Family Game Night: Animal Upon Animal
For our third installment of family game night, we have a Haba game called Animal Upon Animal or Tier Auf Tier. This wobbly stacking game is super cute and perfect for kids ages 4 and up. The parts are quite small so keep them away from little ones who like to shove foreign objects in their mouths. It requires some delicate hand-eye coordination and problem solving thinking. First you place the crocodile on a flat surface, as it is the first animal of the pyramid. Each player (up to 4) selects 7 different animals for their stock pile. The game begins with a human balance test. The child who can balance on one foot the longest, like a flamingo, gets first turn. They roll the die. You will either roll a dot, two dots, a crocodile, hand, or question mark. The marking on the die determines how many animals you (or another player) must stack on top of the existing pyramid. The person who stacks their animals first wins. If a couple animals tumble off before a winner is announced, those animals are sent back to their owner.
This is a simple and straight forward game that requires fine motor skills, and a little skill. I’m a big fan of balance games as my toddler grows more and more agile. Forcing her to take the time to lightly place an animal in an appropriate spot gives me great pleasure. This is a quick game anyone can play, taking only 15-20 minutes to play. This wooden game is crafted in Germany. Purchase your own game here.
Here is how our game went: The stacking started out pretty well, building higher and higher. My daughter chose to make a lot of high-risk moves, sometimes leading to a tumbling animal tower. But all in all, it was a lot of fun. She was reminded of one of her favorite songs from Yo Gabba Gabba, and started singing, “keep trying, keep trying, don’t give up, never give up…”