Updated: Nov 25, 2020
In Wildcraft, you are going on a journey up the mountain to collect huckleberries for Grandma, who will reward you with a delicious pie! Along the way, you will run into trouble, but with your knowledge of the herbs that grow on the mountain, you can easily remedy any ailment. Just make sure to get the huckleberries back to Grandma's house before nightfall and you win!
This is a cooperative game, so everyone is working together to get safely up the mountain and then back to Grandma's house. Wildcraft is a great one to use for science, because it teaches how to identify various herbs, and what their uses are. As an added bonus, there are free extras you can print from the website that add English into the game and expand the scientific knowledge you are gaining. More on that later.
On your turn, you spin the spinner and move forward the indicated number of spaces. Land on a plant and you get to harvest an herb, but land on an X, and you run into trouble. Draw a card to see what happened. Each trouble card has a number of symbols on the bottom that match with the symbols in the top left corners of the plant cards. These are all the plants that can cure your ailment. Once cured, you move forward to the next purple space and rest.
Wildcraft is a very simple game that even preschoolers can play, with a theme that keeps older children, and even parents, engaged and learning. On it's own, this game is one that will get chosen again and again, but add the free printable extras and the education value increases significantly!
There is a little storybook that coincides with the journey. You read one chapter every time someone makes it to the next purple space. They are marked you so always know which chapter to read. Additionally, there is a beautiful field guide. Each herb in the game has it's own page. These bonus materials are nice to have, but are not required. Use them as you wish.
To shorten the game for younger players, I have found that it helps to tweak the rules just a touch. In the original game, you journey up and back down the mountain. In my condensed version, you only journey up the mountain. Once you reach the top, grab your huckleberries and run all the way back down the mountain. My game school kids really enjoy that part!
Wildcraft is one of our favorite's at Julie's Game School and we highly recommend it! You can purchase a copy on Amazon.