Keeping young kids engaged in board or card games that don’t involve fart machines isn’t always easy. Sometimes it means making other noises. Sometimes it means putting them into the game as characters. Sometimes, it’s both. The British storytellers behind the personalized Lost My Name book series do all that, and they call their game Silly Snap!
Like the books, the game is customized to feature your little player on the damn cards! No, it’s not some David Blaine trick. When you order, you can provide up to 2 names (sorry third born, you’re too late) and choose an illustrated “little adventurer” avatar that best matches your kid’s current looks. The game arrives personalized (for example, the front of it would say “Arbuckle’s Silly Snap!” — or whatever names kids go by these days), and 4 of the 40 character cards are adorned with their lovely likenesses. The other 36 cards feature a veritable zoo of animals and characters like frogs, elephants, monkeys, pirates, ghosts, and unicorns — which technically are animals.
It’s designed for kids as young as age 3 and gameplay is pretty simple: Think Slapjack with a twist. After all the cards are dealt, the youngest player starts the action by discarding. Play proceeds around the table as everybody throws a single card on the pile. When somebody drops a matching card (2 lions!), they slap the stack and bellow out a fierce “Rooooaaar” or “Arrrrgh” or whatever the character pictured on the card would typically say. (Your kid actually designates a sound for their card before play begins.) That person then takes the pile, and the player with the most cards at the end wins.
Because the best games are often those where everyone remains as quiet as possible (shhhhh), you can even replace the animal sounds in Snap! with charade-like animal actions. So rather than yell “cheep–cheep!” when you slap the Budgies card, you quietly flap your wings instead. So, until Gas Out! has a “silent but deadly” mode, there’s this.
Silly Snap! Game ($20)