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Thinking Out Loud

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Games for Kids >> Praise for Playroom & Reinhard Staupe

For those of you with small children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren in the 3-7 year range, I wholeheartedly endorse the line of children's game by Reinhard Staupe published by Playroom (yes, the same company that does Killer Bunnies -- but I forgive them).

Each of these games features very thick, sturdy cards and most have optional rules to match the gameplay to the child's learning and interest levels. Benjamin, now 3-1/2, really enjoys several of the games. After our success with Papa Bear and Sherlock, I quickly went out and bought all the other games in the series I could find. They are now a staple of our gaming, alongside Gulo Gulo -- and have thankfully replaced Monkey Madness for good.

Here's a quick look at some of the games I've enjoyed playing with Ben from the line:

Papa Bear: There are 12 outfits cards, showing hat, jacket and boots in 1 of 3 colors. Then 36 "change" cards indicate which 2 items need to change colors so baby bear is ready for the day (for example, change the color of his hat with the color of his jacket). Helps with visualization and problem solving. This is Ben's favorite of the series.

Hear & Seek: A twist on the classic Memory game. You don't get to look at the cards you flip over. Only your opponents do, and they have to make the noise of the item on the card. So it's visualization and mental mapping based on sound. Pretty challenging, even for adults.

Catch the Match: Each of 15 over-sized cards has 15 two-color pictures on it (like a blue ball with yellow stripes or a green car with blue wheels). Between any two of the cards, there is exactly one match of items that are exactly the same. There are some "false positives" (like a yellow ball with blue stripes instead of blue/yellow) to keep you on your toes. The first person to find the match wins the card, and the first person with X cards wins.

Sherlock: The english version of Plumpsack, I believe. A memory game where item cards are placed face down in a circle, and each card has a clockwise or counterclockwise direction and number by it. When you flip over a card, you move clockwise/counterclockwise around the circle according to the info on the card, and have to identify the face-down card in the newly arrived space. If you make your way around the circle far enough to reach a previously revealed card, you claim the card and put a new one down in its place. He whips Trish and I at this all the time.

Number Chase: Cards numbered 1-50 are laid on the table. One player secretly chooses a number and writes it down on a slip of paper. The other players guess a number by pointing to a card. If it is not the secret number, the card is flipped over to reveal a question they get to ask to narrow their search -- such as "Is it greater than 15?" or "Is it an Even number?" so some early deduction skill work. A bit complicated for Ben, but I can see him liking it pretty soon.

I'm still waiting for 3 more games in that line to arrive at our FLGS -- at about $8/game, and given the amount of time we've played each of these already, they're among the best values I've come across, and are well suited to the children's audience.

Other than the games listed here, what are some of your favorite games for kids ages 3-7?

(Catch the Match image from the Playroom web site)


  • hi
    based on this, i'm going to get 5 Playroom games. one other unlisted one was gopher-it.
    i have a 3 & 5 yr old and will be nice for them to get involved with a <15 minute quick game.
    thx for the info

    By Blogger jaymer, at 9:18 PM  

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