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Toy Tuesday: Busy Town Game

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We have a new bedtime routine in our house... and it involves a game! That's right, we're playin' our way to snoozeville—and, yes, it means my son actually asks to go to go up to bed every night. (Hashtag Winning--in more ways than one!)

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Busy Town is part puzzle, part game, part scavenger hunt, and all fun! The interlocking puzzle board is, itself, over six-feet long—and that is a huge appeal to my toddler. But what excites me the most, besides the fact that it encourages my kid to want to go to bed, is that it's teaching him about teamwork. No one player "wins" in this game. Instead, you have to work together to defeat the pigs—who are trying to eat your collective picnic food.

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Everyone takes a turn spinning the wheel with a goal to get to to the ferry (you have to wait till all players are inboat for it to take of)—so you're rooting on your fellow team members. If you land on the "bee," you pick a card, which features a picture of an everyday item (an ice cream cone, a traffic light, a clock, etc.). You then have one minute to find as many of these items on the board as possible. If you find three, then everyone moves up three spaces.

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If you land on the pigs, well, then those hungry mischievous munchers, eat up one item of your perfectly packed picnic. The goal of the game is get to Picnic Island via ferry together before the pigs eat up all six items of food. We usually make it. Occasionally, the pigs win... especially when mom really wants to speed up the bedtime process. (Wink-wink. Snort-snort.)

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