Tag Archives: learning

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.

 

The New Teletubbies Magazine Review

Two of Archie’s favourite things are reading books with Oscar and the Teletubbies that he watches religiously every morning before breakfast. So when we were asked to review the new Teletubbies magazine it was perfect for Archie.

When I gave it to Archie he immediately said ‘Eh-Oh’ and ‘Happy happy happy’ which is his new favourite saying! We sat at his little table and went through the magazine. It is full with fun and educational activities to keep your little toddler entertained for hours and with help your little one develop the early years skills they need. The magazine also came with a free Laa-Laa bedtime set which Archie put with his other Teletubbie toys. Archie is quite particular with his toys, just like Oscar was and when the Teletubbies come on the TV he always gets out all his toys around him.

Here is a short video to show you what Archie thought.

The magazine is jam packed full of activities from dot to dot, counting and a counting chart, colouring, stories, stickers, a dancing game and so much more. What I thought was a great touch is that the stickers are huge which are perfect for Archie’s small podgy little fingers and they didn’t just rip when he pulled them off the page which was great. Ripped stickers can lead to the nightmare of all meltdowns with a 21 month old!

Overall I am really impressed with the Teletubbies magazine and at only £2.99 for so many activities and a toy I think it is great value and will continue buying it for Archie as he has really enjoyed the first issue. 10 out of 10 from us!

Disclaimer: We were sent the Teletubbies magazine for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are honest and my own (and Archie’s).

Review: Orchard Toys Colour Match And Catch And Count Game

At the start of the week we received two new games from Orchard Toys for us (Oscar) to review. The two games are Colour Match and the Catch and Count game.



 The Colour Match game is a great game that promotes colour recognition and taught Oscar to arrange colours and objects into groups and piece them together. It has also helped him recognise the actual colour words as well. The game is aimed at children aged 3-7 and is part of the first puzzles range. The aim is to piece together the familiar objects to make 12 colour themed, self-corrective, 5 piece jigsaws. As well as the normal colours there is also a multicoloured one to match as well to make it a bit difficult. Oscar enjoyed this puzzle and was really proud of himself for being able to sit down and complete it all on his own. An educational yet fun puzzle means a big thumbs up from me!




The Catch and Count Game is for children aged 3-9 and is for 2-4 players. You have to spin the Octopus counter then you have to see how many fish you can catch whilst trying to avoid turning over the shark. I like playing games like this with Oscar as it teaches him to wait to take his turn and also that he can’t always win. This helps when he is playing games at school with his friends. The game also links with Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum Maths Key stage 1.


Both of these games are great fun and we have enjoyed playing them and will have plenty of fun playing them in the future!



Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for the purposes of reviewing, however all opinions were independently formed by Laura at Mummy’s Zone.


Bathtime Boo Glove, Soap and Bath Toy Review



Bathtime Boo Logo



We love bath time in our house and every evening Oscar pretty much always has a bath with Daddy. Oscar loves it and they are in the bath for ages playing and talking about what they have both done during the day. When the Bathtime Boo glove, soap and glow in the dark bath toy arrived for us to review Oscar couldn’t wait until bath time to show Daddy.




Bathtime Boo wanted to make sure that children could experience magical moments everyday creating more family laughs and smiles, while at the same time inspiring their imagination and creativity. With this one goal in mind, they asked themselves, ‘Why can’t bath time be playtime?’ They learnt what inspires children’s imagination through spending time with as many children, parents and families as we could and this is how Bathtime Boo was born!


                                      



On the Bathtime Boo website you can get the Boo glove, soap, glow in the dark toy and really cute toy. Oscar loved the Bathtime Boo character and even dried the toy off and took it to bed with him loving how it glowed! The towel looks great and you can simply put the towel on your little one to turn them into a Bathtime Boo and let them play and dry off at the same time.




There is also a Bathtime Boo story that I read to Oscar which really got his little imagination going!




This friendly little ghost has travelled through dimensions in his magical bathtub with one mission… TO MAKE BATHTIME FUN! This cheerful little ghoul is here to banish away bathtime blues, encourage more bathtime giggles and make bathtime a wickedly fun experience for you and your family. Bathtime Boo wants one thing – to bring LAUGHTER back to the bathroom, SMILES back to the shower, and CHUCKLES back in the bathtub, encouraging your little ones to creatively express themselves in and out of the bathroom. Armed with a wicked sense of imagination Bathtime Boo has a range of fun products that will help wash, clean and dry your child. Your child will have so much fun with Bathtime Boo they will be coming back for more.

So join Bathtime Boo in the fight against bathtime blues with his range of safe and fun products designed to put a smile on your child’s face.






Disclaimer: These products were sent to us for the purposes of reviewing, however all opinions were independently formed by Laura at Mummy’s Zone.

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Review: Oscar's very own Solar System from University Games

Night time in Oscar’s room has become great fun thanks to University Games sending us glow in the dark planets and stars that you can hang from your ceiling. We first saw these at the Toy Fair in January and thought they looked fab! I put them up in Oscar’s room a couple of weeks ago with the sticky tac provided and when it came to bedtime he had a huge surprise.

The tubes of 3D stars and planets come with everything you need to hang them up, string and tac to make your own solar system. This is such a fun way to teach your little ones about planets and stars. The 3D planets are only £4.99 and the 3D stars only £10.21 on amazon.co.uk
University games sell a full range of great explorations from the full solar system to solar system adhesives. They all also come with a full life time glow guarantee!

Oscar’s view from his bed.


These are absolutely great and really has made Oscar started asking questions about planets and stars and we have had to get children’s space books for him to look at so these sets from University Games are really educational.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for the purposes of reviewing, however all opinions were independently formed by Laura at Mummy’s Zone.

Orchard Toys Pigs In Pants and Rockets and Comets Games Review

A couple of weeks ago we received two games from Orchard Toys. The first game we played is Pigs In Pants. This is a game aimed at children aged 4-12. It is a fun and lively matching game! Be the player with the most pants on your pig, but beware of other players pinching them! Oscar loved this game and found the whole pigs in pants concept hilarious. He is very competitive and managed to ‘win’ each time we played. He has also been making funny pictures on his own out of the pig boards and pants. 



Oscar’s birthday was only a couple of weeks ago and we have always loved Orchard Toy’s games but it proved to me that it was a popular brand with the other parents as Oscar received five other Orchard Toy’s games as gifts.



Oscars Games he got for his birthday





Playing the Pigs In Pants game can also help with:



  • Encourages observational and strategic thinking.
  • Develops social communication and turn taking.
  • Develops matching and colour recognition.

The second game we received with has proved to be one of Oscar’s favourite games is the Rockets and Comets game. He had great fun over the weekend playing this with his Nanny’s and Grandad’s. It really teaches children to wait there turn and the easy to follow instructions meant Oscar picked up the game really quickly! The game is aimed at children aged 4-10. You Zoom up rockets, slide down comets and get sucked into black holes as you travel to the moon in this fun, space themed Snakes and Ladders game. It is also great for teaching children to add up numbers and to teach them the higher numbers. The educational benefits are:

  • Develops number and counting skills
  • Encourages social interaction – playing the game with others and taking turns
  • Teaches how to follow instructions


I am defiantly a fan of Orchard Toy Games for Oscar as they are really educational and great fun at the same time. They have a huge range of great games on their website and they are all at fantastic prices.

Disclaimer: These products were sent to us for the purposes of reviewing, however all opinions were independently formed by Laura and Oscar at Mummy’s Zone.

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