ravine, you would add your dexterity to your training in acrobatics and roll a 20 sided dice to add a random element. If the total number is high enough ("high enough" determined by the DM) you walk over successfully, not quite high enough means you stand still wheeling your arms for balance and can have another try on your next turn, a lot too low and you fall into the ravine.]
I made a short adventure where they had to rescue some people from kobolds (little lizard people). It involved fighting, but nothing too scary or adult in theme. It's good maths practice for them, lots of adding and subtracting.
They loved it! We played for about four hours on Saturday afternoon, and they wanted to play again today so I worked out another little adventure and we played for another couple of hours, this time not finishing the story yet. Tim and I play every Tuesday night with some friends and have done for years, it is a great game. A campaign, or long adventure, can go on for years. I've heard some Christian groups object to D&D because it has supernatural elements, but most people play as heroes, defeating the forces of evil, so I don't see how anyone can object to that. It's like getting to be a superhero.
The only bad thing about D&D is that it is nearly always accompanied by junk food!