Hullabawho, hullabadoo, hullabaloo; I’m not sure if the kids laughed more at my funny ways of saying Hullabaloo or at the game itself.
We were on vacation at the family cabin and wanted a little civilization, so we went shopping at Wal Mart. I went looking for something for the kids to do and found hullabaloo and Cadoo, (both Cranium). I finally settled 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 $25.00 CDN limit he set.
It was an instant hit with everyone in the cabin, 5 little girls. – ages: 2, 3, 3, 4 and 6 and a 6 year old. Even my overly cool teenage cousins played with my little girl and of course Grandma got to get in on the dance action too.
The best part, even after playing on very sandy soil, it’s not worse for wear, just a little dirty. I have a big problem with toys that are not durable. The pieces are large, brightly colored, and durable.
The game consists of 16 colorful game boards in various colors and shapes with an image printed on them. The talking audio console is big, takes 3 AA batteries (not included), and has a big red button, that’s it. There are no small pieces to break.
The kids place the pads around the room, each stepping on a purple skull pad and pressing the big red button. The console tells them what to do, “Crawl to a yellow”, “Rotate to a square”, “jump to a triangle”. The winner is announced at the end of a sequence, “Is anyone standing at the piano?” The winner is then instructed to “take a bow” or “do a funky dance.” Then start over. It’s so simple and the kids love it. I love that they can set it up and play it without the help of an adult.
At most we had 12 children playing, at least 1 child played. The box says 1-6 players ages 4 and up, but 2-year-olds with parental support love it, and babysitting cousins put up with it, while grandmas like to make fools of themselves. My daughter takes it out regularly to play by herself, the console doesn’t bother me. I usually can’t stand talking toys, maybe it’s the console’s volume control, variety or voice but it doesn’t bother me at all.
The educational value of any toy is a primary consideration for me. Hullabaloo does not disappoint, teaching colours, shapes and some word recognition. Promotes activity, following instructions and the ability to listen. You can’t ask for more than that for preschoolers.
Any preschool birthday boy gets this gift from us and it makes a great birthday party game. For some reason, they catch on faster than musical chairs. Perhaps because no one is left out of the game, the console actually tells them to share the pads; so that three children can be on the same pad and all can be winners.
We love it so much we bought the animal version on DVD. The DVD is a gimmick and you need the TV/DVD to play it, I found it a bit addicting and the kids needed to watch TV all the time so it was restricted. The original can be reproduced anywhere. We mixed up the pads and had a great set for my daughter’s 5th birthday. Since some of the instructions are for shape and color, all the pads were usable. They shared those photo notebooks when asked to find them.
To sum it up, fair price, fun, easy to use, durable, for ages 2-6, as many players as the room can fit, educational, leaving no one behind, and best of all, no small parts. A great addition to your game room.