A game and a book
October 19, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend an excellent board game (preferably involving some skill and thinking, and not an e-game) and an excellent illustrated book with a girls' sports theme (preferably soccer but not necessarily) as gifts for a 4 year-old girl?

The game doesn't need to have a sports theme, just the book.

The girl for whom these would be gifts likes a game called Sequence for Kids because there's some strategy involved (which place on the board is a better location, defense vs. offense, etc.) and some fun involved in deciding which other player you want to block.

She is not a sports nut but likes these aspects of sports: being on a team, having a uniform, doing a group cheer, running through the arm tunnel that the parents make for the kids at the end of the game, etc. I'm hoping there's a good illustrated book out there that revolves around some of those aspects of children's sports.

posted by Dansaman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Box Games that involve skill/thinking and have been popular with my little one:
Guess Who (we have played this more times then I can count, it travels well. Get this version because it comes with interchangable people cards (so you can mix the game up) but there is no reason to ever put the battaries in, they would add nothing to the experience

Haba's Animal Upon Animal

This game is legitimately "too old" for a 4 year old, but my daughter loves playing it together
Forbidden Island
posted by dadici at 2:31 PM on October 19, 2012

A few starting points:
Spot It
Forbidden Island is great though a bit old; a couple of other cooperative game that are a bit simpler: Max or The Secret Door (mystery/memory)
Gulo Gulo
You can take a look at the "recommended similar games" toward the bottom of those pages, they'll lead to some other good possibilities. 4 is really young for most games, so take a look at the "user suggested ages".
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:38 PM on October 19, 2012

I will second the recommendation for Animal Upon Animal.

Camelot Jr. is more of a solo puzzle than a game but it has nice chunky castle pieces and the puzzles are of varying difficulty. A 4-year old should have no trouble with the starting ones.

A card game you could try is Sleeping Queens
posted by tracer at 2:42 PM on October 19, 2012

Sleeping Queens is a great game, but you may want to hold off on it until she's a little more comfortable with math. In my experience playing it with lots of kids, the 6-7 year olds are a lot more comfortable; 4 year-olds need to be walked through the rules a lot.

My very favorite game for this age group is Treasure Ready Go. Not particularly strategic, but it's fast-moving, different every game, and tons of fun for adults too.

Qwirkle might be fun too; she can concentrate on the basic color/shape matching now and get into more complex strategies as she gets older.
posted by ActionPopulated at 2:49 PM on October 19, 2012

I would recommend Blokus for the game. I played it with my friend and her two boys (one who was 8 and one who was 3) and we had a good time. Obviously some of the finer strategy points were lost on the 3 year old, but the concept of fitting the colored pieces in an empty spot was easy for him to grasp and we were all able to enjoy ourselves.
posted by jillithd at 2:56 PM on October 19, 2012

I can't link because I'm walking down the street answering on my phone but my 4 year old just got a bunch of new games for her birthday and she loves a memory game called pengoloo (sp?) One called the greatest day ever and a game based on the richard scarry busytown books.
posted by gaspode at 3:46 PM on October 19, 2012

I agree with jillithd. Blokus is excellent and can be played by young kids easily, with more challenging strategy coming later.
posted by Cuke at 4:11 PM on October 19, 2012

This is Amazon's category of picture books about soccer for kids 2-5. Many of them are 'about soccer', not stories, but there is Strawberry Shortcake plays soccer, and a few more.

I also found a public library list of picture books about sport (the links are dead but you can find the books on Amazon).
posted by jacalata at 4:27 PM on October 19, 2012

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