The best family board games are those that include multi-age players, hold the interest of kids and adults alike, and keep everyone on their toes. Max the Cat by Family Pastimes is all of those things and more. Players put Max on his rug on the front porch, then place three little animals -- a mouse, a a bird, and a chipmunk -- on their stumps. The goal of this board and dice game is to get the little critters back to their homes in the tree without letting Max catch up to them first. Bad kitty! This strategy game keep kids engaged with its constant back-and-forth drama. If Max gets close to catching a critter, he can be called back to the porch with a treat. But use too many treats too early and one of your critters just might not make it back to the tree. Max the Cat encourages teamwork by placing players in non-competitive roles and teaches logic, problem solving, and decision-making. Kids are bound to ask a lot of questions about why Max chases the little animals and what happens when he catches them. This opens the door for honest conversation about natural hunters and how we can resolve this part of our beloved pets' instinctual nature in our hearts. But it's also easy enough to adapt the game for sensitive souls by letting Max "chase" the little critters off the board where they can hide, then return to their nest at the end of the game when Max goes back to his comfy rug for a nice long nap.
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