A train full of weird and silly animals sounds like a dream come true to me, so I can only imagine how much fun it would be for a little kid. With Winning Moves Games‘ Moose Caboose, players get to build up trains of fun animals by matching colors. (Added bonus: The name of the game rhymes, so you know it’s fun.)
To start the game, you set up the four Engine cards with crocodile conductors in a vertical row, then shuffle the rest of the cards. Each player gets four cards, which they hold in their hand. The rest of the cards get placed face down in a draw pile.
Youngest player goes first (way to go, baby of the family!). He or she places one of the cards from his or her hand next to one of the engines by matching the color stripe on the front of the Train card. For example, I went first and placed my flamingo Train card on a train by matching the purple stripe.
Side note: These animals are all ADORABLE. The illustrations on the cards are super colorful, silly, and cute.
Some of the cards will have a stripe made up of two colors—and players can match either of those colors. Kids will quickly find out that this game has a bit of strategy involved, which lets them hone their problem-solving and strategic thinking skills. It’s beneficial to be able to smartly play both your dual-colored stripe cards, and your Moose Caboose cards (deets to come!).
At the end of his or her turn, the player picks up a new card, and play passes on to the next person. The trains keep growing longer and longer until someone plays a Moose Caboose card. When a player does so, he or she “captures” all of the cards (except the engine!) in that train and places them in his or her own capture pile. The player with the most captured cards wins!
The simple gameplay makes Moose Caboose a game the whole family can play. Younger players practice colors and patterns, as well as different animals, yet it’s not boring or too “kid”-ish for older kids. It’s also super travel friendly; the small packaging lets Mom or Dad can just throw it into a bag to keep kids occupied on the go. And at a low price point, it’s an easy win-win for the whole gang.