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Many parents here know how it feels to give preschoolers their first game. You wonder… are they ready? Can they pay attention? Will they wait their turn? What if they lose? Ohmigosh, what if they lose…
For anyone who’s ever thought these thoughts, I have good news for you but first let me say one little not-so-nice thing about preschool games. There are a few games for preschoolers that everyone gets and are considered “classics” but I really can’t stand them! I won’t name names but let’s just say that these games involve a child getting a direction and then the child must do exactly and only that.
There is no thinking involved.. no choices to make. You might as well get a robot to play for you. Kids might like it but some are running away, screaming, crying “it’s not fair!” And what about adults like me? Well, I just fall asleep. It is simply torture to play such games.
Seeds for the Birds stands out because it is a “cooperative game.” But that doesn’t mean it is “non-competitive.” No, no, no. Here is how it works:
A player flips a card and must either feed the animal that he’s uncovered or lay seeds for the animals to eat. The object of the game is to feed more seeds to the baby birds than the squirrel. Honestly, this set-up is so different, I had a hard time understanding the directions – I think it is because I’ve never seen any preschool game like this before (but probably because I stink at reading directions). I literally had to take the game to Number 5′s mom who is also a librarian and ask her to read the directions for me! But look, here is a video with instructions- just published this week. My video down further below will show you the sassier side of the game.
Developmentally on Target
The storyline for Seeds for the Birds is easy to digest. The kids readily identify with the baby birds and the mama bird. They really want the family to win!
Moreover, working together instead of working against each other, is a goal that I believe is more familiar to kids that age. This is the time when they are encouraged to take turns and share but right before this time, they have lived a life where they were being helped a lot. Basically, my guess is that they’ve been thinking more “me, me, me” or “me and Mom” but “me against you” is pretty foreign.
Also, consider this: Would you give a long chapter book to a preschooler? Even if he knew all the words, that would not be good. Why? Because things that drag out tire their brain. Whining will surely follow.
Young kids, impatient kids… must get to the outcome fast. With my kindergartener, I have played Seeds for the Birds in under 7 minutes. But that doesn’t mean our play is finished in 7 minutes. We just keep playing over and over again.
Strategic Thinking for Preschoolers?
What I love is that if the players should so choose, they can play this game strategically because you can use some logic, even though this is very much a game of chance. Since there are four birds and four squirrels and set pathways for feeding, sometimes you can teach a child to create positive results by thinking ahead. Like baby checkers? When I first saw this game, I had NO idea we could do that. If you think about it, that is really cool! This could be very engaging to preschoolers who excel in visual/spatial/logical reasoning but still don’t really have the social/emotional skills to play games for older children. Again, playing it just by way of chance is still fun too. (Watch the video)
Lastly, it should be said that this game still speaks to the inner-competitor in all of us because your “team” can still “lose.” Individual losers? Never. Losing as a team? Sometimes, but that is what makes it fun!
And who is to say that a preschooler must have his first losing experience all alone? I dare say that all preschoolers could benefit by having their first losing moments as part of a team. Because the most painful part of losing is that awful lonely feeling. However, in a cooperative game like Seeds for the Birds, you are never alone, even if you lose, you lose as a team. Kids end up processing more quickly that losing can hurt but only until they move on, will they get to feed the baby birds again. And feed those birds they will.
Now it’s time to win your own game of SEEDS FOR THE BIRDS or RACE TO THE TREASURE! This is a U.S. only giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any way by the manufacturer of this product. The product was given to the tester in order to facilitate a review. Reviews are never promised. The giveaway prize is being donated by Peaceable Kingdom.