A few months ago I decided that I wanted to increase the games in our cupboards to give my six and soon-to-be four year old opportunities to play games together. It’s a great boredom buster for when they’re not feeling creative, and as fun as toy and imagination games are it’s wonderful watching them play the games with their predetermined rules, then changing and adapting them to fit their own preferred way to play.

The newest game in our repertoire is Don’t Rock The Boat, a University Games offering that is as frustrating as it is fun and always brings about much laughter and noise from my two.

While Don’t Rock the Boat is intended for 2 – 4 players, it also works really well for single players: just see how many penguins you can get on the ship before it topples over. It’s a personal challenge then, and my oldest enjoys that particularly.

Don’t Rock the Boat comes with a plastic ship with three masts, two piece water wave (which is the wobbly bit that the ship balances on) and 16 pirate penguins. The aim of the game is to get as many penguins on the ship as possible without causing it to tip off the wave. The person that topples the ship, loses.

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Things we love about Don’t Rock The Boat


It may not seem like it at first glance, but this is a great game for strategic planning, thinking ahead and learning about balance, and also cause and effect: too many pirates in one place will cause your boat to topple. It’s a great life lesson, really.

Also, this game may be all plastic, but it doesn’t require any batteries, which makes me love it even more. The only noise comes from the children, and the falling ship, not from unnecessary sounds and lights.

It’s really fun and one of those games that can inspire guffaws of laughter.

Fun and games this morning with #dontrocktheboat from @universitygamesuk #familygames #gamesforkids

A photo posted by Luschka (@luschkavo) on

Things we don’t love about Don’t Rock The Boat

Nope, nothing. There’s really nothing to dislike. Okay, maybe one thing – it would have been cool if you could store the penguins in the hold of the ship. But that’s being picky.

Where can I buy Don’t Rock The Boat

This game is available in all the usual places – Tesco, Amazon*, Toys R Us & The Happy Puzzle Company* with prices ranging from £10.12 to £18.99


Don’t Rock The Boat University Games Review

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