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Bata-Waf a Fun Card Game for Preschoolers

Bata-Waf is a great game to teach math concepts to preschoolers.

I was sent a copy of this game by Timberdoodle for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Bata-Waf is a fun preschool game that teaches numerical concepts.
Three-year-old Abel studying his cards.

When I went to New Zealand back in July, I brought along a couple of games that are favorites of my grandsons, P & M in hopes of playing them with Abel. One of those games was Bata-Waf.

Bata-waf is a great game for preschoolers. the biggest dog wins

What is Bata-Waf?

Bata-Waf is designed for two or more players and the concept is simple. Each player flips over a card and the biggest (tallest) dog wins. If two players turn over the same card, it is a Bata-Waf and both players have a chance to win even more cards.

Bata-Waf is a fun game for preschoolers.

Bata-Waf is essentially a simplified version of War and a great first card game for toddlers. I took advantage of Juniper’s nap times in New Zealand by spending a little one-on-one time with Abel. We built with Duplo, worked on puzzles, and played a few games. Abel just turned three in June and hadn’t been introduced to the idea of playing games (taking turns, rules, winning, etc).

Abel playing Bata-Waf
Abel, age three, playing Bata-Waf

Bata-Waf turned out to be a perfect first game. Abel was able to easily recognize which dog was bigger and delighted in winning.

Ways to Simplify Bata-Waf for Younger Kids

Abel just turned three in June so just understanding the “back and forth” of a game was a skill for him. Thankfully, with Bata-Waf both players play at the same time so there is no waiting.

In the beginning, I simplified the game for him.

It's okay to simplify games for your preschooler.
Don’t be afraid to simplify games for your preschooler.

To simplify I eliminated the “bata-waf”. When two players put down equal cards, it is a “bata-waf”. At this point each player places two more cards face down, and then flips a third card over. The player with the biggest dog wins all of the cards. This was confusing to Abel, so we often skipped this when playing. Instead, we would just turn over a new card, and the one with the largest won.

Bata-Waf is a fun game for preschoolers.
Abel enjoyed studying the cards.

Another way we implied it was to just find the matching cards. Abel loved laying out cards and finding the matches. Another of his favorite simplified version was for me to turn over the cards one and a time and for him to yell out if it was bigger than the previous card.

Don’t be afraid to simplify games for your little ones! Over time you can build on their skills and add in other rules.

Bata-Waf Fast Facts

Bata-Waf is a fun game for preschoolers.
  • Designed for 2 or more players ages 3 and older.
  • Each round takes only a few minutes to play
  • It is a simplified form of War
  • Price: $9.75

Educational Value of Playing Bata-Waf

Four year old Percy enjoys playing Bata-Waf

Like nearly any game played with preschoolers, there is plenty of learning going on with Bata-Waf.

  1. Teaching the concepts of “larger” and “smaller”. To win each round you need the largest dog. This will lead to other concepts such as “taller” and “shorter” and “biggest” and “smallest”, etc. This is a great way to naturally build their vocabulary and spatial reasoning skills.
  2. Number Recognition- In addition to a fun dog drawing each card is clearly marked with a digit. You kids will quickly learn which number is which.
  3. Number Order- during play your child will learn that 4 comes after 3 and eventually understand that 4 is larger than 3. The cards have the numbers 1-6 on them.
  4. Your preschooler will learn to focus and increase their attention span.
  5. Playing any games with preschoolers teaches the concepts of taking turns, patience, and perhaps most importantly of all, the skill of being a good sport, even when you lose.

Other Fun Games to Play with Your Preschooler

Postman Observation Game

Activities to Engage our Preschoolers

What are your favorite games to play with preschoolers?


1 Comment

  1. Kristen

    This sounds like such a fun game. We often modify games too. (Or my kids make up their own rules and games after we have played the ‘correct’ way a number of times.) Thanks for the review!

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