It’s been awhile. I was notified that I was going to lose this domain, and I was faced with the choice of letting it go or renewing. I read through my old posts, reminisced a bit, and decided to keep the blog alive. But for what reason? To opine on politics or offer observations about parenting, family, and life? Maybe (see the end of this post)…but I think the internet has enough of that.
I would rather talk about cool board games you can play with your 4 year old daughters. I’ve written about family board games in the past (see here). Since that post, we’ve continued to play board games as a family. It’s one of our rhythms. I’m not going to talk about how great board games are for families or how we don’t even own a TV (read: we’re better humans than you), I’m just going to share a few recommendations if you’re looking for a game to play with a preschooler or kindergartner. Here are three games that I like:
Fiona, my four year old, picked this one out at a local game store. I had no expectations of liking the game, but I was open minded as the game was made by HABA (a great company, check them out). The purpose of the game is to roll the dice and move your unicorn through the sky, bouncing on clouds and sliding down rainbows. If you land on a cloud with a pink marshmallow, then you get to roll a different die and collect shiny cloud crystals. If you roll a cupcake, then you miss your next turn while your unicorn eats a cupcake. Whoever finishes with the most cloud crystals is the winner. Despite what you think about the previous sentences, this is a great game. It teaches counting, simple rules, and the pieces are high quality with nice artwork. If you’re not into games with this much “pink”, there’s another version with dragons instead of unicorns.
2. My First Bohnanza
As the title of this game indicates, it is the kid’s version of the standard game Bohnanza. The standard version is one of my favorite games, and my wife and I and our friends, the Davidsons, have played it together maybe a hundred times. For us, it’s one of those games that we anticipate playing for the rest of our lives, so it’s cool to have a junior version to play with our kids. The purpose of this card game is to plant various beans in your bean fields and collect coins for harvesting beans of the same kind. The player who earns the most coins from harvesting beans is the winner. This junior version is played almost exactly the same as the regular game, except there are new and simpler bean cards which make the counting and strategy a little bit easier to grasp. The artwork is fun and captivating, and the gameplay moves quickly enough to keep my four year old’s attention. Bartering is major part of this game and I have to help my 4 year old in this area so she doesn’t get fleeced by her older brother and sister.
3. Cockroach Poker
Is it ever too early in a child’s life to learn how to lie and keep a straight face? Yes. 4 years old is too early for a child to learn that you can win through lying. Nonetheless, we’ve introduced all of our children to this great bluffing game. The deck of cards contains 8 different types of creepy creatures, wonderfully illustrated by Rolf Vogt. When it’s your turn you select one card, place it face down on the table and slide it in front of another player. You then tell the other player what type of creature you’ve passed to them. The other player must then decide of you are telling the truth or bluffing. The game play is very simple, and eventually one player runs out of cards or gathers 4 of the same type of creature. This player is the loser. It’s pretty hilarious when the game ends and there is no winner…just a loser (unless the loser is only 4 years old and has a very difficult time losing).
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just cancel the whole voting thing and let the Presidential Election be decided by who wins at Cockroach Poker? Maybe the loser should be president (since the winner would be the better liar). Of course, it’s only a joke, but doesn’t it seem apt for these two to have their fates decided by a children’s game based on deception and foul creatures?
Anyways, I was planning to end this blog post with some fierce and witty political commentary, but the above paragraph pretty much sums up where I’m at…so I’ll just leave it at that.
Happy gaming friends! Drop me a line if you want other game recommendations or want to borrow a game to test out.