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Friends and Neighbors – The Helping Game Review by Christine Hindle

Peaceable Kingdom
950 Gilman Street, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94710

This is a very interactive, teacher guided game for preschoolers (it says ages 3+). There are 4 game boards, but you just use one at a time for the entire group. There is also a stop sign and a bag of pogs. You take a walk through your neighborhood and encounter various people that have a need.  There are nine of these on each board. The stop sign has 5 spaces for pogs. You pick a pog out of the bag and call out what it has on it (i.e., Band-Aid).  “Will this help anyone here?”  On the board is a picture of a little one who has fallen and needs a Band-Aid. You then read the beginning of the poem on the board square and the end of the poem on the pog and put the pog on the square.  “A slip and a squeal --- and a Band-Aid to heal.”  If there is no Band-Aid needed on that board, then you put the pog on one of the spaces on the stop sign. If the stop sign fills up first, you stop and switch boards.  If the board fills up before the stop sign, you have had a successful walk. 

I used this with my two four year olds and they enjoyed matching the solutions with the problems and hearing the poem that went with the situation. This game teaches empathy and four year olds definitely have empathy with kids with boo-boos, kids that are scared of the dark, kids that want to cuddle a teddy bear and the other scenarios in this game. This game is good for starting discussions about friends and helping, and just hearing what your child thinks about things in general. 

We enjoyed playing this game and will repeat it throughout our school year. I recommend this to any preschool classroom, homeschool or otherwise. This provides a very nice opportunity for children to discuss helping others and just life in general.

-Product review by Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016