Learning Through Play With Orchard Toys

Orchard Toys games have always been a permanent fixture in our house since Oscar was 2 years old. Our games draw in the playroom is full of them, some are almost 6 or 7 years old that I saved from Oscar for Archie to now play with. When Archie gets a party invitation 9 times out of 10 the present we give is always a Orchard Toys game as they are educational and super fun to play at the same time, which is definitely a win win from a parents point of view!

A few weeks ago we were kindly asked to review some of their new games which I knew the boys would love and get hours and hours of play out of. We love to play games as a family and every Sunday when they see their grandparents we try to always take over a game to all sit and play together.

My most favourite thing about the games and puzzles are that they really promote learning through play. Archie is almost 5 and is really enjoying learning is letters and numbers at the moment and being the little Brother is eager to catch up to Oscar. Oscar is 9 and even though most of the games are for a slightly younger age group he has enjoyed playing them with Archie and you can see a great sense of pride when he helps Archie to learn new things.

Archie loves doing jigsaw puzzles and we were kindly gifted two from their range; Number Street and the Giant Road. Number Street has lovely chunky pieces which are perfect for little hands and is aimed at ages 2-5. You have to piece together the number line, recognising the numbers and then counting the correct number of animals to play above the number. This is great for number recognition as well as counting objects aloud. Obviously for 2 year old’s its great for recognising and naming colours and animals too. Now Archie is 5 and secure with 1-10 we tried maths, for example how many more butterflies are there than the giraffes. We had so much fun with this puzzle!

The Giant Road was a big hit as Archie is car crazy. He loves playing with cars and makes huge traffic jam lines. The Giant Road is a huge interchangeable floor puzzle where you can create lots of different road maps to drive your toy cars on. You can also purchase expansion packs to make your road as big as you would like it. I have actually purchased this to go in Archie’s stocking for Christmas. There are other similar jigsaws available like the Giant Town and the Giant Railway.

Archie’s favourite of the bits we were gifted has been Little Bus Lotto. He has played this literally everyday since it arrived. Its for up to 4 players so we have each had a bus and he has loved it. Its a game of memory and matching and over the last week he has become so good at it. It is easy for him to understand which is great and something the boys who have a 5 year age gap can play together and both get really involved. It is amazing how competitive they get!

Llamas in Pyjamas is a matching game from the mini games range. Each player starts with a pyjama bottom card. The aim of the game is to be the player with the most matching Llamas In Pyjamas. It can be quite a fast game when the players get competitive and the boys got really excited playing. The Mini Games range is fantastic, we have a few now and the boxes are small enough to put in your bag when travelling or to take to a friend’s house to play. At only £5 each they make great birthday party gifts and are the perfect price point for Christmas stocking fillers.

Giraffes In Scarves is a great game to boost colour matching skills and counting too. This was probably the first game for Archie using a dice, which admittedly took a couple of attempts for him to not turn it onto the colour he wanted, haha! Once he got it the actual game is really simple, you have to roll the dice, pick a card and build your giraffes neck taller and taller. The winner who is whoever collects the most scarves. This is for ages 4-7 so is perfect for Archie and his learning age. It is great to take around to his grandparents to play is for 2-6 players.

The Knights and Dragons game is again a game of collecting cards and matching them. There are 40 cards; 20 Knight tops and 20 bottoms and you need to match and collect as many as you can. Archie thoroughly enjoyed this game and loved the brightly coloured pieces. You have to watch out for the Dragon in the pack of cards and he found it very funny when someone else got them. These games are only £8 and are so well made, they are really chunky pieces that don’t bend or break easily. Once again the price point is perfect for a birthday or Christmas gift. The games really do last for years.

There is a great first games selection for children of 18 months and over. At this age children are super inquisitive and are learning all the time from everything around them. They also reach lots of different milestones between 18 months and 3 years and absorb so much information. This range from Orchard Toys is great way to introduce gameplay, turn-taking and other early learning skills with chunky, wipe-clean pieces which are ideal for little hands. We were sent Mummy and Baby and Farmyard Heads and Tails which are both 2 piece games. Mummy and Baby is a two piece puzzle, with 6 different puzzles in the box. They are all different animals and the perfect set of first puzzles. The two pieces slot together easily and are great for hand-eye coordination. Farmyard Heads and Tails is a matching activity games, matching the different halves of animals, a tractor and the farmer. There are 12 pairs to match and you can also use cards to play a game of pairs. As Archie is older he preferred to play this version of the game.

A brand new game from Orchard Toys is Rainbow Unicorns. This is for age 3-5 and for 2-4 players. It is one game but with two ways to play, so there is hours of fun! It is a fun and colourful matching game where players must gallop over the rainbow, match the Unicorn heads and tails along the way to reach the pot of gold at the end. Each player has a coloured Unicorn player piece and if you come across a sad cloud card the play passes to the next person. You can also go on the Orchard Toys where they have lots of free downloadable activities from crafts to recipes. To match this game you can download a Unicorn colouring sheet.

Talking of fun activities, their colouring and activity books are fantastic. Archie loves to sit down and colour and draw and these books have also been a must for us when travelling, they provide hours of entertainment on a plane. We have the Jungle sticker colouring book and the More Things To Do sticker activity book. The More Things To Do sticker activity book is full of colouring, puzzles, odd ones out, wordsearches, dot to dot’s, crosswords and much more. The books are £3 each.

Match and Spell is a great game for Archie at the moment as he is learning to read and is always sounding out his letters to blend them together to make the correct word. Match and Spell is a spelling and reading game. It helps Archie to recognise his letters and Orchard Toys also have the next level games available to really help along the reading learning journey. I really liked this game and without had so much fun without Archie even realising he was learning along the way. You can play the game in two different ways; you can either match the letter cards to the letters shown on their board in the correct order to build a word or in the more challenging version of the game, players can use the blank side of their boards and use the letter cards to build the word of the picture shown which really helps with spellings.

Last but not least and the biggest game of all with 300 hilarious challenges is What A Performance! The aim of the game is to be the first person or team around the board to win. Along the way there are tasks like making animal sounds, different actions and fun activities. Oscar and Archie loved the magic decoder which gives out hidden forfeits too. This is great for a family fun game for all ages so everyone can get involved. We will definitely be playing this on Christmas Day with the whole family!

Orchard Toys really do make amazing educational games that are full of fun! The Educational games, jigsaws and colouring books make the perfect Christmas gifts for children! I have brought a few mini games as stocking fillers and some of the games from their French range as Oscar and Archie both learn French in school.

 

*Disclaimer: We were gifted the above mentioned games and activities by Orchard Toys. All opinions are honest and my own and we love the brand and have used them ourselves for many years.

 

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