The Itsy Bitsy Spider Game. This is another game that we bought for the enjoyment of our 2.5 year old. It was purchased used for a trivial amount of money, and given to her as a present this Xmas. It was a little weird - when she opened it, she said, "Hey, it's the Itsy Bitsy Spider Game!". She can't read.
As a small piece of background information, there is a large box outside at my daughter's daycare. They call it the "spider box" because it's full of spiders. Once, they opened it while I was there, and spiders were crawling around on their webs EVERYWHERE. There were little ones, big ones, nests, everything. When my daughter saw this, she squealed - with joy. She then screamed - "It's the itsy bitsy spider!" Then she put her hands together, and started singing the song with the hand movements.
There are a lot of bits in the box. You have a big plastic spider, a smattering of colour-coded cardboard tiles, and a movement spinner. The cardboard is reasonably thick, and will stand up to a child's playtime. It will not stand up to a dog's determination, as was shown by the used tiles.
The four colours for the tiles are red, green, blue, and yellow. It's a little hard to tell which colour is which on the base pieces, but it's not a deal-breaker. The tiles are a little tight for little hands to put together easily. They still stack, but it's a little tippy. The art on them is cute, and it looks like a downspout. Each colour has eight total pieces. The two rectangles are put together to make the base, and there are 6 other square tiles.
The spider has a friendly face and bright colour scheme that even an Arachnophobe could love. Mind you, if I saw a spider like that in real life, I'd become extremely concerned for my well-being. (or perhaps just my sanity.)
The spinner is how you determine the actions taken on your turn. You move the spinner (by flicking, pushing,or whatever) then follow the action. There are three actions: Place a tile, place a tile and spin again,or skip your turn. The spinner is a little tricky for very young hands and could have just as easily been a special die.
Setup is easy. Put the spider on the table. Put the spinner on the table. Sort the tiles into colours, and put the non-player colours into the box. Give each player a stack of tiles.
The youngest player goes first. They spin the spinner, then follow the rules. They will either place a tile(63%), place a tile and spin again(12%), or skip their turn (25%). Play then moves to the next player.
When one player has placed all of their tiles, they have to spin a "place a tile" space to get the spider. The player who places all of their tiles then places the spider on top wins the game.
This game has a lot more depth that what you would normally think. On your turn, you have to decide what the other players will do. How will they react to each tile? How close is the game? Can she win in the next turn with a good spin, or do I have more time to complete my downspout? It's a real nail-biter.
No, seriously, it's just luck. Spin `til you win.
A lack of strategy is good when you're playing with kids who aren't even sure if they have to pee.
There are better games out there for kids, but this one is pretty good. It's bright, tactile, and three-dimensional. It's basically a tile-laying game, but you lay the tiles vertically. It's blocks, but you use cardboard. It's fun for kids, and hey, that's the point of stuff like this, isn't it?
This game can be played with 2 - 4 players. One of the players can even nurse and hold an infant while playing.
If your little person sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider" ever time she sees an arachnid, you should pick this one up.