For my first product review I decided to choose a game that my son got for Christmas, Lego Pirate Plank. This is a game that is marked as ages 7 and up but my son (5 years old) has been able to do games for older kids in the past and has recently really gotten into legos in general so I decided that we would give this one a try because it combines two things he really enjoys, legos and games. This game is a hit!
The first time that you play this game you get to put the pirate ship together with legos (when you put it away you can just take the sails off and easily put them back on the next time) which my son was able to do almost completely on his own. My husband worked closely with him in doing it but mostly just because it was a good way for them to spend quality time together. After the ship is built each player chooses which little lego person they want to be and place their person on a plank. During your turn you roll a dice which is "built" during the game. On each turn you have to decide if you are going to add another person's color to the dice, use one of the colors already on the dice to move a person forward on their plank, or do nothing at all. If you roll a skull and bones you decide if you are going to move your person back two or another person forward one. Once you hit the "water" you are eaten by sharks and therefore out of the game. One cool feature actually written into the game book is that you are allowed to change/make-up your own rules which my son did with lots of joy during our last game.
My son loves this game because it is a little different every time, he always has about as much chance of winning as anyone else playing, he gets to contribute to creating the dice each time we play, and lets face it there is a boat and pirates that are involved.
Why I love it: it is different and helps him to learn basic strategy, planning, and decision making (which piece to place on the dice or if he should make a player move with a color already on the dice). It teaches creativity and ownership over the rules of the game. Developmentally this game is good for encouraging positive social interactions such as turn taking, working together (while building the game "board"), good game manners (being a good winner/loser). Although this is a relatively simple game I enjoy it much more than many of the board games that use spinners or cards to show you where to move and don't really require much more thinking than counting or color knowledge (although those games do help with turn taking, counting, and colors).
Over-all I give this game a thumbs up and would recommend it to my friends. Again the box says ages 7 and up but my son is 5 and gets it. I think just evaluate how well the child in your life understands turn taking, counting, and cause and effect and decide on your own what level they are at and if this game would work for them. Do you have a favorite game for kids? We are always on the look out for new and interesting game and I plan on reviewing more in the future. Is there a game you have heard of for ages 0 to 7 that you would like to hear about. If we have it I will make that a priority for my next game in review.