Today, Kate and April share their thoughts on a couple of winning games from local children’s game company Gamewright. Read on for Kate and April’s reviews, as well as to learn how to win a signed copy of Gamewright’s popular Can You See What I See? Finders Keepers Game (entry closes November 11).
“My daughter is just getting to the age where she can understand and enjoy simple board games, and we've introduced a few as a way to teach her about following the rules, playing with others, and adhering to the basic concepts of sportsmanship. We started with Candy Land, which she loved for its bright colors and vivid drawings, and have since sampled a few others. I have to confess that she will often stack the deck (literally) in her favor, but we have a lot of fun and I believe that she's learning good lessons about logic and collaboration.
Gamewright Games of Newton, Massachusetts offers a range of beautifully-made games for kids of all ages, and we've recently discovered one that is just the right age and skill level for my daughter. Go Away Monster! encourages little kids to recognize and match shapes, while also helping them to deal with any monster-oriented anxieties by figuratively casting out monsters (funny, not scary) from under the bed. My daughter understood the concept of the game after just a few moments of explanation, and has been enjoying it ever since. Gamewright Games is a good option for families who are looking for games that aren't flashy or jarring but that offer fun in thoughtfully-designed packages.”
“Play at our home rarely involves an actual game. Puppets, dancing, and coloring are the usual activities with occasional dramatic reenactments of Little Bear stories. Recently, I've been wishing for a few games to keep our 3 1/2-year-old daughter engaged and playing with us, but perhaps a bit calmer than 40 pirouettes. I want a couple of very quiet evening activities we can share together before we do our bedtime routine, or to take up a quiet block of weekend time.
Up until now we haven't found any games that are interesting, nice, and sweet enough for her (and our) tastes. We've tried several but the rules often go out the window and she uses the cards or pieces as props in a massive architectural build or an elaborate puppet show. Or, worse, she shows no interest at all.
Recently, though, we tried out Feed the Kitty from Gamewright. Instantly she was intrigued because it involves mice and a theoretical cat. We opened the box and she was immediately involved in the entire potential story contained in the pieces. It comes with a green food bowl (belonging to the cat), 20 purple wooden mice, and two simple dice that set the play in motion.
The idea is that everyone gets a certain number of mice. The dice that you roll tell you whether to put a mouse in the kitty bowl, take one out, give one to your neighbor, or do nothing (because the kitty's sleeping). The directions on the dice are pictorial, so once our daughter learned what each image meant to the game, she could keep track of the action and figure out what happens at every play. She got a real thrill telling us how to interpret the dice rolls.
The subtext is that some mice wind up in the bowl and become kitty food, but that would not play well with our little naturalist/animal lover. We asked her what she thought was happening and she said the mice were sneaking into the bowl to snack on the kitty's food—a much kinder read for the younger or more sensitive set, although older kids or those that understand that cats actually chase mice and eat them wouldn't be fazed. Our daughter didn't even consider that you want to keep the mice out of the kitty bowl—just that they don't want to get caught there—and yet the game still works perfectly!
The game lasts about 20-25 minutes the way we play (which is with a lot of talking). If you wanted to do a fast game before bed, you could easily speed up the rolls. The last player with mice is the winner. The game is recommended for kids age 4 and up, although our 3 1/2-year-old started playing it as if she'd had it for ages already. It's a sweet game with cute pieces and a new favorite for us when we need a quiet but involved family activity.”
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Congrats to winner Lynn!
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Now, want to win a signed copy of Gamewright’s popular Can You See What I See? Finders Keepers Game? Here's how:
*One lucky winner (drawn using Random.org) will receive a signed copy of Gamewright's Can You See What I See? Finders Keepers Game.
Image credits: 1 (Gamewright); 2 (April Paffrath)