Hi-Ho Pom-Pom O?

Ah, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, the bane of my game closet. I can't stand it.  My son (4 1/2) asks for it regularly, but we rarely make it through the fussy, complicated set-up - quite possibly because my daughter (3) just likes playing with the fruit. The tiny, candy-colored fruit that inevitably gets knocked into and onto the floor where my other daughter (11 months) can grab it.  Most other parents that I've talked to have similar feelings of loathing - and yet we all seem to own a copy!

On the other hand, it does promote a couple of useful skills like counting, turn taking, and (arguably) dealing with set-backs when that stupid bird steals your fruit!
I brainstormed a Hi-Ho replacement that incorporates these skills and even adds some pincer-grip practice. I'm dubbing it (oh-so-creatively) "Hi-Ho Pom-Pom-O!"

Materials: 
  • Pom-Poms, at least 10 in each player's chosen color
  • A large bowl plus a smaller cup or bowl for each player
  • (Optional) Child-sized tweezers (Mine look like these
  • The spinner from your Hi-Ho Cherry-O game, or a die works too! 



Play: 
Each player spins the spinner and uses the tweezers to pick that many pom-poms in his or her color out and place them in his or her container.  First one to transfer all the pom-poms wins!
For younger or more easily frustrated players, feel free to either re-spin when hitting the bird, dog, or spilled bucket. I actually just modify the consequences a little so you never have to put back more than 2 pom-poms.

After you're done, the kids can use the tweezers to sort the whole bag of pom-poms by color, possibly into an old candy box or chips-and-dip bowl.  Or they can throw them at each-other, blow them out of marshmallow guns, or check out one of these Pom-Pom Party games!

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