“ Manufacturer: Toyday „
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Pick-up-Sticks is a traditional game. 'Boring' is the exclamation you might expect from a child. When my cousin came to a family party and I thought we adults were going to lose him to his mobile phone with his social networking and virtual games. I raided the old childhood drawer full of games that hadn't seen the light of day for a couple of decades. The first thing I pulled out was this tube of Pick-Up-Sticks. I needed something uncomplicated. There was no time to read the rules and I could tell that I would lose his interest before we had begun but I recalled how to play well enough to begin immediately. There is no laborious rule book reading or explaining to do. It's a four-stage game:
1. Gather the sticks into a bunch in your hand.
2. Drop all the sticks, which resemble chopsticks only with pointed ends, onto a flat surface.
3. The first player extracts sticks, closely observed by the others, to check that no other stick on the pile moves. If anything moves play goes on to the next person.
4. Once all the sticks have been gathered count up. The player with the most sticks wins.
Easy sticks for the children fall around the edge of the pile. Give them a chance by leaving them for the players who find the task more difficult.
My cousin suffers with autism so getting his attention is much more difficult than with a lot of other children. I didn't think I had much of a chance of winning him over from his modern technology. Imagine my surprise and delight that his look of 'this is going to be boring' changed within seconds to a beaming smile. My cousin has the most beautiful smile and it's not often we see this sixteen-year-old boy smile these days. He was completely engaged from the moment I threw down those sticks onto the table. I couldn't believe it!
I'd say the game is good for dexterity, concentration and counting as well as good old-fashioned famiy fun.
I made a brief demonstration by being the first player and, I admit, deliberately moved a stick in the pile. Delighted, he cried out, 'It moved, it moved.' My cousin then picked up the sticks around the edges and amassed his own collection of sticks which, he proudly, held in his hand and then placed them into an ordered line before him. He did move sticks in the pile and on the third one I laughed and told him it had moved. His face fell and I thought I'd lost my cousin from this game but by stating that I didn't think I could beat him on my first go and promptly, (genuinely) messed up my round his interest was restored.
It emerged that my cousin has a real talent for this. We played game after game and apart from one round to me, taken in good grace, he won all the rest. I was amazed that a child who has difficulty concentrating and who spends his time with modern technology should be so taken by this old-fashioned game. In fact, our fun was contagious and we soon had other players joining in - six in total.
I really suggest every home has this game for your children or for visitors. It is inexpensive compared to many other games on the market and is such a small box that it won't be a storage issue. I paid £3 from a small toy shop. In Hamleys they were around £5 and most of the young staff had never heard of it. Their loss!
This is an ideal game to have in the house for impromtu entertainment.
Pick Up Sticks, also known as Mikado, used to be one of my favourite games as a child. I don't know why, really. Maybe it was the simplicity of the game, that you could play with anyone really because even if they didn't know the rules you could teach them within a few seconds.
Toyday have released a set of this game, which you can pick up for under three pounds - not a bad price at all. For those of you who don't know the game - it's pretty simple. You start by dropping the sticks from their stack so they become one random assortment on the table. The aim of the game is to, as the title suggests, pick up the sticks but do so without making others move.
A simple idea, but really good fun. The sticks you pick up, based on their colour, are worth more points, with one worth the most. You go until you make the sticks move or you disrupt the pile, and then it's your opponent's turn. The game ends when all sticks have been picked up, and you count out your points based on what sticks you have.
This edition of the game comes in a really nice wooden box, for sturdy storage, and the sticks, unlike some other versions of the game, are nicely made out of wood. It gives the game a nice old fashioned charm to it.
This set comes with forty one sticks, which may or may not be standard rules and comes with some instructions on points and gameplay, too.
Overall, it's a pretty fun game. Very basic but a good timekiller and makes a change from board games. Very affordable, nicely made and designed, it's definitley worth having these in your games stock.