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Subject: The 5 Game - A variant for 3-5 year olds rss

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Mark Geusebroek
Canada
St Albert
Alberta
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A week ago my kids wanted to play with my Hanabi cards, so I had to quickly make up some rules. I know this isn't really a 'game', but an activity the kids love to do. We've played every night since, and thought I may as well share for anyone who owns the game and has young kids that want to play your games.


The 5 Game
Deal 3 cards to each player. My 5 year old takes them in hand, so she can see them. My 3 year old plays them face up on the table (so we can help her).

On your turn, you draw a card, then take one of 3 actions:
1. Play a card to the table, just like in Hanabi
2. Play a card that is already played to the discard pile
3. Declare "I can't go" and neither play nor discard

The fun comes when you play a 5, and then enthusiastically declare, "Give me 5 for your 5!" and give each other high fives. 'cause high fives are awesome.

That's it. It's simple, but the kids love it.
Teaches: turn taking, numbers 1-5 in 5 colors, recognition of 'dead' cards and 'live' cards. The Hanabi card distribution works perfectly. Most cards we've ever had in hand was 5, and then we just allow multiple discards if possible.
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Ron Reaser
United States
Morgantown
West Virginia
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I like the notion of introducing kids to games by playing a subset of the rules. I especially like when the instruction manual builds the kid-variants right into the game. Nice idea, Mark. I personally haven't done these variants before, because the only child in my life is my 8-year-old nephew who absolutely thrives on complex rules, but I like to plan ahead for my own potential children.

On a side note, if you're looking for a game that is fairly meaty for adults but has built-in variants for children in the rules and can really grow with them, try Seven Dragons. It teaches colors, edge matching, turn-taking, and so on.
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