We love to play games in this house or uh… couldn’t tell ya by this post on educational games, or this post on eco theme board games? Until my kids can give me a run at Gin Rummy, Hearts, or Bonco then board games do the trick.
For MANY months now the favorite for my kids has been The Farming Game. Mom was getting mighty board with it and I thought they might never find a new favorite. I hate to even say that since it is an awesome game that teaches the concepts of farming, farmer’s markets, and food value and it is great for teaching math at many levels. But playing it over, over, and over… can wear on you.
But no worries, they have found a new favorite and this one I can see us playing for a very long time. No doubt the weekend tradition that will be with us all winter will be a couple rousing games of Wildcraft and I am THRILLED because I love this game as much as they do. In fact I am thoroughly convinced this is the coolest game ever… no seriously… coolest EVER. This purchase was well worth the money, even if it was a hair pricier than CandyLand.
It is a gorgeous game that teaches the players all about herbs and how useful they are. The players are on a mission from grandma to go and pick wild Huckleberries. They have to go up and down a long mountain path to get them and along the way they find herbs (plants cards) and they they even run into some trouble (trouble cards). Some of the trouble you find would include sore muscles, an earache, a toothache, a hornet sting, diarrhea, splinters, and much more. But thanks to the herbs you have been collecting you may just have an herbal remedy to help you.
On the trouble cards it has little pictures of herbs and you must identify what they are. I love that it doesn’t just give you the name of the plant, it makes you look closely at the leaves and flowers so you can visually indentify the plant. That feature makes it easy for non readers to play and it ensures that older players are really learning these herbs and their uses. If you get a hornet sting you look in your collection of plant cards to see if you have the herbal remedy and if you don’t you must wait until you do before you can discard that trouble card.
Another cool feature is that there are cooperation cards, yes the entire game is cooperative instead of competitive. The whole mood that it created was wonderful. I admit I went overboard with the imitations of pain and anguish when I got a sunburn or a toothache but it was still lovely to see my kids so worried about getting to their turn so they could help me (or another player) out with an herbal remedy they had in their own stash that I did not.
As you play you risk backsliding down streams or landing on “moon” spaces. The moons then have to cover the suns at the top of the board game, giving you less time to finish the game. Everyone has to get back to grandma’s house with two buckets of Huckleberries each before nightfall. The cooperation cards (or rainbow cards as my kids call them) can also be used to move a player that is far behind forward so that the game can be completed on time… its all about cooperation!
I love that we learn about the medicinal uses of plants as we play and learn to identify them by eye. Hearing my kids talk about how they can use St. John’s Wart for this and Dandelions for that is just amazing. So many kids grow up thinking over the counter medicines are required for healing and soothing but it just isn’t so. And for all of us to learn to identify edible plants that can be eaten when hungry is incredibly useful. The earth has always provided what we need if we care to educate ourselves and look. I love that this game was invented by a Dad who just wanted his kids to play something more valuable than Candyland.
This game is also eco friendly! Box/board made with 100% recycled chipboard, printed with vegetable oil based inks, water based coating on paper, no varnish. Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. All material is 100% recyclable.
Wildcraft is a real gem and one that I think every natural, holistic, green, family is going to want to play.
Also available at Amazon
Monday, November 23rd, 2009