Product Reviews - The Old Schoolhouse

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Hoot Owl Hoot Review by Karen Yuen

Peaceable Kingdom
950 Gilman Street, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94710
877-444-5195
http://www.peaceablekingdom.com

What is a cooperative game? It's a game where everyone plays together, no one is left out, and everyone has fun! Unlike a traditional game, where there is one winner and many losers, in a cooperative game the players work as a team against a common obstacle, not against each other. Cooperative games emphasize play, not competition. Kids learn to work and play together in respectful and compassionate ways. They learn to share, make decisions together, and trust one another. Cooperative games encourage inclusion and build confidence. Most importantly, the kids play because it's fun!

Peaceable Kingdom has produced just such a game called Hoot Owl Hoot! which our kids love! It's designed for ages 4 and up, but even our 2-year-old enjoyed it with a little help from Mama. The object of this clever game is to get up to six baby owls back to their nest before daybreak. Players may move any of the owl game pieces on the board when it's their turn. If they select a card with the sun on it, they must move the sun token across the night sky. When the sun has made its way across the board and day breaks, all the baby owls need to be back in their nest or all the players lose the game. If, on the other hand, the players are successful at getting those baby owls back to the nest before the sun rises, then all the players win!

The game only takes about 15 minutes to play, and it is so simple that a beginning reader can understand the rules and read most of them to siblings. However, playing the game does not require any reading skills after the rules have been explained. The game uses color matching to move these cute baby owls homeward. Our kids enjoyed playing several rounds of the game at one sitting! The box, game pieces, and even the game board are all made of thick durable recycled cardboard! The artwork on the game board and playing pieces is rich and enchanting, and it's printed with soy-based ink.

Peaceable Kingdom sells a variety of equally wonderful cooperative games, cards, stickers, and colorful wipe-off books that are great for traveling! Go to www.peaceablekingdom.com to request a catalog or to search for products online.

If you have competitive preschoolers and early elementary aged kids like I do, I highly recommend Peaceable Kingdom's cooperative games!

Product review by Karen Yuen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2011

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