Here’s a start!

Johanna went shopping today and to my great surprise, bought a board game! She had found a copy of Piikkisiili (aka Polly the Porcupine), a children’s game that has an age recommendation of 3+ and won the Finnish award for the best children’s game in 2007. Since Nooa turned three a month ago, this was pretty much ideal.

Piikkisiili cover

Nooa was really excited about the game. He first noticed the box when we were out playing in the park and wanted to immediately go home and start playing. Well, we had to eat first and it took us parents a little longer, with Anni needing food and all that, so Nooa was really anxious — he wanted to play real bad, right now. A real gamer there!

Well, eventually we got to play. It was fun, too. We played two rounds today and Nooa actually won both. The game is super simple: a porcupine is filled with spines of five different lengths. A die is rolled and everybody picks a spine. Depending on the die roll, the player who took the longest or the shortest spine wins.

Winner keeps the spine, while the other players put their spines back to the porcupine. That way there’s a memory aspect, too, as you can try to remember the spines you’ve seen. I did my best, but still Nooa, who I’m fairly sure didn’t care a bit about memorizing anything, won twice.

It’s very simple and I can understand why some were bothered when Piikkisiili won the award (considering that for example Funny Fishing and Mago Magino were nominated). However, it’s really good for three-year-olds. It’s pretty much as complicated as Nooa can handle, as even now he had some difficulties understanding every detail. But he had fun, and playing Piikkisiili with him is fun, so I’m happy.

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