I previously mentioned the Super Why ABC Game, by Briarpatch (University Games), and how educational and fun it is. I am pleased to be able to review some more of their games, as they have offered me some for review! First up: Kids on Stage!
I'd like to state, in advance, that my camera could not focus on the card and the action at the same time, so I'm sorry for slightly out-of-focus cards... but they are clear enough to see what the person should be doing!
I was excited to try Kids on Stage before I even opened it because the box said there was no reading required. This meant I had a much better chance to play them successfully with the kids since Bobble can sight read a few things, but Squiggle is still working on her alphabet. I also liked that it was for 2 – 6 players. It’s nice for when the kids have some friends over, or for larger families.
The setup is really easy, and you can start playing pretty much immediately after you put your piece on the board and set up the spinner. The spinner, by the way, is attached to the board. I cannot tell you how nice this is. Aside from not having to worry about it getting left out of the box and then stepped on (and broken), or a kid being angry and throwing it (or hoarding it), it’s always there when you want to play. I love the spinner being part of the board!
As far as actual game play, the rules are very easy to understand. You spin, you move that number, and you draw a card with the colour that matches the space you are on. Red cards are action cards, green cards are object cards, and blue cards are animal cards. Some of the cards can be challenging for things the children haven’t been exposed to. One example would be sewing. My kids weren’t sure what to do for that one. Others were difficult for them to not give away because they know many of the American Sign Language (ASL) signs for animals, objects, or actions on the cards.
You guess until you get it right. If they are having trouble guessing what you are acting out, you can make noises to help give it away. Fake snoring made the red “sleeping” card a bit too obvious, though! There is no counting who got however many cards right, you just play until you all get to the end. Quite simple, and takes away the frustration of not winning for the kids.
I honestly wasn’t sure how well Squiggle, having just turned three, would grasp the concept of acting something out without saying what it was. I was pleasantly surprised that she understood quickly, I just reminded her at every turn to “be/do this without saying it”. The only time this didn’t work was when she was sleepy. Then she just threw herself against the couch, giggling, and saying what she should act out. So, sleepy times aside, it worked really well.
Bobble, who is now 5 ½, really loved it. I was actually surprised at how much better Squiggle was at acting the things out, and how quickly she guessed things correctly compared to Bobble. However, Bobble has always been a bit slower on pretend play. I think this will be really good to encourage him to use his imagination, and that’s a great thing.
I liked that the spinner went all the way up to 8, as that could make the game go really quickly (which is sometimes a welcome relief, am I right?!). The one thing I didn’t like was that, should the game be a moderately-paced game, you might go through all the cards for a certain colour and then they would be too easy because the kids remember what did and didn’t work for acting that one out. That also makes it less fun to play twice in a row.
I’d love to see more cards available for this game, or even blank cards that were added with it so you can create your own. I think 10 more cards of each colour could really make a big difference.
I highly recommend this game for anyone looking for a present, or simply for a fun new addition to their game shelf. It encourages creative thinking, requires action, doesn’t require reading (though the word/words are on the card), helps with counting to 8, and colour recognition.
You can purchase Kids on Stage for around $20, so head on over to Amazon.com or AreYouGame.com to check out this game (and many others)!
Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was given the game in exchange for an honest review. This did not sway my opinion of the product at all. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.