The ages between one and three are pretty exciting. It’s a time when your child is progressing from being an infant to being off school.
These “toddler” years are when they are full of energy as they start to explore more of their environment. It’s a time filled with discovering new objects and people.
During this period, your child will display a need for independence and demonstrate the defiant behavior. This stage also sees them recognizing names and faces, as well as start to form simple sentences and follow instructions.
With so much development going on, it can be downright exhausting to deal with your child. However, it is also vital for their development to encourage curiosity.
One of the best ways to help in your child’s development is to play games with them. Hive is one of the many games you can play with them that’s not only fun but stimulating as well.
What is Hive?
Hive is a tabletop game involving two players. Just as its name suggests, it’s a bug-themed game where the goal is to capture the queen bee of your opponent.
Based on that alone, you could tell that it’s a game of strategy – one that you wouldn’t particularly foist on a child between the ages of one and three. But Hive comes in tiles featuring insects, which will no doubt attract a young child.
The toddler years see them follow instructions and directions. So you can instruct them on gameplay but not expect a strict observance of rules.
How is Hive Played?
You play with hexagonal tiles and knowing how curious toddlers are, you must tell them not to munch on the tiles. Plus, you really need to keep an eye on them if you decide to play this game.
There are 22 tile pieces, 11 for each player. On each of the tiles are creatures that are allowed a specific set of moves – much like chess.
These are the insects you’ll find in a standard edition Hive box:
- 1 Queen Bee
- 2 Spiders
- 2 Beetles
- 3 Grasshoppers
- 3 Soldier Ants
There are expansion pieces if you are interested. These pieces include:
- 1 Mosquito
- 1 Ladybug
- 1 Pillbug
Your play session with your child can involve identifying the insects in each piece. As mentioned, the toddler years are when they can start matching objects with words.
Unlike chess, you do not set up the pieces you play within Hive. There isn’t even a rule as to who goes first.
Basically, a piece is put on a table or any other flat surface (yes, there is no board). However, a player’s piece absolutely cannot touch another player’s; it can only be adjacent to your own piece.
But there are exceptions: each of the first tiles played shouldn’t be adjacent to anything. Once a piece is laid on the surface, it can be moved according to its function.
The most important piece is, of course, the Queen Bee. It has to be on the surface in one of the first four turns; failure to do so results in a player not being able to move any piece.
Once the Queen Bee is present, players can place and move tiles at will. This movement results in a layout that gets larger as the game goes on.
- The Queen Bee is the most limited in terms of movement, with only one space at a time.
- The Beetle can also move one space at a time but can climb on top of an adjacent piece.
- The Spider is granted three moves but only within the circumference of the layout.
- The Grasshopper can “jump” over one or more pieces in a straight line. It “jumps” to the first adjacent space on the opposite side.
- The Solder Ant can only move around the layout’s edges but it can move multiple spaces which makes it such a powerful piece.
The goal of Hive is to capture a Queen Bee by surrounding all its six sides with tiles from either player. It’s a draw when both Queen Bees are surrounded.
Best Hive Packages
What’s great about Hive is that it comes in a portable container. It’s a game you can take anywhere and play with just as long as there is a flat surface.
There are many Hive packages available, and here’s a look at the best ones:
Made by Gen42 Games, the tiles come in a portable cloth bag. With an emphasis on being “pocket-sized”, the tiles are definitely smaller than the standard issue.
This means that you should be extra careful about playing with this set with your child. And they might even enjoy the color-coded insects: blue ants, green grasshoppers, and red ladybugs.
Since the insects are etched onto the tile, there’s a high chance of chipping with frequent use.
This is a special edition set released to commemorate the iPhone application. It features an attractive black and white color scheme.
This edition also comes with the Mosquito and Ladybug expansion pieces.
Hive is a game of strategy, and you will need patience when teaching it to a toddler. Then again, the tiles are pretty attractive pieces which help make a good start.