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Count Your Chickens!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Learning Disguised as a Game rss

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Matthew Cordeiro
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Cumberland
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Count Your Chickens ("CYC") is essentially a learning tool disguised as a game. But for little ones, isn’t this really the best way to learn? Specifically, CYC focuses on counting. (Surprise, surprise.) The premise of the game is that everyone works together, moving the mother hen through the farm to the chicken coop. Along the way, she’s picking up her chicks and depositing them into the coop. However, a pesky fox will occasionally move chicks out of the coop. The goal is to get all the chicks into the coop before the mother hen moves a predetermined number of spaces. To properly explain the game, you almost have to look at it from 2 different perspectives - the game and the learning.

As a game, CYC is a very straightforward spin and move, combining elements of classic kids games like Chutes & Ladders (spin and move, counting), Candy Land (move forward to the next matching space), and Hi Ho Cherry-O (counting, moving objects in and out of a collection area). Also similar to these games, CYC is all luck. You can’t change the outcome of the game through your own choices. You’re at the mercy of the spinner here. CYC is a cooperative game, where everyone takes turns moving towards a common goal. You either all win or all lose. And you’ll win more than you lose. This was not mentioned in the rules, but if you really just want to focus on the counting with a child who’s not ready to handle losing, you could simply leave a couple chicks in the box. (And I mean literally a couple. If you leave 2 chicks in the box, you’ll win probably 95% of the time.)

The real purpose of CYC is to practice counting. The game part is really just a means to an end. As you move along the path, you pick up 1 chick per space. Depending on where the spinner lands, you could move anywhere from 1 space to maybe 12 spaces. So, the counting practice here is essentially up to 10 and maybe sometimes just a little higher.

I thought CYC would be too boring for my 3-year-old. He could already count beyond 10 with no problems before playing this game, but he immediately loved it and wanted to play several times in a row. It only takes 10 minutes, so multiple plays are very doable in one sitting. The illustrations are great, as is the quality of the board and spinner. The chicks are made out of thin cardboard. If they were just a bit thicker, I’d have no complaints there either.

Overall, CYC is a fun little learning game for young ones to practice their counting.
 
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