Animal Snacks Game Review
I’m always on the lookout for games that my youngest child can play that also won’t bore the rest of us to tears. Animals Snacks Game, published by Simply Fun, fits that bill.
Disclaimer: Simply Fun is an MLM with which I am not affiliated. This review was not solicited. This is a game I purchased with my own funds and decided to review.
How to Play Animal Snacks
The written directions made no darn sense to me so I hopped online to watch the play through video. Each of the five animals is placed around the table, facing inward (see photo below). To help my child (and me!) envision where the “stops” for the animals are, we placed a bowl in the middle to collect food tokens.
Players take turns rolling the die, if a pattern or color matching an animal turns up, that animal is moved one stop clockwise. Players continue to move animals in this manner until they roll purple. Purple means it’s feeding time, the player counts how many animals are at the stop in front of them and adds one token per animal to the food bowl.
Tips to Make The Game More Playable
Animals Snacks isn’t perfect, all of the game components are there but it feels incomplete in regards to playability. With a little work you can make a few accommodations that will make the game far more playable, especially for younger players.
-Place a bowl in the middle of the animals to collect food tokens (we call it the watering hole)
-If playing with fewer than 5 players, only have there be 4 stops around the food bowl. You’ll have an extra animal starting at one of the stops but that doesn’t affect game play at all.
-If your child has trouble distinguishing where the “stops” around the food bowl are, make a play mat out of paper. The real downfall of this game is expecting young children to think in abstract, a play mat would really have made this game go from good to great.
-Game play can take forrrrrrever. If you need a shorter version of the game simply use fewer food tokens.
-The colors can be confusing, specifically the purple food color and the magenta parrot color as they look quite similar in low lighting. You may wish to somehow mark one of them so young kids can more easily distinguish between the two.
What Is My Child Learning When We Play the Animal Snacks Game?
-counting to five
-fine motor control (The large die and animal pieces are perfect for players with motor control issues, they’re large enough to easily see, grasp, and move)
-sequential play (taking turns, clockwise movement)
-gaming manners (Sometimes it can take a while for a player’s turn to finish, this is a great game for practicing patience!)
-sensory input (the wooden die and animal pieces are loud, making this game a potentially controlled exposure to sound stimuli. If you find the noise is too much you can play on carpet for a quieter experience.)
What Do We Like About Animal Snacks Game?
First, the speed. I love quick-play games, and this is a great introduction to speed games. You don’t have to play fast though, which is probably one of the major reasons why I don’t mind playing it with my kid.
The game is adorable. My child LOVES animals and she loves making up stories about the animals as they make their way around the watering hole. (Seriously, this game should be named Watering Hole.)
My child can play without help! My child is developmentally in the 3.5-4 year old range and she can play this game independently, aside from a little bit of help with counting now and again. Once we made a few of the adjustments listed above she caught onto game play within two turns.
Fast Facts About the Animal Snacks Game
Publisher: SimplyFun Games
Cost at time of review: $$
Reading: No reading skills necessary
Math: No math skills needed, child will learn to count with help
Playtime: 10-15 minutes
Worldview: None, this is a safe secular choice
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Meg Grooms is a decades-long secular homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle, currently calling Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.