Review Of Hullabaloo By Cranium – Perfect Game For Preschool And Toddlers

Hullabawho, hullabadoo, hullabaloo; I’m not sure if the kids got more laughs out of my funny ways to say Hullabaloo or the game itself.

We were on vacation at the family cabin and wanted some civilization so we went shopping at Wal Mart. I went to look for something for the kids to do and found hullabaloo and Cadoo, (both Cranium.) I finally decided on hullabaloo because it encouraged physical activity and listening skills. I put it in the cart, much to my husband’s dismay and luckily it was under the $25.00CDN limit he set.

It was an instant hit with everyone at the cabin, 5 little girls. – ages: 2,3,3,4& 6 and one 6 year old boy. Even my too cool teenage cousins played it with my little girl and of course grandma had to get in on the dancing action too.

The best part, even after being played on very sandy floors it isn’t any worse for wear, just a little dirty. I have a huge issue with toys are not durable. The parts are large, brightly coloured and durable.

The game consists of 16 colourful play pads in various colours and shapes with an image printed on them. The talking audio console is large, needs 3 AA batteries (not included) and has one big red button, that’s it. No small breakable pieces.

The kids place the pads around the room, each steps on a purple cranium pad and pushes the big red button. The console tells them what to do, “Crawl to a yellow,” “Spin to a square,” “skip to a triangle.” The winner is announced at the end of a sequence, “Is anyone standing on the piano?” The winner is then instructed to “take a bow,” or “do a funky dance.” Then it starts over again. Its so simple and the kids just love it. I love that they can set it up and play it without adult help.

At most we had 12 kids playing, at least 1 kid played. The box says 1-6 players aged 4 and up but 2 year olds with parental encouragement love it, and baby-sitting cousins tolerate it, while grandmas just like to make fools of themselves. My daughter gets it out regularly to play by herself, the console doesn’t bother me. Usually I can’t stand toys that talk, maybe it’s the volume control on the console, the variety or the voice but it doesn’t bother me at all.

Educational value for any toy is a top consideration to me. Hullabaloo doesn’t disappoint, it teaches colours, shapes and some word recognition. It promotes activity, following directions and listening skills. Can’t ask for more than that for preschoolers.

Any preschool birthday kid gets this gift from us and it makes a great birthday party game. For some reason they catch on quicker to it than musical chairs. Maybe because no one is ever out of the game, in fact the console tells them to share the pads; so three kids can be on the same pad and all can be winners.

We love it so much we bought the DVD animal version. The DVD is a gimmick and you need the TV/DVD to play, I found it a little hooky and the kids needed to look at the TV all the time so it was constricting. The original can be played anywhere. We mixed the pads up and had a huge game for my daughter’s 5th birthday. Since some of the instructions are shape and colour all the pads were usable. They would share those pads with pictures when asked to find them.

To summarize, fair price, fun, easy to use, durable, for 2yrs to 6yrs, as many players as can fit in the room, educational, no one left out, and best of all no small pieces. A great addition to your games room.