The Baby Beluga Game:
We love board games in our house so I am always on the lookout for fun new games to introduce to the kids. I recently found a great new cooperative game called The Baby Beluga Game featuring the great character from one of our favorite kid’s songs. Work together as a team to help the beluga and her friends swim wild and free. I love cooperative games because it’s a great way to teach my kiddos how to work together.
Most children have lots of opportunities to play competitive games where someone wins and naturally, someone loses. Whether it’s a soccer match, video game or racing to be first, competitive games are quite the norm. CooperativeGames.com, a California-based company, offers another option—cooperative play. Kids get together for fun collaboration, sharing, and kindness to win as a group while playing these games. Their newest offering is The Baby Beluga Game ($34.95). If it sounds familiar, then you must be a fan of Raffi’s signature song of the same name.
The catchy sing-along tune was introduced in 1980. Now four decades later, the lovable whale is back, but in a board game. The Baby Beluga Game was created, cooperatively, by Raffi and fair-trade, indie game developer Suzanne Lyons of CooperativeGames.com. It features paintings by Ashley Wolff, who illustrated Raffi’s Baby Beluga book, and comes with a free download of the Baby Beluga song and a 32-page illustrated booklet.
Why a whale and why now? “I designed The Baby Beluga Game,” explains Lyons, “to support the loving, pro-social nature of children. I’m concerned that competitive games send the message that winning only happens when we out-do others. Cooperative games show we can play together so we all win at the same time. Whales, like Baby Beluga, are intelligent animals that have happy social lives based on cooperation. There’s no better role model for cooperative play than Baby Beluga in my opinion.”
The board game’s goal is simple — players win by helping Baby Beluga and Friends swim wild and free. As they ponder the next move, children from ages 3 to 10 do a little STEM learning, finding out about whales and ocean science in a fun way. Plenty of thought went into every aspect of the game and its contents. There’s even a little canoe to hold game pieces and keep them organized between play times!
Can players help Baby Beluga and his Friends complete the journey to swim wild and free? There could be trouble along the way. But players can win if they work together. This fun cooperative board game teaches children all about Baby Beluga and his Arctic friends as well as the ocean environment and the joys of playing together. The game is lovingly made with fair-trade practices and Earth-friendly materials in California.
Just in time for back-to-school and holiday gift giving or for Family Game Night, the game is available in the United States and in Canada. U.S. shoppers can purchase the game at www.CooperativeGames.com. Canadian parents can buy it on amazon.ca. What does Raffi think, 38 years after he first introduced the now-famous little whale? “I feel like a proud papa,” he admitted. “A lot of care went into developing this game.”
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