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At my daughters school they do what they call a Chatter Matters bags where they will bring home a different bag each week which will have games and activities in it all in line with a theme. My daughter brought home the ladybird bag and after playing this game she decided she loved it so we bought her it. The game is created by Orchard toys who make really fun yet educational games, I bought the game from Amazon as I have never seen any of these game in shops in the area and I found that Amazon seemed to be the cheapest on the internet at £5.99 with free delivery. The game comes in a sturdy cardboard box with pictures of ladybirds on the front, it is stated on the box that the game is for ages 3-7 years although I would say more 3-5 as my daughter is nearly 5 and the game is now getting a little too easy for her although she does still like playing the game. Inside the box you find 24 cards, there are 4 with one spot on the back, 4 with two spots, 4 with three spots, 4 with five spots and 4 with six spots, the spots correspond to the number you throw with the dice. The back of the cards are bright red in colour and the spots on them are white, I would have thought the spots would have been black to correspond with a ladybird. The cards are made out of cardboard and are very sturdy which they need to be when playing with young children. The fronts of the cards all have a bright green leaf on them and sitting on the leaves are different numbers of ladybirds and some of them don't have any ladybirds at all. The idea of the game is that between 2 and 4 players will taqke it in turn to throw the dice and then then they will pick up a card with the correct number of spots on it for the number that they rolled. You select your card and turn it over to reveal how many ladybirds you have collected, the game continues until all the cards have been selected and then the winner is the person who has collected the most ladybirds. The game is fun to play as my daughter gets so excited over how many ladybirds she gets and her enthusiasm is infectious, the game is quick to play most of the time which is great and sometimes we will have a game instead of a bedtime story if that is what my daughter prefers. The game can be a bit of a pain when you are down to a couple of cards and no one can manage to throw the correct number on the dice but it doesn't long to throw a dice so it still doesn't make the game too long. The game comes complete with a shaker for the dice which my daughter likes playing with and the cards are able to be wiped over which I think is great, there is no damage to the cards and we have played this game alot so I impressed with its durability. The game is great fun and your child doesn;t really realise they are learning at the same time, my daughter knows her numbers well now so the game is no longer a challenge to her but we still have fun playing it and it won't be long before her younger sister will be learning numbers and joining in with us.
The Game of Ladybirds is made by Orchard toys that sell a great range of toys and games for children. All of their games are educational so are perfect to help children learn different things such and numbers and colours. I remember this game from my childhood as my sister used to have it and it was our favourite game. The game itself comes in a cardboard box and is brightly coloured with big red ladybirds on the front and some brightly green coloured leaves. You can have 2-4 players when playing the game and it's aimed at children ages 3-6 years. The game consists of brightly coloured cards which on one side have a large coloured leaf on and a few ladybirds. Some of the leaves on the cards may have no ladybirds on at all. On the other side of the cards, is a bright yellow colour and then some white coloured dots, which range from 1-6, this of course represents the number on the die. In the game I have the cards have yellow backs, how-ever I believe that they do actually now have red back to them to match the ladybird coloured theme. All the cards are simply placed leaf side down on the table or surface. The youngest player rolls the die first; this can be done using the red, plastic beaker/shaker which comes with the game. The player then takes the card which corresponds with the number on the die. For example, if I roll a 6 I would look for a card with 6 spots on and then that card is mine. Players take it in turn to roll the die and take the cards. If you roll a number, but there are no corresponding cards left then you miss a go and it's then the next player's turn. After all the cards have been taken, you just simply count the ladybirds on the cards and the player with the most ladybirds is the winner. My nephew loves playing games at the moment, and he loves this game. He will quite happily play this 3-5 times in a row. The cards to the game aren't too thick, but are coated with a plastic coating to protect them and to make them long lasting. The idea of the shaker for the die is good, as my nephew often end's up throwing the dice across the room as he's trying to shake it in his hand. This game has really helped my nephew learn his numbers. He is always the first to count his ladybirds at the end of the game and then he will count mine for me as well. The game cost's approximately £7.50 which can be purchased from Amazon, WHSmith or from the Orchard Games website (http://www.orchardtoys.com/products/the-game-of-lady-birds/). The game not only helps with counting and numbers but it also helps with observation as well, as they have to look for the dots on the cards. I would highly recommend this game to other's as it's a great learning game and not too pricey. You may be able to purchase the game cheaper from sites such as eBay. As this game is such a success with my nephew, I will be looking at the other Orchard Games to see what else I can buy him for his birthday. (review may also appear on ciao)
Ladybirds is a game my son picked as a reward to aim for with some good behaviour over a set period. He picked it from the list that Orchard toys produce that is included in each toy and is then carefully studied by my son to decide what toy he would like next. The appeal of ladybirds for him was the brightly coloured creatures which are one of his favourite to find in the garden or on walks. The game contains 24 cards that are made from very robust recycled cardboard. The surfaces of which are wipe cleanable. As with all of these from Orchard toys we have been very impressed with how tough they are and have noticed no damage to the cards themselves in nearly a year of play. The cards are red on one side with white spots to match the configurations of the red dice included in the game. On the other side of the cards is a very cute green leaf these leaves will have either no ladybirds or up to three ladybirds on them. The ladybirds themselves are again very cute and bold with their appealing red and black design. To play the game the cards are laid on the table with the white spots upwards. You then take it in turns to shake the dice and match a card to the amount shown on the dice. This is where the colour matching and same configuration on the cards as on the dice comes into its own as it is nice and easy for young children initially to match from a pictorial basis only before they start to learn to count. We tend to try to now to prompt him to count the spots on either the dice or the card to ensure they correctly match and to help him with his counting. Depending on often how tired he is he will either be more than happy to do this or start to get frustrated at being made to count them when he can clearly see which card he should be picking up. You can then vary it slightly and either leave turning the cards over to see how many ladybirds you have to the end or as more common in our household count the ladybirds as you go. Taking it turns you then continue with the game till there are no cards left. If we are playing this with young children who are really only just 3 then we let them shake till they get a card as the numbers dwindle or if it's just myself and my son we miss a turn when there is no matching card to be had. Even doing this missing a turn it only takes about 10 minutes to play a game. The winner is the person with the most ladybirds at the end. My son loves being the winner but even having a few ladybirds at the end does tend to make him happy and this is one of the better games we have for when he loses as he still thinks he has won something with the ladybirds he does have. The game is designed for children between 3-6 years and I have to say in our experience the younger age part is correct whether a child would still enjoying this at 6 I am unsure though but they may still enjoy the competitive aspects of being the person with the most ladybirds. Education wise this game is designed to help children with their counting and it does certainly seem to be helping my son with his counting as not only does it have the aspect of counting the dice but counting all the ladybirds at the end which can go quite high if one person has got a lot of the 3 ladybird cards. We don't always focus on the initially counting with the dice as this sometimes reduces the swiftness of the game and can lead to frustration in my 3 year old. As there are a lot of similar cards the game can also be adapted to play either snap with the ladybirds or the dice spots upwards or pairs again either way round both of which my son loves for a bit of a change and he can be a bit of a snap demon with them. The box does suggest that they can be used alone just as an education tool to help with counting however this is not an activity that has appealed to my son when I tried it and even the brightly coloured ladybirds couldn't persuade him to just do counting rather than just to play the game as he simply doesn't see the point and just wants to play the game. Overall this is another great game from Orchard Toys that is well made and simple to play with an educational underpinning. Whilst it is a game my son loves to play it isn't one of his favourite ones despite choosing it himself. At around£7 for the game I do think it is slightly more expensive compared to what you get in other games we have by Orchard Toys such as "Yo Ho HO" or "doodlebugs" and for this reason and for not being my sons favourite game I am only going to give it 4 stars.
Orchard Toys are rather well known by many as producing a wide variety of educational-based games for young children. The Game of Ladybirds is one of those games, and it's available from a lot of school suppliers as well as Amazon, who presently have it for sale at £6.40. I think that's a tiny bit pricy considering the limited contents, but it's a nice concept and a well made game so you might be more than happy to pay that price if this sounds like one for you. Inside the box you'll find a selection of thick, glossy playing cards. These are all very sturdy and easy to wipe-clean, the kind of game cards which will last for years rather than weeks. The cards all have either spots on them or lady birds on leaves on them. The aim of the game is to match up the correct numbers by taking it in turns to roll the dice and take your turn. Easy stuff, nothing challenging to it at all! The game is really meant for very young children who are new to playing games I think. The premise is incredibly simple, and I think that allows youngsters to gain confidence in the new skills required to play turn-taking games. They learn to wait their turn, pass the dice, shake a dice (there's a shaker included in this which is ideal for those who aren't quite able to actually roll a dice yet) and follow rules. Add to that the addition and number recognition which is a big part of this game, and you've got yourself a fun little educational tool for tots here. The age recommendation on the box is three to seven years, but I would say that really it's best suited for three to five year olds. I would only use it with older children if they are a bit delayed with their math or number recognition skills or if they have general learning difficulties. There are lots of Orchard Toys games out there which are similar but a little more interesting and/or intellectually challenging than this is, so I would really recommend this one as a beginner's stepping stone towards those. A great first game for the very young, but it will get boring after the rules and basic math elements have been mastered.