I love to support companies that had their start right here in my home state… especially when they make such great products. I’m still not sure it was just coincidence that they sent this Cheesehead family a cheese-themed game to try out. No gift guide for kids would be complete without a selection of great family-friendly games. Patch Products sent us a complimentary copy of Cheese Dip so that we could share our thoughts with you.
The game consists of a variety of cheesy letters (consonant letters are in yellow and vowels are in orange), four mice with long tails, word cards, and a die. You roll the die to see who gets to try to hook a letter. If you roll a cheese wedge, you have to put a letter back. The first person to spell their word wins.
It is a “cheesy” game, but that’s exactly what makes it fun for it’s target audience. It’s a fast-paced enough game to keep their attention and they are learning while they play. It can be surprisingly difficult to hook a letter with your mouse’s tail! We even added a little house rule that you lose your turn if you drop the letter or any fall out of the bowl while you’re going for a piece. Just in the short time we’ve had the game, our son Xander has started to spell basic words like “cat” and “ball.” Letters like M, W, N, and Z can be easily confused, so it helps to strengthen letter recognition skills. I like that there are a variety of cards to play the game. The cards are color-coordinated based on difficulty. Some have pictures and some do not. It’s a game that grows with your child. There is a huge potential for expansion packs here and I hope that they will do that.
The pieces are all very well designed for lots of game play. The cheese letters appear metallic in the product shots, but the are actually plastic. I personally prefer the plastic, because I think it is safer… less risk of sharp edges. The adorable mice are rubbery and flexible… pretty much like a rubber ducky. The die is large; even in my hand. The cards are made of a good heavy material and do not bend easily. The bowl holds everything when you’re not playing.
I’m not completely thrilled about the design of the packaging. The closing of the box makes me feel like I’m doing origami. I wish it was more a simple lift off top like the average board game. Also, the perfectionist in me wasn’t overly thrilled about needing to damage the box to remove some of the game pieces. We opted to just place everything the bowl and place it on a shelf. It’s not ideal, but the bowl is large enough to hold everything.
Overall, it’s a game that is fun to play and teaches at the same time… a winning combination! It would make a great gift for a pre-school aged child to a beginning reader. Would be wonderful for a family with a couple of young children. I love that it’s a game that can be played alone and as a family game. There have been several times he’s pulled this off his shelf to play while I was busy cooking dinner or knitting. When a child chooses to play a game that teaches, then it tells me it’s a great game!
Pros: It’s cheesy… in a good way! Easy to pick up gameplay. Multiple skill levels. Teaches letter recognition and beginning spelling. Potential for expansion.
Cons: Poor package design, but you can store in the game bowl.
The story of Patch begins in 1971, when brothers Fran and Bryce Patch started a commercial printing company in their hometown, Beloit, Wisconsin. The business was built by printing products for other companies: Fun items such as Trivial Pursuit game boards and Cabbage Patch doll sticker books were brought to life in the Patch facility. Patch took a leap forward in 1985 when Patch Products, Inc. was formed, and it began printing its own fun products!
Now children can practice spelling in a fun way with Cheese Dip™. Roll the die to see who gets to use their mouse tail to hook the cheesy letters, but be careful not to drop them! It’s a sneaky race to see who will spell their word first! Includes multiple word level difficulties to grow with children! Ages 3 & Up. For 1 to 4 players. ($17.99)