I’ve never hidden my affection for kids’ TV show Fireman Sam. Thus, no-one will be surprised to find out that I whooped with joy when a close friend gave my son Fireman Sam Uno for his birthday.
A card game for a 3-year-old?
I know what you’re thinking, because, when my delight died down, I thought it too. Nice idea, but is a 3-year-old really going to sit still for long enough to play a card game? Well, I wouldn’t try organise a poker night with my little man, but, after around six weeks of playing Fireman Sam Uno with him, I can exclusively reveal that the answer can be yes when:
- The game only takes a few minutes to play
- The cards are bigger than standard, colourful and feature characters from one of their favourite kids’ TV shows
- They keep on winning (and, believe me, my son keeps on winning)
How to play
If you have ever played Uno*, you will be aware that the aim of the game is to get rid of your cards quicker than everyone else. This branded ‘kiddy version’ can be played by between two and four people. It’s designed to help children recognise colours and numbers and it has a mercifully small number of rules. Namely:
- If you forget to say “Uno” when you get down to your final card, then you have to pick up a card
- If you can’t play a) a card that has the same colour or number as the one on the top of the deck, or b) the special card that features all four colours (see card in bottom left of below pic), then you have to pick up a card
- When the person before you plays the special card that has two characters on it, you have to pick up two cards (see card in top middle of below pic)
The bottom line
So, what does it all mean? It means that I keep losing, because I keep forgetting to say “Uno”. But, on a happier note, it also means that we are now in possession of a viable alternative to shoving a screen in my son’s face when we’re eating out. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Whenever my son’s getting restless at the table, we reach for this game, deal the cards and start playing. What happens next? Simple, his bottom stays in his seat and his chicken strips arrive before I can say “Uno”.