I mention a lot that we like to change up the rules of games to suit the kids better. Enchanted Forest by Ravensburg is a game of ever-changing rules at our house.* But it has allowed us to keep playing since Finn was 4, and Jules and Mal were 3 (they are 7 and 6 now).
How you’re supposed to play it:
I actually had to go look up the rules to this game, because until the other day we had never played the real rules. Once I found them out though, I’ve been itching to play full on “for reals” with some grown-ups.
Basically you have a some paths that lead you through the enchanted forest and to a castle. There are thirteen trees in the forest, and each has a picture of a treasure on the bottom. The pictures match a card in the deck. You turn the top card face up and wander the forest looking for the tree that matches the card that is face up. And try to remember which trees house which of the other treasures.
You roll the dice and can go either direction the number of spaces shown on each die. So if I rolled a 1 and a 2, I can go, left 1 left 2, right 1 right 2, left 1 right 2, or right 1 left 2. And you try to land on a space with a tree, so you can check the picture on the bottom.
Once you find a match to the face-up card, you high tail it back to the castle to go tell the king which tree the treasure is under. Watch out though, because anyone who knows you’re headed to the castle can try to land on you on their turn and send you back to the start.
First one to correctly tell the king three correct treasure locations wins.
There’s also magic. When you roll a double you can jump directly to a tree space, move your piece to a certain space right by the castle, or shuffle the cards and turn over a new face-up card.
Who wants to come over for a game night, so I can try this real rules thing out? It sounds so exciting.
How we play – version super-small-kids:
To avoid contention and speed the game up, we always kinda played as a team, by sharing information. Each player does have their own piece to move though. Each player rolls the dice, and you always use your whole count on the dice. If you come to a tree, check the picture and show everyone. If you haven’t gone your allotted number of spaces you can keep going on to towards the next tree.
When you find the tree that matches the face-up card, you get to take the card. Keep looking for all the treasures, and help each other, so everyone has roughly the same number of cards, and no one’s feelings get too hurt.
When all the treasures have been found, make your way to the castle. Keep taking turns until everyone gets to the castle.
How we play – version slightly-older-kids:
Play as in version super-small-kids, but don’t share information. Everyone is on their own looking for the treasures. Once they are all found, the first one back to the castle gets bonus points or kudos or a pat on the back. Finn sometimes gets tired of looking for treasures and heads to the castle claiming to be the winner for getting their first.
Recently, we added in the “magic” feature of the game. The kids have been liking that one.
* We love to modify the rules of every game. There’s value in making a game work well for your family, and I love giving a few ideas of alternative play. And sometimes we just dial the competitiveness down a notch to avoid kid fights.
Anyone else have any tips to keep make Enchanted Forest fun for kids?
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