This summer we’ve been lucky enough to chance upon some children’s book inspired board games as we’ve trawled our way through charity shops.
Now I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of board games.
I play them because I know as an engaged parent I’m meant to play them with my kids but I’ll be honest, it’s always a struggle for me when the kids ask to play such a game.
However, if anything will get me willing to give a board game a go, having a link to children’s books is a good start.
First we found this Peter Rabbit game. We hadn’t looked out our Beatrix Potter books in ages (even though we have teeny-tiny 5cm ones which I just adore) so it was a perfect opportunity to revisit Jeremy Fisher and Hunca Munca (in the Tale of Two Bad Mice) – both favourites from when the girls were little.
Next we found a Princess and the Pea game, which has been a huge hit because the game pieces are so very lovely – real little pillows, mattresses and blankets.
Our two favourite traditional re-tellings of The Princess and the Pea are both published by Floris books: The Princess and the Pea, illustrated by Maja Dusíková (here’s our review, plus an activity which my girls still rave about to this day), and their forthcoming An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova. Both books have classical, romantic watercolour illustrations, with a vintage feel, and the anthology in particular would make a great present.
Our star find this summer, however, has been an Asterix board game, complete with menhirs and rotten fish.
This game not only has really fun pieces, I’ve even (moderately) enjoyed playing it, at it requires more than just rolling the dice, combining memory with luck and plenty of opportunities for mental arithmetic.
This flavourwire article has 10 more literary themed board games, including ones inspired by Animal Farm, The Little Prince, Moby Dick and Beowulf!
I’ve also come across…
Do you have a favourite board game inspired by a children’s book? Have you any tips for turning me into someone who will willingly play board games 😉 ?
UPDATE: Several people have asked me for the instructions for this game, having a copy of the board but having lost the vital “how to play” piece of paper. Here they are: