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Puppy Pursuit Games

February 27, 2010

Santa Claus, knowing my kids as well as he does, always chooses the best gifts.  For the last year or two, my four-year old has been obsessed with dogs.  Live dogs, stuffed dogs, photos of dogs.   He’d probably even like those scary taxidermied(not sure if that word can be used as a verb, but there it is) ones, but we aren’t exposed to those.  Thank the Lord.

The puppies that come in the game!

This child carries a litter of puppies around most of the time. He sleeps with one real pup and a bed full of stuffed ones.  You get the picture, he has a thing for dogs.

So, Santa Claus, in his infinite wisdom, brought him a game called Puppy Pursuit Games, by Melissa & Doug.  There are six little stuffed puppies.  They each a little different, colors and what not.  And have different colored collars with their names on them.  There are also 60 different cards.  And a book with 10 games that you can play with the dogs and cards. 

One of our favorites is the “Puppy Hunt”  an adult, or at least someone who can read hides cards.  Each card is a clue that leads to the next card and eventually leads to the lost puppy.  It helps to have a good memory.  This counts me out some days, but when I’m on, it’s a lot of fun.  The cards say things like, “Look for me next to something made of paper”  or  “Look for me next to a sink.”  Some of them are more geared for outdoors, like “Look for me next to a flower.”   You can make the hunt as long or as short as you want. 

The catch is, if they can’t read, you need to accompany them.  The game is reccomended for ages 4 and up.   And, it is pretty exciting to watch them find each card.  You need to remember where you hid them though.  I’ve found that to be a challenge when I’ve gotten really ambitious with the “Puppy Hunt” and had it leading all over the house.  Seeing them figure out the clues is great.  It really gets them thinking.  My four-year old, Sam, could do this all day. 

There are also games that you can play that don’t have you running all over the place.  One that we really like is “Adopt a Puppy.”   Get all the puppies together.  We usually set up a pet store at the kitchen table.  Then I have my son describe all of the puppies that he’s selling that day.  He lets me know whether they are “yappy” or sleep all the time, or if they like to play ball, or if they like to eat a lot or pee in the floor.(giggles over this one, every time)  It gives him a chance to use his imagination and a chance to use describing words.  After he gives me the run down of all the pups, I secretly choose the one I want to adopt.  Then he gets to ask me three yes or no questions.  He’ll ask things like, “Do you want a dog with spots?”  If I don’t, he takes those away.  Then, he might as, “Do you want a brown dog?”  If I answer “Yes,” then he’ll take every other dog away.  At the end of three questions, he gets to guess which puppy I wanted.  If he asks good questions, he usually gets it right. 

If you look behind my cushions, I'd be scared of what you'd find!

There’s also a game called “Puppy Patterns” that’s pretty neat.  I just line the dogs up, and let him take a look.  He’ll try to memorize the order, then I’ll have him close his eyes and I’ll scramble them up.  He has to remember the order.  (The thing is, I do too, and often that’s a problem) 

There are several other games that are actually a lot of fun.  But, I won’t bore you to death with anymore.   The thing I like about this game is that there are a lot of variations.  It a great memory game.  For parents and kids.  It’s great for reasoning skills and language.  It gives the kids a chance to be successful by figuring things out on their own.  It also gives them a good chance to use their imagination with their descriptions.  It can be an active game that really gets the kids up and moving.  Or not.   If you don’t feel like being particularly active, you can play it in one place.  It can be played outside or inside.  There are games that are just for one player and some that can be played with 2 or more.  So, it’s a really flexible game, depending on how many kids you are trying to entertain.

The only negative I can really think of is that you could probably make it up on your own with your kids own toys.  The thing is, will you?  I hadn’t before.  Coming in-game form does give you some direction.  And the other game ideas are a lot of fun too!

Overall, we’ve spent a good bit of time playing this game.  I’m thankful that Santa brought it.  It’s a great, imaginative game.  If Santa didn’t bring it to you, you can get it here.

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