The Color Monster game is based on a book of the same name, written and illustrated by Anna Llenas. The book features a monster who feels all mixed up and confused and doesn’t know why. His feelings are all jumbled up, just like his colours, and his friend – a little girl – tries to help him to separate and sort them out.
It is one of our favourite books and is really useful to help young children to identify how they are feeling and to describe it to you. It’s pretty handy to know your child is feeling blue or black, to help them with their behaviour and manage their feelings. You don’t need to be familiar with the book to enjoy the game (though I am sure you will want to read it together as it’s so beautifully illustrated and it’s got a great message).
The Color Monster was James’ World Book Day costume earlier this year.
The book has been beautifully transformed into a gorgeous game that gets kids and grown-ups talking about their emotions.
What’s in the box?
In the box, you will find a game board, two chunky game pieces – one of the Color Monster and the other of the Girl, a uniquely-sided die (it’s special for this game so don’t lose it, as a normal die won’t do!), five coloured emotion counters, eight cardboard ‘jars’, and two shelves for the jars.
Before you play the game for the first time, you need to separate the jars and counters and put together the shelves. It all looks brilliant, in exactly the same style as the book, and feels great in your hands.
How to play
To set up the game, you place the board in the middle and the jars on the shelves alongside the board. The jars need to be blank sides facing out. Then put the emotion counters on the corresponding colour spaces, and the Colour Monster and Girl playing pieces on the pink starting space (which doesn’t have a counter).
When it is your turn, you roll the die. If you roll a 1 or a 2, you move the Color Monster character forward one or two spaces. If you roll a spiral, you can move the Color Monster to any space you want. And if you roll the girl, you move the Girl to wherever the Color Monster is.
Each of the colours represents an emotion. Yellow is happiness, green is calm, pink is love, black is fear, red is anger, and blue is sadness. When you move the monster on to a new coloured space, you have to share when or why you feel that emotion, for example, an event, a memory, an object, or something that happens in the daily routine.
My boys both entered into the spirit of the game and didn’t have any of the hang-ups or cautiousness that we as grown-ups might have. We hesitate in sharing our emotions at times in case someone mocks us or questions those feelings, but both James (7) and Noah (nearly 5) really opened up. I learned about some things that scare them, and have some great ideas for future days out at their happy places.
When you’ve told your emotion you pick up the counter and choose a jar from one of the shelves. If the emotion matches the colour on the jar then you drop the counter inside). If it doesn’t match the jar you picked then you return the counter to the board, and mix the jars up.
If you picked a jar with the mixed emotions, then you don’t mix the jars up, instead, you turn the colour side out and place it on the shelf. If you find all three mixed jars before the other emotions are sorted out into the right jars, then that’s the end of the game. If you roll the die and the Girl is shown, then you pick the Girl up and put her next to the Color Monster on the same emotion as him. You can then turn over any of the mixed emotion jars you’ve found so far.
If during the game you land on a space that doesn’t have a counter left on it, you still need to share an emotion but then you get to roll the die again.
We have really enjoyed this game as a wind-down from the school day, and as a relaxing Sunday afternoon game. It is a pretty nice way to find out how your children are feeling without asking bluntly!
The time the game takes is just about right – it’s not over too quickly, nor does it drag on forever (as Ludo can).
The Color Monster board game retails at around £30, and is available on Amazon.
Until 1st December 2019, 23:59pm, I have one copy of The Color Monster boardgame to giveaway. See the Instagram post below for details on how to enter. UK entries only (sorry). Thanks so much for entering! Good luck!