It’s getting dark. Mum clearly indicates, that its time we crawled under the duvet. But we still don’t want to sleep. We cleaned our teeth with protests, but we’re not going to bed yet. Teddy bears still did not close their eyes. But everything changes, when my mother throws a warm duvet over us, she puts a favorite stuffed toy in my hand and kisses my forehead.
The box is small, but there is enough space on the lid to see the teddy bear in the crib. Inside, there are four wooden figures of the main characters waiting for the player, and then a lot of their cardboard pieces. In setup, players spread set of twenty plates, shuffled and picture side down to the center of the table. They place an elongated game board with four illustrations nearby. Each player takes care of one pet. He puts all the other pieces (bed, stuffed toys, blankets) aside.
The children then take turns to uncover tiles, while trying to find equipment for their own animal. They need a bed, a blanket, favorite toy and a pillow. Whenever they find the right part, they replace it with the corresponding component from the stock. The tile itself is set aside.
Among the available pieces, there are also items on the tiles, whose only task is to stop children from falling asleep. There’s a toothbrush, a book, or a cup. One by one, they complicate the situation for the players. They must set them aside, and if they fail to fall asleep in time, they can also defeat them. As soon as the last ninth sleep breaker tile appears, the game is lost. Children can celebrate victory, if they manage to put all the animals to bed until then.
Ab ins Bett! is not a game, that should be a challenge. Its purpose is mainly fun and educational subtext. Its open to children since the age of two, which makes it a very rewarding project. Such games just aren’t too much and really fulfills its inclusion in the My First Games series.
In addition, its acquisition makes sense for children in this age. They learn the logical connections and put together their own habits with those described in the game. The rules try to motivate children to describe their experiences. And it is their connection to words, that is one of the main products of the whole sleep struggle.
Children perceive the goal of the game as a common task, which is a very appropriate concept. There is certainly no reason to offer them something to compete at this age. The animals belong to everyone. Small players take care of them and put them all in a crib.
Maybe the rules described seem too complicated for two-year-olds? That’s because we’ve described the most complex of the three variants. You will start with the smallest ones with the simpler rules and you will work your way up.
The big weapon of the game is processing. Its not about individual components (cardboard and wood), but a thoughtfulness of their combining. The possibility of placing wooden animals in a bed with a pillow and covering them with a duvet is just great and gives children a great experience. In doing so, it still remains a game, although it is all about chance and drawing tiles.
Ab ins Bett! is a great game for the little ones. It’s just the right game for them. It does not strive for any compromises, but with its simplicity it has a clear task – to attract young players while learning how to manipulate small items, but also compliance and cooperation in a playful way. After all, a playful way of new experience is the best way to do it, and Ab ins Bett! clearly proves this right.