In this day and age when kids love nothing more than playing on computer games and ipad apps, it always warms my heart to see just how excited Pierre (and usually Juliette, though to a slightly lesser extent) always gets to play with a new board game. We recently received a fun game from University Games to review called Don't Rock The Boat.
Inside the box, you get a big plastic pirate ship which only takes a few seconds to put together (you just slot in the three masts), a blue base with a stick to balance it on and a whole flock of cute plastic pirate penguins.
The penguins have several strategically placed sticky-out bits that you can use to hang them off the boat - their swords, the feather on their hat, their feet, ...
I thought they'd fall straight off but they actually hold on very well.
You can also try to stand them in the crow's nest if you're feeling particularly brave !
Each player takes it in turns to add another penguin to the boat until it falls off the stand, meaning that he has lost. There are no complicated rules to learn so players of all ages can just jump in and play.
It's a fun game for all ages and, as a busy parent, I also appreciate the fact that it can be set up and played in just a few minutes, so I can still join in, even when I'm cooking dinner or have a million other things that I should be doing !
Pierre has also discovered that he can have great fun playing all by himself, seeing if he can manage to put all of the penguins on the boat without making it topple over.
As well as helping reinforce fine motor skills, it's also a great way of explaining the notion of balance, because Pierre soon realised that the boat will stay upright for longer if you hang the penguins on opposite sides rather than all in the same place. Learning through play is much more interesting than sitting down with a textbook too !
If you like the sound of the game, don't go away - I have a giveaway coming up in my next post where you can win Don't Rock The Boat and find out for yourselves how much fun it is !
star rating : 4.5/5
Ages 5+ years. For 2-4 players. RRP £14.99. Available at Tesco, Amazon, Toys R Us and Argos.
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.