My family loves to play board games. So I am constantly on the lookout for new and exciting games to add to our collection. As a homeschooling mom, I love to find games which are also educational or have some value I can exploit later during lesson time. Ah yes, we homeschoolers can be devious. Games are a wonderful tool to teach critical thinking, cooperation, competition, etiquette, and to reinforce lessons your child is currently learning. Often a child can better understand a concept if it is made real or if he has hands on experience.
My current find is Animal Upon Animal Balancing Bridge. Here is the description:
Flamingo, giraffe, panther, bat and iguana start the adventure of their life and together set off on a big journey. But there is only a wobbly hanging bridge leading over the four valleys. Fortunately the strong crocodile helps. Each player gets three secret piling assignments. Your task is to pile the animals shown on your assignment cards on the hanging bridge. Whoever proves to be the most skillful will accomplish the assignments first and win the game. A stacking game with animals for 2-4 players ages 5-99.
The game play is fun, filled with laughs, but has the occasional frustration when everything collapses. A little tap on the shoulder and a “there, there” is all it takes from my six year old to get my head back in the game after all my animals fall into the volcano pit. The recommended age of 5 and up is accurate. If you have a little one, like me, you can adjust the game play to suit her needs. When my almost three year old desired to play I simply changed the rules to adjust. I handed everyone a card and allowed her to pick out her three animals and stack them on the bridge as she desired to place them. The wooden animals are irresistible. My six year old and almost 3 year old enjoy inviting them to their wooden block world to play. This is a fun family game and a great way to teach critical thinking.