Chicago families searching for games that are suitable and fun for relatives of all ages and that work well as portable travel toys can try the award-winning Find It Games VeggieTales game. By turning and shaking this sturdy transparent tube, players can shift the colored plastic pellets inside and search for 39 different tiny objects, all themed to look like characters and objects from the popular VeggieTales world. Parents and kids can find the items over and over again or use the

suggestions from the Find It website and their own imaginations to play several variations of the primary hunt and search game.

How to play the Find It Games VeggieTales game

Fairly large, the transparent tube stands about one foot tall with orange octagonal bases on each end that are themselves about 3 inches across. The cylinder is full of tiny recyled plastic pellets that look like red, blue, yellow, green, and orange sprinkles. Buried in this sea are the 39 objects, plus one mystery penny that can be used, when found, to register yourself online at the Find It website as an official penny finder.

The included scorecard pad comes with small tear-off sheets that list all of the objects to be found, along with checkboxes to help searchers keep track of which items they have located so far. A record of all of the hidden pieces is also helpfully printed on the base of the tube so that game-players always have a list handy.

In keeping with the sometimes loopy nature of the VeggieTales world, the objects to be found include funny items lifted straight from favorite VeggieTales songs and stories, such as a tuba, a viking helmet, a slushy cup, a hair brush, a water buffalo, and a pie. Popular VeggieTales characters buried in the pellets include Bob

the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, Junior Asparagus, Laura Carrot, Archibald Asparagus, and Madame Blueberry.

To play the game in its simplest form, players work alone or together to turn and shake the tube until they have spotted and checked off each and every item. Possible game variations include requiring players to locate all of the objects within a certain time limit, having players find the items in alphabetical order, determining how many of the objects a player can find in a set amount of time, assigning point values to items and counting up scores based on how many things a person finds in a set time, and making up a story about the items found in a certain amount of time.

Using Find It Games VeggieTales as a travel toy

Because it is self-contained, can be played over and over again, and is challenging enough to require quite some time to play, Find It Games VeggieTales can make a great travel toy for certain kind of trips and vacations. Children and parents can certainly spend hours in the car, on an airplane, or in a hotel room hunting and hunting for these tiny objects. Even on daily car trips around town, it can be used to keep kids in the backseat amused.

Its only drawback as a travel toy is that although it is
surprisingly light for its size, that size itself is quite
large. Parents making hard decisions about what to
pack on a long trip when available luggage space is
tight may opt to bring several smaller toys instead of
such a large single toy. That said, on trips where space is plentiful, such as on a long car trip, this VeggieTales Find It Game can stow easily in the trunk and be brought out to entertain boys and girls (and moms and dads) for hours at a time.

Find It VeggieTales review

Our young testers could not wait to open and start playing with this hand-held scavenger hunt game. Rather than begin by looking at the list of items to find, they enjoyed just turning the tube and discovering on their own what characters and objects were hidden inside. Then, after a while, they checked the list and began a more methodical search. Everyone was extremely entertained whenever one of the characters bobbed up to the surface, but both testers also enjoyed figuring out what each each object was before they read the list.

Along with developing visual perception skills, this hunt and find game also develops fine-motor skills, as the more players twist and spin this tube, the more refined their techniques become for shifting the pellets to reveal the objects hidden beneath them.

We were sent Find It VeggieTales for review, but Chicago families can use the online store locator at their website to find local stores that might carry it, or just order it online. It generally retails for around $20 to $25.

People who enjoy the idea of this kind of I Spy-like game but are not fans of VeggieTales characters can check out other kinds of Find It games, ranging from the original version (full of random everyday objects like a marble, pushpin, match, and fish hook) to themed versions for the beach, zoo, sports, and Wizard of Oz.