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Subject: Gaming with 5 to 7 year olds - Pictionary Junior rss

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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We picked this up at a car boot sale, and last year it was one of the few games my 6 year old daughter would play. This year, and my 5 year old is old enough to join in too, and it's been our most played summer holiday game. This review is based on plays with them and is part of my series of reviews of children's games: My children's game reviews - children aged between 2 and 12

Fun Components

Crayons and a wipe clean board are the main components of this game. Although not amazing in terms of wow factor, in terms of fun, any child who enjoys drawing will enjoy some crayons and something to draw on! Or in my case, even a child who doesn't enjoy drawing such as my son will do it if there's a game involved!

Simplicity of rules

The game is very simple - pick up a card, draw the picture according to the box you're drawing in (so the word listed 1 in box 1, then the word listed 2 in box 2 etc), and try to get everyone else to guess before the time runs out. Last year I was using the timer with my daughter, but now my son is joining in we do tend to abandon the timer - I may introduce it later in the summer. In theory you're supposed to draw without talking - if we get stuck (ie would have gone over the time) I ask them to give us a verbal clue and we guess it that way. There are times when a child picks up a card they either don't know the meaning of, or don't think they're able to draw. In this case I just say to put it back and draw another, telling them what it is, or showing them a possible way of drawing it if possible.

Randomness

This game does have the problem that an adult playing will almost always be able to guess quicker than a child - when we've played with two adults and two children this has become a problem, and you have to hold back. With just me and two children, they're racing to guess the ones I draw, and I do occasionally get beaten to guessing the ones they draw, and don't feel I have to hold back as much. Similarly my daughter tends to guess more correctly than my son, as she's older - luckily he isn't bothered by the fact he guesses less than everyone else, whereas she would be!

Did the children enjoy it?

Most definitely a yes! Last year it was one of only two games my daugher would ask to play (she doesn't like games where it's about winning and losing - in her mind this isn't!). This summer it's been our most played game for the last few days, and only beaten in overall play-time by my son's current favourite. It's also the only way I can get my son to do any drawing - and he's not too bad at it either.

And how is it from the adult's point of view?

Pictionary is one of my favourite party games, and so the chance to play it with my children is great. Yes, the words are slightly easier than most of them in the adult game, but that doesn't make it less fun - and you often have a lot less to go on while guessing, so the difficulty doesn't feel much different!! The halfstar loss it because I do sometimes feel I have to hold back so that I don't win TOO many cards, but as my daughter in particular is getting better at the guessing part of the game, this is happening less and less!
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