Aurelia first received an Orchard Toys game for her 3rd birthday. Since then, she has asked for a new game from this range each birthday and Christmas. Now, a 5-year-old Aurelia has several of these wonderful games in her collection.
Orchard Toys is a UK based company who have been making toys for over 40 years. The motto of the brand is “Learning made fun” and the company certainly delivers this promise in each and every game they produce. Unlike some traditional board games, Orchard Toys encourage learning through mathematics. Children will also develop memory skills. These marvellous toys enable you to introduce your child to board games with simple, uncomplicated rules so they can then move on to more complex games as they grow.
The Bus Stop Game
The rules of the game are, like all Orchard Toys, extremely straightforward. Each player chooses a movable bus piece along with a cardboard bus of the corresponding colour. A passenger is pictured on each counter. The object of the game is to reach the finish line with the most number of passengers on your bus. Each of the squares on the board contains either a plus or minus symbol. The player rolls the two dice. The white dice displays how many squares the player is to move. The red dice reveals the number of passengers they are to either collect (if landed on a plus square) or the number of passengers they loose (if landed on a minus square).
All Orchard Toys are extremely versatile, as we found with the Bus Stop game. We extended play by only finishing the game when one player’s bus had been completely filled before reaching the finish line.
We also played the game differently by rolling the dice and moving the total number of moves on both dice. (Aurelia added the 2 numbers together) .We then collected or lost only one passenger per square.
Without realising it, Aurelia was performing additions and subtractions as she had to work out how many passengers to collect or to take away. She would count how many passengers she needed to win throughout the game.
The Chef Game
Each player chooses a board with a recipe. For instance, Cottage Pie. The ingredients for the meal are pictured on the board. Tiles with the corresponding pictured ingredients are then placed face down. Each player must find their own ingredients, such a mince, onions etc and fill their board with the correct tiles.
Once the player has collected all the ingredients, they must spin the spinner. When the arrow lands on a plate, a plate can then be added to the board. On the next turn, the player spins the spinner once more and if the arrow lands on the eating image, then they try to find the tile with their completed meal.
This game is excellent as it develops children’s memory skills. If a player chooses a tile they do not need, they return it, face down amongst the other tiles. Other players then try to remember where their ingredients are if another player has previously picked them up.
Aurelia also understands that a variety of ingredients are needed to make a meal. She even reminds me what they are when I’m cooking!
Match and Spell
The aim of the game is as the title suggests. This game uses cards spelling out either 3 or 4 letter words. The players share out these double-sided cards and mix up tiles upon which are various letters of the alphabet. Younger players can find and match each tile with the word displayed on each card.
Children can say each word phonetically making it much easier for them to spell, e.g. cat, frog and rat. Many of the words in this particular game appear in Aurelia’s school reading books. Playing the game makes her feel as though she’s engaging in a fun homework activity (and she feels very grown up!).
The Shopping List Game
The final Orchard Toys game I want to tell you about is the Shopping List Game. This is the most simplistic game of them all. Each player chooses a shopping list and a basket or trolley. Players then take it in turns to complete their shopping list with the items pictured on the tiles. The tiles are placed face down. If a player chooses a tile with an item that is not on his/her shopping list, they return it alongside the others. This is another game which develops and tests children’s memory skills (and adults for that matter too).
If you have children under the age of 6, I simply cannot recommend orchard Toys enough! The games are such fun for children to play, as well as for parents too. We even played the chef game on Christmas day with the whole family (the adults became rather competitive!)
These wonderful games can be purchased from the Orchard Toys website as well as all good toys stores and range in price from approximately £6.00 to £15.00. The products are extremely well made and durable.
Orchard Toys are educational yet entertaining and will provide hours and hours of play.