I have to admit that I have a bit of an obsession with board games. I always try to turn my lessons in school into games.
Why play board games?
From a cognitive perspective playing board games have a hugely positive impact on brain development. They help acquire logical and reasoning skills, boost critical thinking and spatial reasoning. Playing board games also support the learning of social and communication. They help improve verbal abilities and attention skills by encouraging a child concentrate and focus for longer periods of time. Games that involve dice develop mathematical skills such as 1-1 correspondence (I roll 2 on my dice and I count on 2 spaces). Did I also mention that it is a tonne of FUN!!!!
I thought that I’d share some of my favourites and a few recent purchases including one that is winging it’s way to me with Amazon.
My First Snakes and Ladders
I don’t know how I survived so long without this one!!! It is for 3+years but suitable for all ages if you just want a quick game. It goes from 0-47. My First Snakes and Ladders has some really well thought out features. The squares on the board are huge! There are arrows to direct you on each level. The start and finish are obviously marked. I’d give this Marks and Spencers Game a 10/10 and I’m not that easily pleased.
Just to note, I didn’t use the counters provided. I hate flat counters. I use the lids of Ella Organic Pouches. They come in an array of colours and are chunky enough for little hands to use.
Plan Toys Mini Stacking Game; 4133
This is a super fun mini-game that comes in a tin. It’s great to bring on a trip away, aeroplane, to a sleepover etc. Got to love small and portable. This game tests colour recognition and hand-eye coordination. You roll the coloured dice and place a counter of the corresponding colour on the tower. Great problem-solving skills promoted too. You need to work out what is the best counter to choose from the colour rolled and what way to place it.
This Plan Toys Stacking Game is part of a bigger series of Mini-Games and Toys that are perfect for throwing into your bag and can be played anywhere. I just know that I will end up purchasing the whole range. I purchased my Plan Toys Stacking Game from Babipur. Babipur is a fantastic website with tonnes of ethically manufactured toys and games. I know that it can be daunting to purchase from a retailer that you haven’t heard of before. I have made many, many purchases from Babipur and I have never been disappointed.
Click here to purchase Plan Toys Mini-Stacking Game.
Little Circuit by Djeco
This game is beyond cute and a great way of teaching 1-1 correspondence. It is suitable from age 2 1/2 yrs to 5. I play it with a 2 1/2-year-old and it’s always a huge. hit. You construct the game board for Little Circuit as if you are building a jigsaw. The counters are actual toy animals so they are easy to hold. It’s also a fun twist to have such large counters. You really do feel as if you are taking your animals for a walk. You roll the coloured dice and move to the next square of that colour. If you roll a bee you move back and a flower allows you to move on.
I purchased Little Circuit in an amazing shop called Pinocchio’s Toys & Gifts. It’s located on 2 Paul St, Cork, Ireland. It’s a street that runs parallel to Patrick’s Street. I am not joking when I say that I could happily spend my entire wage packet there! They have the most amazing wooden toys and a really good selection of DJECO toys. The staff are so friendly, helpful and knowledgable too. It’s a bit of a drive for me so I make it a “go to” destination before Christmas to stock up. You can find them on Facebook and on their website http://www.pinocchios.ie.
What are your favourite games? I’d love to hear. Leave me a message in the comments section.
Miss Mernagh 🙂