Next week is Thanksgiving, and if you’re like my family, that means lots of little kids around. The cousins are all getting to the age where they can entertain themselves (hallelujah!) which means we’re stocking up on craft supplies and games.
To be honest, I think of Germany toymaker Haba for their fabulous wooden toys for children, not for their games. But as it turns out, they make quite a few. in fact, there are close to 200 Haba games listed at online toyshop Maukilo, which is like Haba central. Maukilo is not as easily navigable as some other shops, but it easily makes up for it with selection.
There’s a great Animal Yatzi mini-game that’s a lot like regular Yahtzee, but with animals on the dice and a slightly easier strategy. For just about $10 it’s a smart little gift or stocking stuffer for a kindergartener. I love the animal dominos (no plastic!) and some of the strategy card games look promising.
But for me the real winner is the HABA Orchard game, which also gets a thumbs up even from my mom the elementary educator. Orchard is really a game all about cooperation – 2 or more players play with each other, together against the raven who’s trying to eat the fruit in the orchard. Or as my daughter calls it, the craven. The illustrated board is just lovely, as are the small pieces of wooden fruit that you collect in wooden baskets. It’s got a 3+ age reco because of the size of the fruit, but my 2 1/2 year old is just fine with it. You know your own kid best.
My bigger fear is that the pieces get left all over the floor and I slip and kill myself. So I guess this game teachers more than colors, shapes and collaboration, it teaches good cleaning up habits. With your help of course. -Liz
Looking for more great wooden toys? Don’t miss our Cool Mom Picks 2009 Holiday Gift Guide!