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In our house we have numerous Orchard Toys games. I love their range they are educational yet my children find them fun. Everything about them is appealing to a young child in their fun and bright appearance and the fact they are also learning along the way is a bonus for me. One particular game is quite simple yet helps your child with their counting is called Spotty Dogs. This particular game belongs to my youngest son who is four years old. The Orchard Toys Spotty dog game is recommended for children aged 3 years to 6 years old. The game is very simple but quite fun to play. The game comes in a small bright box with dogs on the front with their bones. The box is roughly 19.5cms by 14.5cms and 5cms in depth. It is a perfect sized box to store away and unlike many games on the market doesn't come in an oversized box for the contents! The games consists of a small rules book, a strong cardboard spinner with numbers up to six on it and 24 small rectangular cards. The cards are again made from strong cardboard like the spinner. On one side of the card is a lovely picture of a dog. There are many different types of dogs on the cards some are stood up and some are laid down. Each dog will have some spots or no spots at all on their back. The pictures of the dogs are appealing to the children and do make it fun. On the other side of the card is a red basket with a certain number of bones in it. There are either no bones at all, 1 bone, 2 bones or 3 bones in the basket. There are actually 6 cards of each combination. And that is all the game includes. The idea of the game is each player (a maximum of 4 players can play) spins the spinner and whatever number the spinner stops on your have to pick a card up with a dog that has that many spots on its back. Of course it can have as many as six spots on its back. When they have picked a card it is kept by their side till the end. If there are no cards with that number of spots on the next player goes until all the dog cards have been picked up. At the end each player turns the cards over they have collected and then count the dog bones up. The winner is the player with the most bones. Nice and simple. My youngest son is four but he struggles to keep his concentration with games and his little mind often wonders but with this game the simplicity keeps him in it. He loves trying to find the right dog with the right amount of spots on and I have noticed over time he has got the concept of counting the spots in his head rather than pointing to each one. The end of course is a task as we have to count the bones up and he can often end up with a good size number. But in the last couple of months we have really been working on his number skills and now he manages to do this alone which he finds a real achievement for himself. My older son is nearly six and he still enjoys joining in when I am playing this with his younger brother and from time to time they will sit nicely and play it together. My eldest son is getting a bit older now and prefers games with a bit more tactical play but those cute dogs just draw him in! I am really pleased with this game and it has certainly aided in helping my son with his counting and number matching. It does say it has been linked with National Curriculum Math Key Stage 1 which is the Key stage my son is in. I love the fact we can play this together and he finds it fun whilst I know it is helping him with his counting. I would recommend that this game is more suited to children who are learning to count rather than a bit older child that confidently counts. Orchard toys Spotty dogs retails at £7.50 and can be bought from numerous places. I would highly recommend the game and many of the other Orchard Toys games too. You can often pick it up a little cheaper Tesco and Amazon both currently has it for sale at £6. I managed to grab myself a bargain last year at a Nearly new sale and paid £1.50 for it.
Another brilliant game from Orchard toys. I am a big fan of Or hard toys games and we have a number of them now, the latest being this brilliant counting game called Spotty dogs. My little girl actually picked this one out herself at the toy shop as she liked the dogs on the front and thought it would be a fun game with dogs. He came is for ages 3 to 6 and I definitely think 3 is a good starting age but once you get to 6 you should be able to count up to the number 6 so I think a 6 year old might find this game a bit too boring and would hopefully have moved onto something a it more age appropriate. The game is very simple to play but is great for leaning and I also find it quite fun too. We're quite a competitive family (I don't believe in "it's the taking part that counts", I believe in you play to win!) and it's quite a competitive game if you make it. The aim of the game is to collect the most bones out of all the players. The game has 24 cards and on the front of these cards is a picture of a dog with spots on. The dogs have either 1 to 6 spots and they are quite well drawn on so its easy to count the spots on the dogs. The dogs are really cute and are all different breeds too so it's nice to see different types of dogs. Then on the back of the card is a dog bed with either 1, 2, or 3 bones in it. The first player takes their turn and spins the spinner which has numbers 1 to 6 on it and where it lands tells you how many spots to look for on the dog. Once you have found that dog card you pick it and then turn it over to see how many bones you have. Unfortunately some dog beds don't have any bones at all. You take it in turns to spin until all the cards have gone and then you count up how many bones you have. I think this game is a brilliant way of introducing number DNA counting into a child's everyday play. My three year old loves this game and is brilliant at the counting and the numbers and its nice to be able to reinforce this with a fun game. According to the box, this game is linked with National Curriculum Maths key stage 1 and it helps to develop personal and social skills. A fun game out whole family enjoys.
Availability My daughter gets a bag of activities from school each week called a chatter matters bag, each bag has a story and some tasks such as drawing and counting and then there is a game. This game was in our recent chatter matters bag and she loved it so much I was made to play it every night we had it and now she will be receiving it from Santa for Christmas. The game is produced by Orchard Toys and sells for about £7 which I think is a good price for a game which can be played over and over and trust me ours certainly will be.The game comes packaged in a cardboard box which is sturdy so keeps the pieces well and brightly coloured. The front of the box is green in colour with 3 different dogs on the front of it sat behind a dog bed containing a couple of bones. The box states the game is for sges 3-6 but I would think a child aged 6 would probably find this a little boring as I would expect they would know their numbers well enough by then. The Contents The box contains 6 different types of doggy cards with four of each different card, each card has a different dog on the front of the card with a different number of spots on it, the reverse of the card has a dog basket on it with either 0, 1, 2 or 3 bones in the basket. Inside the box there is also a spinner which has the numbers 1 to 6 on it on either a blue, green or red background and a black piece of plastic in the middle to spin along with four little dogs heads one in each corner. To Play The idea of the game is that you spin the spinner and then pick the card with the corresponding number of spots on the dog, you turn over the card and see how many bones you have. You play the game until all cards have been turned over akthough this can take a while when you get to the last couple of cards. When you finish turning the cards over you count up to see how many bones each person has collected and the one with the most is the winner. Our Opinions This game is pretty quick to play which I always like as it means if I only have a spare ten minutes I can still play a game with my daughter and feel I have had some one on one time with her. The game is very brightly coloured making it attractive to little ones and my daughter loves dogs so this is an added bonus for her. The pieces are made of hard board making then sturdy and they are also wipes clean which is another great thing with little grubby fingers. The game is very simple to play although at first my daughter was counting the number of cards she had with bones on rather than counting the actual bones and it took to about the third night of playing to game before she accepted she needed to count the bones (she is very stubborn) My only issue with the game is the spinner and I feel it would probably be better playing the game with a dice as you have to hold the board spinner down with one finger to be able to set it spinning which means you could cheat and manage to direct the spinner although my daughter at 4 years hasn't worked this out yet although i'm sure it is a matter of time. I think this game is great and so did my daughter, it helps children to count the spots on the dogs from 1 to 6 although there are 6 different dogs each with a different number to make this bit a little easier. The game also teaches your child to count higher when they are counting the bones they have collected and the game also helps your child learn to take turns and be patient when they don't manage to spin the correct number. I would recommend this game as we really enjoy it and it teaches your child through play so they don't realise they are actually learning something.