Monday, November 13, 2017

Peaceable Kingdom Games

This weekend we had a really fun time trying out Peaceable Kingdoms games, thanks to Tryazon. Have you heard of cooperative games?  Cooperative games focus on bringing kids together to solve or complete a common goal. They encourage teamwork and problem solving. We love games in our house. We tend to be a competitive family, which is fun-- until it's not. These Peaceable Kingdom games are such a great change of pace!
My favorite game of the three we tried was Sunny and Stormy Day. This game and book encourages families to share how they are feeling. The book follows Max as he has good and bad parts of his day. In the end it shows families how they can start a tradition of sharing their emotions with the heart bag. Inside the heart bag are three tokens, sunny- to share something good in your day, stormy- to share something that made you sad and rainbow- to share something you are looking forward to. The book says "Identifying, naming and talking about feelings builds emotional intelligence. The Sunny-Stormy sharing activity helps kids learn empathy, compassion, resilience and courage." 

After you read the book, there is a fun game for the kids to play. There are three ways to play the game, each with its own level of difficulty. The first way to play is a face-up matching game. This would be perfect for younger kids, a great fit for 3 year-olds! The next way is a face-down matching game. My four-year old loves playing this with her brother. The third level uses the same tiles, but has four moon tiles in the mix. If you reveal a moon tile you must put one piece of the puzzle together. The goal is to find all the matches before the puzzle gets put together. Again, because this is a cooperative game, they are working together towards the same goal. I love that younger siblings can be involved and play the easier versions with older kids. At the same time, there is a genuine challenge in the harder games that makes older kids think and work together.

I think this would be an awesome gift for any family with young kids. It's not just a game, but a launching point for family traditions. This is a game that works with a variety of ages and skill levels. All the pieces are well made, sturdy material. They are not flimsy cards, but made to be played with. The book has a soft cover that might not hold up well with frequent reading, but the colors are bright and bold and the illustrations are fun.

 The other two games that we enjoyed were Hoot Owl Hoot! and Race to the Treasure! The owl game has the kids working together to get back to the nest before the sun comes up. I enjoyed making strategies with the kids to get the owls back. You can change up the difficulty by adding more owls to get back to the nest. As the game gets harder you really do need to work together to get all the owls back. This is an engaging game for many ages!

Race to the Treasure is the final game we tested. This game is intended for ages 5+, but with a little guidance my younger child caught on too. In this game kids are working as a team to beat the ogre to the treasure. They create a path from the start to the finish. You must pick up three keys along the way.
 I love hearing kids work out which way the path should go to pick up the keys and make it to the treasure! My older child liked this game the best and it definitely resonated with his mathematical mind. 

All three games are excellent quality, with clear, easy to understand instructions. I was really impressed with the reasonable prices for the games. I am sure I will be grabbing a few more of these games for other families on my Christmas list! 

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