Kayla received this Hape pirate ship balance game last holiday season and having learned a few lessons in recent years I waited several months to give it to her. Between the holiday gifts and birthday gifts things were just out of control and I wanted her to appreciate this beautifully made game.
There are plenty of toys out there that teach the skill of balance but I have noticed that most of them are lower quality, crafted from flimsy plastic and are very difficult for young children to use without getting overly frustrated. Just the slightest bump and all of the pieces go flying everywhere. And guess who gets to start allllllll over again…
All of the game pieces have great details, are hand painted wood and reinforce the pirate theme. There are barrels, treasure chests, gold bars, cannon balls and jugs for cargo. The pieces are chunky enough that small fingers can easily grasp them yet sized properly to fit a ton of pieces on the ship as your child gets the hang of the game.
To play, your child rolls the die and must place the object they roll on top of the ship without upsetting the balance and sending the cargo tumbling off. I love that you can play this as a cooperative game where you work as a team to get all of the cargo on the ship with younger children. For older kids you can use strategy to make it more difficult for the opposing player to be able to balance the ship.
I have to be honest and say that generally speaking Craig cannot stand playing games with Kayla. They do lots of other things together but I can see his eyes glaze over when she heads for the game cabinet so activities like this usually fall under my realm. However even Craig fell under the spell of the Hape Stormy Seas Balance Game and it turned into a family affair.
This game sells for just around $30 and makes an awesome gift for the 3 and up crowd. I think it’s perfect for a 4 or 5 year old birthday and even works as a cute pirate ship centerpiece for a pirate themed birthday party. You can check out the full details for the Hape Stormy Seas Balance Game