5 Minutes for Books:
Bookish Board Games

I don’t know about you guys, but we like reading books around here. Furthermore, it’s a real treat to play games in our home (because I confess, mommy isn’t much of a game player!) But to combine the two activities? Well, to suggest such is to secure the enthusiasm of a certain little 3 1/2 year old.

One of my son’s favorite book-ish characters is Horton and when I showed him Horton Hears a Who – You to the Rescue! Game he went bonkers.

As you can see from the pictures, it comes with a Horton “hat” that you wear on your head. You are given six clover, all different in color, to hide in your house. The goal of the game is to recollect all six clover. You accomplish this task with the help of a spinner which you hope will lead you to a “clover card.” If and when you land on the clover card, you are to don the Horton head and following the intructions to a specific clover (and you have to remember where it is hidden!) The game is absolutely perfect for active toddlers as it directs them to flap, crawl and hop their way to the hidden clover. Then they get to attach the clover to their elephant trunk and bring it back to the board. Horton Hears a Who – You to the Rescue! Game is simplistic and straight forward in nature. Wear hat. Collect clover. Yet it is also imaginative and fun, giving children permission to be Horton and actively participate in saving the Whos! We were bit fans of this game.

Another book-ish game that we were recently afforded the opportunity to play is the Richard Scarry Busy Town game. This game, along with the Horton game, I might add, has won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award. It also bears the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. For that matter, it also bears my son’s seal of approval which, quite frankly, I think counts more than the National Parenting Center’s opinion! (At least, that’s my opinion.) This game combines elements of I Spy (“Eye found it!”) into a group game wherein all of the players are working together to make it to the picnic grounds before Scarry pigs eat up all the food! All of the players win together and, likewise, they all bear the possibility of losing together.

You use a spinner in this game as well to advance along the board which, by the way, is over six feet in length! You definitely need space to play this game, and you should expect to crawl around the board trying to “spy” the hidden items illustrated in a Richard Scarry scene. This is a game that mommy and daddy both played with the toddler and it made for a fun way to spend some time in play as a family. The directions are easy to comprehend and hunting for specific items helps keeps the adults engaged in the game as well! Here is a picture of the game board which we spread out on our floor:

I personally enjoyed playing these games with my son as a way to draw him into these books and stories which I enjoyed so much growing up and which he is now identifying with in his own way. It’s fun to play with kids as well as read to them and so I’m happy to have had the chance to introduce them to you!

Would you like to win a copy of these games? Well then, all you need to do is leave a comment below! Thanks to I Can Do That! Games (who also sent me copies to review), we have one of each of the games mentioned above to giveaway to one of you. This contest is open to U.S. Residents only. We’ll announce the winner in the April 5 5 Minutes for Books column.

We don’t have a winner to announce from last week, because we are running a special promotion with Fireworks over Toccoa and providing books to bookclubs and bloggers for review. You can also still enter HERE to win one of 300 copies of the book!

Book blogger Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books, and how she tries to draw her children into them, regularly at Reading to Know and Reading My Library and is a staff reviewer at 5 Minutes for Books.


  1. ivy says

    Our little girl is just getting into board games and wants to play them whenever she can. I think she would love these!

  2. says

    I would love to win either one of these games. My daughter is such a gamer! We had to start a game night or we would have to play games everyday (all day 😉

  3. Elizabeth says

    these look like great fun for my 3 and 6 year olds… and maybe my 10 and 11 year olds wouldn’t mind playing along either.

  4. Kirsten T. says

    My daughter is just starting to get into board games (although following the rules is a tad elusive right now)…but she loves any book related game. Thanks!

  5. says

    Since you love to read, here is another great resource of books for your children. These books are guaranteed to give you a lifelong return on your investments. The series is named “Finance for Kidz” and it is available at http://www.finance4kidz.com
    These books are actually children’s stories with financial lessons embedded in them. So anyone can read these and learn about important financial concepts. Try them. Like I said, these books will give you a lifelong return. Not many books can do that :)
    Prakash Dheeriya, PhD
    Father, Author & Professor of Finance
    Finance for Kidz series
    finance4kidz dot com

  6. says

    These games look like so much fun! My son is little young for them yet, but I can see him loving them in no time!

    :) Thank you for the entries!


  7. says

    What great games! I love the idea of bookish games. One of my favorite is HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone Trivia Game. I also like the Authors card game (mentioned in Little Women). You can turn most books into memory/matching/bingo games with a little work and a lot of creativity. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  8. Steph says

    Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It! game looks like one my kids would love to play. I think all the games from this company are really great, very creative and engaging.

  9. joni says

    I would play these in a boat. I would play these on a goat. I would play these on a chair. I would play these anywhere!

  10. Toni Trainor says

    The Horton Hears a Who looks like a fun game. This is one of our favorite movies.

    Thanks for the chance.

  11. Jennifer R says

    My kids are just starting to like to play board games and I would love to have some new ones to introduce to them.

  12. Sandy M says

    My grandsons love everything ‘Dr. Seuss’. And the are just getting to the board game age so i know they’d love these.

  13. Tiffanie M. says

    My daughter is just now getting old enough to understand games. This would be a great head-start for her!

  14. Sara Olsen says

    I would be so excited to win one of these games. We have a Curious George “I Can Do” game and my son absolutely loves it!

  15. Kathy S says

    I enjoy visiting my granddaughters who live out of state, and while I’m there, we like to have fun by playing games. The girls are big Dr. Seus and Richard Scarry fans (they love the books,) and would really enjoy these games. And as you know, grandmothers never arrive “empty handed!”


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