Barbecue Party is a preschool skill and action game that is, as you might accurately guess, all about action and reaction. Players try to load up the grill with all kinds of food before the grill pops a gasket and sends the food flying. Kids must be careful not to jiggle the grill when they lay down an ear of corn, a tomato, or any of the other pretend food pieces because the grill can jump at any time.
The play starts with all of the cards placed face-down and all of the food next to the pretend grill. Children take turns choosing a card. If the food piece shown on the card is not already on the grill, that player uses the tongs to lay the designated food piece on top without jiggling the grill. If the grill doesn't jump, the card gets mixed back into the card pile. If the food piece shown on the card is already on the grill, the player uses the tongs to remove it without jiggling the grill. If the grill doesn't jump, the player keeps the card face up in front of him with the food piece on top.
If the grill does jump, the player loses a turn and has to put all of the food that was on the grill and the food he was trying to put on or take off back on the table.
If a player picks a Joker card, he can put on or take off any food piece. If a player picks a Pass Your Turn card, that player loses his turn.
The first player with three food pieces wins the game.
Barbecue Party is for two or more players. It comes with 16 plastic food pieces, 18 cards, and one pair of tongs.
We like the concept of the game—after all it's a classic skill and action game with flying pieces that usually delights kids. However, there are some things we would change. Because the cards get mixed up every time, it may take you six cards before you finally have a chance to take something off of the grill. (And by that point, the grill might have already jumped.) We think that for younger kids, you shouldn't mix up the cards.
Also, it's a little difficult to pick up the food pieces with the tongs. Using tongs can be a great way to help younger children with fine motor skills, but even the adults who played this game had difficulty using the tongs. The instructions do say that young children can use their fingers if the tongs are too difficult. (However, that sort of makes the grill joke a little weaker, since the whole idea is pretending to manipulate hot food on a grill.)
Barbecue Party is for ages 4 and up.
The grill piece is sensitive, so it works best if you play on a table that is stable or on a smooth floor.
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