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Stack Up! (A cooperative BLOCK game.) Review by Barbette YingstJoyce Johnson
950 Gilman Street, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94710
As the mother of three almost grown children you may think that it is strange for me to be writing a review for Stack Up! A Cooperative BLOCK Game for ages 3-5. Although my own girls are in high school and beyond, I have the privilege of being an aunt to several 3 year olds, and what I found was that it is almost as good as being a grandma! I know there are more aunts like me out there that can relate!!
Stack Up! Is a Preschool Skills-Builder Game that contains three separate levels, but you seriously don’t have anything to worry about because the instructions are very detailed for each level and easy to understand. So it will be simple for you to find your way through this game with your preschooler, no matter what level they are at.
Let me just say that my nieces loved this game! Each gaming session lasts up to 15 minutes, so it is short enough to keep their attention. What I noticed with each of them was that it was simple enough for them to play and stimulating enough for them to want to play it over and over again. In fact I have a quote from “R.” More than once this is what she said to me, “Aunt Barbie I really love this game.” Although, she was very concerned about “Mr. Stack Smasher.” She thought that he was either sick or grumpy and she kept trying to figure it out! I found that super cute!
Not only is the game stimulating, but the packaging is also exciting and stimulating as well. From the time you see the box for the first time, you will be anxious to open it up and get started! As you open up your box you will find 12 wooden blocks (with holes in 2 sides), 1 game board, 1 spinner, 2 stack sticks, 1 Stack Smasher and 12 challenge cards. Peaceable Kingdom has created all of their Preschool Skills-Builder Games in a unique way. Instead of having players compete against each other, the players will compete against the game and try to work together to beat the game.
The object of the game is to stack all 12 blocks, before the Stack Smasher reaches the last space on the board and knocks down the blocks. To get the game set up and ready for play, make sure to lay the board on a flat surface; either on the floor or possibly on the table. That will definitely make it easier for you to stack the blocks. Put the Stack Smasher on start, the put the blocks, spinner, stack sticks, and challenge cards off to the side of the board where everyone can reach them.
Level 1- You will not need the stack sticks. At this level you can use your hands to stack the blocks. This level is recommended for three year olds, but my nieces wanted no part of that. They were quite confident that they wanted to get their hands on the stack sticks!! With every spin, use your hands to place 1 block of that color in the center of the board and then move the Stack Smasher forward 1 space.
Level 2 - This level was designed with the wooden ends of the stack sticks in mind. You are able to put the wooden ends of the stack sticks in the holes on the wooden blocks and then lift the blocks to put on the stack. This was by far my nieces’ favorite way to play the game. This level was designed with four year olds in mind. Again you will spin the spinner and stack blocks of whatever color it lands on in the center of the game board. With each spin, make sure to move the Stack Smasher forward 1 space. When the Stack Smasher reaches the last space if the tower is still upright, he should smash the tower. At this level you will use the challenge cards if you land on challenge. These are fun and interactive and will absolutely add fun and laughter to your game!
Level 3 - This level increases in difficulty ever so slightly. Designed with five year olds in mind, you will once again use the spinner but then you will use the foam ends of the sticks to try to pick up the colored blocks and put them in the center of the game board on the stack. Again you will move the Stack Smasher forward a space with each turn. At this level you can also use the challenge cards. Both of my nieces started wanting to only play with the challenge cards because they found them so much fun!
Challenge Cards - The Challenge Cards have a variety of different directives on them. (during this you should then pick up a block with the sticks and put it on the stack)
- Jack Stack-players strike a jumping jack pose with legs spread
- Eye Stack-players cover one eye
- Silly Stack-players make a funny face
- Quack Stack-players quack like a duck
- Roar Stack-players roar like a dinosaur
There are more Challenge Cards and each one is just as delightful as the one before.
I have to say that this is our new favorite game to play together. I watched my nieces learn a lot of things as they played this game. They practiced balance as they stood on one foot for a challenge, color matching, hand-eye coordination, and cooperation. Stack Up! A Cooperative BLOCK Game sells for $19.99 and is well worth the money. What we found was hours of family enjoyment and entertainment with your kids, students, grandkids, or of course if you are like me. . .your nieces and nephews and you really can’t put a price on that!
-Product review by Barbette Yingst, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2016