Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Original UNO Card Game

This week has marked the beginning of summer vacation for The Daily Kool family. Unfortunately, everyone's been sick for the past few days, so we've been stuck at home. Poor kids! They really just want to go outside and ride their bikes or swim in the pool. Instead, we've been raiding our closets all week, trying to come up with different ways to keep them entertained indoors. It hasn't been easy, especially since television is not our favorite pastime. It was time to introduce a classic from our own childhood to the kids.

The other day, we were digging through some old childhood boxes that our parents had finally given us, when we found an old (and we mean old) set of the original UNO card game. Oh, the memories it brought back! We were absolutely obsessed with UNO when we were kids and was the only card game we knew that could accommodate up to ten of us who wanted to play at the same time. The deck consists of cards of 4 colors: red, green, blue, and yellow. The ranks in each color are 0-9. There are 3 "action" cards in each color, labeled "skip", "draw two", and "reverse". There are also special black action cards, "wild" and "wild draw four". At each turn, a player may play a card from their hand that matches the color or rank/number of the top exposed card, or play a wild or wild draw four. When a player plays down to only one card, that player is required to say "Uno" to warn other players. The Daily Kool rules determine that whoever goes out completely wins...however, UNO was originally designed on a point system (each card has a numerical value).

Mattel has attempted to modernize the game with its introduction of versions such as UNO Attack, UNO Spin and UNO H2O Splash. Honestly, though...none of them can possibly compare to the original UNO card game. Perfect in its simplicity, UNO is a wonderful game for all never loses its excitement. Although it's labeled for ages 7+, the rules are simple enough (similar to Crazy Eights) that our four year old has learned it with ease. In fact, UNO has quickly become an obsession with both of our kids. We couldn't be happier, especially since it teaches valuable color, number, pattern and strategy skills. The only challenge for our youngest child is in holding the cards, but we help him by fanning them out for him a few times during play. We will say though that we much prefer the original UNO card design from 1995 (the one we have), which defined the action cards with words instead of symbols...too bad it's not available anymore.

The original (and still the best) UNO card game is an educational and wholesome game that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Portable enough to take anywhere, UNO will undoubtedly give your kids hours of television and video game-free entertainment. What a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with your children...nothing is "kooler" than that.

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