This review was originally posted December 25, 2008.
Noodleboro Fun Park Sharing Game
I gave Noodleboro Fun Park to my 4 year-old niece who also has a twin brother she could share with. My 4 and 7 year old sat with them to try out this game and though they enjoyed the little carnival games, results were a little disappointing.
PLAYING THE GAME
There is a moon/star tracker dial with a marker and four carnival games. The player rolls the die and on only one face of the die is the instruction for moving the marker around the moon/star tracker. The game is over when the tracker moves all the way around the moon/star tracker and the park closes. I’m not sure if the marker should start at the moon or the star. Instructions don’t say, so we arbitrarily start on the stars. I think it should more logically be a sun tracker with the game ending at sundown. Oh well. Let me tell you, it takes a looooong time to get that marker around the tracker. In fact, we ended the game when the tracker had only moved three spaces. There were nine more spaces to go!
There are four carnival games which are relatively easy for the 4 year olds. They get it about 75% of the time. When they win a carnival game, they get a prize which they must share with someone who doesn’t have that prize. Then, they get a star which they throw into the middle of the moon/star tracker. The object of the game is to get as many stars in the pot as they can before the park closes. By the time we got to the third star, we ran out of stars to throw into the pot.
LEARNING TO SHARE
The big questions here are do the children enjoy the game and do they learn to share. To the first question, the answer is yes. All the children enjoyed the carnival games. When we ran out of stars, my son suggested taking the stars out and continue the game from there.
To the second question, my answer is no. The kids were supposed to share the prize they receive with someone who did not have that prize. With four kids, it was somewhat of a popularity contest. Then there were the kids who hid their prizes and declared they did not have that prize, “choose me!” The stars they received as a reward for sharing didn’t have much meaning as they had to toss it into the pot, and trying to get as many stars in the pot as possible didn’t really feel like much of a goal.
BOOK AND CD
There is a book and CD of sharing songs to go along with the game. The book tells a story of some kids going to the carnival and how they share. None of our kids wanted to read the book. I didn’t find the book that exciting, and it didn’t go all that well with the game. In the book, the kids all start out with star tokens to spend on the games and in the end, one child wins all the prizes and shares it with his friends. I think maybe the book should follow the game a little better or vice versa.
The carnival games are fun for the preschooler crowd. The game itself is very long and drawn out and just doesn’t effectively teach sharing.