I cannot be the only parent who sometimes looks at half term with a little bit of dread. Don’t get me wrong, I love not having to get up and out of the door by 8.30am, the fact that we can stay in our pyjamas all day if we choose and the time I get to spend with Meg and Eli but sometimes I do wonder how I will keep them occupied.
Looking at the weather forecast for the October half term was a heart sinking moment…rain, rain and more rain. So how to keep them both busy and playing when they are bouncing off the walls come 3pm?!
Thankfully Learning Resources came to my rescue and sent us two board games to try out and I have to say, we are going to really enjoy bringing them out over the next week. I love Learning Resource products (the last one being one of my absolute favourites) and cannot say enough how well made, well thought out and educational their products and toys are and we have reviewed a number of their products over the last couple of years and never fail to be impressed.
First up was the Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel Game. Aimed at children aged 3+, this is a game for 2-4 players. You take it in turns to spin the spinner, follow the instructions and try to be the first player to fill your log with the coloured acorns. There are different ways you might gain advantages over another player (such as with the sneaky squirrel) or maybe even lose all your acorns if you spin a cloud.
This is what happens when your sister spins a sneaky squirrel…
Things we liked about this game:-
* It is brilliant for helping with fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination, something we have been working on a lot with Eli recently.
* It’s mostly about luck but also about strategy; when a child spins a sneaky squirrel they have to think about which other player they want to take the acorn from and which colour etc
* It’s a fast paced game and lots of fun, great if you have children with short attention spans.
Next up was Robot Face Race. Aimed at children slightly older (4+) , again this is for 2-4 players. Players take it in turns to shake the robot randomizer (which contains 5 different coloured balls and the option for the them to land in the face, eyes, mouth and nose slots) and then it’s a race to find the matching robot face. The player who find the correct face first places their chosen coloured token onto the face and then play recommences.
The winner is the person who gets rid of their tokens first but beware, if you guess incorrectly, you have to miss a turn!
I would say the 4+ starting age is a little generous for this game; Eli is only a few months away from being 5 and he struggled to have the attention span to sit and look at the robot faces and try to match the features…perhaps it’s his personality as he is a little boy who likes to be constantly on the go and he just didn’t have the patience to methodically look at the faces until he found the right one. Perhaps something to think about if you have a child at the lower end of the recommended age bracket is that they made quickly lose interest if they don’t have adult assistance to play.
Meg certainly had no problems once she got the hang of it and even went on to win the game, much to her delight!
Things we liked about this game:-
* It teaches and reinforces colour recognition skills as there are various elements you have to match.
* It’s a good game for children who want something a bit more challenging.
* It’s a bit of a challenge for adults which I love!
The Robot Face Race and the Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game are both available from Learning Resources and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
We were sent both games for the purposes of this review. However all thoughts and opinions are our own.