Sunday, April 15, 2012

Playing Hi-Ho Cherry-O with my 3 year old

I picked up an older version of Hi, Ho Cherry-O at a kids consignment sale today. Paid $3, and was sorta bummed when I discovered a few cherries were missing.

We have enough to do a 3-player game, and considering our fourth member of our family is more likely to try to eat the pieces rather than play, I guess we'll be alright with what we've got.

I didn't realize there's a more modern version available now. It looks like it takes the game a bit beyond the super-basic. The modern version has fruits of various colors. It also includes a 9-piece jigsaw puzzle, which is somehow involved in the game's strategy. The latest rules on the Hasbro site (from 2006) don't mention the puzzle.

A board game for ages 3+ due to teeny-tiny pieces (choking hazard, yes, but also an up-the-nose hazard), this is a simple, easy-to-learn board game that will provide oh, 5-15 minutes of entertainment in one spell. Maybe. Maybe less, depending on your tot's attention span.

The gist:

You place 10 cherries on each player's tree. Spin the spinner to find out if you can pick 1, 2, 3, or 4 cherries and put them in your tiny cherry basket. If you land on the dog or bird space, you put two cherries from your basket back onto your tree.

Land on the spilled-bucket wedge, and oh noes! All cherries go back on the tree.

My son got a kick out of spinning the spinner, moving the cherries about, and calling out "Hi Ho, Cherry-O!" when he won. He beat me every time. My husband called me out on cheating, because when I landed on the spilled-bucket space, I put all my cherries from the tree into the bucket instead of the other way 'round.

Whoops. Guess mama needs some practice in following directions and paying attention.

We played three full games before we were ready to move on to something else. I'd say it took less than 10 minutes total.

Lessons learned while playing Hi Ho, Cherry-O:
  • Taking turns
  • Following rules of the game
  • Using fine motor skills to plant and pluck the tiny cherries
  • Counting
Ways to modify Hi Ho, Cherry-O
  • Use tweezers such as these to move your cherries around
  • If playing a two-player game, man two trees per player instead of one.
  • Older, mathy-type players can calculate probability of outcomes of the spinner. (Am I serious, or am I joking here?)
  • Here are many more skills you can introduce by modifying Hi Ho Cherry-O, depending on the version you have.
  • The latest version also seems to allow sorting and pattern-making skills, and then that jigsaw thing of course.
Hi Ho, Cherry-O is similar to:
 The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game ($17.35 today)
I'm going to keep my eyes out for the new version on sale or at a yard sale, and if it's a second-hand version I'll crack open the box to make sure it's the new one. And, I'm going to keep tabs on that sneaky squirrel game because it looks like it might be reasonably fun.

How about you? Is this a game you'd cherry-pick for your kid?

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