Have you ever heard of cooperative games? When most parents start playing board games with their preschoolers they default to the classics from when they were kids. We admit, several of us did the exact same thing. We bought Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders and Hi-Ho Cherry O to start. Amateur move!
As we have learned (through tears) the best way to start your preschooler on board games is through cooperative games. All of the players work together toward a common goal. At the end of the game everyone will have contributed to the final outcome. The focus is on taking turns and working together rather than having a winner and a loser….sounds pretty good, right?
Quite possibly the best company for cooperative board games is Peaceable Kingdom. In the past we have played their Count Your Chickens game with our Kid Testers. It was a huge hit and great for practicing their math skills.
More recently one of our Mommy Testers was lucky enough to win a copy of their newest game Feed the Woozle from a contest. Unbeknownst to Peaceable Kingdom, they were putting their product in the hands of our Mommy Tester group.
When you open up Feed The Woozle you will find:
-1 very funny looking stand up Woozle (quite frankly, we are waiting for a plush version – he’s so cute)
-1 gigantic blue spoon
-1 die with numbers 1-3 on it
-24 silly snack tokens (think frog leg ice cream, toenail toast, and fried socks)
-12 yummy cards to keep count of the snacks that made it in the Woozle’s mouth
The goal is to work together to get 12 silly snacks in the mouth of the Woozle before you run out of snacks. The Woozle does not believe in the 5 second rule and will not eat snacks that fall on the floor…picky little guy. Therefore, the kids must work together to get those snacks in his mouth without dropping too many or the game will be over and they need to start again.
We set up the Woozle about 10 feet away from our Kid Testers (ages 3 and 5) We let the 3 year old go first and she rolled the die, got a “2”, and counted out 2 silly snacks…giggling while she chose them.
The snack options are all pretty hysterical, regardless of whether you are 3 or 33. She then had to walk over to the Woozle making sure she did not drop either of the silly snacks. She was able to do this successfully and then took 2 yummy cards and placed them over by our starting line.
Now it was the 5 year old’s turn. Feed the Woozle has 3 different levels to keep the game interesting and challenging for older kids. Our 5 year old rolled the die, got a “3” and chose 3 silly snacks to put in the spoon. Our Mommy Tester was acting as the “Spin Master” who would spin the spinner to select a movement that the 5 year old would have to do while holding the spoon to get to the Woozle.
She spun “Spin! Spin! Spin!” which meant that the 5 year old would have to spin in circles while walking towards to Woozle. You can probably see where this gets difficult! He was able to get to the Woozle but had only 1 silly snack left in the spoon when he got there. He took 1 yummy card and sat back down.
Our Kid Testers loved this game. It’s a board game but it’s actually quite physical and the creative snacks and movements (which include bunny hop, march, and walk backwards) make it very fun to both play and observe.
It took us a second game to be able to successfully Feed the Woozle 12 snacks before we ran out. We did not get to level 3 with our kid testers because level 3 is the same as level 2 except you are blindfolded and the other players direct you to the Woozle. It’s still beyond their abilities…and maybe ours!
It’s nice that Feed the Woozle has 3 different levels to adjust the difficulty of the game to children of different ages who are playing together and as your child grows. It’s available at Amazon.com for about $20 right here: Feed the Woozle
As we said – Peaceable Kingdom did not know that they were sending this to us to be reviewed in our blog but we thought you would like to know that they did tell our mommy who won the game in their contest that if she wrote a review on Amazon.com (positive or negative) that they would donate a copy of this game to a school of her choice….all in all a nice company with some good karma!