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Criss-Cross Applesauce


Criss Cross Applesauce is a captivating game that nurtures early literacy and critical thinking skills. Children draw cards which challenge them to trace a letter, act out a movement or pretend to be an animal/object.

Skill Development:
Ease of Use:
Age: 3+ years

Read our expert reviews →


Sit down, hold the Talking Stick, and draw a card. This engaging game encourages children to learn through play without even realising it. The game includes 48 fun activities designed to promote learning and development in a playful way.

Features include:

  • Interactive Play: Act out various activities such as tracing letters, roaring like a lion, or doing jumping jacks.
  • Turn-Taking: Pass the Talking Stick to the next player, promoting social skills and patience.
  • Memory Challenge: Use memory skills to remember and act out different activities.

Recommended by Dr Gummer’s Good Play Guide, this game is a fantastic way to foster learning while ensuring children have a great time. It’s perfect for family game nights, classroom activities, or playdates. Get children engaged, active, and learning effortlessly with this enjoyable and educational game.

What our testers said

“Ribbet, ribbet”, “hiss, hiss” – Girl, aged 4, using animal noises to act out cards

“Do I need to pretend to be an elephant? I saw one at the zoo, a baby. I know what to do” – Girl, aged 3

What our experts think

The game proved engaging for several groups of children, across a range of ages from 3 to 8. Children in the testing session quickly picked up the purpose of the game and particularly enjoyed the pretending and acting element of the game, which ended in lots of laughter and provided great opportunities for developing children’s confidence and creativity.  The adult in charge focused on the acting element of the game – incorporating music and linking with animal noises – which was engaging for them, and gave them an opportunity to relate some of the pictures to their real-world experiences. 

The game is an excellent opportunity for children to be involved in a team game, practicing skills like resilience, good sportsmanship and teamwork. It also requires children to listen carefully to their peers and follow instructions. In a few of the sessions, some of the older children explained the rules of the game to the younger ones, helping them understand what they needed to do. 

Skills developed

– Encourages collaboration, listening and attention

– Develops creativity and role-play skills

– Practical use of phonics and letter recognition