Check the Fridge!

Ages: 8 and upManufacturer: Melon Rind

Here’s an easy-to-play card game that proves you can count on vegetables—literally speaking! Each player starts with five cards dealt facedown from the deck of 48. Each card displays a number, plus one of five simply illustrated vegetables: cauliflower, peas, carrots, eggplants or radishes. There are also three “Smelly Cheese” cards shuffled in there stinking up the deck.

Players check their hands for sets (matching vegetable cards) whose numbers add up to 25. Turn by turn, players place down their sets for everyone to see, then draw the same number of cards from the deck. Don’t have an eggplant set of 25 but do have three eggplant cards that add up to 20? Ask for eggplants! Other players must then offer, facedown, all eggplant cards from their hands. What, no eggplants? Players can bluff by offering any cards they want to get rid of, especially any Smelly Cheese cards. The asking player must choose cards from one player; other players retrieve their cards. Play continues until all the deck’s Sets of 25 are matched. Each Set of 25 counts as one point; each Smelly Cheese card is minus one. Player with the highest point total wins. Kids will get small servings of addition-skills practice, strategic thinking, and learning to have a poker face.

Don Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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