Games, games and more games!
This review is based on plays with my children, aged 4 and 6.
Well, not all decks of cards are fun, but this is how we started - the kids had bought a deck of cards each from the zoo, with normal suits, but each suit having a picture of a different animal on it, which made them slightly clearer for my 4 year old (I've since tried with a normal pack of cards and he struggles a lot more, although the 6 year old coped fine). The fact they were playing with their own pack of cards that they'd just bought, and with lots of pretty pictures, was the real appeal of this game initially.
Simplicity of rules
The rules for this game are incredibly simple, and as such both children picked the game up very quickly. Our decks had "Cheeky Monkey" written on the back, so we added an extra rule that Aces and Kings (the two ends) are called Cheeky Monkeys, and you have to say Cheeky Monkey when you play them - this rule made the ends rule really clear for them, and also meant that they didn't mind having lots of ends, as they were more fun to play!
There is very little strategy in this game, but it is sufficient that an adult playing with kids will win more than their fair share, but not enough that the children don't stand a chance of winning. It does mean that they have a few decisions to make too - my 4 year old doesn't really think much, just plays whatever he finds first that goes, but my 6 year old is starting to think about playing cards that help her play more cards, although she doesn't have the concept of "blocking" yet. It's a very good early card game to teach a little bit of strategy, while maintaining a healthy dose of luck!
Did the children enjoy it?
Both children loved it last summer holidays, and asked to play regularly. Once they went back to school it got forgotten in favour of games with more obvious boxes, until my daughter found a pack of cards in the Easter holidays and was reminded of the game, and we played several more times. Not an amazing hit that they request every day for weeks on end, but still a very enjoyable game for both of them, and one of the few that my 6 year old daughter will play happily, and even suggest - she doesn't like to lose so won't play many games, but she doesn't mind finishing last in this one!!
And how is it from the adult's point of view?
Surprsingly enjoyable! It has more depth than kids games, but not so much that I feel I have to play sub-optimally to give the kids a chance, plus I have many happy memories of playing Sevens with my family, particularly my cousins, and so it's nice to now enjoy a childhood favourite with my own children.