Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Orchard Toys

We were lucky enough to receive some lovely Orchard Toys for Christmas from a relative, and it really has been one of the best presents they received.

Having games that are simple enough for the whole family, or even just the two children, to play together has been so much fun. We have put together a games cupboard over the years, and whilst its always been in reach, we've told the children that they cannot play games without adult supervision because of small parts that might get lost.

Not so with orchard toys. In fact the game pieces are chunky and vibrant enough for a two year old to tidy up by herself and be confident that she has got every piece.

The easiest game, that the children play happily together without adult intervention, is 'Farmer's Lotto'. Everyone takes a card, then you take turns to turn over a card and see if it matches your card. The first person to fill their card wins. The catch is that you have to say the name of the animal and make the sound it makes if you want to keep the card.

Farmer's Lotto
Simple enough for a small child to play, but really helpful for our littlest in building confidence to speak (she has a mild speech delay).

The second game is called 'slug in a jug' and is slightly more difficult, but is doing wonders for her sight word recognition and for her brothers ability to create sentences.

It's basically pairs, but instead of matching, you have to find a rhyme! Each card has a picture on it, but also the word printed in bold so that whilst the child gets a big hint from the picture, they are still seeing the word.

Phonemes are colour coded so that children can easily see that "ea" in "pea" rhymes with "ey" in "key" or that "bowl", "mole" and "goal" all rhyme, despite their different spellings.

Slug in a Jug
For our youngest, she simply has to say the words and recognise whether they rhyme. For our son, and any adults playing, you have to say a sentence including the two words - hence the name "slug in a jug".

They're great games, and honestly slug I'm a jug would be easily replicated with homemade flash cards.

The official Orchard Toys cards are really nicely made though, and I highly recommend them.


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