If you’re a child of the 80’s like me, the games in the picture above may or may not bring back fond memories of childhood. But as an board game enthusiast, and a proud member of the cult of the new, the idea of playing any of those games with my kids is horrifying. There are simply too many games that have been created over the last 30 years to go back to the old Milton & Bradley ages.
I’ve been wanting to write a series of great games for kids for sometime. One of the things I love about board gaming is that it’s a great way to get the whole family together. The second thing I love is that it’s a break from technology, for the most part. So in this series I’m going to do some quick articles about games that are great for kids, what they teach kids, and how to trick them into learning when they’re not in school :).
Pick #1 – Animal Upon Animal (Tier auf Tier)
Animal Upon Animal was one of the first games I purchased when they were young, it’s a simple stacking game, which is great way for kids in preschool to practice their fine motor skills, but at they get a little older it can quickly turn into a simple strategy game of setting traps, making other players place the more difficult pieces, etc.
The game play is simple, each player starts with an identical set of animals, with an alligator as the foundation for the tower they are about to build. Each player takes a turn rolling the die which tells them how many to place, or if they can be placed in front or behind the main stack, or if they can give a piece to another player to place. The first player to run out of pieces wins. If the stack falls while placing a piece, they take all the pieces that fell, although when playing with young kids, this could be a good place to start a new game instead.
It’s a very simple introduction game for kids before the tween years. Animal Upon Animal is made by the German company Haba, who has a huge catalog of child friendly games. This game can be found in most game shops, amazon, and sometimes in big box stores depending on where you are.
Why it’s great for kids –
1.) Helps to develop fine motor skills
2.) Improves hand/eye coordination
3.) Introduction to strategy
4.) Teaches to play well with others.
5.) Good Sportsmanship
Animal Upon Animal by Haba on Amazon