Clothespins! Game Review
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Players: 2-4 (ages 5+)
Playing Time: 5-10 minutes

On warm, sunny days when I was a kid, my mom used to hang the laundry out on the clothesline to dry. The clothes hanging on our line were just the same old jeans and T-shirts—and not once, that I remember, did a bird steal any of our laundry. But, then again, hanging the clothes out to dry used to be a chore—not a game. So it definitely wasn’t as much fun as the Clothespins! Game.

To begin, each player gets a game board, which includes three starting poles for starting three different clotheslines. Each player is then dealt four cards. These cards can be laundry cards—featuring a variety of different articles of clothing in a variety of different bright and colorful patterns. Or they can be birds or finishing poles.

Players take turns laying cards from their hand on their three clotheslines. The items on each clothesline must match somehow—whether by article of clothing (for example, all shorts) or by pattern (for example, all pink with yellow polka dots). As soon as you have at least three matching laundry cards on a clothesline, you may complete the line by playing a finishing pole.

If you can’t play any of the cards in your hand, you still have a couple of options. You can play a bird card, which allows you to steal a laundry card from one of your opponents’ lines and place it on your own line. Or you can discard one or more of the cards in your hand and replace them with the same number of cards from the draw pile.

Play continues until one player completes all three clotheslines. Players then add up the number of laundry cards on their clotheslines and subtract the number of cards in their hand—and the player with the most points wins.

Clothespins! is a super-quick game to play. The cards are bright and colorful (and silly!), and they’re filled with all kinds of fun shapes and patterns. And since there isn’t any reading required, it makes the perfect game for young players—even those with short attention spans.

At the same time, the Clothespins! Game will help to teach those young players a number of important lessons. Players will learn about matching shapes and colors—and they’ll even learn to use basic strategies. Fortunately, though, it doesn’t feel like an educational game; it just feels like a whole lot of fun. And although the rules are simple and the game play is quick, even moms and dads—and big brothers and big sisters, too—will enjoy playing along. It’s such silly fun, in fact, that Mom and Dad may end up playing a round or two after the kids go to bed, before they pack the game away for the night.

Of all of the new kids’ games I’ve played this year, Clothespins! was definitely one of the most fun—so I highly recommend picking up a copy for your family. Who knows…after getting the kids hooked on the Clothespins! Game, maybe you can convince them that doing the real laundry is this much fun, too!

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