KiddosProduct Reviews

Stack Up! Takes the Cooperative Game Trend to Great Heights

Peaceable Kingdom encourages you to put down that screen, play with your kiddos, and make some time to spend with friends and family! The cooperative games trend has been around for a while but when Peaceable Kingdom offered to send me sample, I was excited to try it out first hand with my little one. After trying a traditional game with my 3 year old and experiencing a defcon 1 meltdown when he lost…I was ready to try another kind of game where we could win or lose together.

Losing- Of all the life lessons we want to teach our kids, is a tough one to tackle. We all lose sometimes. And, it’s how we handle losing, more than winning if you ask me, that shapes our childrens’ futures. But, how do you do it? You don’t want to beat them down with losing so much that they feel like they will never win. But you also don’t want to teach them that they can cheat or always win, either. Clearly that is not the way life goes. The answer is teamwork and collaboration. Working together to win makes it easier to cope when you lose because you have each other to talk to about it and learn from the experience.

So, I gave the Stack Up block game by Peaceable Kingdom a try. I have to disclose that the game was sent to me for review, and I instantly appreciated the fact that this game requires teamwork in order to win.

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It’s pretty simple; you either win together, or lose together. Normally, when you are playing a game with your little one, meltdowns and general frustration can be a regular element of chaos.  The best part about this game being a group activity is that they learn what it means to work hard, cooperate with the rules, and celebrate or commiserate together. The game really levels the playing field with its multiple levels of complication. So, younger kids can play at one level while adults play at another. And kids can feel accomplished when they get to go up to the next level.

This is a great option as a birthday gift that’s gender neutral and you can keep in your closet for last minute kids’ birthday invites. It’s great for kids 3 years old and up. I think, honestly, that kids probably up to 8 years old would have fun playing it with friends on their own. It’s also great for play dates because it helps the kids learn how to share and work together by being less competitive. They both will just be trying to defeat the Stack Smasher together.

This will eventually help your munchkin understand the concept of losing a game- or at least prevents those unwanted melt downs. Along with the hidden message of being cooperative, the game also focuses on balance, color matching and hand-eye coordination. You can coach your child through the losing process when you play this with them, too. When you both lose, you can talk about how it’s ok. You can always play again. What did you both do that you can try to do differently next time to beat the Stack Smasher? Encourage your kids to play again after talking through strategies for next time. Ending on a good note always feels better, so if there’s time, I think it’s a good idea to give it another go with the new knowledge you’ve gained from losing.

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I know that if I could have had this growing up, this would have prevented a lot of frustration of losing to my sister and parents at board games. If you are a particularly competitive person, this game will help keep you in check and playing more fairly with your child, too.

This game is perfect for ages 3-8 and can have 2-6 players at only $19.99 . It’s only about a 15 minute game (so don’t worry, it’s not monopoly). Click here to check out their site!

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