Tag Archives: Puzzle

Review – Orchard Toys Big Police Car Puzzle

27 Feb

The Big Police Car Puzzle from Orchard Toys is the latest puzzle in the toddlers toy box.

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He happened to be about when this was delivered and once he saw what was in the box his face lit up with excitement. He loves anything to do with the police and recently got an electric police bike and a uniform to match so the “Police Car Puzzle” has become one of his favourites.

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The Puzzle has 36 pieces and these pieces are big and chunky for little fingers. The image itself is bold and fun. Its highly glossy and so far we have had not one peeling corner.

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Harley is 3 and therefore needed a little help even though he was very bossy and determined to do it alone.

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Its a nice activity to do together and really helps the development of Harley’s fine motor skills.

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We love the puzzle. Like all Orchards toys games and puzzles its educational yet loads of fun at the same time.

The Big Police Car Puzzle can be brought for £9.95 online at Orchard Toys.

Orchard Toys New Monster Catcher Review and Competition

29 Aug

We love Orchard toys, they are a brand who symbolise the importance of learning but also the importance of having fun! They have this talent when it comes to designing games and puzzles that are both educational yet fun to play.

Earlier this year little man along with some of his classmates at his special school for children on the autism spectrum, reviewed a couple of games from the Orchard toys range.This review did a fab job at highlighting the importance of learning through play and all the children involved had a great time testing the games.

So, I was delighted when the guys at Orchard Toys sent us one of their newest game releases, ‘Monster Catcher‘.

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The game is targeted at children aged 3 to 8 years, and although Harley is not 3 in-till the beginning of December I figured his big sister Alice-Sara could show him the ropes of play, which she was more than happy to do.

Packaging:
This game comes in a nice strong but compact box for good easy storage.

Game contents:
20 monster head cards
20 monster feet cards
6 full net cards
4 empty net cards
Six monster Cachar cards

There is a total of 56 cards altogether. Cards are strong and durable so will last the test of time I’m sure.

As mentioned monster Catcher is one of Orchard Toys newest releases, so I had no idea what others thought of the game and knew very little about it up In-till it arrived. Believe it or not, I also like to read reviews before purchasing products as well as reviewing products myself.

Setting up the game proved a bit of a mission as the toddler insisted on constantly grabbing a hold of the cards and doing a runner.

Finally, once the initial excitement had settled down a little we were then ready to go catch some monsters.

The Object of the game is for each player to match the coloured monsters feet to that of the correct monsters head all while avoiding the monster catcher who will swipe all the players cards leaving them with none. The player with the most complete monsters at the time the monster catcher is completed, wins!

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It’s a simple enough concept, though smaller children may need some help along the way.

What’s more this is a game that is so easily adapted. Kids seem to do this without even thinking about it! Harley asked to play with the game yesterday but he didn’t want anyone else disturbing him, preferring to play alone. This is actually a game for 2-4 players, So, play alone is impossible right? Not for Harley it seems. This little clever clogs placed all the cards facing upwards and one by one he matched up all the monsters, placing the catcher cards etc to one side.

I love how he adapted it to work for him, treating it as a puzzle as opposed to a game.

Monster Catcher has done well to help harley develop his colour recognition as-well as his matching and pairing skills. He used a lot of logic when trying to place the pieces together correctly (not only match the colours but ensuring he had placed them the correct way around, etc).

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£7.50 is fabulous value and a really reasonable price to pay for this game.
Monster Catcher will be sure to provide children with years of fun while teaching them a thing or two. The educational benefits to this game make it seem a very little price to pay.

Educational information
• Develops matching and counting skills
• Encourages social interaction
• Develops instruction following and turn taking
• Links to National Curriculum and Early Learning Goals.

Orchard toys have been great and offered me another Monster Catcher for one of my readers to win right here on the blog. Here’s how….

Compulsory action: Leave a blog comment below telling me your child’s favourite board game.

All comments should be left with a means of contact (twitter or email).

You can earn additional entries by doing any of the following….

Tweet: “I want to win Monster Catcher with @clairelouise82 and @OrchardToys” comment to let me know who you are on twitter.

Subscribe via my rss reader (top of the sidebar) comment to tell me the name or email u are subscribed under.

Follow my sister blog Mummy of many talents then comment below to tell me the name you follow as.

Follow me on pinterest then comment to say who you are below.

Use any of the share buttons below commenting to tell me which ones (email exempt)

Competition will close on the 25th September 2012 at midnight.

Terms and conditions: UK only please, all comments should be left with twitter or email contact. Prize drawn a random, winner has 72 hours following winning notification to claim prize. Prize will be sent directly from PR/Brand. Winners name maybe published on blog with winning notification if author decides.

Dioctipoid – The puzzle for the logical thinker!

12 Feb

A few weeks back I received an email asking me if I would be interested in conducting a review on a new range of puzzles called “Dioctipoid”

The Dioctipoid resembles something of the classic Rubic cube except Dioctipoid isn’t a cube it’s actually a ball!

Little man (aka, a boy with aspergers) is rather good when it comes to this type of thing! Yes, there are numerous situations where Little man isn’t so great at “Thinking outside the box” yet, puzzles requiring logic, doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Dioctipoids are made up of both white and brightly coloured triangles, to solve the , players must rotate each segment around the arrow, the puzzle is complete once the pattern on the box has been achieved.

This isn’t by any means an easy thing to do (trust me I’ve tried)!

Dioctipoid provided a good delivery service with the products arriving in just a few days. I was presented with a lovely surprise, when discovering I’d been sent not one but two puzzles, the Dioctipoid 1.0 & 2.0 with of course 1.0 being the easiest (well, so they claim)!

I decided that, as not to over excite the Little guy, I’d hold back on giving him the second puzzle, this would also allow him to give the first puzzle his full attention.

The first puzzles (1.0) requires the player to make a pattern of stars, I must admit that while Little man embarked on his puzzling mission, peace and calm was restored in the house (well, for a few hours at least)! I decided that while Little man got to work on the puzzle, I’d sneak off to the sanctuary of my bedroom/come office and engage in a spot of social networking, however, this didn’t happen! Nope, instead I found myself having a pop at puzzle 2 myself & believe me this was almost as addictive as twitter.

Did I solve the puzzle? Did I heck! I found myself stating out loud “It’s a fix, it can’t be done” (of course it can)! I just couldn’t do it! I admit, I did get a tad frustrated (see picture below)!

However, Little man did, with the use of logical thinking and patience he managed it fine, completing puzzle 1.0 in a few short days. Little man took lots of breaks and didn’t sit up working on the thing in till the small hours (unlike some I know)! His still working on number two which he was pleased to receive, me however, I gave up and started on puzzle 1.0, did I finish it? The shame, of course I haven’t… You can’t be good everything you know!

Dioctipoid are aimed at children aged 8+ and is a challenging puzzle for both child and adult alike! Each Dioctipoid comes complete with a special token which should be retained as these will enter its owner into a spectacular online Gala phase of Dioctipoids planed competition which has been rumoured to offer a major prize.

We love this funky puzzles and are having awesome fun trying to solve them, they are great for children with Asperger’s and I can see us get others. To checkout Dioctipoid for yourself click Here

The Silly Soft

29 Sep

 I was quite excited when I was contacted by the guys at Gander Kids and asked to test a Silly soft. I had never heard of anything quite like it. However I was up for discovering what it was all about.

 The Silly Soft, made by P’kolino is a real smart toy, not only is it designed in three pieces that enables your child to puzzle together a big brightly coloured friend, it’s also multifunctional! 

 The ‘Silly soft’ can become a cosy toddler chair, table, foot-rest and more, the possibilities are endless.

 The Silly soft is aimed at children age 1-3 years. It comes in a range of  funky designs and in five different colours (orange, red, green, blue and purple).

 We were sent the orange Silly soft via speedy next day delivery.

 The Silly soft was well boxed, but easy to unpack, no horrid plastic twisty things to get through! (God I hate them things, a mothers worse nightmare)!

 It was much smaller than I first expected! However this was only because I had the image of a huge chair stuck in my head, I needed to remember this was aimed at toddlers, so, actually it was the perfect size!

 Harley was having a nap and when he woke he got mega excited when I announced, ‘mummy had a surprise downstairs’ bless him!

The outer packaging has a clear plastic window to allow you to view the toy in the box, Little H started clapping and then jumping around shouting, “Rab-bit, rab-bit” mimicking the sound of a frog. 

 Despite the colour Harley recognised that it was indeed designed to resemble a frog and he was now pretty keen to get it out of its box.

I took the three parts out the box, they were very spongy maybe made of some kind of foam that was covered in a fleece like material making them super soft, most tactile and light. Harley was able to pick each piece up with ease. He instantly got to work, puzzling where the pieces went to create his froggy friend, at just 21 months he did this with ease which left me rather impressed.

He had a huge amount of fun, throwing the pieces around the room then diving on them.

He sat on it and indulged in a little Cbeebies, jumped on it, throw it, danced on it, played on it, and finally slept on it! 

It would seem that Little H  rather likes his P’kolino Silly soft, don’t you think?

This is a toy/come seating area that’s extremely child friendly, it’s soft, comfortable, funky, bright and fun! Basically it’s all the things a toddler wants from a toy.

Oh, and don’t worry about Silly soft becoming a “Dirty Silly Soft” the covers are removable for washing ( please do check the labels care instructions).

I cannot give this lower than a 5 star *****  It put a huge smile on my toddlers face, is great for the development of gross motor skills, plus it’s different and we, at A boy with Asperger’s love different)

 The P’kolino retails at £39.99 and is available at Gander kids

Harley and the giraffe

26 Jul

Our fantastic feature, ‘Santa’s Little helpers is going awesomely well! We have some great reviews lined up from some brilliant brands. This evening I write the last of my three reviews for the Wooden Toy Shop who me and the children have loved working with this past month! So, far my daughter has reviewed the lovely Melissa and Doug Stamp set and Little Man has proved that Cricket can be a great game for Children on the autism spectrum, even when played alone 🙂 

 So, now it’s the turn of the littlest Elf, “20m old little bro” his had great fun reviewing one of, ‘John Cranes Tidlo Chunky puzzles’ 

 Description 

 This Chunky wooden puzzle has seven pieces, Its brightly coloured safari theme was a hit with our little monster! One of the reasons we chose this puzzle was because of it’s funky theme. Harley, aka Little Bro loves Giraffes right now, he loves the CBeebies programme, ’64 Zoo Lane’ with Georgina the Giraffe. The Giraffe along with six other animals, a Hippopotamus, Lion, Zebra, Camel, Elephant and a Crocodile make up all the pieces of this fun puzzle. 

 The John Crane Tidlo chunky safari puzzle is designed for children aged 12 months plus and can be purchased from the Wooden toy shop for a very respectable £10.79

 Playtime

 Little Bros face lit up when we got the puzzle out of its box ready to play. “Look, Giraffe” was something he continually said for the first five minutes before finally turning his attention to some of the other animal pieces. We had fun together naming each animal piece and it really encourages social interaction and gets your toddler attempting words such as Hippopotamus,”Which proved quite a mouth full” Hippo was the better alternative for this little monster. 

 The puzzle pieces are really chunky making it look almost 3D. This also makes it easier for the child to pick the pieces up so great for little fingers like Little Bros.

Every now and then I lost the little guys attention and he would climb down from his chair and dart around the room shouting, “Giraffe” waving it in the air like he was flying the thing like a plane. Eventually he would come back and after a while he seemed to be getting to grips with what he was doing. Sat at the table I removed all the pieces, Little Bro Lined them up and I then placed them all back in place. He looked at what I was doing seemingly taking it all in before trying it for himself. The puzzle has the picture of each of the animals where each piece is designed to fit,  making it easier for the child, as they can identify where each piece should fit by looking at the pictures. Little Bro did this bit with ease, however he did have some trouble getting the pieces to fit and become frustrated as he tried to place the giraffe in upside down. When Mummy attempted to show him, ‘Little Mr Independent’ almost throw a fit. 

 Once Little Bro had finally placed an animal correctly in its position, I clapped offering lots of prise. He happily gave himself a clap too and felt encouraged to try another. After one or two more I noticed that he was finding the task much easier. 

 Conclusions 

 This is a lovely toy, the wooden puzzle is very well made and is beautifully designed. It can be a fun educational toy for a toddler helping them to develop good hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills  and imagination (as Little Bro demonstrated during the review, when he used the pieces as toy like figures). I found it hard to give this toy a rating on my toddlers behalf! Though he clearly liked the puzzle he did have a tendency to lose his attention quicker then some of the toys his played with. Saying this, it should be mentioned that whenever Little Bro ran off the giraffe went too. He really likes the giraffe piece and since the review he has taken the giraffe from the box and took it for a ride in his wooden trailer. 

Its a hard one but I give Harley’s rating as an 8/10

 Parental approval 

 I think the toy is great Value for money and plan to purchase the John Crane Tidlo Animal farm for his birthday. It comes in a sturdy thick cardboard box which is a must when storing puzzles, due to us having to take them in and out over the course of the early years. The puzzles brightly coloured design is great visual stimulation, the overall design is very inviting. The pieces are really nice and chunky and the picture matching along with shape shorting makes this lots of  fun while helping improve and develop a child’s hand, eye co-ordination.

The John Crane Tidlo gets a fat 9/10 from me

 The Retailer

 Over the past month I loved watching the children review just a small handful of the beautifully designed toys the Wooden toy shop has to offer. This is an online family run business that offers its customers a friendly service, speedy delivery and importantly, “Good value for money.” All three products have proven a success with all three  Little helpers. This with the fact they have offered our readers the chance to bag themselves a, ‘John Crane children’s wooden Guitar’ in our blog giveaway (which can be found here) makes them a firm favourite of mine. 

This is a retailer who offer support to schools and nurseries not only by offering them 10% off the advertised price but also entering them into a draw to win unwanted products that have been returned and cannot be resold due to the removal of packaging. Schools are automatically entered into the monthly draw every time they make a purchase. 

 10/10  for the Wooden Toy Shop a  fantastic online retailer! 

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