I got the kids a couple of Peaceable Kingdom games last year for Christmas. We liked them so well that I bought a couple more this year.
Last year we got Feed the Woozle and Count Your Chickens.
This year we picked up Hoot Owl Hoot and Race to the Treasure.
Feed the Woozle is a simple game to practice body awareness and motor skills. The idea is to feed the Woozle snacks and add up your points together as a team. You have to carry the snack pieces across the room on a big spoon. You spin the spinner to get your activity – walk backwards, spin, dance, etc – and roll the die to get your number of snacks to give to the Woozle – 1, 2, or 3. The Woozle is a cardboard cutout with a large opening for his mouth. Any snacks that fall off of the spoon are forfeit because the Woozle will not eat things that fall on the floor. If the team is able to feed the Woozle 12 snacks before you run out, then everyone wins. To make the game more difficult for older kids, they can be blindfolded and guided by their teammates calling out instructions.
My kids liked the names of the snacks more than they liked the actual game play on this one. At 3-4 years old, Girl Child likes to pull this one out occasionally. At 6-7 years old, Boy Child isn’t interested in playing. The snacks are funny, gross monster snacks like muddy meatballs, lemon-flavored underwear, and booger chili.
Count Your Chickens is a fun game for the little ones. It is almost impossible to lose, which is an aspect that kids love about it. This is a cooperative game and all players work together as a team to get all of the baby chicks into the chicken coop. You spin the spinner to determine where to move your hen next. The spaces and spinner are marked with different farm animals. You count the number of spaces you move to get to that space and put that many chicks into the henhouse. If you spin the fox, you have to take one chick back out of the henhouse. If all of the chicks are in the henhouse by the time the hen reaches the last space, everyone wins.
Girl Child really likes this one and will pull it out from time to time. She says it is her favorite because she always gets to win. It is also good counting practice for young kids.
The artistry of the game board is appealing with the bright, cheery farm and animals. I will say that 40 tiny chicks is a lot to keep track of though.
Hoot Owl Hoot is my favorite of the games we have. The object is to get all of the owls back to the nest before sunrise. All of the players work together to move the owls. Each player gets three cards. If any of the cards is a sun, it must be played and the sun marker moves one space closer to sunrise. The other cards are color cards. You use these to move an owl to the next open space of that color, similar to moving in Candy Land. If the next space of that color is already occupied, you can jump it and move to the next one, which can cover long distances quickly when you have multiple cards of the same color to play. There are three levels of difficulty you can play, easy with 3 owls, medium with 4 owls, and difficult with 6 owls. With 2 adults playing with a 4-year-old, we lost the first 2 times at medium difficulty. I like a game with challenge. I played with Girl Child on the easy level and we won each time, which made her happy.
The artistry of the board and the playing pieces is beautiful with soft night-time colors. I love the introduction to strategy this game provides, especially since you are most likely to win if you work together and strategize as a group.
In this game, players make a path across the board to collect 3 out of the 4 keys and then get to the treasure before the ogre gets there. The players make a path by drawing tiles and placing the path pieces on the board. There are straight paths, turns, and T junctions. If you draw an ogre tile, that moves the ogre one space closer to the treasure. You can also collect one ogre snack from the board which will move the ogre back one space when it is used. Because you are drawing one card at a time, there is some tension to the game, which makes it a lot of fun. We managed to win on the first try, but only because we collected the ogre snack and were able to move him back. It was very close!
This one is Boy Child’s favorite of the games. I think he likes the styling of the game with the ogre and the treasure.
This game uses some strategy, but not as much as Hoot Owl Hoot, since you are only picking the top tile from the pile. It does teach reading a grid because the keys are ogre snack are placed on the board by rolling dice, one of which has the letters from across the top of the grid on the board, and the other has numbers from the side of the grid. The combination rolled determines where to place the items, i.e. D4 or A6.
I really like the cooperative board games. Boy Child does not handle competition well and so we do not play standard board games with him. I like having games that we can play together as a family and when one wins, we all win. And if we lose, we do it together. It keeps peace in the land.
The games are all playable in 20 minutes or less, which means they are short enough to keep the attention of younger children.
Peaceable Kingdom makes all of their packaging green. The few plastic bits are made from recycled plastics. The instructions are printed on the inside of the box top, so no extra paper used (and the instructions won’t get lost).
I already made my list of other games I plan to get from Peaceable Kingdom. All I need is an excuse to buy them!