Monday, December 7, 2009

Who said it was unfair to play board games with preschoolers?

I think every parent is convienced that their child is smarter than they are, but seriously when it comes to board games it will be short lived that I can beat him especially at some of the great options available to preschoolers these days. Actually one of the biggest promises I made to myself when I had Connor was that as soon as he was old enough we'd make a weekly game night. I think that in the digital age we live in we loose track of family nights and though he's still a bit too young to really grasp the concept of a game night we try to do a once a week movie night where everyone its down and watches a movie together. Even with that said there is no replacement for a board game where the family is not only forced to physically look at each other, but interact, laugh, and just play together! Some of my fondest memories as a child were spent over board games.

Haba one of my favorite toy makers of all time, what I didn't know is that the really cool online children's store Maukilo is also owned by Haba! (This explains so much, heh as Maukilo really does have an amazing selection of Haba toys and other cool stuff as well!) What you really have to check out though is the massive Haba board game collection, if you've never experienced Haba or have never had the pleasure of owning one of their board games you really have to check them out. Haba makes some of the most creative and unusual board games on the market most of which are as entertaining for a four year old as they are for an adult. They are just down right beautiful as well using both wooden and cardboard pieces in many of the games and unusual concepts such as a memory game where you have to help the bears clean up their house!

I was really excited when Haba offered us one of their fabulous games to try out for ourselves. Wiggling Cow arrived in the mail and I immediately groaned as I'm fairly sure Connor could beat me at this game right now. heh. It's really a super simple concept that reminds me a lot of those stacking block games where you have to try to pull out a block without sending the whole thing tumbling over, except only simpler. The set comes with a really adorable little wooden cow anemd Elsa, a game board which is basicaly just a square cardboard meadow, a little wooden pitchfork, and 18 cardboard tiles or "hay bales". You sort of stack the hay bales on the meadow and put poor Elsa on the top of the stack. Then you take turns attempting to take hay bales off the stack with the pitch fork without sending Elsa toppling to her doom. To save her any major head trama the game is over once Elsa falls three times. The player with the most hay bales wins. No reading required, no math other than counting the hay bales which a parent could do, and its a fabulous way to work on those gross motor skills! It says four and up but with supervision I'm positive a three year old could easily master this game. Really the only danger is the wooden hay fork which though I wouldn't let Connor run around the house with it I certainly have no issues with him playing the game. He's not quite three and were still working on the rules but he's absolutely fascinated with Elsa and we've been practicing without the fork for now. What i really absolutely love about this game is how compact it is.. I've been building up quite the collection of board games and the issue is always where to store them all. The entire Wiggling Cow game fits into a box that is basically an 8x8 square and less than two inches tall. The box is also very sturdy which is fabulous as I can't tell you how many board game boxes we've had to throw away and attempt to find something else to store the pieces in!

You really have to check out the entire selection of Haba board games for yourself. You can visit the Haba website for more information or see the selection at Maukilo! Pick up a Wiggling Cow game for yourself as well!


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