Letting Life Lead
We like games and since my youngest is still too young to play my all-time favorite game Uno, we’ve had to accumulate a few kid orientated games. My son has not yet developed the patience to get through an entire game of Candyland, but this game is quick enough and has enough activity to keep him interested. He was just over two years old when we added Hi Ho Cherry-O to our collection.
I was going to get the classic game, but I picked up this snazzy version instead. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized there were only three figures. The original game is a four player! I am not sure why they decided to reduce the number of players since they could have easily chosen to use any of the other characters as a fourth — Pluto, Minnie, Daisy, Pete, or even Clarabell. How about some female representation. Mickey is my boy, but a little estrogen would be nice. The spinner is a standard cardboard, and the main game area is a bowl shaped like a Mickey head with a flat cardboard insert in the shape of three color-coded cherry trees. It is not particularly strong; I wouldn’t suggest stepping or sitting on it (it’s really not worth more than $8-11 dollars, and I’d err on the lower end of the price range.)
While we really love this game and the character theme is really well done, we all have one complaint. The size of the cherries are ridiculously small. They are hardly bigger than a large pea, and even small fingers have a challenge with picking them up. Perhaps Hasbro wanted to make them too small to actually choke on, but the drawback is that it can be really frustrating to pick them up or set up the game.
I highly suggest playing this game on the floor on a carpet or blanket in case any pieces fall out so they can be retrieved easily. If you have cats, keep your eyes open or you’ll never find the pieces again. If you happen to have a Chinese Checkers game, you probably could substitute those marbles if you have difficulty with the cherries when playing with children. Really, the game is so simple you can make your own version with four plastic cups, a few scoops, and some beans (anything would work really — nuts, bolts, pebbles, seashells, play doh balls, pom poms, etc.) A video may be produced soon of game play!
The object of the game is to spin the spinner and “pick” your color cherries as indicated by the number you land on, put them in your basket, then dump your basket into the picnic area. If you land on Pluto, he eats three of your cherries (put three of your color back on your tree). The winner is the one who runs out of cherries and has an empty tree first. Everyone else then shouts, “Hi Ho Cherry-O you win!”
Despite the minor issue of microscopic cherries, it is a fantastic game to teach counting to a toddler (yes, yes, supervised of course), taking turns, adding, subtracting, and categorizing. Obviously it’s fantastic for fine motor control of tiny objects. An older child can easily play with a younger sibling. I make no promises that they won’t fight though.
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