Day Two of spring break and the sun has finally reared its head (what kind of spring is this, anyway?). But with a soggy backyard to contend with, playing outdoors had to be postponed. And after my couch cushions found their way onto the floor one too many times for my liking, we decided to break out a new board game. Lucky for me (and my nerves), it was a real crowd-pleaser–and with an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old, that’s no small feat. Peaceable Kingdom’s Stack Up! is aimed at preschool-level game play, but can easily be stepped up a notch for older kids (read: good for mixed-age groups). The premise is simple: build a tower of 12 colorful blocks by landing on the corresponding color spots on the game board without having it topple over. But along the way, beware of the Stack Smasher who may get to the end before your tower is complete, at which point your building will come smashing down (everyone loved lending a hand in the demolition). You can up the ante by using wooden stack sticks to transport blocks to the game board; shaky hands are not wanted! Wacky challenge cards like singing “Happy Birthday” or hopping on one foot as you play provide a breather for patience-tested tots, while allowing grown-up players to get up and stretch (yup, sitting too long isn’t good for any age). My girls and I had a blast playing three back-to-back rounds of Stack Up!, which is easy to get the hang of and perfect for short attention spans.
In a Nutshell: Basic building blocks, they’re not. This game lets preschoolers show off their building skills, as they test their patience skills (instead of testing yours).