Training Games: Hungry as a Bear

April 4, 2021

by Ambie Valdés
This is part of a series called Training Games, where I review children's games when playing (with modified rules) with my twin toddlers. This review was written when my twins were 18 and a half months old.

Hungry as a Bear is a dexterity game where you feed different colored cardboard food tokens to a Bear. There’s a big cardboard plate and spoon that you use, and the bear stands up in the box and has a cut out mouth like a carnival game.

All of the pieces are cardboard except the die, and because the food pieces are smaller I didn’t introduce this one to my kids until after 18 months when they were slightly less likely to put everything in their mouths.

I decided not to use the die yet, but I tried getting them to feed the bear with the spoon at first. That was a little too difficult for them at 18 months, but then I showed them how to feed the bear just with our hands. Since they feed themselves with their hands, I figured that was appropriate! My babies love putting the food pieces into the mouth. Sometimes they try putting the plate and the spoon in too. I have to be there to make sure they don’t take the bear out of the box, and I also take out the “eaten” food to refill the food supply since they’re not playing with turns or for an end goal.

Baby A likes holding the food under the spoon and trying to feed everything to the bear!

The first day I played this with my kids, they wanted to play it again and again and we ended up playing it four times in a row (after putting the box away each time)! So it’s one of their favorite games now. I think there’s some cult of the new bias, but it’s also fun for them since they love games/toys that involve putting objects into other objects.

They're pretty good at putting the food in the mouth if they use their hands

Chew Test
  • Bear Standee: 3/5 - thick cardboard. On the table the whole time so shouldn’t get chewed much, but it holds up to hands trying to grab it
  • Food Pieces: 2/5 - thick cardboard but small pieces that can fit in the mouth
  • Plate/Spoon: 3/5 - thick cardboard, same as Bear standee but more likely to go in the mouth
  • Die: 4/5 - wooden and durable but can fit in the mouth
  • Box: 2/5 - thinner cardboard but should stay on the table the whole time (under/part of the bear)

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