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Subject: Niagara For Tiny Tots Variant rss

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Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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Today I played a simplified version of Niagara with my two (almost-three) year old boy.

I know it's not the most complicated game out there, but the simplified version takes out strategy and makes it easier to get gems home, keeping younger children interested.

EDUCATIONAL VALUE: The simplified version lets them enjoy the pieces, learn to count and move the right number of spaces, take turns, wait, do things in the right order. All good.

HOW:

Use a dice (we used 8-sided which made it easy to get gems home, but still allows for some canoes to tumble over the waterfall. For slightly older kids a d6 would be fine).
Each person rolls, moves their canoe, picks up gems, moves back up the river.

We used one movement point for the act of picking up or putting down a gem.
You can move up and down the river in the same turn.
We used one canoe each, but you could use two.
We moved the river three discs after every round.
We did not change the speed of the river.
We didn't do much exchanging of gems or robbing (since we were using one canoe), but that was just because two years old is VERY young for complications like that.
We used the usual conditions for victory.

This kept my two-year old engaged for two and a half games in a row and he asked to play later too. And (a-hem) beat me every time!


(Husband wanted to make it more complicated by rolling 2 d6s, taking the difference and moving the river that amount. We'll call it the Subtraction Variant and I'll save it for a year or two...)
 
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Richard Johnson
United States
Bothell
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We played a slightly different variant with our nephews. We also used dice to replace the movement chits. We played with 2 boats each and instead of an 8 sided we rolled two d6. They then have to choose which dice will go to which canoe. This adds more decisions to be made (though my nephews are older than 2) and they quickly realized where was 'safe' and where it was dangerous. After everyone has moved we rolled another d6 to see how far the river would move.

They had a lot of fun and especially liked the components of the game (especially the gems because they are big fans of Diamant).
 
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Julie Duffy
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Eee-nteresting.

How old are your nephews? My two year old is now a four year old (what? How did that happen?) and I think your version might work for him now.
 
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