Hi Ho! Cherry – O
by Amanda Nettgen
Hi Ho! Cherry-O
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Hi Ho! Cherry-O is a simple yet entertaining counting game that subtly teaches youngsters a small handful of skills. It’s geared primarily towards the preschool set, but older kids will have fun playing, too.
The game and gameplay
This game involves trees, fruit, and acquiring knowledge, but it’s a far cry from anything biblical.
To start, have each player choose a tree and place ten cherries in it (I guess they magically sprouted). Also ensure that each harvester has their own bucket under the tree in which to collect their produce.
Farmers take turns twirling the spinner, which instructs a player on how many cherries to add or subtract from his bucket.Sometimes a contender will get a straight number to pick off the tree, while other times a dog or bird will cause some cherries to be snatched away from the bucket and put back on the tree. Any picker who is unfortunate enough to land on the spilled bucket space must return all of his cherries to the tree.
Play continues until someone is successful in obtaining all of his cherries. To give the game more variety, try playing with each person having two trees in a two-player game, or draft your own version of the game to incorporate apple, pear, and other fruit trees (great for learning about new fruits!).
Pros and cons
Reading is not required for this game. It teaches number recognition and good sportsmanship and is a great launching pad for getting your little ones into other board games. Also, there’s something that’s just plain fun about manipulating cherries on and off a tree.
Because the cherries are smaller than a marble, this game is not appropriate for anyone under age three. It’s not likely to be enjoyed after age ten (even sooner for some families).
Hi Ho! Cherry-O has stood the test of time to become a first-game classic, and with good reason. It’s easy, educational, and addicting.