Christmas is all the more magical since becoming a mother. Especially this year. Now that Little N is 3 years old he understands what Christmas is about and he recognises lots of things related to the festive season, like snow, Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees and, of course, presents! It makes the planning and preparation for Christmas so much more fun for me, knowing that my little boy is brimming with excitement. To get us in the festive spirit we have been playing the Orchard Toys Christmas Surprises game.
Orchard Toys is a British company that has been making educational games and puzzles for over 40 years. With the ethos of "learning made fun" their toys are bright and colourful, offer great value for money, and teach children about language, literacy, numbers, counting, matching, sorting, telling the time, colours, new words and also about sharing, as many of their games are multiplayer.
Orchard Toys Christmas Surprises* (£9.50) is a multiplayer game suitable for 2-4 players and it is aimed at children aged 3-6 years old. There are two games in one: it has a colour match game and a shape sorting game. Th game includes four large double-sided cardboard boards, two die, and several smaller cardboard pieces to go with each of the games.
Little N and I played the colour match game first. In this game each player has a Christmas tree and takes turns rolling the coloured dice. When the dice lands on a colour, you select a bauble with the same colour to put on your tree, and the first player to get all of the baubles on their tree wins!
Over the last couple of months Little N has been getting to grips with learning colours and this game was a fun way for him to practise and show his knowledge whilst still having fun. He found it a little frustrating when he rolled a colour that he already had, and he didn't understand why he couldn't just choose one of the colours that he needed, but considering this is first introduction to board games he did ever so well and was very patient.
Once we finished playing the colour match game, we moved on to playing the shape game. We turned our boards over to reveal Santa and his sack of presents. In this game each player takes turns to roll the dice and when the dice lands on a shape you can add that shaped present to your Santa sack. The first person to get all of the presents wins. With the shape game there is an added element of surprise; once the game is over you turn over the presents to see what is inside them!
Little N has only recently started to learn about shapes so this is a really good game for him and really tested his knowledge. Like with the colour game, he keeps trying to take the shape that he needs rather than waiting until he had rolled it; his impatience did make me laugh! I am sure that in time he will begin to better understand the rules of the game and why he must wait.
This is a fantastic game and has given us lots of fun, whilst helping Little N learn about shapes, colours and improving his coordination at the same time. It is perfect for his age and a great way to introduce him to board games - and get us all in the festive spirit! Pop over to Orchard Toys to find out more about Christmas Surprises and other games.