Go Away Monster!: Intro to Gaming for Your Little Monsters
Friends ask me on a regular basis about good games for very young children or children who have learning impairments. How can you have a game that’s fun without counting or even color matching?
Go Away Monster from Gamewright shows us how to have a game that’s engaging for little ones, without being too lengthy or difficult. Learning how to wait your turn does not have to be combined with cut-throat competition.
Each player gets a board representing their bedroom – but four pieces are missing! You need to collect a bed, a picture for the wall, a lamp, and a teddy bear (or other stuffed animal).
On your turn, reach into the cloth bag, and pull out a piece without looking. If it is a piece you need, add it to your board. If it is a piece you already have, you can give it to a friend (aww). But it might not be a useful piece – it might be a monster! Oh no! Set aside an area to be monster “jail” (we use the game box). Throw the monster in there and yell “Go away, monster!”
The first player to complete their room with the four needed pieces wins.
Obviously, Go Away Monster is not a deep game, and it’s not one that most older kids would choose to play. However, it is perfect for introducing gameplay to its intended age range, children ages 2-5.
Go Away Monster teaches taking turns for your youngest gamers, and allows them to advance towards a goal while also helping their friends by giving away pieces. They’ll also practice matching shapes by fitting the chunky puzzle-like pieces into place.
We’ve had a copy of Go Away Monster for years, but the newer version (pictured) makes each room and each piece of furniture noticeably different. This small change in artwork adds to the excitement for young children; not only do they anticipate what piece of furniture they’ll pull, they also wonder which picture or teddy bear they’ll get.
Go Away Monster may even help children conquer their fears. Your child takes control of how they want to treat the monster(s) they pull out of the bag; whether literally throwing it into “jail”, placing it nicely, or even sitting on it. It provides a tool for parents and caretakers to reassure their children: just as they didn’t allow any monsters into their “room” in the game, you won’t allow any into their room at night.
We highly recommend Go Away Monster for your child’s first game. Find it on Amazon or ask for it at your local toy store.
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Go Away Monster
Number of Players: 1-4
Ages: 3+ (we say ages 2-5)
Playtime: 5-10 minutes