Mushroom hunting – DIY board game

We’ve been learning about fungi recently and as a part of it, we prepared a home version of a classic board game for kids. I mean it’s an old classic game we have in Poland.

It’s a simple race game called mushroom hunting, during which players, yes, you got it right, pick mushrooms. Our version is more like a “visit in a forest” because apart from mushrooms we collect some forest fruits and flowers for bouquets. Little Rascals enjoy playing the game and I’m happy because I managed to sneak in a bit of algebra.

Board

The board is very simple. There are around 100 spaces on which pieces are moving in one direction. Depending on a space the piece finishes its turn, there are some (or none) actions to be taken, like picking a mushroom or a special card. The spaces are colour coded indicating what is to be placed where. I drew the board on a piece of paper, I wanted Rascals to decorate it, but N was busy preparing her own game and S doesn’t draw anything but vehicles. So I had to colour it on my own. Since I’m terrible at drawing, please concentrate on other aspects of this lovely idea ;-)

Mushrooms, toadstools, fruits, flowers

During the game, players pick the goodies found in a forest. Each of them gives points (positive and negative). We made them using tiny Lego parts, so the final result was determined by the number and kind of tiles we have. We also use Lego minifigures as pieces in the game.

“+” points

  • penny buns +6
  • bay boletes +5
  • slippery jacks +3
  • large chanterelles +3
  • small chanterelles +2
  • blackberries +2
  • blueberries +1
  • flowers +1

“-” points

  • toadstools -3
  • false chanterelles -2
  • bitter boletes -1

Special event cards

There are eight spaces on which a player has to pick a special event card. There are again positive and negative events, like move forwards or backwards, additional move, loose a turn, additional points etc.

Other rules

There is one space with puffball mushrooms for which a player receives +2 points but loses a turn.


The first player to finish the game receives bonus +3 points and the second (if at least 3 people are playing) receives +1.

After that points are being counted and the King of the Forest is announced.

Inedible mushrooms

Some people might not like the version with picking inedible mushrooms. I decided to introduce them to make counting a bit more difficult. N is still learning to count in her mind and S is practicing addition and subtraction.

I used to go mushroom hunting as a child and know all the precautions. The first thing Rascals have learned about mushrooms a long time ago was not to touch them if you don’t know them and that they can be very tricky. So they know that we pick only the edible ones and only if we’re 200% sure. Therefore I was feeling safe about introducing negative points to the game.

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