Dear Mummy, it’s nearly the summer and you are planning days away and camping trips for when you feel better and weather starts improving. Orchard Toys have launched a new collection of six mini travel games in 2017, perfect for keeping children entertained while at home or away.
We couldn’t wait to try one and see whether it really was that compact and entertaining to amuse a 4-year-old like me. It was small enough that the post man even dropped it through our letterbox and I was eager to empty the contents of the colourful box out on our dinning room table.
All Orchard Toys games are designed with education and fun in mind. They work with educational advisors to ensure that skills necessary in the National Curriculum Key Stages and Early Years Foundation Stages are built into the games and jigsaws. It’s nice to think that teachers and early learning practitioners are happy to have these games in their schools and nurseries. In turn my folks are happy and reassured to have these games at home.
As this game is portable and travel-sized it’s going to be a welcomed addition on our camping trips and in our backpack. We could see the game coming out at picnics and to break up boredom in restaurants. Much better than a tablet or an app as it encourages active play with family and friends. At just £4.99 it’s the same price as some kids magazines! I’m sure this would last longer than a one time flick through!
The game we are reviewing is called Animal Families, based on the classic game of Happy Families. Designed for children aged 4 and over, players use their matching and memory skills to collect a variety of different families, from familiar animals such as lions to the more unusual ostrich family. The first person to collect all of their animal families wins!
It’s really simple to play and really addictive! We played six times in a row on our last play session and I never seem to get bored at beating my mummy! I helps develop my memory skills as I try to remember where I put certain cards back and I also try to trick my mummy using my strategy skills by not going for the obvious choice all the time. I really have this game sussed out!
I watch like a hawk when it’s the other players turn and the game is great for encouraging my observational skills. I love the little animal characters and the illustrations are modern and fun. The box contains 30 animal cards (10 families) and 2 wild cards which are all made out of bright, laminated durable cardboard.
- Shuffle the cards and spread them out, animal side down, in the centre of the table.
- For a more basic version of the game remove two sets of families and the wild cards.
- Take it in turns to pick up two cards from the centre.
- If the two cards are from the same family you may keep them but if they are different, show all players and return them face down to the centre of the table.
- If one of the cards you turn over matches a pair you have already collected, add that card to complete the family, returning the other card face down to the table.
- If a wild card is picked up, take a complete animal family from another player.
- The wild card is then taken out of the game.
- Continue to pick up and put down cards, two at a time, until all families of three have been collected.
- The winner is the player with the most sets of complete animal families.
The mini games would make great pocket-money toys, kids birthday gifts and Christmas stocking fillers. There are 12 more different versions too on their website and we can see us getting the whole mini range! They are available to buy at www.orchardtoys.com and all good retailers.
Love Bella x
Disclaimer: We were sent this game to play with and all thoughts are our own.