Monday, December 11, 2023

‘Story Time Backgammon’ Helps Kids Learn A Classic

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Story Time Backgammon is a high seas adventure that teaches kids how to play one of the world’s most popular games. The story is a tale of a Viking chieftain and a swashbuckling pirate who are aided by magical dice and animals companions. No prior experience is necessary when learning how to play this classic. Kids will discover rules and learn new characters that help with strategic thinking, problem solving, and lots more. Story Time Adventures has their very successful Story Time Chess that has been very helpful teaching kids new to chess, and now they are back again with Story Time Backgammon

Story Time Backgammon box art

What’s in the Box?

  • 1 Illustrated Storybook – Includes 9 stories, 27 mini-games
  • 2 Custom Dice Cups – Viking and Pirate themed
  • 6 Dice – 2 white, 2 blue, and 2 sparkle green
  • 1 Double Sided Board
  • 15 White Checkers
  • 15 Blue Checkers
  • 15 Viking Ship Cutouts
  • 15 Pirate Ship Cutouts

How’s it Play?

This is an introductory game to learn how to play a version of Backgammon. You read the stories in the storybook one chapter at a time. This can be done with different voices, and acting out with the different characters that come along in the book. There are 3 mini games in each chapter using the diagrams to setup the board and instructions to help reinforce the newly learned mechanics. Players can continue repeating, rereading, and replaying to help so new skills will stick.

Story Time Backgammon story time book in action

You learn the specifics of the game when reading through the book and practicing, but overall, backgammon is a game about moving your checkers toward the other side of the board. Players roll 2 dice and us the results as movement. The other player can land on a lone checker of the other player to send them back to start again. Players can prevent this by stacking more than one checker on a location, preventing the other player to land on that spot.

Story Time Backgammon that kids love to learn and play

The Verdict

This is the best way to teach kids how to play a very classic game they should at some point be introduced to and know how to play. The storybook pits the pirates versus the vikings. The pirates live in Fruitlandia and have a desire to find diamond from Icelandia. The vikings live in Icelandia and only eats potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They want to look for fruit to eat something other than potatoes, and are searching to get to Fruitlandia. 

Story Time Backgammon components on the table

Chapter 1 teaches about how to roll the dice, starting with 1 die. Chapter 2 teaches how to navigate the board and how to get from one side to the other. Chapter 3 teaches about bumping. Chapter 4 teaches how to get your pieces back onto the board once they’ve been bumped. Chapter 5 talks about covering so you can’t get bumped. Chapter 6 teaches about rolling 2 dice. Chapter 7 teaches what happens when you roll doubles. Chapter 8 teaches how to bear off and get your pieces off the board. And chapter 9 teaches about the starting positions. 

The game includes a fun story. We took about 2 hours going through the storybook to learn the game. I did end up changing the mini games a little bit when I felt the kids understood the concepts taught in the story. But it was good to read the story to put context to the mechanics when they forgot about a rule. 

Story Time Backgammon beginning setup

Storytime learning originally came out with Story Time Chess, and now released backgammon. This is great, but I do feel like backgammon is a lot easier to teach than chess. So, when going through the story for the backgammon concepts, it was almost slowing the learning down too much. I think the book could have been shorter and more direct with its teaching so that kids wouldn’t get distracted, but the story was still engaging for the kids and they were excited to continue learning the doing the mini games.

The excitement for this game also has continued since learning the game, as they have wanted to play the game after going through the storybook. They also have remembered the the rules and how to play. I have had to do some strategic teaching after the basics were taught. This included why and how to try to stack your checkers together. Also, when you have an opportunity to bump the other player, many times you should. 

Story Time Backgammon With Ev learning how to play

Overall, this was a great way to teach the kids backgammon. Peglegra and Chompus the Great will live on as we continue to play backgammon. The story helped my kids to learn the rules, and although they might not remember the entire story, they remember the mechanics of how to play the game due to going through the story. 

Images via Story Time Learning

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  • Brody Sheard

    Brody is a huge board game fan who loves games both simple and complex and he loves how they tickle the brain like nothing else does. Brody works as a cardiac travel nurse, soon to be nurse practitioner and enjoys being healthy, active, knowledgable, and a fan of many topics.

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