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On this week’s Short Bite we’re talking about a great preschool/early elementary game, Barnyard Bunch, designed by Justin Lee, and published by HABA. This cooperative game relies on color recognition and strategic thinking to keep all the animals from straying too far from the farm.
🎂 Target Age 4-7
👨👩👦 2-4 Players
⌛ 5-10 min
📐 Skills: cooperation, colors, probability, strategic thinking
In this game, players work cooperatively to keep the animals from leaving Fridolin’s farm. Each animal starts out at the barn on an individual color alternating track. On each turn, a player will roll the die. If the die shows a color, players will move any animals currently on that color forward by one space. If the die shows Farmer Fridolin, players choose one animal to move back one space closer to the barn. If the die shows Lilli the Dog, players choose one animal to move all the way back to the barn. After the die has been resolved, a card is drawn from the deck. If it shows an animal, that animal will move one space farther from the barn. If it shows Farmer Fridolin or Lilli the Dog the actions match those of their respective die roll. If the card shows an item (carrot, cheese, etc.) this represents a lure for one of the animals (shown in the corner of the card). That animal will be lured one step back toward the barn. The game ends as soon as all cards in the deck have been drawn or an animal has moved off their path and run away. Players win or lose together.
From a components perspective, the meeples in this game are adorable! Our daughter immediately wanted to play with them before we started the game. They grabbed her interest right away. It’s so disappointing to get a new game for your child to play, that you think they’ll love, and you open the box and they just shrug. That’s the worst. Between the box art, the animal meeples, and the cards, our kiddo was into it right away. Success! Coupled with that, in typical HABA fashion, the dice and meeples are high-quality wood, and the game board is thick cardboard meaning it’ll hold up to lots of kiddo play. The cards are small and a bit thinner than we would’ve liked, but they’ve held up well to repeated playings so far. We always have the option to sleeve them, and may if they start to show wear.
This game is great for kiddos that are still working on color recognition. Our daughter had a particularly difficult time with colors. A game like this would’ve been helpful. It’s also a good introduction to strategy for younger players. This game has just enough strategy for your learner to make connections between their actions without parents needing to explain why one move is better than another. Letting your child discover and hone their own strategy is tough with many games where strategy is used heavy-handedly for young players or is so obvious that there’s no discovery to be made. Barnyard Bunch has just the right balance.
This game is exactly what it should be for this target age range. It’s cute, engaging, cooperative, and employs strategy well. We think Pre-K and early Elementary kids will love this one!
Find Barnyard Bunch – https://amzn.to/3wnysrK
How to Play – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD4YIzZKch4
Note: This game was sent to Homeschool Together by the publisher for a fair and honest review. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. This occurs at no additional cost to you and helps to support our efforts for our website and podcast.