It’s February half-term and, here in London, we’ve been lucky with the weather. No rainy days yet; but it has been extraordinarily cold, which means day trips that end as soon as the sun has dimmed. By four o’clock it’s time for home, hot chocolate, and some living room-based entertainment.
Luckily we were sent three Learning Resources games to try out for half term. We’re a big fan of Learning Resources; as well as making toys and games that are fun to play with, each toy also teaches the children, without them realising they’re learning.
The games arrived early, just in time for our weekend break in Deal. The first game we played, in between dashing to the beach to throw stones at the sea, was Frida’s Fruit Fiesta (RRP £20).
Frida’s Fruit Fiesta is aimed at children aged 4-8 and is designed to help them learn the alphabet, as well as improve their fine motor skills.
Letters are balanced on weeble-like bases and placed in the ‘rainforest’ – ie, the bottom half of the box. This was a neat, cheerily illustrated use of the base and meant the letters were all contained – useful for travelling.
To play the game, you have to spin three dials and pick whichever one is going to help you reach the goal: to get a row of letters on your ‘nest’ card. You have to use the ‘Frida Squeezer’ – ie the parrot’s beak – to pick up the letters, which adds an interesting twist to the game. The strategy element was a little beyond my daughter, who’s not yet four, but it did mean the game would still be interesting for children even after they’d completely mastered the alphabet.
Back home in London, we relived our seaside holiday by playing Sophie’s Seashell Scramble (RRP £20).
This Learning Resources game is aimed at a slightly broader age group: 2-11. It comes with a Sophie Otter, who picks up patterned shells with her paws. You have to spin the wheel, and depending on where the arrow falls you can either take a shell from Sophie’s pond in the base of the box, lose a shell, or steal one off another player. The aim is to fill your seashell board with shell counters that match the pictures on the board.
Everything about this game is appealing. The shells are pretty, and help with shape recognition. Picking them up using the Sophie Otter pincer develops fine motor skills. The underwater scene on the base of the box is attractive, and all the colours used in the set are subtle and tasteful. It’s a gentle game, perfect for drizzly afternoons indoors or even summer days out on the lawn.
The final game of the set was Bingo Bears (now £10.77), which both children told me was a firm favourite at their school and pre-school. After the muted shades of Sophie’s Seashell Scramble the primary colours of Bingo Bears were a bit of a shock; but it would be tricky to lose any of these bright little bears under the sofa:
This is the game my daughter (almost 4) has demanded we play the most. It’s aimed at 4-7 year olds, but I’d say it’s suitable for younger children too, depending on which version you play. Players each take a ‘bingo’ card, which you can either fill with numbers, or bears of different sizes and colours. And the spinner is double-sided, so you can turn it over depending on whether you’re playing with numbers or sizes/colours.
Bingo Bears is simple, which is why I think it was a big hit with my young daughter. And those different-sized bears are cute – she enjoyed sorting them into families.
So, three different games for rainy days. We’d take them on holiday with us again, in case the weather wasn’t on our side.
Which one do you like the look of the most?
We were sent Learning Resources games for the purpose of this post. All views are my own.
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