Recently I was asked if I'd like to review a new children's board game which involved good manners and tea parties. Why not? I thought. So one day last week I drove over to my friend Nikki's house and borrowed some of her younger children to test drive the game for me at a Kindness Kingdom Tea Party. First we had a light tea of tea sandwiches (chicken salad, egg salad, PB&J), Peanut Butter Brownies, Lemon Bars and peppermint tea. And so here we have my little friends Gracie, Rosie and Malachi ready to visit Kindness Kingdom!
The box says, "Kindness Kingdom: Where marvelous manners are your invitation to the best tea party ever!" I explained to the kids that this was a game about having good manners, and the goal was to correctly answer questions about good manners and earn charms to go on their cardboard bracelets.
The winner of the game is the first person to collect all 8 charms from the game's different neighborhoods and the key to the "Golden Gate of the Golden Rule" and arrive at the tea party.
Malachi, by the way, had no problem with the charm bracelet part of things as long as he could be in charge of the box and dole out the charms.
I was impressed with how the creators designed the box to hold everything in a neat and orderly fashion. Plus, once you've punched out all the charms from the boards they come on, it's great that they are secure down in the well of the box and can be housed right there!
The game board folds up neatly into quarters for storage, but here's what it looks like opened. I actually liked the fact that when I got home I found some crumbs inside! I also liked the fact the game is sturdy and well made, as all the pieces stood up well to little hands.
I think I enjoyed the game as much as the kids did, especially seeing the well-mannered characters along the way such as Thoughtful Lady Tulip and …
Lovely Lady Lily. (Kudos to the designers for thoughtfully including different colors of characters!)
I must admit I was delighted whenever one of the kids landed on a space with a teacup, because that meant they got to answer a tea party question! (Confession: A better woman would have let the children keep this game, but I decided the next time I have a big girl tea party, we are going to play too, only all we're going to do is answer the tea party questions!)
While I loved Kindness Kingdom from the minute I opened it, one reason I wanted children to try the game is because I knew their reactions to it, not mine, were most important. I wanted to be sure children would indeed enjoy the game and learn the lessons from it as well. I'm delighted to report they did! Here Gracie and Rosie are before playing …
… and here they are *during* play! The game questions include multiple choice answers, and some of the wrong answers struck the kids as quite funny, like a question about place settings which offered a wrong answer about the forks being placed in the centerpiece. I enjoyed seeing that! I asked their mom Nikki's take on the game, and we both agreed it's good that the game rules include some "optional rules for younger players," who may be more interested in winning charms than answering the manners questions (and that's fine). Another funny moment of the game came when Malachi's game piece landed on a "Powder Room" question and he got asked about makeup. He was a great sport, though, and played right along! The game is recommended for 2-4 players ages 5 and up, and Nikki and I both think older girls like Rosie (age 9) will get the most out of it, but clearly Kindness Kingdom was a hit with all ages — and sexes! If you'd like to read more about the game or order it for yourself, go here to visit the Kindness Kingdom website.