This is my new favorite game for family game night. The box says 8 and up, but my 6 year old can play independently and my 4 year old can play when he “partners” with his dad or me. It is a fantastic mix of simple strategy and luck giving even the youngest players a chance at winning, while still being fun. I also love that it doesn’t take up very much space! As our game shelf fills up, I appreciate games that pack a lot of fun in a little container. The fact that it helps my kindergartner practice simple math is just a bonus.
Product: Sleeping Queens
Recommended Age Range: 6+ (younger kids can play and have fun with a little adult help)
Price Range: ~$15
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Comments: I’ll admit that when I first saw the instructions to this game, I was a little overwhelmed. There are kind of a lot of rules. I thought we would never remember them. The kings wakes up the queens. The dragons fight off the knights. The magic wands counteracts the sleeping potions. The jester does different things depending on what card is drawn. And if you want to trade in your number cards for new card, you can combine them into a math problem, like 2+5=7. For the anniversary tin addition we purchased, there are even more rules, like the same person can’t have both the cat and dog queens.
However, when we started playing, I realized how incredibly easy it is to pick up all the rules and remember them. Even for my 4 year old. Maybe I should say ESPECIALLY for my 4 year old. I honestly don’t know why the box says 8 years and up, because preschoolers and kindergartners excel at remembering simple, fun rules like these. I honestly think the reason it says 8 and up is because there is a little math involved.
Mostly the math it encourages is working with small numbers adding to 10. Honestly, this is good even for my second grader. If his hand is 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, he might realize he can trade in all his cards if he just figures out that 1+2+3+4=10. This math is the perfect practice for my kindergartner and good for my 4 year old as well. To win the game, you have to have 4 queens or 40 points. Each queen is valued at 5, 10, or 15 points. Again, good practice for my 8 year old. Maybe a little too challenging for my 4 and 6 year olds, but it definitely doesn’t prevent them from playing the game.
To be honest though, math practice is not the reason we play this game. We play it because it is fun, we are able to include the whole family, and it doesn’t take very long to play. Everyone enjoys it. No one feels left out. The fact that it includes some basic math is a welcome side benefit.
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