I think that games are great for children of all ages. Not only do they learn things like how to play with others and follow rules, they are having fun at the same time. I also think that games offer a great way for families to spend time together doing something that everyone enjoys. Luckily, we just had the chance to try out four new fun games from HABA – My Very First Games-Flower Fairy, Mix and Match Robbers, Clomping Creatures, and Rox!
My Very First Games-Flower Fairy is for children ages two and older, so it was perfect for both of my girls. The game comes with a game board, nine wooden “flower stem” pieces (in pink, blue, and green and in three different shapes), three blossoms for the flowers, Rosalina (the flower fairy), and a colored dice. The purpose of this game is to build three large flowers before Rosalina moves from her bed to the flower island. One player rolls the colored dice and builds the flower with the appropriate color piece. If the dice lands on Rosalina, then she moves one space forward. The game board has two different sides for two different versions of the game – Rosalina at the Springtime Pond, where the flowers are built according to their color, and Rosalina on the Summer Meadow, where the flowers are built according to their shape (so it is a little more difficult). I like how this game helps the girls in finding and matching colors and shapes, and it is a cooperative game – if all of the flowers are built before Rosalina reaches the island, then everyone wins!
Mix and Match Robbers is a fun game where children have to find the robber who is disrupting the forest. This game comes with 27 character cards, nine head cards, nine torso cards, nine leg cards, and a dice. Each type of card is set out on the table in piles and one card is flipped over from each pile to create the robber. The players then have looking for the character card with the right combination of the head, torso, and legs displayed. Whoever finds it first gets to keep the character card. The next player then rolls the dice and flips over either a head, torso, or leg card according to the color rolled on the dice, and the players must find that character card. The game continues until there are either no more head, torso, or leg cards to flip or there are no more displayed character cards. The player with the most character cards wins! My girls had a lot of fun with this game. I thought my youngest daughter would struggle with it since it is meant for children ages four and older, but she kept up and collected almost as many character cards as my oldest daughter.
ClompingCreatures is a cute animal guessing game. It comes with a game board, 24 path cards, 24 guessing cards, and one little wooden green snake. The sets of path cards and guessing cards are identical, and each one has a different animal on it – including a penguin, cat, horse, dog, and more! The path cards are spread out on each side of the game board. One player draws a guessing card and places the snake on the side of the board with the path card showing the animal on the guessing card. The player then has imitate that animal’s walk on the back of another player. If that player guesses the animal correctly, he/she gets to keep the guessing card; if not, then the next player gets to guess. The game ends when the last guessing card has been played, and the player with the most card wins. This was a little too advanced for my girls (it is meant for children ages six and older) because they did not know how to imitate the walks of most of the animals using just their hands. However, we made up our own variation acting out the animals instead, and we sure had a lot of fun!
Finally, Rox is an interesting card game for older children (ages seven and up). It comes with sixty elements cards, fifteen scoring cards, and a “magic eye.” To start the game, scoring cards (one less than the number of players) are laid face-up on the table and all of the elements cards are spread out face-up as well. The game is played simultaneously over several rounds. Each player draws an elements card and yells “Rox!” to start the round. Each player then has to quickly count the colored symbols along the edge of the card and figure out which which symbol appears the most on that card. The player then has to find an elements card with that symbol in the middle of the stone, count the symbols on that card, and find the next elements card. The game continues until one player finds six cards and yells “Rox!” The “magic eye” is used on the back side of the elements card to determine whether each player has correctly matched the elements cards. The player with the longest valid row of cards gets the scoring card with the highest number of points, the player with the next longest valid row gets the next highest scoring card, and so on. All of the elements cards are put back on the table, new scoring cards are drawn, and the next round begins. The game ends after five rounds, and the player with the most points is the winner. Obviously, this game was way too hard for my girls, but I enjoyed playing several rounds with my husband.