We have found a recent love for Orchard games and while searching Amazon I came across this Crazy chef's game. The reason I purchased it was because it sounds similar to the shopping list game, but they had added an extra part at the end on the game to make it last longer. This game is suitable from three to seven year old children but the whole family can join in. It can host up to five players at once and has everything you need inside the box. It retails at around £8 but Amazon often has them on offer so we picked ours up for closer to £5. For the money we paid the quality is fantastic and they definitely have the target age range in mind when they designed it. The pieces are durable and colourful, so they are appealing to young children while still being practical for them to use.
In the box you receive 5 different place cards. On these cards are different cooked meals. Most of them were instantly recognisable to my children like cakes and pizza but they also include things like Kebabs so its adds a little variation to the dishes available to cook. On these place mats is an animated chef whom my children thought was brilliant. This usually means my children choose their card by the chef rather than the dish, but each time they get excited as there are five different cards to choose from. There are boys and girls to choose from and they are all animated and fun so inviting for children.
Next there are the ingredients to add to your card before you can cook your dinner. They also have utensils included in the items needed to cook the final meal which I thought was great as it introduces both foods and utensils at the same time. There are five plates to dish the cooked meal onto and one colourful spinner which is needed later in the game. Finally are the finished dishes. Although they are pictured on the main game cards in the corner to give the children an idea of what they are making there are cards included to put on the plate when completed to make it a little more fun.
===How to play===
The game is very similar to the shopping list game. Each child picks a finished meal card to cook. Then all of the ingredient cards and utensil cards are placed fat down on the table. Each player takes it in turns to turn a card over and check to see if it is on their place mat. If not they show it to everyone else in case they have it on their card, and turn it face down on the table. Each person takes their turn and continues this until you have all of the ingredients and utensils on your card. Then you turn to the game spinner. On this are different pictures including a plate which needs to be spun first so they can win one of the plate pieces to put their food on. Next they need to spin and land on the waiting child picture, so they can wait for their game to cook. Finally they need to plate their food up and eat their meal. The winner is the first person to achieve all these steps and place their food on the plate.
This game is perfect for teaching young children to wait and take turns, helps boost their memory skills and introduces them to everyday items. While introducing them to all these different things they still manage to make it a fun game that your child will want to play over and over again. As there are seven pieces to find on each card to find and five cards in total I do feel it can be hard for younger children to remember a massive 35 cards where theirs are after they are picked. For this reason I do have to set this up for them especially if only two are playing. By removing a few of the cards and their matching pieces it simplifies it for my children two, four and five. As they get older it can become more challenging as they will have to remember all the cards, but for now this is how we play it.
What we love about this game is that not only is it fun, but it gets children thinking about what goes into a meal. I have tried on many occasions to get them more involved with making their meals so they would eat a larger variation but nothing seemed to work. Since we have began playing this game my little girl will pop her head in the kitchen and ask what we are having for dinner tonight. She will look at the different ingredients and realised food does not just materialise on a plate and she has shown more interest in her meals. Also some of the ingredients are completely new to my children like spring onions and prawns. They were confused as to what they were but now they notice them while we are shopping .On top of all the other advantages it also helps children recognise kitchen equipment. It may only be learning simple things but they are all things that can be used in day to day life like a wok and other items.
Just like other games in the Orchard range we found this was perfect for all the family to play. It is more complicated with more players so we tend to stick to two or three of us playing at once as the children are so young. It is not a game I dread playing over and over again, and I am happy when this is picked out of the board games as I actually enjoy it. It is practical for younger children but still has a lovely family appeal as we can all play it together. The items are all clearly marked on the card in fun illustrations so they are recognisable to children and fun. The bright colours are engaging so they hold little ones attention while introducing them to new things. Little touches like having to place the finished meal in the chefs waiting hands seem to be amazing to my children. They still giggle each time they complete their meal and place it in the hands.
My children really love this game. It is the simple things like having to actually win a plate from the spinner, and then the cardboard cut outs of the finished product too. This gives them a sense of achievement and gives them something to show for all their hard work. They never seem to get bored of this game. We have played it over and over, but still it is one of the first to come down from the cupboard. The bright colours and simple memory game seems to be enough to keep them interested which is a nice break from all the flashy lights and noise. It is something I can give them to play independently, but we find it is much more fun with everyone taking part.
This is another fantastic addition to our set from this range. It is more complicated than shopping list, and can be rather hard if all the pieces are put into play. The pieces are small so again they can be lost easily so you need to be very careful with them. Even at the full retail of £8 this is a fantastic toy that seems to appeal to each and every child that comes to play. It is simple yet interesting for younger children and still promotes a range of educational skills which is great. I would highly recommend this to anyone with young children as it is the perfect board game.
Since discovering the British made Orchard Toys range of board and card games via positive reviews, I've grown to love the brand and have come to own a number of different games for my children. 'Crazy Chefs' is our latest acquisition, currently available for £7 on Amazon.
Aimed at children from three up to seven years old, this game is a fun combination of a classic 'memory' style game with the added interest of collecting the ingredients and cooking equipment necessary to create specific meals. Up to five players can join in each game, making it great for large families or nursery type settings, with five potential meals to create. The choices are fairly well balanced, ranging from family favourites such as shepherd's pie and pizza through to more exotic fare like kebabs and a seafood dish (which my children refuse to choose, even though they know they haven't really got to make and eat the finished dish!) There is even a rather feminine looking card featuring some fairy cakes for pudding, although again my boys refuse to choose this option, with my five year old son insisting that this (pink) card is just for girls! That aside, this game should appeal equally to both boys and girls within the target age range.
The rules to the game are pretty straightforward and easy enough for even very young children to grasp, with each child choosing a meal card and taking turns to collect the items shown on their cards. As with many of the Orchard Toys range, there is some scope for the rules to be adapted slightly to accommodate the needs and patience of the child(ren) playing.
I did try and remove the slightly tricky 'memory' aspect of the game, to include my two year old son, by placing all of the ingredient/utensil cards face up so there was no need to remember where the different cards were positioned. Instead, I utilised the spinner from the onset of the game and each player was allowed to select a necessary ingredient whenever they landed on a smiling child's face. This method was a lot quicker than the official version although not as challenging or as much fun for any older children.
I think the recommended age range of 3-7 years is fairly accurate. At five, my middle son is happy to play this but it isn't complex enough to hold the attention of a child much older than seven. My two year old son doesn't as yet have the patience to sit through an entire game of this, without the game being heavily modified as described above - although he does find the spinner pretty entertaining. (Kids seem to find taking turns with a spinner much more fun than using a standard dice.)
My youngest son has also tested the quality of the cards to their limits, by sinking his teeth into one of the ingredient cards. Fortunately, one of the reasons that I like Orchard Toys products so much is that they are really robust and can withstand regular play and mistreatment. There are quite a few separate playing pieces within this set, so there is the potential for items to go missing, but the box supplied is pretty durable and very compact, so everything should really be kept secure between uses.
Like the majority of the Orchard Toys range, the game manages to balance being fun, suitably challenging and entertaining for very young players whilst also subtly introducing lots of educational aspects within regular game play. Here the focus is on observation and social skills as the base of the box confirms. I also feel that the game opens up the potential for a much wider discussion around topics such as food groups, balanced diets, cooking methods and dishes enjoyed by other countries, amongst others. All of this can be managed fairly easily without losing a child's interest, simply through the use of a few card pieces and a colourful spinner!
Whilst this isn't my or my five year old son's favourite game, it is one that is played with regularly and combines fun with unobtrusive learning opportunities. For anywhere around the £5-£7 mark, this makes a good value and long-lasting gift for children around 3-6 years old. I've repeatedly purchased this particular game as birthday party gifts for my son's friends. and can wholeheartedly recommend this and the Orchard Toys range in general.
Both my son and I have got a great deal of entertainment and that has helped his educationally by Orchard Games. I bought this game for £3.50 when it was on offer. I do find that some Orchard games can be quite similar but this one looked very different to the other games he owned.
Orchard Game as are British makers of quality board games and puzzles. These are quality products which don't focus on the current marketing trends so these games don't go out of Fashion.
The game Crazy chef is designed for between 2-5 players with an age recommendation of 3-7 years of age.
Setting up the game
To set up the game each player decides which dish they want to create. You have a choice of prawn noodles, cottage pie, fairy cakes, Pizza and Kebabs. Each player selects the board that goes with the dish. All the small cards are placed face down, the empty plates are put in a pile and the finished meals are also put on one side for near the end of the game. The game also comes with a spinner but again this is not needed at the beginning of the game.
The game starts with choosing who goes first, Orchard do state on all their games the youngest player goes first but this is something I disagree with so always chose to ignore it. The players take turns to turn over one of the 35 small game tiles and check whether the ingredient is one needed for their dish. If it is then they place it on their food board and if not then it is returned face down to its original spot. The idea is to collect all your ingredients to progress to the next stage of the game. Once you have all the ingredients for your dish then you spin the spinner on your next turn. The spinner has two plates and four children. First you need to land on the plate to get an empty plate to serve your dish on. This is placed on the hands the image of your chef on your food board, it makes it look like the chef is actually carrying the plate. On your next turn you need to spin and land on a child to complete you dish. The completed dish card is placed on the empty plate. The game does continue to give everyone a chance to finish but the winner is the person who finishes first.
I have to say I am happy that my son doesn't just pick the cakes to cook he will cook a variety of meals. I do think it is actually a great idea for helping children to understand the ingredients that go into a meal as well as the utensils that are used in creating a dish and it doesn't appear magically on a plate by the food fairies. I started playing this game with my son when he was three and as a result we had to simplify the game. remembering which card out of 35 he had checked was far too many to we played a far less competitive version which meant when we played we simply checked every ones card. If it was an ingredient not used we put it on one side. This meant that the game did have a completion point. I found that although my son does already know many ingredients he didn't know a few such as spring onions and for any child who had little knowledge of different foods and opportunity to learn. Now my son is at school I was amused that he thought the mince for the cottage pie was Quorn as it is regularly featured on his school dinner Menu. I have found the spinner does need to be on a fairy hard surface but spins freely.
I do find due to the way we play this game it is quite a chance of who actually wins and I do not let my son win games all the time not because I can't bear losing but simply I think it teaches them how to cope with winning and losing. If I win I don't make too much of a song and dance and if he wins I do shake his hand and say well done. I am hoping that my modelling how to deal with winning and losing does rub off on him when he is playing with his peers.
Overall this is a game we do play regularly. He enjoys it as much a year and a half later. The game still looks like new which is reflective of the quality I have grown to expect with Orchard Games. I do think this helps children with learning about cooking, Learning taking turns and social skills and sharing. If played the traditional way it does help with memory skills.
Summary and Availability
This is a game that I would recommend certainly for children aged 3-6. This game is easy to adapt to the ability level of the child, This game is currently available on Amazon for £6.70 and while I paid less I still do think this is very good value.
Orchard Toys can rarely be criticised and Crazy Chefs is no exception.
The game is a very simple memory and matching game. Each player has a card depicting a meal and the ingredients/utensils required to make it. The smaller cards are then placed face down. Players take it in turns to try and collect the necessary items required to make their meal. Once all the items are collected the player then has to spin a dial to win a plate, then the meal itself. (this last bit is a great addition to the game as it gives other players chance to catch up with collecting their ingredients! Particularly good if playing with children of different ages).
It is also great for teaching children about food, my daughter loves unpacking the shopping so knows most of her food types, but even so there were some that she has learnt through playing this game.
As with all Orchard games the quality is superb. The cards are all strong and made to last. The box is also sturdy and opens at the top so children can carry it around without all the pieces falling out. (I'm so glad the old box/lid design seems to be going out of the window!). It is also a nice and compact game, great for taking on holiday!
My daughter and her friends all turned 3 within a few weeks of each other, and I bought them all Crazy Chefs! It was a resounding success with all of them....to the point that their parents were sick to death of playing it!
One of the many joys of being an Uncle rather than a Parent is that I get to hand back my Nephew at the end of the day, without having to deal with the tantrums and crisis's that inevitably go hand in hand with a four year old boy. Of course while he is in my control I have to make sure I fulfil my role as doting Uncle by entertaining, educating and amazing in equal measure, and while I try my hardest to rely on my wits for this purpose I do occasionally need outside help. Being a Chef I wanted to find a game or toy in a similar vein, to show my Nephew what it was I did for a living, and to interest him and maybe even get him to follow in his Uncles footsteps! After a little searching I found a game called Crazy Chefs made by Orchard Toys, since they were a company I'd heard good things of and because the game was described as a memory game, blending enjoyment and education, I purchased it without delay.
What's in the box?
Firstly you get five brightly coloured place mat style boards with a happy chef holding a dish. There are seven squares around the edge of the board with little pictures of ingredients, as well as the completed meal on the dish the chef has in his hands. Next you get thirty-five small square pieces each with a colour picture of an ingredient or utensil, be it peppers, flour or a frying pan. There are also five small plate shaped cardboard pieces and the same amount of the completed dish. Finally, you get a circular spinner with six equally sized sections, two featuring a picture of a plate, and the other four showing pictures of children with forks akimbo, ready to eat.
How to play
The box and instructions state that two to four people can play, but as there are five boards I see absolutely no reason why that number cannot play. The object of the game is to become the first player to collect all of the ingredients and utensils on your board. Players choose a board to play with; there are five to choose from each with the ingredients and utensils needed to prepare your dish. The dishes are Shepherd's Pie, Kebabs, Fairy Cakes, Pizza and Shrimp with Noodles. Next, all of the small ingredient and utensils squares are placed face down on the table, players take it in turn to pick up a square and try to match it with one they need for their board. If the square does not match it is placed face down on the table again and play moves to the next person. If the picked up square does match one of the ingredients or utensils needed you place it on your board. Once all seven ingredients and utensils are successfully picked up and the board is full the spinner comes into play. When it's the turn of the person who has a full board they spin with the hope of landing on the plate icon, if this happens an empty plate is placed on the board, if it doesn't happen play simply moves on and another spin is taken when it becomes the persons turn again. Once the plate has been won another spin is needed where the icon required is of a child sat at the table, once this is successfully spun to the dish is completed and that player wins.
Once a child gets a favourite game then it's inevitable that that game gets played to destruction time and time again. This is the case with my Nephew and Crazy Chefs, and while lesser games might have me climbing the walls rather than yet another outing, Crazy Chefs is interesting and engaging enough that it doesn't get boring. It's a great test of memory, trying to remember where that ingredient square you need is harder than you'd think, yet my four year old opponent manages it well. The colours and pictures on the boards and squares are all bold and colourful, and the emphasis on fun learning is such that memory and observation skills are tested without realising it. It is also a good opportunity to point out what each of the ingredients is and further educate in that way. Four stars out of five from me, at only three to four pounds this is a well thought out and interesting game with plenty of replay appeal and learning potential. Now if I can only work out a way of winning once in a while I'll be sorted, my family think I let my Nephew win, if only I was that good!
Join the chefs in the crazy kitchen and collect everything they need to make a meal. Then grab your plate and wait for your dish to cook! Will you be the first to serve up a tasty treat?