Spin the Beetle
“The Beetle says rub your tummy! Did you do it? Good!” This little bug makes playing “Simon Says” more fun than ever! With a simple push of the yellow button on the colorful critter’s back, the Beetle gives his commands. Just make sure not to move if he does not say, “The Beetle says!” Children can also play “Spin the Beetle.” In this game, they follow the Beetle’s instructions. Each time the button is pushed, an additional instruction is added to the list. This silly Beetle sure makes you giggle! Our two-year-old rater loved playing this game with Mommy and Daddy! Requires three AA batteries. Ages 3 to 6. 2 or more players. $19.99. Hasbro Games. 888/836-7025. www.hasbro.com.
Penguin Pat’s Fishy Business
This is the most talkative penguin you will ever see! Not only that, but he gives his fish away! The object of this game is to match the color of the fish Pat gives you to the color of one of the fish on your game card. Pat goes around a circular track from player to player, turns toward each player, and tells them what to do: “You need a fish. Take one fish.” He might even let you take more than one fish or even take one from another player. When your card is full, you become the Big Tuna and Pat sings a song just for you! Requires three AA batteries. Ages 3 to 6. 2 to 4 players. $24.99. Hasbro Games. 888/836-7025. www.hasbro.com.
Harold and the Purple Crayon
This game is so much fun, youngsters do not even realize they are improving memorization and storytelling skills! Children must remember the sequence of a story made up by all the players without forgetting any part of the story. The first player takes a card from the deck, draws (with a purple erasable marker) the object from the card on a dry-erase drawing board, and begins a story to go along with the drawing. This continues with each player taking a card, drawing a picture, and adding on to the story of the previous player. Seems easy enough, but the more cards that are turned over, the more pictures are drawn, and the more complicated the story becomes! Be the last one left telling the story correctly and you win! Ages 4 to 7. 2 to 4 players. $19.99. Briarpatch, Inc. 800/232-7427. www.briarpatch.com.
Eloise Balance Your Stuff Game
If your little one enjoys reading Eloise stories, they will love this game! Eloise wants to have a tea party, but Nanny says she must clean her room first. Each player takes a turn putting one item on Eloise’s clothes tree. The catch? The clothes tree is precariously balancing on its base and players can only use one hand to hang the various objects. When all of the objects are hung on the tree, everyone wins and it is time for tea! This is a game of concentration, precision, and teamwork. Ages 5 to 8. 2 to 4 players. $16.99. Briarpatch, Inc. 800/232-7427. www.briarpatch.com.
Scooby-Doo! Snackin’ Action Game
Hey, Scooby! What are you Dooing? In his fast wacky style, Scooby-Doo is tossing bones everywhere! Your job is to get all six of your bones before someone else grabs them and tosses them back to Scooby-Doo! When you collect all six of your bones, be the first to turn that crazy dog off by pressing the button on his hat and you win! Ages 5 and up. 2 to 4 players. $16.99. Pressman Toy Corporation. www.pressmantoy.com.
Fun Funky Fingernails Game
Can you believe a game involving being the first one to get your nails done—without any chipped nails? Be the first player to collect nine Funky Nails and the Gold Nail and you win! Sounds easy, but a roll of the dice can give you a nail or take it away just as quickly. After rolling the dice, players move around the game board and must follow the directions on the space where they land. Although landing on “two Nails” or “Steal a Nail” makes you closer to winning the game, a stop on the “chipped nail” space puts victory just beyond reach. A clever idea! Ages 6 and up. 2 to 4 players. Hasbro Games. 888/836-7025. www.hasbro.com.
Honey Nut Cheerios Spelling Bee Game
Presenting your game show host…BuzzBee! Be the first contestant to collect 10 cards by spelling words correctly or completing an activity and you win. Each player chooses a difficulty level (I, II, or III) and then the game begins. After the player (speller) spins the spinner, the player who is the game show host (BuzzBee) draws a card from one of three decks (depending on where the spinner stops). BuzzBee then asks the player to either spell the word or complete the activity on the card. Players alternate being the speller and Buzzbee. A cardboard cutout Buzzbee uses a stand that has music and applause sound chips to make a game show atmosphere. Learning to spell has never been more fun! Ages 7 and up. 2-6 players. $24.99. Briarpatch, Inc. 800/232-7427. www.briarpatch.com.
Be the first to make it to the peak by answering ten questions correctly and you win! This electronic quiz game tests your knowledge on hundreds of subjects, with over 2,000 questions for hours of knowledge expanding fun! Take turns answering questions, have a head-to-head competition, or play alone. Compact enough for taking on trips. Our seventeen-year-old reviewer and her forty-year-old mother really enjoyed this game. Why not have an Extreme Challenge game night: the winner keeps playing against different challengers until they lose or win ten games in a row! Ages 8 and up. $29.95. Educational Insights. 800/995-4436. www.educationalinsights.com
Mystery Date Game
Who will your date be? Will it be the science fair winner, surfer, poet, or one of many other guys just waiting to become friends with you? Figure that out and you have solved the mystery! Listen to the electronic talking toy telephone and 24 different boys will be giving you clues. Three different games add to the fun. Comes with simulated telephone, six picture frames with plastic stands to hold pictures of the boys, 24 boy cards with complete biographies, four speakerphone cards, four “share a secret” cards, four “mom says hang up” cards, four address books, and a pad to write down clues. Our almost twelve-year-old rater gave this a 9 out of 10. Ages 9 to 17. 2 to 4 players. $29.99. Hasbro Games. 888/836-7025. www.hasbro.com.#