Hoot Owl Hoot is a cooperative board game geared at preschoolers. This game introduces some simple strategic thinking to challenge your preschooler to move beyond the ‘roll & move’ style games that are so common with toddlers and preschoolers. Keep reading to see the full Hoot Owl Hoot review.
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Hoot Owl Hoot! Review
Hoot Owl Hoot challenges players to get all the owlets back to their nest before morning. Rather than using dice to move the owlets, Hoot Owl Hoot uses colored cards. This adds a nice dose of strategic decision making to the game as players work together to move the owlets as far as possible each turn.
- Manufacturer: Peaceable Kingdom
- Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 4+
- Number of Players: 2-4
- Game Length: 15 mins
Find it on Amazon: Hoot Owl Hoot!
How to Play
As I stated earlier, the goal is to get the owlets to the nest before sun up. The game can be played with three to six owls. More owls equals more difficulty, so you can choose the right level for your family. Players start with two cards each. Cards are either colored to match the game spaces, or sun cards. Colored cards allow players to move an owl to the next open space of that color, while sun cards advance the sun token toward sunrise.
Since this game is played cooperatively, cards are laid face up so all players can see them and discuss each turn. On their turn players, draw a new cards and decide which of their cards to play, and move the owls accordingly.
There is a lot we really like about Hoot Owl Hoot gameplay. The game length (around 15 minutes) is perfect for preschoolers, and the turns go very quickly. One of the real challenges with preschool board games is them losing focus between their turns. The combination of quick turns and cooperative gameplay do a great job countering the struggles of the preschool attention span.
Hoot Owl Hoot is a perfect game to introduce decision making to preschoolers. So many games geared at three and four year olds are solely focused around rolling dice, and racing to the finish. The card choosing dynamic laid out in Hoot Owl Hoot is a really nice movement dynamic. It creates just enough of a decision to engage preschoolers and show them how to weigh options without overwhelming them.
While board games are tailor-made for strategic thinking, it can be hard to find preschool board games that teach strategic thinking. While preschoolers can weigh and make simple decisions, board games that develop strategic thinking skills are often too complex for preschoolers. Hoot Owl Hoot does a great job introducing strategic thinking to preschoolers without overwhelming them with decisions. It’s a great first step to introduce your preschoolers to strategic thinking.
Hoot Owl Hoot is also a cooperative game, which means it helps kids to learn a bunch of important social skills. Cooperation, communication, winning/losing graciously just to name a few. There are lots of reasons to love cooperative board games, and this game is no exception to that.
What We Love
So many games aimed at preschoolers are a painful combination of long and 100% luck based (I’m looking at you Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, and Candyland!). Hoot Owl Hoot strikes a perfect balance of game length with gameplay that is engaging for the preschooler. Turn length is ideal for preschool gamers, and the cooperative nature makes it so all players are engaged in each turn (can also be read as no cat herding to get kids to pay attention on their turn).
This is a little random, but I also love when companies print the game instructions on the inside of the game box, rather than printing it separately. The instructions don’t get lost or destroyed, but also it’s great for the environment.
What We’d Change
There is only one thing that comes to mind that we’d change with Hoot Owl Hoot. I would have loved a way to add complexity, after the kids have mastered the base game. One of the challenges with preschool games is how fast kids are developing and absorbing information at this age. It’s hard for preschool board games to become life long games. Hoot Owl Hoot is a great game to introduce kids to strategic thinking and cooperative games, but it’s not a game most kids will still seek out past the age of five or so. If Peaceable Kingdom had added another twist parents could introduce once kids mastered the base game, it would have been a great addition.
Hoot Owl Hoot is a fantastic game. The construction quality is high, perfect for preschoolers and typical of Peaceable Kingdom games. We love how it strikes the balance to challenge preschoolers thinking skills, while still being simple for them to learn and not overwhelming them with rules. The game length and turn length are ideal for three and four-year olds.
A reminder of our rating scale:
- 1 die = Skip this game, not worth your time!
- 2 dice = May be fun for a few plays, but we think there are better options out there.
- 3 dice = Great game that we really enjoyed and played a lot.
- 4 dice = One of our favorites for this age range, definitely check it out!
- 5 dice = In our opinion this is the best game for this age range, you have to try it!
How does Hoot Owl Hoot stack up? 4 dice! This is one of the top preschool games, and I would definitely recommend you check it out!
Find it on Amazon: Hoot Owl Hoot!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments, what do you think of Hoot Owl Hoot? Comment below!
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