In a Pickle: Christmas Toy Review & GIVEAWAY

November 7, 2011

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We’re GIVING AWAY: In a Pickle by Gamewright

Shhhh! Don’t tell your children. They will be using their reading and thinking skills when playing this game. Shhhh! They might even learn something. Shhhh! Don’t let them in on our little secret. Shhhh! They’ll think this game is a fun Christmas present.


Why our family likes this game:

We’ve played this game with children ages 8, 10, 13 and with big “kids” ages twenty and up! MacGyver, age 8, thinks it is loads of fun to come up with unique answers. The more creative the answers the funnier the game is to play. For those of you who have suffered through hours of Candy Land, this thinking game will be a welcomed addition to your family game collection.

I love it because kids get the opportunity to use their reading skills, build their vocabulary and stretch their problem solving strategies. And they just think they are having fun!

How to Play:

Each person is dealt five noun cards.

Since MacGyver is only 8-years-old and a beginning reader, we often play open faced. If he has trouble reading any of his cards, I’m available to help him use his reading strategies to sound them out. We also discuss any new vocabulary words with which he is unfamiliar.

Four cards are placed in the middle of the playing area.

Main Objective:

Players take turns playing one noun card to any of the four rows that either fits inside or that is larger than one of the outermost cards already in play.

For example: A Mummy fits in a Pear Tree


When a card is played, the player draws a card from the deck to bring his hand back up to five cards.

Winning a Row of Cards

Whoever plays the fourth card to any row, starts a Pickle Round, in which all players try to win that row of cards. The round ends with the player who started the Pickle Round getting one final chance to trump the last card played. Whoever played the last card, wins the round and collects the row of cards.

How to Win the Game:

The first player to collect the required number of rows of cards wins. During this game, MacGyver collected 5 rows and I collected 2. NO, I wasn’t letting him beat me. He won fair and square!

Amazingly, we both enjoy this game. It’s hard to find a game that an 8-year-old and a 40 something can both enjoy!

There are a few playing tips and nuances but that’s it in a nutshell. It’s pretty darn easy to open the box and start playing.

A Little Warning!

If you have friends and family who like to argue, this isn’t the game for them. The rules are very simple and a bit flexible, opening-up a can of worms for those who like to argue during games.

On the other hand, a little friendly debating is part of the fun when playing In a Pickle. So use your judgement. You know the friends and family to whom I’m referring!

Life with Jeannine

We’re GIVING AWAY one In a Pickle by Gamewright.

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Time to confess! Are you one of those people who like to argue during games? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Monday, November 14, 2011

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Tuesday, 15, 2011. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!

More from our series on Educational Christmas Toy Recommendations

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie November 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Oh no, I am not one to argue during the games. My 5 year old is a fluent reader, and her favorite board game is Apples to Apples which is marked 9+. I am sure she would love this game!

Stasia November 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm

No we don’t argue but we have discussions on strategy. We like to play Parcheesi and my husband and 7yr old are always discussing the best way to send me back to start. :-)

Sennie November 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Haha, if we win I won’t play with some of my kids, lol! Sounds great for Little Miss in a little bit. We are only working on 3 letter words now.

Janelle @ Brimful Curiosities November 8, 2011 at 9:40 am

Great job describing the rules of this game. After viewing the words in your stacks, I think my 6 year old would be able to play this one. She enjoys all word games.

As for arguing, it depends on the situation. If the game isn’t cut and dry, I doubt I’d argue much but if someone was breaking established rules, I might say something!

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly November 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

This game seems super-fun!
I can’t wait until Boe is old enough to play!

Tara November 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm

My husband loves to argue during games! :) He gets joy out of, I think! ;) This game sounds great for our boys.

jules November 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Mum and dad like to play, kids love to argue,and little Archie just loves to cause chaos

Alice November 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

When I was a kid I was an arguer but not so much anymore!

Ellie November 9, 2011 at 3:23 am

I’m a stickler for following the rules but flexible rules and rules modified for beginners are totally okay – just no cheating! Does that count as being argumentative? I also enjoy games in which players team up with other players, so I suppose that could bring out the arguer in me at times!
Sounds like a great game! I think I love language/reading games the most, especially when they are well-designed for kids.

Katrina November 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

I am definitely a rules girl….I make everyone follow the rules!

Anissa November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

Game playing is about having fun and I don’t think arguments are fun! That would ruin the spirit of family and friend togetherness. Friendly discussions are allowed though :)

Karrie Flanagan November 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Have to admit I am a little competitive soooo I may playfully trash talk LOL not so much argue!!!

Emily November 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

YES! I argue during games if it is with my husband! Now, if it is my children I’m just playing with than no, I keep control of my competitiveness.

Amy {A Faithful Journey} November 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

My husband is very competitive, so yes, sometimes an argument will break out! But all in good fun, of course! :)

Thanks for the chance to win!

Jessica Briggs November 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

Lol I am not one to argue, but I have a 5 year old who is the queen of it! jesslubsbrianatyahoodotcom

Sarah Moran November 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Argue? Why would you ask that?! Did someone say something?? Was it my 4-year-old?! Huh?!! WAS IT?! I don’t argue. No, I don’t! ;)

Brooke Patrick November 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

no I do not like to argue :)

Joscelyne hilton November 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I’m not too much of an arguer. I like to have rules followed although bending them for younger players is very acceptable. My 5 yo is a good reader and I’m sure she would enjoy this game!

Jessica November 11, 2011 at 6:43 am

I’m don’t argue, but I may be a little competitive :)!

Sara E November 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I’m definitely not an arguer. My husband definitely is. :) I just like to have fun playing the game – I don’t care that much about winning. Hubby is super competitive and I think the kids are turning out to be the same way!

Natalia November 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I dont argue when i am playing!

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