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Hoot Owl Hoot! Review by Brittney RutherfordPeaceable Kingdom
950 Gilman Street, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94710
Preschoolers are at that delicate age where they want to start playing board games, but they can't always keep up with their older siblings, or they aren't emotionally ready for the of winning and losing that comes along with board games. Cooperative games can help teach young children the basics of board game play, but in a more inclusive way that also helps them develop compassion and teamwork, better preparing them for competitiveness down the road. Hoot Owl Hoot is a preschool game for children ages four and up that focuses on the following skills: color matching, simple strategy, following directions, social development and cooperation. Players must work together to help all the baby owls get home to their nest before the sun rises.
The game includes the game board, 6 owl tokens, 1 sun token, 14 sun cards and 36 color cards, as well as instructions for game play. Simply put, players are dealt cards, and they must play their cards to move the owls home. Color cards move the owls closer to home, while the sun cards make the sun slowly rise. Since the cards are colors or suns, there is no reading required, which makes it simple enough for preschoolers. The cooperative aspect of this game comes into play because players can look ahead to what cards the others have, and they must decide which owls to move towards the nest, because some moves will benefit everyone more if players are considering how other players will be affected. If all the players work together, they can get all the owlets home before the sun rises in the morning!
We played this game for the benefit of my 3 year old, and even though she's slightly below the recommended age range, she loves it! I do have to help her remember some of the rules, but there is no reading required and overall the game play is fairly simple. I would suggest 3-6 years old as the primary target age range, but the cooperative aspect means my older kids are more willing to play with the preschooler because it's a group effort and they enjoy the strategy.
Peaceable Kingdom is a family oriented company with a green commitment. Although this is the first game we've played by them, I am impressed with what I've seen, and I already have more of their games on our wish list. They have cooperative games for young children and for families, card games, games to go, and other interesting items, so there's likely something for most families and classrooms.
-Product review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2016