As the first grandchild to come along in several years, our two-year-old got a lot of presents this year. So far, one of our favorites is this Roll & Play game from Thinkfun. (Retail price $19.99.)
The game is wonderfully simple, and can be started and stopped at almost any time. We take turns throwing the die, which is big and soft and plush and just about as big as our toddler’s head. He loves throwing it. We name the color that comes up on top, and then pick a matching color card. Then we act out whatever the card says, and move on to the next turn. No need to keep score, just something fun to do together.
There are six categories of cards, and each color has a specialty. The blue cards have you look for colors in your surroundings (“Find something orange”); others have you make face (“Make a surprised face”—just about the cutest thing ever), count (“Clap your hands six times”), make animal noises (“Gobble like a turkey”), or act (“Do a silly dance”).
Our son has started asking us to play “the dice game,” and it’s easy to throw the cube around a few times after dinner. And since the “set-up” is so easy, especially since the plush cube has a pocket to store the cards, you don’t feel cheated when your toddler’s attention finally wanders off.
My favorite part is that it’s teaching him to take turns along with the basic mechanic of drawing cards. My husband and I are both enthusiastic board gamers, and we’ve both remarked that our son’s enthusiasm for this game bodes well for future family game nights.