/ March 11, 2024/ Board Games, Cooperative Games, Games For Littles, Health Games, Science Games/ 0 comments

I purchased Wildcraft when I was first starting my herbalism studies. The company that makes it, Learning Herbs, has a wide variety of educational materials for kids and adults, at a variety of price points, and it’s all excellent. If you’re interested in herbs, I can’t recommend them enough.

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Wildcraft herbs
The herb cards in our version of Wildcraft.

Wildcraft is a cooperative game that teaches 27 different herbs. There are a couple of different editions out, so the herbs might vary a little bit. However, playing this game with my kids really helped me learn these herbs, too. All the herbs are edible and safe to use, and most of them are common across most of the world.

There are 52 trouble cards. Trouble cards can be a scraped knee, hunger, mosquito bites, or diarrhea. Each card has a small picture representing each herb that can help with the trouble. You can match the small pictures with the ones on the herb cards, so no reading or herb knowledge is required.

Wildcraft trouble cards
Trouble cards in Wildcraft.

Additional Downloads

One of the big complaints of this game is that it does not include what parts to harvest, how or when to harvest them, how to prepare them, how to take them, or how much to use. However, the game creators specifically point out that this isn’t included (and it wouldn’t be practical to include in the gameplay, anyway). But, when you purchase the game, you gain access to the online resources, which include downloads that you can print out.

free download of plant information
This is a page from the printable free download of extra plant information.
Wildcraft story
This is the beginning of the story you can print out to go along with your Wildcraft board game.

These downloads consist of a story you can read as you reach different points on the board, a pocket guide (which contains all the important information on harvesting and using the herbs), and a coloring book. I very much recommend using the downloads, especially the guide. For advanced gameplay, you could even have players describe how they would harvest and use each herb to cure their malady!

Gameplay is admittedly not the most exciting. It’s a basic board game with some shortcuts. Some of the spaces have you pull an herb card, some have you pull a trouble card, and there are some rest spaces, too. When you pull a trouble card, see if you can use one of your herbs to help yourself. If you can’t, another player can give you an herb card if they have a cooperation card. Once your trouble is cured, advance to the nearest rest space.

Wildcraft board, ready for play
Here is Wildcraft, all ready for play!

Our House Rules of Wildcraft

A trouble card (mosquito bite) and all the plant cards that can help with it.
Here you can see the mosquito bite trouble card and all the plant cards that will help. Notice how you can match up the small pictures on the plant cards with the pictures of the plants on the trouble card to help you choose the right plants.

My kids absolutely loved this game when they were really little. I think they were around 4 and 5 when we got it. Now that they’re older, they still enjoy it, but get a bit bored with it. To speed things up and work in a bit more math, we double every spin, so we move twice as far.

This brings us to another adaptation we made. My daughter especially was having issues with the spinner, so we started using a 6-sided die with it. This made things go much smoother.

In order to win, all players need to make it back down the mountain to Grandmother’s house before sunset. If you don’t, then she has to go looking for you and you don’t get huckleberry pie until tomorrow. It was the perfect low-consequences cooperative game for my son when he went through his super-competitive phase.

Wildcraft trouble card (burn) with healing plant cards
Here we have the burn trouble card with the plant cards that will help a burn. Look the plants up in the pocket guide to determine how best to use them!

Wildcraft is Still a Winner

Glossary in the downloadable pocket guide
Here is part of the glossary in the downloadable pocket guide with some basic explanations of different preparations.

Overall, we have a ton of fun with Wildcraft, though mostly because we’re silly about acting out our troubles. That, and we love herbs and knowing how they can help us. Wildcraft also works nicely with Herb Fairies, a 13-book series Learning Herbs has for kids. When I first bought the Herb Fairies books, they were only available on the Learning Herbs website, so I was pretty stoked to see them available on Amazon now.

Between Wildcraft, Herb Fairies, and the Kids Herb book I reviewed on the page of our favorite science books, your kids can gain a solid understanding of how plants can help them live happier, healthier lives.

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