Today I played “Choo-Choo Raccoon.” Well, at least that’s what my 4-year old daughter Emily called it at first.
See, my kids are like a lot of yours – Obsessed with Thomas the Train! And love to play games because that’s what they see their parents doing.
Emily is always sitting in my lap when we play RRT and is begging me to get the game off of the shelf every time she sees it. Today I decided to teach her the game in a way she would understand.
Welcome to the island of Sodor!
Game Modifications: I set up normally but only used the middle 3rd of the board. I told Emily that the cubes were “passengers” that needed to get to a station that matched its color. She chose to play with the blue train of course because Thomas, Gordon and Edward are blue.
I took the remaining cubes out of the bag and replaced them with the track tiles. The track would be drawn ala Carcassonne.
On a players turn you do the following: Draw and play a track tile. Deliver any passengers
Track is drawn and placed in any city you wish to start. Your subsequent pieces are laid next to your old track until two cities are connected. Once two cities are connected with track, you can immediately deliver any “passengers” keeping the cubes in front of you as a score. The first player to deliver 10 is the winner.
How it played: The game was not only fun but a great learning experience. It taught the matching of color as well as predicting and planning to get the track to go where you want to go.
Emily needed some coaxing as to how to get the track to line up but she caught on exceedingly fast and planned all of her route by herself. By the second game she was making her own routes and giggled every time she made a delivery.
The drawing of tiles took away the money management but that can easily be introduced when she is a little older.
BTW – she won. A nail biter 10-8.
Imagine what this mountain route would really cost...
As a teacher, I highly recommend giving this a go with your kids. Someday I plan to make a hexed map of the Island of Sodor. Then it’s game on.