A bluffing card game, Stone Soup
helps children plan ahead and predict, read other people's faces, and learn when to take a risk. Bluffing is a skill that most children begin to develop at about age eight. Once they discover there are clues to what others may be thinking, and that they can fool them sometimes, they become fascinated by the bluff. Stone Soup lightens the deception with a warm and humorous narrative from the familiar folk tale.
Follow the sequence and take turns adding food cards to the pot. First potatoes, then tomatoes, and so on. Out of the right ingredient? Pass your turn with a dash-of-salt card or dare to bluff. You'll have to sneak to get rid of your stone cards - slip one into the pot and double your risk. Be the first to play all of your cards and win. When the game is over, follow Sally Sampson's Stoneless Stone Soup recipe to cook up a real pot of soup!
Your cauldron bubbleth over. The broth needs onion and sausage, but you're stuck with a mittful of cabbage and peas. What to do? Simmer down; if you're between a rock and a hard place, you'll just have to bluff your way through this recipe. And with Stone Soup, Gamewright's game du jour, the house special is deception, sneakiness, and crafty culinary card-play. Based loosely on the old folktale whereby reluctant villagers were enticed to enhance a "delicious soup of water and stones" by adding "just one more vegetable," Stone Soup consists of a 54-card ingredient deck dealt out and composing a consommé that must be assembled--in specific ingredient order--by placing cards face-down into the pot and hoping that no one calls a bluff. Oh, sure, it's delicious when tomatoes are called for and you have two tomato cards, but what do you do with your Stone cards except hope to sneak them in, face-down, by announcing "Here are four tomatoes!" Get busted and the penalty is severe: take all cards in the pot. Ditch 'em all, either by evading challenges to discards, or by completely honest card-play, and the only thing missing from your victory bouillon is salt and pebble... uh, pepper. --Tony Mason