A bedtime book is a no brainer at night but lately, our family has engaged in a little game play before lights out. Our littlest one is 2.5 years old which makes complicated board games frustrating and boring to him. He does want to participate though so I've been on the lookout for something age appropriate for him and fun for our 4 year old. Heck, I want it to be fun for all of us! I struck gold with The Orchard board game by Haba.
First of all, the quality of the materials is second to none. As I've come to expect from Haba, the orchard fruits (cherries, apples, pears and plums) are all made of wood. The game comes with small wooden baskets for each player, a sturdy board, and a raven puzzle. Each player rolls the dice and the object of the game is to pick all of the fruits off the trees first.
The best part of the game is that you can turn it into a cooperative game for the whole family. Rather than play against one another, you can work cooperatively as a team to pick all the fruits before the raven comes to eat the fruit. In this way, everyone wins (all fruit is picked) or loses (the raven eats the fruit) together.
Because of our great experiences playing this game, I've since purchased several other Haba games to play with the kids. You can buy The Orchard game for about $36 here and elsewhere.
(Images: Janie Lee)