Reviews - family games

We have reviewed a selection of games which have been sent to us. These will help you and your child to have fun - family games are great to enjoy and bring all ages together.



This brand new game, based on the phenomenally successful Bananagrams, is designed to help increase young children's vocabulary and letter recognition. Suitable for ages 4+, this version differs from the original in having lower-case letters (these are what children will initially learn at school) and coloured tiles, designed to make it easier for mini-wordsmiths to race to complete their word grid. The tiles are variously coloured, with all the vowels light orange; letters commonly reversed by children have distinct identities through the letter shape and the tile colour - a very useful feature. What really sets the game apart from other word games from the age are the double letter tiles which feature common digraphs such as ai, th and wh. Almost all children will learn to read and spell using phonics so this ties in perfectly with the curriculum - my 5 year old tester immediately spotted these. The basic game involves players (1 to 4) taking 15 single tiles and trying to use them all in a grid; tiles can be swapped. The advanced game includes the double-letter tiles; it's really good to see that a wide range of abilities is catered for (the two levels can be played together). amongst siblings and pals, Before children are ready for this, though, they will love the collection of 10 curriculum-based mini games which are designed to become more challenging, as confidence and vocabulary grows. I promise you that children will just think they are having fun, while in fact they are really reinforcing key skills; it's a brilliant way to learn and as the games progress from pre-schooler, through early reader and onto reader children will really gain knowledge of letters, words and spelling. It's extremely enjoyable to play and children love the challenge of making sure other players have got their spelling correct. I was impressed with the 10 games, which really do tie in with the curriculum and with the way children are taught. The game comes in, of course, its own banana-shaped pouch, which smoothly zips up to keep the tiles safe - it's ideal for travelling and visiting. It's well made, too, with the letters clearly standing out above the plastic and there's no paper to rub off so the tiles are really durable. The emphasis is on fun and My First Bananagrams will give hours of enjoyable learning; perfect for home and classroom. It's been really well thought out and excellently presented.
bananagrams  bananagrams

Drumond Park Crazy Claw Game

If your family loves to go to the arcade, then they are going to love this inventive new game from the ever-resourceful Drumond Park’s. Crazy Claw (for 2-4 players) is a table-top arcade game that has all the thrills of the real thing... without the cost! The game consists of boiling, bouncing balls inside a see-through plastic dome plus a grabbing claw, operated by each player in turn. When it's not your turn, you are still involved as the rest of the players must manipulate the paddles to keep the balls bubbling around in the box. Once the Clawmaster captures a ball, there's excitement of opening it to see if the circular Toy Token inside matches one of the three toys shown on the Clawmaster’s Collection Card.  Each player has a Collection Card; if the Toy Token matches your Collection Card, you place the Token on the card. You may even find the ball is empty... aaah. Then the ball goes back in the box - and here's where you need to be really observant and see if you can remember the colour of the ball that contains your required Toy Token; then you must try to grab it. The longer the game goes on, the more challenging this becomes. The winner is the first to collect three Toy Tokens to match those on the Collector Card. and the empty ball is returned to the box.The game gets madder and madder and the accompanying squeals of delight or moans of despair from the players are testament to this. It's a great ice-breaker for parties; to make it more fun for the children, you could offer small collectable toys as party prizes. It's great fun, simple to set up and play and children are often better than adults.
  Crazy ClawCrazy Claw
 Biy It Right
Buy It Right

Buy It Right™ Shopping Game

In today's world, it's really important that children learn the value of money from a young age - there is so much pressure to have the latest toy, trainer etc and if children understand the real cost, they will appreciate the value. Designed for children between the ages of 5 and 10 (and enjoyable for the whole family), the game has a place both at home and in the classroom, helping to build financial awareness and understanding. There are three levels of play - always a great feature in games, as it extends their useability and offers a wide age range coverage. The game box includes: game board, four player markers, four shopping trolley game cards, realistic play coins and bank notes. Set up and play is simple, for example in the first level game, players roll the dice and move around the board, then follow the instructions on the square (buy, give a gift, donate to charity, for example). A roll of the dice calculates the amount to pay and the winner is the player who fills their shopping trolley first. The game features objects familiar to children, which they will enjoy; as well as developing financial understanding, the game helps with addition, subtraction, place value, mental maths and sharing and taking turns. An excellent game that combines fun adn learning perfectly. Buy direct from Learning Resources (and don't forget to look at the whole fabulous range on the site; there are some really good resources there) or from Amazon - Learning Resources Buy It Right Shopping Game.
Buy It Right

The Foolish King by Mark Price

Yes, this is a book not a game, but it is a superb introduction to the game of chess so in my mind, it belongs firmly with games. It is a fascinating look at a game which appeals to young and old, across the world; and the book will have the same wide appeal. When kings ruled the land, dragons filled the sky and magic still existed, two small children, Pip and Holly, stumbled upon the game of chess. Alongside the story, readers can immerse themselves in the whole experience, with interactive puzzles and games, along with clear instructions and tips on how to improve your technique; delightful illustrations complement all of this. It's an excellent book and a really good way to introduce children to chess, as well as offering a fresh look for current players.

Ravensburger in The Night Garden My First Memory GameMy First Memory game

Children will love to see their favourite characters from In the Night Garden in this colourful early memory game. 24 bright and cheerful picture cards feature images of Makka Pakka, the Tombliboos, Upsy Daisy and the rest, not forgetting The Ninky Nonk and The Pinky Ponk, of course. There are 24 different pairs to match up and collect in this version of the classic game. You can choose to set the level at the right stage for your child - the game is recommended for children from two and a half up - by using fewer cards if appropriate. Of course, as this is a Ravensburger product, the quality is excellent - the cards are made from strong high-quality card, laminated on both sides with a durable colour print. The cards can be used to stimulate discussion about the programme, and younger children can be asked to identify the characters and talk about them, so the game offers plenty of scope for enjoyment.
Pickin Chickens

Pickin' Chickens Game from Drumond Park

A ‘Spinning Top’, ‘Jack in The Box’ Fox and ‘Open and Reveal’ Chicken Coops, Pickin’ Pickin ChickensChickens has all the classic favourite themes. Children take it in turns to spin the chicken field where twelve chicken coops nestle among the bushes. When it stops spinning each child lifts up a coop to reveal an image of a coloured chicken – or if they are lucky a Farmer. There are two levels of play. In The Young Chicks game it’s a simple race to collect four chickens of any colour but in the Older Chicks game they have to collect a red, yellow, blue and green chicken so memory comes into play. But whatever level of play beware of the grinning Fox…. who jumps up randomly, Jack-in-the-Box style, from his tree trunk liar; children always enjoy this feeling of expectation in a game. When this happens each player has to put back a chicken, unless of course they have revealed an image of the farmer and collected the Farmer card. This magic card protects them from that nasty old Fox! Playing games is always fun, but don't forget the importance of playing games in helping learning - this game will help children learn to take turns, help memory skills and practise decision-making. It's excellent that there are the two levels of play so all the family can enjoy this lively game.

Rory Story Cubes Batman Dice

This neat little set is a great way to stimulate story-telling and is a fun game for all the family to enjoy. To play, just roll the nine Batman-themed cubes; the objective is to tell a story (Batman-themed, of course) that links together all nine of the face-up images. It is suggested that three are used for each of the beginning, middle and end of your story but how you use the cubes is entirely up to each individual. You could start with an opening like: "in the shadows of Gotham City…", "I am the night, I am Batman…" or even "Once upon a crime…". There are no rules - it's up to the players to put their own interpretation on, for example, a factory building or a cityscape. The game can also be played alone. The nine cubes pack into a neat carrying box, making it an ideal game to take in the car or when visiting friends and relatives. With a different image on each side of every cube, there are 54 images in total - this means that with every roll, there are, amazingly, over a million combinations to use for storytelling inspiration, so you will never get bored or tell repetitive stories. Often, it is boys who struggle more with creative writing, so it's excellent to see that these Story Cubes really appeal to boys, with whom Batman is a perennially popular character. a great game, well thought out and really good to make story-telling enjoyable. Simple but amazingly effective.

Rory's Story Cubes Moomin

Again, there are nine cubes with different images on each face - this time they are all Moomin-based. Usefully, if you don't know your Moomins too well, the icon sheet explains all the images to help you, The images are a blue/green in colour so the sets don't get mixed up. Children will enjoy the Moomin theme, and the good quality images are clear, with lots of variety. A simple but very effective game that is great fun for families and which will also work well in the classroom; you could use just some of the cubes if you want younger children to join in, or if you want to ensure everyone has a turn. Alternatively, give each child a cube to roll and then take turns in telling the story, rather like a game of Consequences. Highly recommended. These are just two in a whole range - see them all here and enjoy having a variety of the cubes to hand so there is always something to interest your child. A brilliant way to develop story-telling skills and also to increase children's confidence in speaking.

The Best of TV and Movies board game from Drumond Park

This fascinating, fast-paced picture board game celebrates all things entertainment over aroundLOGOthe last 40 years, so old and young can enjoy the game together - it's great played in cross-age teams; in fact, we definitely recommend this as it's so much more fun that way. All the favourites you would expect are here - from Strictly Come Dancing, X-Factor, Saturday Kitchen and Miranda - to Harry Potter, Doctor Who and James Bond; with favourites of adults and children. Your family and friends will all enjoy The Best of TV and Movies game - a fabulous collection of TV and film highlights, memories and miscellany! With With 400 cards and 1600 questions, there's plenty to keep you all entertained game after game. There are some special cards which add to the fun, changing the progress of the game and adding an element of unpredictability. The rules are simple and the game is easy to play, with no elaborate setting-up needed. Great family fun and brilliant for parties.

Timeline: Historical Events from Asmodee

Help children (and adults) put historical events into context with this entertaining game which is suitable for players of 8+. The attractive cards are well illustrated and the visual aspect makes it easier to remember these important dates. We found the cards are a good trigger for discussion and a good way to encourage children to investigate history. The games come packed in attractive tins. It's a great idea to have a selection of the games to hand, so you can suit the subject to the interests of your players - or just mix the cards together. The RRP is £12.99 and you can buy them from your local game shop - find it here.

Timeline Discoveries Card Game from Asmodee

Timeline: Discoveries is a card game played using 109 cards. There is a discovery shown on both sides of the card, as well as the year in which that discovery was made - but that only shows on one side. Play the game by taking to place the cards in a row on the table; each card must be placed in the correct order on the timeline. The goal of the game is to be the first to get rid of all your cards by placing them correctly. It's very enlightening - we found that we were quite often surprised to learn the order in which things were invented. The game is very easy to play - you just need enough space to set the cards out in order; it's excellent to play with a mixed group of ages or even in teams. For even more fun and a greater challenge, you can combine sets of cards - all the sets in the series can be combined.

Tactic "Crazy Cafe" Game

This fun game sees the tension build as you stack the dishes, then pull the tablecloth from under them. Players take it in turn to spin the spinner and stack the dishes on the table accordingly... but look out - when you land on “pull” you must pull the tablecloth without she dishes flying everywhere! You must successfully pull the tablecloth three times to be the winner. The dishes are made of sturdy colourful plastic so they won’t break if they fall off the table; usefully, the bottom of the box is used as the table. This is a fun game that the whole family can enjoy on equal terms, as younger ones are just as likely to have the dexterity (or luck) to pull the cloth without disturbing the dishes as older ones are. Quick to set up and simple to play, it's a good ice-breaker. It's simple but entertaining to play, so children will be happily occupied for a good period of time.

Tobar Mini Travel Game Chinese Checkers

The objective of Chinese Checkers is to be first to race your pieces across the hexagram-shaped board to home — the corner of the star opposite your starting point. The game is simple but strategy comes into play as you use single-step moves or moves that jump over other pieces. This is one is a series of neat travel games which are perfect to help children while away long car, train or plane journeys. The games come in their own compact travel case and the game board sits within a hard cover flip case (approx 9cm); this can be closed while the game is in progress to preserve the game pieces where they are, so the game can be picked up again as required. The games come with with plastic game pieces and all necessary instructions for play. Also available are Ludo and Chess; get the set and children will be happily occupied, as well as learning to paly these classic games..
 Orchard Toys

Crocodile Snap from Orchard Toys

With the summer holidays coming along very soon, this new set of games from Orchard Toys is going to be very popular. Crocodile Snap is a fun twist on the traditional game of snap, with eight quirky animal characters including superhero crocodiles (complete with superhero pants), smartly dressed toucans and gorillas drinking tea. There are 32 cards, four of each character, and these just need to be popped out of the backing and you're ready to go. Deal out the cards, face down, and then take it it turns to turn the top one over. Players shout out ‘snap!’ for matching pairs, but the fun twist is that when they spot a pair of crocodiles they must ‘snap’ their arms instead! You can use the cards to play 'Pairs' as well - or how about using the cute characters as story-telling prompts? Of course, there's always plenty of educational value in playing games. The sturdy card boxes make these new mini games from Orchard Toys perfect for holidays, travelling and visiting - and at this very good price, you can afford to buy them all! Buy from Orchard Toys.
Orchard Toys Orchard Toys
Orchard Toys

Jungle Snakes and Ladders from Orchard Toys

This new twist on the perennial favourite gives it a jungle theme. Players must avoid the slithering snakes to climb the ladders to the finish line and join the cheeky monkeys!  The playing board is 6 sturdy and brightly coloured jigsaw type pieces which slot together firmly; the pack includes four push-out coloured counters and a die. Of course, as with all Orchard Toys, it's excellently made, and 100% British made too. Orchard Toys have launched a new range of mini games - six small, portable and travel-sized games which are perfect for both at home and on the go. Based on traditional family favourites, the range gives classic games a fun ‘Orchard Toys’ twist! The complete range comprises: Dinosaur Dominoes; Little Bus Lotto; Jungle Snakes & Ladders; Build a Beetle; Crocodile Snap; and Penguin Pairs. A lovely set of games to have in every home. Buy from Orchard Toys.

Peppa Pig Giant Playing Cards from Jumbo Games

36 giant playing cards feature much-loved TV favourite Peppa Pig, her family and her friends (4 cards in 9 designs), with the character names printed on cards to help children's early word recognition and reading skills. There are four traditional games 'Pairs', 'Snap', 'Happy families' and 'Dinosaur' to play with this colourful set. The generous size makes the cards excellent for toddlers and they are quite likely to make up their own games to enjoy with this colourful set.

Randomise game: Draw, act or describe your way to victory

This game would be the perfect party ice-breaker, as it can be played by anyone from 8+, split into two teams, and almost any number can play. It puts your creativity to the test as you take on one of a range of unusual identities to draw, act or describe your way to success - I like this feature, as everyone can do whatever they are best at. It's simple to play - select a card from one of three piles - the first will describe you, the second will tell you what you are and the third will tell you what you are doing; each has easy and hard levels. The illustrations on the cards are delightful too, full of fun. So you could be a loving hyena popping bubbles, or a royal jellyfish playing the bongos. With over a million possible combinations - and the opportunity to add some of your own, you're never going to get bored with this game. Perfect for taking on holiday, it's neat and portable and will give many, many happy hours of family fun and hilarity, developing creativity and building social confidence.

SET - The Visual Perception Game from Coiledspring Games

Get all the family thinking with this award winning card game. It is suitable for one or more players of 6 and over - so individuals can hone their skills before taking on the family! The object of the game is to identify sets of three cards. Each card is unique in its combination of four features; colour (red, green or purple) symbol (diamond, squiggle or oval) shading (solid, striped or open) and number (1, 2 or 3). There's a puzzle on the back of the box to get you started - it really helps to look at this and see if you can spot all the sets so you get the idea of the game. A set consists of three cards on which each feature is either the same on all of the cards, or different on all of the cards. The pack contains complete instructions for play, 81 cards, and a durable plastic carrying case which makes the game perfect for carrying with you on journeys, visits or on holiday. We found that all ages play on equal terms as children spot the sets just as quickly as the adults, so it really is a good game for the family. Playing the game is a great way to enhance visual reasoning skills and it's fun for everyone -especially when (as does happen) someone gets a set wrong. It's simple to set up and play and makes a great ice-breaker for a group. Be warned - it's very addictive! Buy from CoiledSpring.

SPEEDLINK Decus Limited Edition Laser Gaming Mouse with 7 Programmable Buttons, 5000 DPI - Red

First impressions are good - bold black and red is funky and modern. Maintain your focus and precision even in extended battles with the DECUS Gaming Mouse and its huge array of customisation options. The configuration software allows you to customise the mouse to suit your preferences, letting you game the way you want and enabling the mouse to respond to your reflexes perfectly. Thanks to its integrated lighting system, the DECUS bursts with colours that match the gaming atmosphere – becoming not just a visual highlight but also serving as a profile indicator. What's more, its rubberised side grips, extra-grippy scroll wheel and extended finger indents offer maximum comfort. It really is extremely comfortable to hold and will allow extended play - although as a parent, I must advise that teens don't play for hours without a break. The ergonomic design is excellent with a soft comfortable feel and a great fit, even for relatively small hands; it feels great quality too, solid and well made. There are plenty of options to set to your own personal preferences making this a really personalised product. Find out more here.

Speedlink Strike NX USB Gamepad for PC, Black

This was easy to set up and get straight into use and enables you to use a single gamepad to control the latest generation of Windows® games as well as classics from days of old. Perfect for reducing the number of controllers your teen needs to have lying around. The STRIKE NX supports practically all PC games, whether old or new, and lets you switch between the two controller technologies – XInput and DirectInput – at the press of a button. With its tried-and-tested ergonomic shape, precise analogue sticks, twelve buttons and realistic vibration function, the gamepad offers the ultimate in control and maximum comfort – whatever the game; it's comfortable to hold and very responsive. Find out more.

SPEEDLINK Estrado Multi-Functional Headset Stand with Integrated USB Hub and Sound Card

This is a neat solution to a perennial problem - gaming equipment is costly but can be fragile. We all know what teenager's bedrooms are like - so now they can protect their precious headset against wear and tear, bring order to your desktop and prevent cable breaks. The ESTRADO Multifunctional Headset Stand is the perfect storage solution for your headset. Besides being a super stylish accessory, the stand offers many more functions: an integrated passive USB hub with 3 USB 2.0 ports as well as a USB sound card with audio output and microphone input make the ESTRADO a multi-functional all-round talent. Find out more.

Speedlink Medusa 5.1 True Surround Gaming Headset for PC

The legendary MEDUSA 5.1 True Surround Headset will enthrall you with its true 5.1 surround sound and outstanding ergonomic comfort. The rugged lightweight construction features precise notches for length adjustment and capacious, freely pivoting earcups. These boast four perfectly positioned drivers which let you pinpoint where each sound is coming from in the virtual gaming world. What’s more, the sensitive microphone with noise-reduction adjustment guarantees optimal communication in crystal-clear quality. The sound quality is excellent and really enhances game play - without the rest of the family suffering! Find out more.
where do i live

Where Do I Live? from Orchard Toys

This brightly coloured game with its friendly animals will help children learn where various animals come from, while they enjoy playing the lotto-type game. To play the game, they must match each animal to its habitat and to win, they must find the explorer too.The game is for 2-4 players, and it suitable for ages 3-6 - I like the fact that Orchard Toys always clearly display this information. There are four double-sided boards - desert, undersea, polar and jungle. Each has 6 creatures to be collected, plus that all-important explorer. Flip the board over and you will find the animals named, plus facts about each habitat - it's a fun way for children to learn. The game is simple to play - place the animal cards face down and then turn them over to play; we added to the fun by making animal noises (some of them had to be made up as we didn't know what they would all sound like, but that increased the fun!). Orchard Toys can always be depended on to produce games that are fun to play, have an educational element and are excellently produced - this one is another winner and has already been played many times! Buy from Orchard Toys or from Amazon - Orchard Toys "Where Do I Live" Lotto Game (Multi-Colour)

 where do i live where do i live

Ticket to Ride Europe from Esdevium Games

From the craggy hillsides of Edinburgh to the sunlit docks of Constantinople, from the dusty alleys of Pamplona to a windswept station in Berlin, Ticket to Ride Europe takes you on an exciting train adventure through the great cities of turn-of-the-century Europe in the era of the heyday of train travel, with all its romance. This engrossing new train adventure takes you across turn-of-the-century Europe, visiting great cities and collecting points along the way - it's a great way to learn about Europe and the history of many areas as you draw your ticket and then plan your journey between two destinations. There are many brand new gameplay elements, including tunnels which may require you to pay extra cards to build on them, ferries which require locomotive cards in order to claim them and stations which allow you to sacrifice a few points in order to use an opponent’s route to connect yours; the elements of strategy make the game more challenging to play. No two games are ever the same, so every time you will be off on a new and exciting journey. The game also includes larger format cards and train station game pieces. The game is simple yet offers plenty of variety, can be learned in 5 minutes and appeals to both families and experienced gamers - it's best played with 4 players, we found. A well thought out and well produced game, with plenty of variety and lots of opportunities for strategic thinking.

HABA Animal Upon Animal Game

This wobbly stacking game is a really fun way to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Beautifully made in beechwood and painted with non toxic water based stains, it's great quality and a real joy to play with. Educational game for enhancing your child's fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It's recommended for ages 4 and up, and there's a variation for one player. Build the animals up into a pyramid - which order will be the best? Will the penguin balance on the crocodile? Or the sheep on the penguin? It's quick to play, great fun - and the animal pieces can be used for other imaginative games too. Great fun for all the family. The game can be purchased here.

Haba Monza

This is a fun game for motor racing fans, young and old. Simple to set up, quick to play yet providing hours of fun. Players throw the dice to get the right colour then race their cars down the track - but it's not quite as easy as that as there are also opportunities for tactical thinking, as you evaluate the options open to you based on the throw of the coloured dice. The game is for 2-6 players and is suitable for age 5+. Haba games are well made, and the wooden pieces are a pleasure to play with. A fun family game, quick to play with with variety each time which means children will enjoy playing several times in a row. The game can be purchased here.

The Creativity Hub Rory's Story Cubes

Simple yet really effective, this is a brilliant way to encourage story telling skills, and to build children's confidence and skills in speaking and listening. It's a neat pocket sized creative story generator - roll the nine dice with their embossed images (all different) to make one of over a million combinations for limitless storytelling fun. It's small and neatly packaged in a magnetic box, perfect for taking out and about, travelling, holidays and visiting friends; but just as useful in the classroom. It's different, it's fun and players of all ages (the game is recommended for 6+, but you could just roll fewer dice for younger ones so they can join in) can play and enjoy it on equal terms. Simple and extremely clever.

Paw Patrol Quizzy Quizzy

Paw Patrol Quizzy is an entertaining card game with more than 200 educational quizzes to answer, using the fun Paw Patrol electronic pen which makes a sound and lights up when the player gets the answer right. The game, with its well-sized cards, helps children learn basic pre-school age-appropriate facts such as shapes, colours, special orientation, numbers, quantities and words. Each activity encourages the development of attention, observation and logical skills. Paw Patrol Fans will love this game; it's an engaging and different way for children to learn basic skills, suitable for 3+. Buy from Ocado.

Ravensburger Labyrinth Game

Can you find your way through the maze? It's not as simple as it sounds, as the maze is constantly changing. No two games are ever the same making this a game that players will return to over and over again. Players take turns to search the Labyrinth for their magical objects and characters; the treasure cards are divided between the players, who must keep them secret from the others so nobody else knows what you are seeking. To make tLabyrinthhe game easier for younger players, they can look at all their cards at the start of the game, rather than just one at a time; this is a very useful feature that makes the game really good for mixed ages. The maze cards are randomly placed on the playing board and the first player uses the extra card to start moving the first wall. Players strategically move the walls so they can collect their own treasures but block the route for others. Once you have collected your treasures, you must return to the start point - and your opponents will do their utmost to stop you! The game is suitable for up to four players (but it's just as much fun with two or three), age 8+, and comes with game board, 34 moving wall cards, 24 treasure cards and four playing pieces. Sturdy and well made with attractive designs, it will withstand the heavy use that it is very likely to get, as it becomes a family favourite. Quick to set up and straightforward yet challenging to play, Labyrinth is great family fun with plenty of opportunities for strategic thinking; it's a good way to encourage children to think ahead and think logically to work out the consequences of their actions. A great addition to your games cupboard.

Rummikub Junior Game from John Adams

This exciting and fast-moving game for children of 4+ allows them to enjoy all the fun of the popular adult version. In fact, as long as you can count to 10, then this game is suitable - I found a 3 year old thoroughly enjoyed it, and the rules are straightforward and easy to understand. The Rummikub Junior Pack contains 40 number tiles (1-10 in 4 colours), 4 jokers, 'Star' counters, 4 tile racks plus instructions. The objective of the game is to earn stars by placing three or more consecutive tiles of the same colour on the table; stars are also gained by adding to existing runs. Simple to set up and play, it's fun to play, a good way to help children learn numbers (and colours) and is enjoyable for the whole family. Please note that this is NOT the same as Rummikub for Kids! To my mind, this is far superior as it encourages children to learn their numbers and it is far more similar to the adult version; hopefully, children who play this will progress easily to the adult version John Adams Ideal Rummikub Classicand enjoy even more family fun together.

Tipping Point from Ideal

What's your tipping point? This enjoyable family game with an added element of tension is based on the popular TV game show. Competing as individuals or as teams, players win tokens to drop into the electronic Tipping Point machine. Players have to answer general knowledge questions - these are graded easy, medium and hard. If the player/team gets the right answer, they decide whether or not to put their token onto the Tipping Point machine; the aim is to collect as many tokens as possible. Then it's on to round 2 for more questions and the winning team progresses to the end game. It's great fun waiting to see if the gadget will tip the coins out and there's a strategic element in deciding whether or not to add your coins. There's bound to be plenty of hilarity when a team makes the wrong choice! Things change quickly in this fast-moving game so it gives everyone a good chance of winning. It takes a little while to set up first time, and I'd recommend reading the rules a couple of times before starting to play, but after that, play can start quickly. A good game for a large group of people - it needs a minimum of 3 players/teams and the game is ideal for players of 10+. Great for holiday times and family get-togethers; a good ice-breaker between differing age groups.

Rattle Me Bones Electronic Game from Drumond Park

The challenge for players is to creep up on Ol' Cap'n Boney and, with the stealthiest of fingers, Rattle me Bonestry to steal his possessions from right under his nose (if he had one!). To win, players must collect 3 pieces of treasure, colour matched to their spin on the spinner, and finally take the Cap'n's golden hat. But pirates, dead or alive, don't take kindly to anyone trying to steal their treasure trove and if a player falters or makes a clumsy move, the Cap'n ‘feels’ their touch… and what happens next makes everyone jump out of their skins! Cap’n Boney rises up, shaking frantically and literally ‘rattling his bones’ – shocking them right out of their turn! The tension really builds as everyone is on tenterhooks throughout the game, just waiting... It's simple to set up - and putting the pieces of treasure on the skeleton is a great way to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination (it's tempting to do this yourself, but do please let children have a go!). We also found that some items were easier to remove than others, and this is something children will learn and remember as they play the game. Drumond Park are constantly coming up with new and exciting games and children will love this new release, with its air of suspense and fun actions.

Cities of the World Memory Game from Barefoot Books

This enjoyable memory game will help children to discover some of the world’s greatest cities and landmarks. The object is to match the pairs of cards; one card features a landmark and is labelled with the name of the city in which it can be found. The other card in the pair features the same landmark, this time is labelled with the country. The cards include wonders of the ancient world, as well as iconic modern-day structures. The game is suitable for any number of players, even for a child to play alone (more fun and better for developing social skills to play with others though). Bright cards and attractive illustrations make the game appealing. It's a fun way for children to learn more about the world around them. Make the game even more enjoyable - and educational - by having an atlas to hand, so you and your child can find the locations of the landmarks.

Bingosaurus from Carlton Kids

Bingo will certainly change its image with this game! 48 dinosaurs are illustrated with stunning artwork. The box includes a masterboard for the chips to be placed on by the caller; 48 card chips, each showing a different dinosaur; 8 game cards allowing up to 8 friends to play together; 120+ counters to be placed on the game cards; bags for the counters and for the chips. There is also an informative 16-page book which includes both the rules of the game and profiles of all the different dinosaurs in the game. There are two games - the standard bingo game and a more challenging one which tests players' knowledge. Each profile includes a pronunciation guide, brief introduction as well as four facts about the dinosaur, which cover everything from their diet and what period they lived in to their key features and what their name actually means. A top-quality game which is great fun to play, as well as being informative.

Chess for Children Activity Book by Sabrina Chevannes

Friendly chess playing young enthusiasts Jess and Jamie (first met in "The Batsford Book of Chess for Children") are back to show children just how much fun chess can be. Through an imaginative, fun series of games and activities, they explain, in clear child-friendly language and dialogue, a range of strategies to help with the game. The exercises include puzzles, crosswords, easy chess v and variants and a guess-the-next-move section; revision time helps children reflect on what they already know, and ensures they know the basic principles, for example each chess piece is covered. The layout is clear and engaging, with the moves clearly depicted on chess boards. The activities are really fun to do - try them out on non-chess players and you may well find you have a new convert to the game! I really like the approach, which makes a complex game really enjoyable for children. Excellently done.

Orchard Toys Robot Run

The aim of the game is to match the robot or the colour on the top of the pile in the centre of the table, and by doing so, to be the first to get rid of all the cards on front of you. Each player takes turns to place a card into the central pile, matching the previous players' card by robot or colour. Can't play a card? Then you must pick up another card from the central pile to add to the ones in front of you. I found it took my young testers a little while to get used to the idea that, this time, they are getting rid of cards, not collecting them! That's good though, as it introduces a new concept. Children will learn to match both shape and colour, and that they must look out for both so they really need to concentrate. Bright colours and sturdy cards make the game appealing and fun to play. You can see the whole superb range at Orchard Toys.

 Robot Run

LOGO Lite from Drumond Park

LOGO Lite: a brilliant new way to play the LOGO game. Using the same kind of cards as in the original LOGO, LOGO Lite is a fast-moving game of fun facts and frustration, with even more companies, organisations and products to test your memory and observation of our everyday world. Be prepared to go off at a tangent, with plenty of 'I remember...'  Just like the original LOGO board game, there are three types of Question Card in LOGO Lite – Picture Cards, Pot Luck Cards and Theme Cards.. Your target is to collect all six colours. After each correct answer, you spin to find out which colour of disc you've won. If you already have that colour - that's where the frustration comes in! The more colours you win, the less likely it is that you will get the colour you want. If you get the question wrong, the other players get a bonus chance. If you are a fan of the original LOGO and, like my family would really like some more cards, these 264 brand new cards can also be used to enhance the original game - excellent! It's a great family game (for players of 12+) and hours of enjoyment are guaranteed. A great addition to an already superb range.
LOGO Lite LOGO Lite     LOGO Lite

Og On The Bog from Drumond Park

Can you steal Og’s loo rolls while he is on the bog? Look out, though, or you might just be the victim of one of Og's tremendous farts - so explosive that they blow the bog to bits! You are a group of cheeky children who want to steal Og’s loo rolls, leaving him with a bit of a tricky problem. As you lurk around the bog, take a spin to see if you can sneak a loo roll off its pole - you need a steady hand, or Og might hear you. To play, put Og and his ‘Bog’ in the centre of the table and give each player one ‘loo roll’ to start them off. Then the youngest player spins the tree stump spinner; a red cross means you’ve made a noise and it’s not safe to tip-toe up to Og’s Bog, so your turn is over; the hand holding a loo roll means you can pinch a loo roll from any other player; and a green tick means you can try to steal a loo roll from Og’s loo roll pole… but you have to push down the front step of the bog to see if Og has heard you. If he says anything, he has – and you must run away; your turn is over. It's a great ice-breaker and bound to generate huge amounts of hilarity - children will love it!
   Og  Og

Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads and Tails

This fun first matching activity cleverly develops into a game as your child matures and grows in understanding. Initially toddlers can use it as a matching game, where they pair up the farmyard animals and objects - they can enjoy this on their own, with an older sibling or with an adult. Farmyard Heads and Tails is a simple game, which toddlers can enjoy on their own or with other players. As your child gets older, it can be used as a matching game, where all the pieces are face down and players have to remember where the card they need is. This is excellent for reinforcing memory and concentration skills - you can't afford to be distracted just because it's not your turn! There are twelve farm characters and objects to match, all with bright illustrations and on wipe-clean cards. I love the way this is meant for children of 18 months up - there are few games for this age and it's good to teach them the concept of playing games and taking turns. Like all Orchard Toys, it's made in Britain - and very well made! A really good first game.


Gee Whizz: The Magical Box of Tricks from Drumond Park

Aspiring magicians from 5+ will love this box of magic tricks, which have been carefully selected to be suitable for young children. The cleverly designed props allow children to perform tricks without spending hours working out how to do them (the visual nature of the clear instructions is ideal for the age group); there are even push-button tricks that do themselves, allowing the child to concentrate on putting on a dramatic performance. It's an excellent way to encourage shy children, who will find using the tricks takes their mind off the audience and thereby encourages confidence. The box contains 12 tricks and optical illusions; a Magic Wand with flowers; a Flower Pot; a Colour changing string trick; a Super Die tunnel with coloured die; a pair of glasses with 'Firework Lens'; 2 Wizard optical illusion cards; a Magic coin saucer with 3 golden coins; 3 double-sided optical illusion discs; 4 Shadow cards; a parrot in the bird cage trick; a Magic Card case and a Cutting Rope Trick. This imaginative set includes a great range of different tricks and illusions, perfect for putting on a show for friends and family. They work well, so no embarrassing mishaps! It's a good way to encourage children's investigative and imaginative skills too, as they find other ways of using the content, and extend their repertoire even further. Great fun!
 Gee Whizz Gee Whizz..Gee Whizz

MinecraftTM  Gameband

Play MinecraftTM anywhere, anytime—on any computer—with Gameband + MinecraftTM, the world’s first MinecraftTM wearable. With this stylish, high-tech band, you can take the full MinecraftTM experience everywhere you go. When you are wearing it, just press the button on the front to see the time, or otherwise display a customisable animation designed to reflect Minecraft's various enemies and memes. When you are ready to play, simply plug Gameband into the USB port of any Windows, Mac or Linux computer, launch the Gameband App, and then enjoy endless fun creating and playing your favourite game, wherever you are - great for sharing with friends. The freedom of MinecraftTM on the go, this wearable is perfect for those who don’t want to be tied down to playing on a single computer. Featuring ultra-fast, long-lasting hardware, Gameband saves your Worlds and also backs them up onto our secure, cloud-based servers. Lose it? Contact MinecraftTM and order a replacement with all your data intact; brilliant idea, no more worrying about losing your data. Out in the rain or forgot to take it off in the pool? No problem - it's waterproof. Gameband ships with the PixelFurnace App which lets you customise it with messages, images and animations and share them via Gameband comes pre-loaded with stunning maps from Sethbling, Hypixel and Dragnoz. Buy your Gameband from the Gameband site; also available in Dixons.

Don't Wake Dad from Drumond Park

Here’s another fabulous family electronic board game from Drumond Park. The objective of the game is to reach the fridge where a slice of tasty chocolate cake awaits - but Don't Wake Dad! Take care - if you land on the howling cat, the tinkling bell or the hooting owl, Dad will wake up and send you back to the start! It's a wonder he can hear anything above his continual snoring though! Players (the game is for 2 to 4 players) are dealt cards and take it in turns to spin the spinner to travel around the board. Most of the spaces show a picture and you're safe if you hold the card that matches the image. The exciting bit comes if you don't - then you must press Dad’s alarm clock down the number of times indicated on the space and hope Dad doesn't wake up. If he does, and you get sent back, at least you get to keep the hazard card so you are protected next time. Once Dad is asleep again, play continues until a player reaches the kitchen - but you're still not safe as the dreaded alarm clock comes into action again. Will Dad wake??? It's simple to set up and play and every player, regardless of age, has an equal chance to be the winner. Children will love the anticipation of seeing if Dad wakes and the noises give an added level of fun.
  Don't Wake Dad
Timeless Board Games

Timeless Board Games

Timeless Board Games produce wonderful historical games that are rarely if ever seen elsewhere. I was thrilled to be sent four of their games for review. The traditional feel of the games, which come with cotton playing sheets and well produced, easy to follow A4 rules makes them feel very different from the brightly coloured games which are common - the colours are delicate and the illustrations attractive."Play our historic board games and have fun while your children (or you) soak up some history. Historic board games come from all over the world and times, and each comes complete with a "bit of history" and full rules. A great gift any time. Our games are crafted in as traditional a way as possible by printing our new board designs on white cotton and where possible using hand-coloured drawings. We have games for all age ranges, starting from around six years old to adult."Take a look at the Timeless Board Games website to see all their range, including a range of fun games soon to be released for young maths learners. All the games reviewed here cost £14.99 and they can be bought from the website shop page. If you want something out of the ordinary - these are for you!
I was sent:
  • Tavola Lusoria - A two-player game, popular in Ancient Greece and in Roman times, age approximate 6 to adult and is deceptively easy to play.
  • Nine Mens' Morris which is one of the oldest known games, popular in Medieval England. It is a two-player game suitable for 7+ which takes around 15-20 minutes to play. I had the gold version has a reproduction of Edward III quarter nobles for the playing spaces.
  • Senet is a two-player board game from Egypt which dates from before 3000BC and may be the precursor to modern backgammon. For age 8+, the game takes 20-30 minutes. An unusual game played with sticks rather than with a dice.
  • Alquerque is also a two-player game. It originated in the Middle East when it was called El Quirkat. It dates from around 1400BC and is suitable for children and adults (8+) and takes around 20-30 minutes to play. This game evolved into modern checkers.
game I love the history which is reflected in these games and the fact they have been popular for thousands of years. I think one of the best ways to use these games would be in schools, as part of history studies - Tavola Lusoria was played in Ancient Greece and Rome; Nine Mens' Morris was played in Medieval England; Senet was popular in Ancient Egypt and Alquerque was played in Ancient Arabia and Spain. It's a great way for children to learn about the culture of other eras and gives them insight into entertainment of the time. Beautifully produced and illustrated, these are really different and unusual. You can even wash the game boards so no worries about sticky fingers and lots of use.

Barbecue Party from Drumond Park

The perfect game to have to hand during a summer barbecue. Play it while you are waiting for the food to cook - or if, sadly, your barbecue gets rained off! There are three different types of food to cook and collect to win. Pick a card to find out what you are going to cook; if the food is already cooking, you get to keep it for yourself. If it's not already cooking, use the tongs to put your food on the barbecue - but be careful as the barbecue can catapult the food into the air at any time, causing great hilarity. Can you hold your nerve and show your dexterity - or will you have the whole group laughing as the tray tips? The winner is the first to collect three sets of food. Like all Drumond Park games, the pieces are colourful and well made and are a real pleasure to use. This is a great family game as everyone, young and old, competes on equal terms. Simple to play; simple to set up, this is an ideal way to bring the family together for some light-hearted fun.
Barbecue Party berbecue party

Tobar Wooden Labyrinth Puzzle

Test your dexterity with this traditional wooden game from Tobar. The challenge? To guide the ball-bearing around the wooden maze without it disappearing down one of the holes. You can tilt the maze in either direction, using the knobs on the side of the box. It's well made and I love to see wooden toys as a change from the ubiquitous plastic - there's even the smell of wood as you first open the box. Suitable for all ages from 6+, if you play this in front of others, you can guarantee they will want to try it too. It's a real challenge and totally addictive - you won't want to give up!

Nature Dominoes by Tobar - 28 piece set

Another well made traditional wooden game from Tobar - and another one with a lovely smell of wood when you open the box. The nature themed dominoes have delightful insect pictures instead of the traditional numbers - there are ladybirds, butterflies, spiders... all depicted in bright colours. The set comes in a neat wooden box with a sliding top - again, decorated with insect pictures. These dominoes are suitable for children of 3+ and make a great way to introduce them to this classic game - and to insect life!

Tobar Wooden Skittles bag

This classic set of six wooden skittles with a bright red wooden ball (the skittles are attractively decorated with matching red stripes too) comes nicely packaged in a drawstring cotton, making it perfect to take out and about. The skittles are quite small but perfect for playing on a hard floor indoors or a patio outside; at 9.5com tall, they are described as table top skittles. They are a great way to teach children early coordination skills in a fun way. An ever-popular game that makes a good addition to a set of traditional games to have at home, ready to bring out for any occasion. Try having a variety of these Tobar wooden games available whenever the children have friends round to play - they will love to see the variety available and to have a choice of games laid out; good for parties too.

Tobar Traditional Marble Games

Here's another lovely traditional wooden game to add to your Tobar collection. The game consists of a wooden arch board (21.5cm wide) with five arches, numbered 0 - 4, plus 20 pretty and varied small marbles and 5 lovely big marbles. The marbles are packed in a drawstring bag. The game comes with a leaflet which suggests three traditional games - Archboard, Conqueror and Eggs in the Bush. After that, you can use your imagination to make up other games and challenges - the inclusion of the five large marbles gives plenty of scope for this although, of course, they do not fit through the arches. Once again, a really attractive game.

JASK - The Game of Words & Knowledge

This engrossing game calls on lots of different skills - knowledge, words and strategy. Many of us enjoy general knowledge quizzes and they are a great way to reinforce learning; but often we want something to make this more fun and that's what JASK brings us. At the start of each round, a card is selected and players have one or more counters on different letters on the board. The challenge is to think of as many answers as possible for the question using any of the letters on which the player/team have counters, then you move forward according to the number of answers you gave. Categories are wide-ranging, with topics to appeal across the ages and include European Cities, Brand Names, Homophones, and Animals. The strategy comes in by knocking your opponents' counters back to the start. Suitable for ages 8 and up, this is a great game for the family to play together and with its two levels of scoring, different games and abilities are well catered for. The game includes 64 Question Cards (it would be easy to make up more questions), 32 Counters, a Game Board, 4 Pads, 4 Pencils, a Set of Rules and a Timer - everything you need to get going and no frustrating search for a pencil! Individual or team play allows the game to be used for varying numbers - great for parties, schools and holiday fun. This well thought-out game makes general knowledge fun and adds an extra dimension to questions. Good fun and an excellent addition to the family games cupboard. Buy Jask and find out more about the game and other products from ALERL (Active Learning and Educational Resources).Contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 Know the UK
Know the UK

Know the UK Game Junior Edition from Speye Game

This enjoyable game aims to test and extend knowledge about the UK. The Junior edition is best for children aged 7 to 11 (questions are at two levels - 7-9, 9-11); there is also a family edition which has questions in four age ranges. The knowledge cards are based on a wide range of subjects - Maths, English, Science, UK Geography, UK History and UK General Knowledge; Challenge Cards add fun and extend players' cognitive skills, memory and speech ability. Play the game by giving out the hexagonal playing pieces, then the person to the right of the player starting first selects the top knowledge card and reads the age appropriate question to the player. A correct answer means a jigsaw piece is placed on the board corresponding to the map. That player can then answer a challenge card question; and the correct answer means another piece on the board before play moves on. The winner is the first to place all their pieces. The game has plenty of added value too - the knowledge and challenge cards can be used independently and the jigsaw can be completed by children for fun or to improve UK geography knowledge. This is good fun to play and a great way to enhance knowledge of our country. It's well made too - I knew that as soon as I picked up the relatively heavy box, testament to the quality of the pieces. Children enjoy the challenge and the game teaches many things which aren't covered in schools - things that, as adults, we tend to assume people will know. Good fun and just that little bit different. Purchase from the Speye website.

Best of British Board Game from Drumond Park

What makes Britain great? We all have different ideas - from the much-loved 'cuppa' to the weather forecast, double-decker buses, pubs, the ‘national pastime’ of queuing, lollipop ladies, sandcastles, conkers, Blackpool rock, deep fried Mars Bars… Big Ben and Eros, Winston Churchill, Thunderbirds... the list is almost endless and Drumond Park have brought them all together in this brilliant celebration of British life. It's fascinating to be reminded of the things which are special about our country and everyone will learn something new too. With 400 cards and 2,400 questions, there's plenty of variety for all the family; the cards are divided into themed, picture and pot luck. Simple to set up and straightforward to play, we found the game took up to an hour. The game is recommended for 12+, and can be played by 2 to 6 individuals or teams. An excellent point is that there are questions that appeal across the ages, making it just as much fun whatever your age; playing as a team makes best use of everyone's knowledge. It's good fun to play in a group and we found it generated lots of conversation too. A perfect game to have on hand for family and mixed generation occasions. Usefully, if you lose the rules, you can download them from the Drumond Park website.
  Best of British

Rapidough by Drumond Park

This fun-packed game (for two teams) of sculpting charades takes a whole new look at play-doh and similar. Pick your card and then the team's sculptors must model the entry on their card. The first team to guess correctly what their sculptor is creating wins the round. However, there is a twist - the winning team gets to steal a plug of dough, meaning that teams can end up with a pea-size piece of dough to model with. Played in teams of two or more, the game suits ages 8 years to adult. There are three types of cards, which adds a refreshing variety - one word; three words; and two words where teams have to use their colour. You can also add variety by agreeing a choice of modelling rules. This action-packed, fast-moving game keeps all the players occupied all the time (you are modelling or guessing) and generates lots of hilarity, especially once teams have lost some of their dough and are struggling with smaller pieces! They've thought of everything - as well as dough, modelling tool and plugger, there's even a mat to protect your furniture. The really keen might be spotted getting the box out between games and practising their modelling skills! Brilliant fun, highly creative and a great ice-breaker; another game in which all ages can complete on an equal footing - the game makes a point of the fact it includes family-friendly words.
 Veg Patch Match

Veg Patch Match from Orchard Toys

Players will learn about different fruits and vegetables as they build matching and memory skills in this fun game with an amusing twist. Play the game by taking turns to swap your small veg patch cards to match the central veg patch board; the first to do so can shout “Veg Patch Match!” But here comes the twist - watch out for Mr Sprout; when another player uses this card they can change the veg patch to which everyone is matching! A fun and strategic game for all the family which is a good way of helping children learn about vegetables - why not look out for the veg next time you are shopping and bring them home to cook? Observation, sorting, matching and social skills are all developed by playing this game - that is why games like this form such an important part of children's development.  Of course, and just like every product from Orchard Games, the pieces are bright and colourful, with engaging illustrations which really add to the appeal of the game; sturdy and durable playing pieces mean the game still looks really good even after multiple plays.  Buy from Orchard Toys or from Amazon at Orchard Toys Veg Patch Match Puzzle

Veg Patch Match 
 Go Go Dragons

Go Go Dragons from Orchard Games

Players choose which dragon to support and race to be the first to cross the finish line, then take turns flipping over the dragon discs to determine which coloured dragon moves forward. Of course, there's a twist to add to the excitement - when the last dragon catches up with the pack a disc from the game board is turned over to determine which dragon must move back! A great game for all the family, in which everyone competes on equal terms. Playing games together is such an important part of family life and Orchard Games' superb range makes this possible from a young age as so many of their range are suitable for small children - I find a two year old very happily plays along with many of the games and really enjoys them. Buy from Orchard Games or from Amazon at Orchard Toys Go Go Dragons! Board Game. If you would like to purchase the Limited Edition version from which all proceeds go to Break Charity, click here - GoGoDragons Break; GoGoDragons is a wild in art event brought to you by Break Charity.

 Go Go Dragons
pizza, pizza

Pizza, Pizza! from Orchard Toys

Everyone loves pizza - but not everyone will love some of the toppings in this amusing pizza game! You might find a slug or a bug instead of cheese and tomato. This is a fun game which helps children learn about colours and shapes, but unlike a traditional pizza, the toppings in this game are sometimes very unusual and yukky, which children find hilarious. The game includes 25 assorted pizza slices - who's for frog or spider pizza? There are 4 pizza boards, a Head Chef who helps players match shapes and colours, and a double spinner. Playing games is vital for children - it develops personal and social skills, including sharing and learning to lose; this will cause plenty of amusement as players create some strange pizzas - and have plenty of chance to discuss what makes healthy eating. Buy from Orchard Games or from Amazon at ORCHARD TOYS Pizza, Pizza.

pizza pizza
frog party

Frog Party from Orchard Games

With numbers up to 10, this is an ideal way to support your child's early number recognition and learning as well as the first steps in addition. Children race their frog characters along the lily pad boards to the centre of the party square - the first to the frog party is the winner. Children can use the lily pad counters to add the two numbers on the double spinner, before they progress to the tried and tested number line method of basic addition; this really helps with progressive learning and makes the game suitable for varied age ranges. Buy from Orchard Games or from Amazon - Orchard Toys Frog Party. Just like all Orchard Toys, these games are superbly produced with vibrant colours and really sturdy playing pieces which will stand up well to the many hours of use they are bound to get; a joy to play with.

Frog Party
Match and Spell

Match and Spell from Orchard Games

This is an enjoyable way to introduce letter recognition and spelling. It teaches basic phonetic word building and promotes matching of pictures and words, enhancing children's observational skills too. There's plenty of opportunity to encourage conversation as well, based around the colourful cards. The pack contains 12 double-sided 3 letter word boards and 8 4 letter word boards, the word is one side and the other side has spaces. This allows for progressive play, first by matching letters to the word then by spelling phonetically. The game is a really good way to introduce letter recognition in a fun way, encouraging interaction. There are plenty of opportunities for other activities too - give your child the box and see what they come up with! Buy from Orchard Games or from Amazon, Orchard Toys Match and Spell Board Game. As will all the games from Orchard Games, these make excellent classroom resources too, helping with early learning skills in a fun way which complements more formal learning.

Match and Spell

Pig Out from John Adams

One of this year's most popular games, following on from the hugely successful Doggie Doo, and more recently Silly Moo, comes Pig Out, the action game where being a greedy pig wins! Playing is easy; players must roll “Pig Out” on the dice and strap on their pig noses. Each player must then rootle around in the trough to secure food in their snout. Watch out though, because the other greedy pigs can steal your food! The first player to get four pieces of food wins the game. Complete with four pig nose masks and oinking trough, Pig Out is suitable for 2-4 players. So what are you waiting for? Hog the trough and stuff your snout!

4M Fun Noah's Ark Biscuit Shaped Matching Game from Great Gizmos

Noah needs some help to get the animals paired up! Turn over the colourful biscuit shaped cards, featuring 16 colourful animals and help Noah match the animals in pairs. Turn the cards upside down and take it in turns to turn over two and see if they match. If they do, you keep the cards and if they don't, you put them back - a great way to encourage memory and concentration. The neat size and attractive box with popper fasteners makes this perfect for kids on the move.. Suitable for children aged 5 and above. See what else Great Gizmos has to offer on their website - it's a great range, with plenty for everyone. Buy from Amazon - Noah's Ark Biscuit Shaped Matching Game

Robot Turtles Board Game

A wonderful game for parents to play with their children and teach them a love of programming from an early age. Not just for pre-schoolers though, although it starts at that age. As children progress, they unlock different levels of the game so there are plenty of challenges to enjoy - and the different levels can be played at the same time so it's great for the family to enjoy together - with the added amusement of making silly noises! Ideal to tie in with the new computing curriculum with its emphasis on programming; the game is inspired by the Logo programming language and developed by a software developer to teach children how to code. The game includes a Game Board, 4 Bug Tiles, 36 Obstacle Tiles, 4 Jewel Tiles, 4 Robot Turtle Tiles, 4 Code Card Decks and instructions. To give you a brief idea - you make a maze on the board with the turtles in the corners and the jewels in the centre then children play instruction cards - turn right, turn left, move forward. When they get the jewel they win! It's easy to play and an excellent way to encourage children to think logically. The skills they learn will really come into their own in years to come - and those skills are so easily assimilated through this stimulating game. It's also really well made and designed, making it a pleasure to play.

Robot Turtles Board Game

A wonderful game for parents to play with their children and teach them a love of programming from an early age. Not just for pre-schoolers though, although it starts at that age. As children progress, they unlock different levels of the game so there are plenty of challenges to enjoy - and the different levels can be played at the same time so it's great for the family to enjoy together - with the added amusement of making silly noises! Ideal to tie in with the new computing curriculum with its emphasis on programming; the game is inspired by the Logo programming language and developed by a software developer to teach children how to code. The game includes a Game Board, 4 Bug Tiles, 36 Obstacle Tiles, 4 Jewel Tiles, 4 Robot Turtle Tiles, 4 Code Card Decks and instructions. To give you a brief idea - you make a maze on the board with the turtles in the corners and the jewels in the centre then children play instruction cards - turn right, turn left, move forward. When they get the jewel they win! It's easy to play and an excellent way to encourage children to think logically. The skills they learn will really come into their own in years to come - and those skills are so easily assimilated through this stimulating game. It's also really well made and designed, making it a pleasure to play.

University Games Chicken Charades

Looking for a game that will have everyone in fits of giggles? Then you have come to the right place! It's charades, but not as you know it - your charade has to be demonstrated through the medium of the squeaky chicken - and you only have 10 seconds for your team to guess! As well as the squeaky chicken (just make sure you keep it away from dogs!) there are 84 charade cards, each with six varied options, a timer and a dice - plus instructions, of course, though it is very simple to play. Fast-moving, quick thinking and great fun for all the family - recommended for 8+, adults and youngsters play very much on equal terms making this a good way to mix generations - up to 12 can play in teams.

University Games Who Wants to be a Millionaire Travel Version (Pink)

First off - this is packaged in a sturdy tin so that it really is a durable travel game with no worries about cardboard boxes collapsing. With over 600 new questions, this pack for 12 years and over will provide plenty of on-the-go entertainment - perfect to amuse teens and adults on long journeys. Test your knowledge on Fashion, Food, Culture, Films and more plus plenty of fun trivia questions - these always offer a challenge and don't rely too heavily on knowledge of specific subjects. Great family game, home or away. Take a look at the University Games website to see what else they have in their super range.

Hovershot Glow in the Dark Floating Target Game

Test your reactions in this ice-breaking game that's great for parties and family get-togethers. The clever thing is that the game includes six glow in the dark darts and the pillars and balls also glow so you can enjoy this game in the dark. The game consists of pillars set at different heights mounted on the target air base; set it going and the foam ball targets stay suspended in the air by a battery powered system, so it's a real challenge to hit them. Start off by playing in daylight to build up your skill then try it in the dark for more of a challenge. The air-powered guns have a simple pull back and release system for quick firing and they are not too hard for children to use. It's great fun to see who can shoot at the targets the quickest.

Dobble Card Game from Asmodee/Esdevium Games

Dobble is a fun family card game that requires speed, observation and quick reflexes as players compete to find the one matching image between one card and another. The problem is that the images aren't always in the same place, nor are they the same size! Neatly packaged in its own tin, it's perfect for taking out and about. The great thing is that there are five mini games - Fill the Well, The Towering Inferno, Hot Potato, Catch them all and The Poisoned Gift. It's an exciting game which all the family (from 6+) can play on equal terms and there's no waiting around for your turn so nobody will get bored - you all need to keep alert all the time! Simple to play but - as we have found - it's highly addictive and will keep all ages amused for hours.
Take a look at the Esdevium Games catalogue to see all their fantastic games.

Ivor The Engine Board Game from Esdevium Games

Ivor the Engine is a little engine who lives in the "top left-hand corner of Wales" and whose story was memorably told in children's films. In this lovely game which will delight his fans and any train enthusiast, players help Ivor to collect lost sheep and complete tasks for his friends. There are hazards on the way - as they travel along the railway line, players must clear the flocks of delightfully-shaped wooden sheep who are in Ivor's way. The game relies heavily on the original stories for its setting and fans will be thrilled to recognise familiar scenarios. It's a beautifully produced game with an intricately detailed and fascinating board and well made playing pieces and cards, all with designs by the original illustrator Peter Firmin. Suitable for all the family from age 8 up, it's a game of strategy which will have you thinking and planning ahead all the way. A superb family game which is great fun, different every time you play and which remains really true to its origins.

Timeline Inventions from Asmodee/Esveduim Games

Do you know all about inventions - and when things were invented? This game is bound to throw up some surprises as you try to put the inventions at the right point in time. The date is on one side of the card - but no peeking until you have put it on the timeline; if you're right, it stays, if not, put it back and take another. The cards have a lovely quality feel, with high standard illustrations and a linen-feel - it's touches like this which make games a real pleasure to play. Packed in a tin, it's easy to transport too. It's a fun way to put inventions into context and you can extend the enjoyment by adding others in the same series including Timeline: Historical Eventsand Timeline Discoveries Card Game.

BeyBlade Kimble Game from Tactic Games

A bit of skill and a bit of luck are needed for success in this fast-paced chasing game. The target is to move your pawns around the board and get back to your home spaces first - but be prepared for hazards on the way! The well designed plastic game board comes with a built in dice, so none of that frustrated searching when the dice have been borrowed for another game! The eye-catching design makes this a sure-fire winner and there's plenty of excitement as the leaders change rapidly. Of course, it will appeal especially to Beyblade fans. but everyone will enjoy the game. It's a perfect family game and be warned - it's addictive! Tactic Games have lots more super games, so do take a look at their website.

Ingenious Strategy Game by Sophisticated Games from Esvedium Games

This unique strategy game is relatively quick to play but with its almost limitless number of different strategies the outcome is different every time. Basically, the game involves scoring points by placing coloured tiles on the hexagonal patterned board - but you need to think ahead to stop other players from scoring points. The more matching colours, the better but there's a catch in that for which you need to plan. The game is suitable for players of 8+ and it's great fun and challenging for the whole family; the standard game is for 2-4 players but it can also be played as a team game and even as a solitaire game ( a good way to hone your skills!), giving a great range of options. A great thing about this game is that you can go on and on developing your strategy if you're really keen or you can just enjoy it as a family fun game. I love the look of the completed board - it's very pretty! A superb game which will engage all the family and give lots of playing pleasure.

Hotel Tycoon Board Game from Esdevium Games

This is a stunning looking 3D game and the game play lives up to the look. Fly around the board snapping up title deeds, building and developing your hotels. When your guests arrive, make them so welcome that they will stay long enough to bankrupt themselves! The game has lots of well-made bits and pieces (some of which need assembling first) which make it very interesting to play. It's aimed at players of all ages from 8 up and we found it worked best with 3 or 4 players. There is strategy involved and the game plays out differently every time, so you won't get bored. It's a fun and competitive game which offers a new twist on the traditional. This is the final review of the current batch of Esdevium Games and I am very grateful to them for the opportunity to review such a wonderful set of games. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Shout! from Drumond Park

Drumond Park come up with some brilliant and innovative games and Shout! carries on that tradition. There are 167 double-sided cards with nine challenges on each side - giving nearly Shout!3000 challenges in all, so no chance of getting bored! The variety in the challenges - themed images, words, figures – mean that there is something for everyone to be good at. It's a game that really makes you think in order to put the associations together At the centre of the game is the 60-second timer stand which displays the Challenge Cards to the ‘Answerers’ and enables the ‘Askers’ to see the answers to each challenge and keep score. It's a fast-moving game where everything depends on quick thinking and everyone is fully involved all the time - and it can lead to great hilarity as people rush in with their answers which can be highly amusing at times! Players from 12 upwards will enjoy the game - and there's no upper limit! You can choose the length of the game - the first team to 69 or 99 points wins - and you keep track on the clever timer stand. A brilliant and hilarious way to bring the family together and perfect for any get-together.

Articulate! for Kids from Drumond ParkArticulate! for Kids

As a family, we love Articulate! so I was thrilled to be sent a copy of Articulate! for Kids to review - and the great thing is that the two games can be used alongside each other, making them come together as the ultimate family game (Articulate! for Kids is suitable from 6+) . Players form teams and the idea is to describe (without giving "begins with" or "sounds like" clues) as card entries as possible to your team mates and they have to guess as many as possible in 30 seconds. It's fast-moving and generates much hilarity as some of the guesses go wide of the mark - and the most obvious escape your mind in the heat of the moment. It really tones up those reactions and language and thinking skills! The game is compiled by an educational specialist so you can be sure that children are developing key skills as well as having fun. With a total of 2000 entries, there's plenty to keep this game going through many happy family sessions. A brilliant family game
Cake Monster

Orchard Toys Cake Monster Game

Playing games as a family is brilliant - it draws people together to have fun and there are also enormous educational benefits as well as the social ones. This colourful game helps children learn their numbers up to 10 as they see who can fill up the cake stand... but danger lurks! The cake monster is about and he's VERY hungry! There are two ways to play the game so this offers added value and different approaches to keep children engaged - the second is a bingo style game. Colourful playing pieces add to the enjoyment and this is a super way to introduce counting as well as other skills including matching, memory, observation and taking turns. The game is suitable for 3+ and children of different ages can play together as the reference board helps them count the number of toppings; a good quality game which offers plenty of fun and play value. Buy from Amazon - Orchard Toys Cake Monster
Can You Guess?

Orchard Toys Can You Guess Game

This hilarious game has players miming or making noises (or both) according to the pictures onOrchard Toysthe cards; the other players have to guess what they are. After 6 rounds, the person with the most gold stars is the winner. It's a good way to encourage quieter children to come out of their shells and join in with their family as the excitement of the game just carries you along. It's simple to play and easy for younger children as they don't have to read, just look at the pictures. It can be quite entertaining to see how people interpret the actions they need to take, so there are plenty of laughs - a good way to break the ice, perhaps when children have friends round. Buy from Amazon Orchard Toys Can You Guess

Logo Grab from Drumond Park

This is the latest in the popular series of Logo games produced by Drumond Park - and the LOGO Grabmore familiar you are with famous brands such as KitKat, Marmite, Jellytots and Tetley Tea, the quicker you will react in this fast-moving action game. No waiting around for your turn - everyone plays at once. 9 brand cards are laid out and four dice are rolled. You win a brand card if you're the first to match the first letter of the brand to a letter on the dice - this game definitely relies on fast reactions! The element of chance comes in too - if the dice contains a bell and rings you lose that card and forfeit another brand card, so things can change very quickly! Confirming the high quality of this game, LOGO Grab has won a Gold in the Card Games section of the Independent Toy Awards. Great fun for all the family and bound to provoke plenty of hilarity as everyone grabs at once.

CBeebies Toppling Bugs Wooden Game from Golden Bear Toys

Iconic CBeebies characters adorn these colourful well-made wooden blocks which have gently rounded edges. The 30 stackable blocks can be used for at least three different games, each of which will encourage manipulative skills and cooperative play in children of 3+. Throw the dice and remove the appropriate Bugbies character; choose a character each and take it in turns to remove; or take it in turns to remove a block - without the tower tumbling! That sense of anticipation when it starts to wobble is the best part of the game! Younger children - make sure you take the dice away - will enjoy the challenge of building a tower, so that extends the play value of the game; building up and knocking down towers has seemingly endless appeal! Plenty of different play options make for an excellent value game - and imaginative children will probably find more!

Woolly and Tig Pick 'n' Match Your Feelings Game from Golden Bear Toys

This matching pairs game is an enjoyable and educational game which helps to develop your child's visual memory and turn taking skills as well as raising awareness of emotions. It includes 36 cards with 18 different designs plus a cardboard box for easy storage. Young children can find it hard to express their feelings and the popular characters Woolly and Tig are great for helping children vocalise their thoughts. A good Early Years classroom resource too.I would use the cards with their variety of named emotions to encourage talk and sharing of concerns. They are bright and colourful - an easy game to take out and about, and I am sure there are other ways to play too.
brain bix

BrainBox Games - the World

How much do you know about the world we live in? BrainBox World contains 71 beautifully-illustrated cards showing some of the most interesting places in the world. The object of the game is to study a card for 10 seconds and then answer a question based on the roll of a die. If the question is answered correctly, the card is kept, and the person with the most number of cards after 5 or 10 minutes is the winner. Suitable for 8+, this is great fun for all the family and you'll be surprised by how much information you will learn and remember. Easy to play - no lengthy setting up and portable enough to take with you when out and about. Well produced and durable, with well thought out questions, this is a sure-fire winner. Buy from Brain Box Games or from Amazon - BrainBox - The World.
Young Games Inventor of the Year 2014 Full of bright ideas? Imagination running wild? Your child could be just who we're looking for! If your child has a great idea for a board game, we want to hear about it. Simply fill in the form on the Brain Box site with details of the game to be in with a chance of becoming the 2014 Young Games Inventor of the Year. Find out how to enter here.

Bubble Buster Kazoo from Drumond Park

This entertaining game is ideal for getting your children running around outside and having Bubble Busterplenty of fun. The special kazoo is used to blow the bubbles (and it makes a sound when you blow) and the challenge for your opponent is to burst as many bubbles as as they can with the electronic wand - quickly before they disappear! The wand pings when each bubble is burst - as long as you pop the bubbles with both prongs and don't just wave the wand wildly! The clever wand also keeps the score so there are no arguments or 'forgetting'. It would be even more fun for a group of friends (recommended age is 4+) with several sets; how about as a party game? The set includes bubble solution. It's a help with developing hand-eye co-ordination and encourages activity - and, of course, it is quite simply, great fun. For stockists and to play games online, visit

Pumpaloons from Drumond Park

This is another super game for the summer, to encourage children to get outside and run off Pumpaloonssome energy; I am imagining playing this on the beach - there would certainly be lots of attention gained! The winner is the first to inflate their Pumpaloon - Stripeyloon or Spottyloon. Players have to stamp and push their pumps until the colourful Pumpaloons are blown up to full height. No small toys these - they inflate to three feet tall! This game is as much fun for spectators as for players, as you watch the Pumpaloons (and the players!)  bounce around. The game is for 2 players, with 2 Pumpaloons and 2 foot pumps; there are useful instructions on deflating the Pumpaloons correctly. It's good for a range of ages (recommended for 4+), making it a fun family game - why not have two sets, or play in timed heats? With a bit of imagination, children may well incorporate them into other games too.

The Gruffalo Deep Dark Wood Game from Ravensburger

Can you be as cunning as the mouse and find your way through the deep dark wood? This funDeep Dark Woodgame for 3+ is based on the hugely popular book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and is a lovely way of extending the pleasure of the book. If you know the story, you will know that the mouse uses cunning to get safely through the dangers of the wood and players have to help their mouse to get home safely? It's not just the luck of the dice though - a good memory plays an important part and this adds to the learning value of the game as players must concentrate! If you find the image of Gruffalo under the trees you will scare the hungry animals away. Well made with bright graphics (the originals, of course!) and good quality playing pieces. The game is simple to understand and only takes about 10 minutes to play (although I am sure more than one game will be requested!) which is perfect for the attention span of the recommended 3+ years. Great fun!
 To Your Credit

To Your Credit from Education Interactive

Players of 11+ will thoroughly enjoy this  innovative finance themed board game.  It's a realistic game in which players take on the role of different character,s helping them to achieve a successful lifestyle - a goal that .young people will enjoy working towards!  The game  includes a board, playing pieces, character cards, banker and player record sheets, playing pieces and credit cards. Players move around the board, picking up opportunity cards, making payments, earning study points and paying off credit cards. The winner is the first one to achieve their personal targets with their finances properly managed and on track. .As players meet the various situations, they will have to make decisions and this is excellent preparation for managing finances in real life An excellent game to play at home or in school; in schools it will be a welcome aid in teaching the new requirement for financial capability as part of the Citizenship curriculum. Find out more and buy on the Education Interactive website where you can also request Teacher's Notes to enable schools to get the best from this game. You can buy the game from Amazon - To Your Credit 

Wild Animals of the World Board game from Tactic Games

This colourful game contains 300 cards full of interesting questions and facts about animals from all over the world. It's exceptionally well made; the game board slots neatly together to give a map of the world. There are plenty of questions allowing  for lots of games; the six puzzle cards have to be completed. The cards include endangered species cards and it's excellent that these species are brought to our attention. For each correct answer players win a puzzle piece and first player to complete their puzzle wins. As well as being fun to play, it is very informative and a good way to learn and remember facts. excellent game, well thought out, well made and leaves the players better informed than they were at the start. I am very impressed with the range of games I have reviewed from Tactic Games - they are all fun to play and the really make children think; playing games like these is an excellent way to develop a range of thinking and reasoning skills. Do take a look at their website and enjoy seeing the whole range.

Choco from Tactic Games

This is a great game for young children with the excitement of keeping the thieving Stinky away from their chocolate - and they will love to see these sever-popular characters in their very own game. Moominmumma is busy making chocolates for Moomintroll and his friends. The chocolates are filled with blueberries and strawberries - no wonder Stinky wants to steal them. The pop-o-matic die tells you which to collect - who can collect the most? Durable playing pieces make this ideal for 3+ and the game is for 2 to 4 players. Please note that the Amazon link is to an older version of the game - you can visit the Tactic website to see this version.

Tactic Learn The Time Educational Game

It's only when you start actually trying to teach children to tell the time that you realise what a complex concept it is! So anything that helps is very welcome and this simple and enjoyable game from Tactic Games is an ideal way to start on that all-important learning. Players are shown a card which has the time on it and the who finds the time on their board wins the card. The digital and analogue clock faces always make a pair, ensuring that children learn how these relate to each other. As children become more confident, you can also play the game whereby the children are shown a card and they tell you what the time is; this added learning opportunity adds to the usefulness of the game. It can be played with up to 4 players. The colourful pictures are fun for children and you can add another dimension by asking them to talk about what they can see and relate the activities to what they do at that time of day. A very enjoyable way to help with learning to tell the time.

Draw Out Junior Travel Game from Tactic

Players take it in turns to draw clues to the words on the cards - other players try to guess the words. It's a good game for all the family as younger children who can't read yet can draw the illustrated words. If someone makes a correct guess the player may move forward on their game board pad by crossing out fields on their way to the finish line. Contents: 50 cards with words to draw, drawing pad, game board pad, pencil, sand timer, die and rules. This one may be a little tricky to use when on the move, but perfect if stuck in a traffic jam! Travel games are also ideal to take when visiting relatives, meals out or any time when you predict a long wait in a confined situation.

Junior Alias Travel Game from Tactic Games

This is another excellent game from Tactic Games to keep in the car for long journeys, or to pack in a bag for train or plane journeys. The idea of the game is to explain words and pictures to your fellow team members without actually saying the word. How many words can your team guess in the allocated time a sand timer is included)? An excellent way to increase your child's vocabulary, thinking skills, quick reactions and confidence in speaking - and it can be hilarious as everyone tries to explain the words in their own way! I can see a real use for this in the classroom too, as any number can play, and it's a fun way of developing skills and reinforcing learning. Suitable for 4+ players age 5 and up.
 Web Wheeler Dealer

Web Wheeler Dealer from The Maths Zone

This exciting game of buying and selling on the internet is perfect for today's young people, who will be very familiar with this world and keen to hone their skills. You have £100 to invest and a random collection of items comes up for sale. You decide to buy only items belonging to a set as the more items you have, so the value increases. Sell that set and use the profit to invest in more expensive items; If you can sell that set for £1000 you win the game. But, as we all know, the web is unpredictable - will your item get its price? The cleverly designed board has a web browser and value chart, plus two spinners to add the chance element. This gives a really authentic feel. The game is best for 4 players, age 13+ and comes complete with a 4 function calculator for the percentage calculations, full rules, card set with beautifully illustrated collectibles, board and spinners. It's all packed into a large plastic carry case and is ideal for classroom use. Buy from Amazon at Web Wheeler Dealer - Finance Game
"The Maths Zone at Education Interactive is a specialist maths games and puzzles shop and maths education consultancy. If you are a teacher, student or a fan of maths generally, you will be amazed at the range of games, puzzles, books, posters, calculators, and more that we stock. We are passionate about using games to enrich learning and have hand-picked all of our games very carefully."
 Savings Game

The Savings Game from The Maths Zone

This is another game which is perfectly designed to appeal to today's young people, and one which will increase their financial acumen. They are encouraged to save up for a major purchase - an excellent thing to encourage!. Players work their way round the board picking up Expenditure and Income cards. They will get jobs (and lose them) and have to make routine purchases while carefully saving enough to make their purchase. We know that cash isn’t safe, but, just as in the real world, you will need some. Some purchases can be paid for by card, while the saving account pays interest. So players must sensibly juggle money between cash and different bank accounts. Again, this is something that we all need to do in the real world so it's a great way to practise! All the pieces are durable and well made and packed to be suitable for classroom use. Well thought out and makes for a really exciting game - get yours from The Maths Zone. Buy from Amazon - The Savings Game - Finance Game
From September 2014 it will be compulsory for schools to teach financial education. This will be built in to the mathematics and the citizenship curricula. What better way to teach the principles than through these fun but educational games?
 Island Life

Island Life: Budgets and Exchange from The Maths Zone

Players must collect holiday stars by completing Day Out Challenges. The winner is the first player to collect Day Out Challenges with 7 (or more) holiday stars. Players will learn to manage their money by planning their spending, ensuring they have the appropriate currency for each island and paying for any unexpected expenses; they learn to budget their money to make sure they have enough before setting off to a new destination. They must plan their journeys using different forms of transport and this adds an interesting dimension to the game. This game is great fun This will be enjoyed by slightly younger players than the two games above - it is recommended for 10+ so could be used with Year 6 to prepare them for studies in secondary school. Buy from Amazon - Island Life: Budgets and Exchange - finance gameor from The Maths Zone
 Catch and Count

Catch and Count Game from Orchard Toys

I love the games from Orchard Toys - they are bright and appealing and just right for young children who enjoy the fun but need simple easy to understand games.Spin the octopus to see how many fish you can catch but look out  - there's a shark lying in wait! This added suspense makes the game just that bit more fun. The game will develop counting and number recognition skills and links with the Early Learning Goals and KS1 maths so it makes a great classroom resource - good for that rainy day box! I have found that children will make up their own games with the pieces too, which extends the value and gives them a really good way of developing their learning and imagination.Browse the Orchard Toys website and buy this game and more. Or buy from Amazon - Orchard Toys Catch & Count Game

All New Catch Phrase Board Game from Drumond Park

This new board game version of the popular TV game hosted by Stephen Mulhern has updated game-play and plenty of new brain teasers so you can replicate the fun of the game at home. It's one of those games which is great to play as a family as age isn't necessarily an advantage. Everyone gets to take a turn at hosting a round of - Individual, Rapid-Fire and Super Catch Phrase puzzles. There are Bonus Catchphrases to solve and Mr. Chips to hold up the Catch Phrase cards - and a timer in case anyone is a bit slow! No bored people who are out of the game either - you all play right to the end of the game and it's the player with the most money who wins after everyone has taken a turn at being the host. It's suitable for 2 - 4 players, ages 8+ and there will be plenty of laughter as people try to solve the puzzles. The enduring popularity of the TV game shows how good the concept is, so it's excellent to see a board game which is so true to the TV show yet offers fun for all the family in the home setting.

The Magic Tooth Fairy Game from Drumond Park

Children of 5+ will love this game which takes a topic familiar to them and turns it into great fun. They will respond well to the quick rewards the game offers - teeth magically change into gold coins as they play. When a player loses a tooth (each player has 4) from their 'mouth' , under the magic bed's pillow it goes and with a touch from the fairy wand it becomes a coin. Anticipation is built with the Wobbly Tooth Space - can you pull it out or not? It's easy for young children to follow the rules, quick to set up and start play and it keeps moving quickly. We played with children and found that they happily played 2 or 3 times without getting bored. The lively pictures on the board are a bonus too. An unusual game which is very enjoyable and it's good to see something out of the ordinary.
 Counting Caterpillars

Counting Caterpillars from Orchard Games

Numbers up to 10 plus colours are introduced in this first colour and number game which helps to teach number sequencing. There are 4 pieces to each board, so the game starts as a mini jigsaw - each board is different which adds to the fun. Then the players have to pick the caterpillar segments and complete their board; for the youngest players, the coloured feet help number recognition. At around 3, children can count but need help with recognising the numeral so this is a fun way to help with that. As with all Orchard Games, the quality is excellent and designed for many sessions of enthusiastic use. Ideal for 3+ with its simple rules and good design; 2 to 4 players. Buy from Amazon - Orchard Toys Counting Caterpillars
 rockets and comets

Rockets and Comets from Orchard Games

Children will love this colourful game with its space theme - a fresh new look for Snakes and Ladders. Shoot up in the rockets, slide down comets and disappear into black holes in this fast-moving fun game for 2 to 4 players. It's the black holes that add the element of surprise - land on one and the spinner tells you where to go. The bright board and colourful playing pieces are very attractive. It's a good way to develop counting and number skills as well as taking turns, interacting with others and following instructions. Playing games as a family or with friends is great fun as well as an excellent way to develop many key skills. Recommended for children of 4+. Buy from Amazon - Orchard Toys Rockets and Comets. Visit the Orchard Toys website to see their fantastic range of games and puzzles.

Logo Board Game from Drumond Park

If you are observant about the world around you, then this is just the game for you! Logos are everywhere and are a part of everyday life. What amazed me when we played the game is how much we could recall that we didn't know we knew! There's so much more than just logos though - the pot luck questions cover a really wide range of topics so your general knowledge will increase. It's such a fun game and there is none of that boring waiting around for others to finish their go as the game can move on fast if one player gets the answer wrong - so you need to concentrate. There are some tricky questions - how well do you know your Milk Tray chocolates? It's also quite common to leapfrog the other players so never despair if you seem to be behind! The game is suitable for 2-6 players of 12+ - play individually, in teams or as pairs; the game really does work for all ages. We found it brought back many memories and promoted lots of family discussion. I wondered about additional questions as I can see this game being a firm family favourite so was interested to read on the Drumond Park website: "We've had lots of people asking about extra questions for LOGO. That's a big job - and we are working on it." Find all their great games on the website.

Junior Alias from Tactic Games 

I think all families should have a stock of family games - they are a great opportunity to sit down and have fun together and you can never have too many. Add these games from Tactic Games to your stock and you will never be short of something to do. The idea of the is to explain words and pictures to your fellow team members without actually saying the word. How many words can your team guess in the allocated time a sand timer is included)? An excellent way to increase your child's vocabulary, thinking skills, quick reactions and confidence in speaking - and it can be hilarious as everyone tries to explain the words in their own way! I can see a real use for this in the classroom too, as any number can play, and it's a fun way of developing skills and reinforcing learning. Suitable for 4+ players age 5 and up.

Let's Learn the Time from Tactic Games 

Learning to tell the time can be quite challenging for children so make it fun with this game. It has both digital and analogue face cards plus four boards so you can play a bingo-type game. Hold up the card and see which player has a matching picture on their board. As children become more confident with telling the time, use the cards to show children and ask them to tell you the time shown. The game works just as well one-to-one and is suitable for 4+.Tactic Games have an amazing range of games for children - do take a look at them. I am really impressed with the variety, there really is something for everyone.

Junior UK Trivia from Tactic Games

I love trivia quiz games and would have thoroughly enjoyed this as a child. Players (young and old!) will find out all sorts of fascinating facts about the UK as they enjoy collecting the counters for each category. Players move around the board answering questions in six categories - the board features a map of the UK so they are learning geographical skills as they play. The questions are nicely varied and include music, sport, places, the Royal Family and many, many more - this means there is something for everyone's areas of interest. The picture cards add another element of interest. This would also make an excellent classroom resource to help children learn about the UK - how about having it in the rainy day box or for after-school clubs? An excellent game with real learning value, for all ages from 8+.

Flags Of The World Educational Game from Tactic Games

All the independent countries in the world feature in this colourful game which includes a world map and 200 cards. More than just learning the flags, players will learn the location of the countries and other interesting information including capital cities. Again - an excellent classroom resource as well as a thoroughly enjoyable game. This is recommended for children of 8+ and is for 2 - 4 players. It's quite challenging - I know I always have trouble remembering flags - but very satisfying and you will be surprised how quickly you learn. The possibilities for other games with these cards are almost endless - try the ones suggested then come up with your own ideas. I like the fact that each one of the Tactic games has clear labelling on the box indicating age range, number of players and - extremely helpful - likely duration of the game.

Tension Family Edition Board Game from Cheatwell Games

A great family game which spans the ages from 8 to 80+. It's a hilarious, quick thinking and fast-moving game - no time to get bored waiting for your turn as you will be too busy laughing at your fellow competitors' answers. You have just a minute to name as many examples of a given subject as you can - but it's not as easy as it seems, because your answers only count if they match the answers on the card. It can be played as individuals or as teams - more fun as teams though. The categories are well thought out - age is not necessarily an advantage so players start off on an equal footing; the rules are simple too so no need to spend hours working out how to play. It's excellent value too, compared with many of the games on the market. Good family fun.

Cheatwell Games Bygone Days Magnetic Fish Pond Game

Hands up those who remember playing this as a child? It certainly evoked many memories across the generations in my family. This lovely nostalgic game is a perfect reproduction of the original, which has been offering family fun for over 100 years - the attention to detail is superb, from the box (I love the cover illustration) to the contents. The Magnetic Fish Pond comes complete with 15 durable fish, four magnetic fishing rods, a beautifully illustrated aquarium, plus teapots and old boots for the unlucky fisher. Children will enjoy finding out how magnets work and there is even some addition practice as you count up at the end. It's simple, great fun and a refreshing change from electronic games. This is one in a range of nostalgic games produced by Cheatwell Games -do take a look at the others.

The Batsford Book of Chess for Children by Sabrina Chevannes

Fair enough - this isn't a game but a book on how to play a game, but our page on games seems to be the most useful place to find it! This is a friendly and approachable book on a game which can often seem quite daunting - but this book explains chess in simple straightforward terms and in a way that will really encourage children to give it a go. The book is written for children aged 7 and up and characters Jess and Jamie are used to explain the game, which they do through an on-going dialogue which is fun and lively. It's all here - from first sitting down at the board to sneaky tricks to help winning. The book explains who the pieces are and how they move, how to reach checkmate and the concept of the opening, middlegame and endgame. It also introduces the idea of chess etiquette - and explains why sometimes no one wins and a game ends in stalemate. Chess is a game which develops many key skills as well as being fun and enjoyable. The presentation is very attractive, the explanations are clear and inspire confidence. An excellent book, highly recommended.
Monolopy Empire

Monopoly Empire

Great fun for all the family - we found it both simpler and quicker than the traditional Monopoly. That makes it a great way to introduce children to this perennial favourite as the traditional game can be somewhat long-winded - my husband looks back fondly on games that took days! Play the game with 6 golden playing pieces representing iconic brands. Instead of the usual London locations you can now buy and sell 22 of the world's favourite brands and create your very own billboard tower. Just like traditional Monopoly, see your power rise (and fall) and collect rent from opponents who land on your brands. Of course, there is that extra element of excitement, with this game it's the Chance and Empire cards that can change your fortunes. It's different enough from the original to seem like a completely new game, yet has the  features that make Monopoly such a time-tested favourite. Thoroughly enjoyable and a great family game for 2 to 4 players of 8+. Argos sell Monopoly Empire and a great range of other games and toys.

University Games 5 Second Rule: the Game of Quick Thinking and Fast Talking

All you have to do is think of 3... annoying things dogs do; nursery songs; things you can catch; Formula 1 drivers - you get the picture. The questions are hugely varied and there are an amazing 752 questions!), giving everyone an equal chance and often the youngest players (the game suits 8+) are the quickest thinkers making this an excellent game to involve the whole family on equal terms. Choose your playing pawn, name 3... in just five seconds and then the first to get to 12 wins - but beware the Danger Zones on the way! Easy? Not as easy as you'd think when the balls in the spiral timer timer are rattling down beside you beside you and the rest of the players are trying to put you off! It's a fast-moving game that really gets you thinking - and you have to be on the ball all of the time as play quickly moves on; there's no time to get bored! No complicated rules to decipher - so the fun gets off to a quick start. Great family game.

Hit The Hat by Kod Kod sold by The Happy Puzzle Company

An addictive game that brings out the competitiveness in players young and old! Recommended for ages 4 to 12, even adults won't want to miss out on the fun and, of course, playing games together is great for family bonding so what better reason do you need? Like many of the best ideas, it's simple. Throw the three dice together and the top face of each dice determine which hat needs to be found. The first indicates the border colour, the second, the pattern and the third is for the type of hat - however you throw, there will only be one hat to match that combination. When you spot the hat, grab it using your 'grabber' - the first player to collect six hats is the winner! There's a suggestion for a simpler version for younger players on the box. It's a great way to encourage quick thinking and hand-eye coordination. Buy direct. Just one of a fantastic range of products from The Happy Puzzle Company - do take a look at their website.

Classic Catch Phrase Game from Ideal (John Adams)

Based on the famous ITV gameshow, Classic Catchphrase is a simple but highly addictive game which can be enjoyed by all the family. The objective - for those who don't remember this popular game -  is find the hidden catchphrases that are shown on the picture game cards - but I am glad to see that they jump out slowly as the phrase is gradually revealed just like the TV game. Played in teams, the aim of the game is to guess the most individual catchphrases and bonus boards to win the greatest amount of cash possible. The team format is great for families as old and young can play together and it's a great ice-breaker as players shout out when they think they know the answer. For winners, there's the chance of competing in the final Classic Catchphrase round.

Official LOGO board game app

The in-house creative team at Drumond Park has now come up with a brilliant, free LOGO app! Designed for the iPhone and the iPad, with further versions in the pipeline, it neatly and cleverly transfers – and enhances - the highly popular LOGO board game concept to the social media platform.  With unrivalled access to the logos of large numbers of much loved national UK brands and products, huge creativity and technical skill has gone into producing an entertaining, exciting app with superb, authentic graphics for the smoothest of super fun gaming. It’s a mesmerising mix of hundreds of our favourite, everyday brands – cleverly combined with some ingeniously tantalising gameplay. The LOGO app is broken down into seven convenient, bite-sized question types – Reveal, Blur, Tilt, Grid, Shape, Trivia and Colour – and twelve increasingly challenging levels of play. Each level contains 20 ‘questions’ which must be completed within a particular time, and once complete the next level is then unlocked. Each level uses a mix of the question types.The seven question types offer an exciting array of challenges with each round.  It provides fantastic, absorbing fun with enormous play value for gamers of all ages and abilities. ‘The Official LOGO board game app’, for both iPhone and iPad devices, is on the iTunes App Store list, completely FREE until 31st December 2013.

Logo Billionaire Board Game from Drumond Park

Perfect for the competitive player! Adults and children (8+) compete against each other to see who can become a billionaire first. It's good fun to recognise the familiar brands as you try to make your money by wheeling and dealing. Each player becomes a high-powered corporate trader, putting famous brands together to form companies - and launching them on the stock market. I'm impressed with the two levels of play - all the family can play the Apprentice version and older and more experienced players can move on the the more skilful, strategic Executive game. There’s plenty of scope for lucrative, suspenseful deals as you work your way around the board, collecting and trading big brand cards while negotiating new company launches. Unlike some similar games, it doesn't drag on forever but is fast-moving and exciting. You may be surprised at the budding entrepreneurs the game brings to light and you will find out who are the risk takers among your family and friends. Our family really enjoyed playing this and enjoyed the fact it is suitable for a wide age range.

Articulate The Fast Talking Description Game by Drumond Park

I was delighted to be sent a copy of this game, which is one my family has wanted for a while. It certainly lived up to expectations and is a great way to get everyone involved. The box comes with a neatly packed circular board and 500 game cards with a total of 3000 questions. To play the game, you have to describe one of the objects on the card - Object, Nature, Action, World, Person or Random. The quicker you explain the words - and the rest of your team guesses - the better; the timer tells you when the time is up. I like the fact you can pass on one question if you are really stuck. The Control Segments and the Spinner come into play to make things just a bot more tricky! It's great fun to play in teams - the more players the better so it's perfect for family get-togethers and parties. Be prepared for lots of laughs - the descriptions can be hilarious! A brilliant ice-breaker. And when you finally get to the end of all the questions, you can buy Articulate Extra Pack 1

Mask 'N' Ask Board Game from Drumond Park

This is an up-market version of the traditional sticky note on the forehead game, and just like that game, it makes an excellent ice-breaker - why not try it to start off your next children's party? The game includes 30 double sided 
masks, animals one side and strange looking humans on the other - these immediately sent my testers into fits of  Mask 'n' Ask
giggles!  A spinner is spun and then pre-set questions are asked. The game comes with markers to remind players what has been said. It's a good way to encourage children to think things through and keep concentrating. Players have to guess three masks correctly and the first to do so is the winner. One of the (many) good things about this game is that it is simple for children to grasp, and if they want to play without adults to give you a little peace and quiet, then they can easily get on with it themselves. Be prepared for some strange beings to be running around your house, as I can almost guarantee that children will find plenty of other uses for the masks! Another super game from Drumond Park - find out more on their website. Playing games as a family is such fun and Drumond Park have such a varied selection that you are bound to find many to appeal to your family.

The 10 Best Games of All Time by Àngels Navarro

An unusual concept - 10 playing boards on strong card which make up a strong hard-wearing 'book', perfect for every family. Familiar games include Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Solitaire, Drafts, Chinese Chequers and Nine Men's Morris and some less familiar - The Goose Game, Agon, Bizingo and The Royal Game of Ur - a great variety. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and being part of the book means no problem with losing them. The neat presentation makes this an ideal 'book' to take on holiday. The playing boards slot back in easily and there is an envelope provided for the counters and dice but I foresee that these will get lost - I think I would invest in plastic counters and a proper dice for home use and keep the others for going out and about. It's a great way to ensure children don't miss out on the fun of those traditional and well-loved games.

What Am I Logo from Drumond Park

LOGO: What Am I? is the child-friendly version of the hit board game LOGO, which asks players to use their describing, guessing and drawing skills. The board spaces tell you which challenge to try and the variety means that everyone can enjoy the game, whatever their skill. It also means that the game never gets repetitive, however many times you play - there are 250 cards. All sorts of skills are developed playing this game - creative, vocabulary, observational are just a few. I really like the fact that anyone can win from anywhere on the board right up to the very end - it saves a lot of the unhappiness that occurs when a child knows they have very little chance of winning as there can be two winners. The game says for two or more players - it's more fun the more of you there are. Make sure you read the instructions carefully first to get the maximum enjoyment. Suitable for ages 8 years and over - the younger children may need a little adult help, but then that's part of the fun of playing as a family; or if there are lots of you, play in teams. It's great fun and a super way to get the family having fun together; it's also a good stepping stone onto other games. Find this and all Drumond Park's other games on their website and find out more at and

Wordsearch Junior Game from Drumond Park

This is a really fun way for children to learn their letters as they spot patterns of pictures and move on to simple words. Wordsearch Junior leads children from searching out rows of animals or fruits in a grid of pictures to looking for short words linked to pictures like cat, dog or bed. It gets younger children used to the concept of searching for rows in a grid, and gives new readers valuable practice at recognising words. There are three levels of difficulty - firstly, players find a row of matching pictures; for the next level they find a picture with the word spelt alongside it; finally, they search for words in a grid of letters. The game is suitable for players of 4+, and for 2 to 4 players. It's always good to take a new approach and have a change from books and this is an excellent and fun way to reinforce early learning as well as encouraging families to play together. Drumond Park produce a huge range of fantastic family games, so take a look at their website to see what is on offer.

The Ultimate Book of Family Card Games by Oliver Ho

This is an ideal book to have around at home for family occasions, or to take away on holiday - it's a great chance for the family to have some fun together. Most people enjoy playing cards games and there are all sorts here - quick games, longer games and games to suit all ages. It includes over 50 games - rummy, spades, war, old maid, go fish and hearts, for example - with full instructions and difficulty level. The games are organised by type and difficulty and included a brief note on each one's origins, which is interesting.

Kid's Garden - 40 Fun Indoor & Outdoor Activities & Games by Whitney Cohen

This brightly coloured and attractive set of durable cards is perfect for encouraging children to get outside and get active. An introductory sheet highlights each section covered on the colour-coded cards - Exploring the garden; planting and growing; fun with plants; discovering creatures; and creating garden art. This is a really practical yet fun guide - each activity has a time, season and list of necessary items. There are some really novel ideas here - plenty of inspiration. I like the tip at the end of each, which gives an extension activity. There are plenty of indoor activities for those rainy days too in this super set. Now that so many schools are developing outdoor areas and gardens for the pupils, this will be great in schools too.


Usborne Travel Snap by Jim Field

Children will learn to identify 13 famous landmarks from around the world, each with a charming illustration. On the back of each card is a map showing the location - see if your child can find the places in an atlas. A fun variation on the old favourite. You'll be glad to know, even if the children aren't too concerned, that playing games like this teaches important skills such as co-operation with other people, conversation, concentration, how to follow rules and the importance of winning and losing.

Colour Cards: 18 Oversized Flash Cards by Pantone

These flash cards are wonderful! I shared them with a two year old, and he loves to lay them all out and say the colour names and repeat the names of the objects after me.  It's an excellent way for children to explore colour - one side of each card shows the colour and on the reverse are a series of small pictures across a wide range of colours within the same family. The challenge for children is to pick out the identical colour from these. This makes them really aware of the variety of colours around us.  The colour names are not Pantone names (although Pantone numbers are given), but have been designed to appeal to children - Duckling yellow, Worm Pink and Starfish Orange, for example. These cards would make a super display for a child's room, a classroom and especially a school art room.
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Pet Corner from Child's Play

This would be a super game to play with your child when you are considering getting a pet, or trying to decide which pet would suit your family. Involve your child and show him just what is involved as you play the game together and collect everything you need to look after a specific pet. There are 54 colourful cards, showing a range of pets, plus everything that pet needs, plus 6 collecting boards. There are instructions to play Pet Lotto, Pet Sets and Pet Scramble. Each card gives information about caring for pets, so this really is a practical but fun way to learn about caring and responsibility. It also helps reading skills as the words on back and front of the cards are matched. A super game.

Children of the World Memory Game from Barefoot Books

This game (which can be played alone or with other players) is inspired by the book If You're Happy and You Know It. It is a memory game which features the adorable children from all over the world from the book. The object of the game is to match the boy and girl pairs according to the traditional dress, country name and colour featured on each card. .Players will also learn 36 ways to say "Hello"! If you like the colourful characters in this game, then you'll like If You're Happy and You Know It (Fun First Steps) (A Barefoot Singalong). Playing games such as this are a great way to develop children's memory and matching skills whilst they have fun. As a bonus, they will learn about the different countries and their people too.

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Vegetable Soup from Child's Play

Fractions can be tricky things to master, so here is a fun and colourful way to learn about and understand them. Vegetable Soup will challenge children's observation, memory and judgment, as well as consolidating their knowledge of fractions. 48 cards represent various fractions of each of four vegetables - 1/2, 1/4, 2/3 and 5/6. As understanding grows, children can work through the variety of games described on the box, from simple sorting to making Super Soup, which helps understanding of the fact that a whole can be made from different combinations of fractions. This is the sequel to Fruit Salad (Game), which introduces fractions - it would be good for children to enjoy this first if fractions are new to them.

Pizza Fun by Stephen Barker

Part book, part game - whichever way you view it, there are hours of fun to be had within this pizza box! Unfold the four felt covered plates, along with some faces to make and eight pizza recipes, all in a round zigzag fold-out. Children can create their own silly faces with the fifty felt pieces (safely secured in an attached envelope). Afterwards, they can flip the book to follow the recipes and make the real thing - and there's even a chef's hat included. Stephen Barker's bright amusing illustrations,  the fun text and the clever packaging give this great play value.  

Syllables from Green Board Games

Syl-la-bles is a game which is suitable for 8 to any age - I love to see games that the whole family can enjoy together. The game challenges players to think of the longest and most difficult word starting with the letter on the space they land on. Each letter has a point value and each syllable is worth 50 points, so the longer the word, the better. Spelling Bee and Thesaurus squares give opportunity to score more points - and extend vocabulary. ! First person to achieve the set amount of points (decided by the players before the game starts) is the winner, so you can make the game as long or short as you like - the inclusion of a timer is a bonus, so no player can take too long over their word! The manufacturers recommend using a dictionary. Take a look at Brainbox Games for a whole range of wonderful (and educational) games.

Telestrations from Ideal/John Adams

Telestrations is 'The hilarious Chinese Whispers drawing game' and is based on the well-known word game. Games that all the family can enjoy together on equal terms are wonderful for enjoying time together - and, dare I say it, away from TV and electronic gadgets! It is suitable for up to 8 players, aged 8+, and includes erasable sketchbooks, dry wipe pens and a cloth. Players choose a word from a card and draw a picture of the word in their sketchbook.  This is passed to the next player who writes their guess as to what is drawn. This continues through all the players and if the last guess matches your original word you get the points.There's even a timer so people don't hang around!  Telestrations is great fun and a very good way of breaking the ice if, perhaps, you have groups of people who don't know each other very well.  Great fun and perfect for the party season.

BrainBox Games: Teddy Bear from Green Board Games

I love Rikey Austin's wonderful and lovable teddy bears in this set of 55 sturdy cards. Each one depicts one of ten different Teddy Bear characters enjoying one from a wide range of activities - from playing football to building sandcastles. I would also use these cards to encourage discussion with young children. Players study a card for ten seconds and then answer one of six questions selected by rolling a die. If the question is answered correctly, the card is kept and the person with the most number of cards after a pre-selected time 5 0r 10 minutes on the included sandtimer) is the winner. So often, we are asked how to help children develop concentration, observation and memory skills, and here is a fun way to do it which will be enjoyed by all the family. See the whole BrainBox range here. All their games are ethically produced.


Farm Snap from Orchard Toys

This is an excellent first Snap game for children. The chunky square cards are just the right size for little fingers and they are produced on really sturdy cards which will withstand many hours of enthusiastic playing. There are 48 cards depicting a range of farm animals, all humorously depicted in bright colours. Children learn so much from playing games and this simple Snap game is an excellent start. Children will learn to share, to take turns and to win - or lose. Snap helps develop coordination, matching and observation skills, while having fun as a family. Can also be used to play 'Pairs'. Buy from Orchard Toys. There are lots more wonderful games and jigsaws on the Orchard Toys website.

Tummy Ache from Orchard Toys

I remember many happy hours playing Tummy Ache with my own children, so I was delighted to see that it is still available! It's a hilarious game in which the players try to put together an edible meal - without getting any of the cards which mean the player gets a tummy ache. It's easy to play and the instructions are easy to follow, even for quite young children - it is recommended for children 3 - 10, and 2 to 4 players, but I think perhaps the younger age range will enjoy it more. Having said that though, it's a great family game. As with all Orchard Toys' products, the cards are strong and designed to withstand lots of use. Buy from Orchard Toys.

Farmyard Bingo from Make Believe Ideas

The classic game in a bright colourful format, perfect for three to six years olds. Not just one game, but three - Farmyard Bingo, Memory Bingo and Farmyard Pairs. Playing games is such a valuable part of childhood and so many skills are learnt. These games will help social skills, sharing, taking turns, memory, identification and much more. There's a colourful spinner, illustrated with animals and boards and cards for four players. There's also an activity book, to help number and writing skills - an excellent extra. A practical point - the instructions are on the back of the lid so they don't get lost!

Logic Puzzles (Usborne Activity Cards) by Sarah Khan

A fascinating range of puzzles to challenge children - a fun way to improve their concentration, reasoning and deductive skills. Can you put the sheep into their pens; answer the genie's riddle; work out how long it takes to get to Mars or do the symbol sudoku? That just gives a taste of the variety. Perfect for a journey, long or short, and then the answers can be wiped off the cards ready to start again - great to share amongst a family. A pen is included and you'll be glad to know the answers are included!

Animal Quiz Cards by Simon Tudhope

Hours of fun for the family with over 500 questions about all sorts of animals. With 10 questions on each card, it's fun to ask one or two on each topic before moving on to the next. Definitely Deadly; Creepy Crawlies; On the Farm and Down Under are just a few of the varied topics. There is a wide range of different types of questions, including multiple choice, true or false, odd one out, and what am I? This keeps the quiz fresh and interesting. The cards are good sized and will withstand plenty of use, and they are very attractively illustrated with full colour backgrounds. I am quite sure that everyone will learn some new, and possibly surprising, facts.

The Numbers Factory from Child's Play

Make learning about multiplication and division fun with this game from Child's Play. Mental arithmetic is a key skill for us all and one that is not always easy to grasp, so this fun and colourful way to reinforce learning is excellent. A variety of games can be played - multiplication, fractions, factors and more, and different levels are available. The more practice children have the better and this way they will have fun at the same time. It would be good for both home and school use - an excellent classroom resource and the chance of a game would be a good incentive to finish classwork. Buy it and see their other great resources on the Child's Play website.

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My Grandmother Went to Market

A set of 117 cards along with rules for three different memory games. With a bit of imagination, I am sure you can develop some fun games of your own using these cards. Each cards shows an item Grandmother could have bought at market - some likely and others rather less likely, which adds to the fun. One side is a colourful picture by Pam Adams, and the other side has the word (in child-friendly font). The cards will develop language and literacy skills as well as memory and concentration. Try selecting two or three cards and asking your child to make a sentence containing them, for example. Buy the set at

 Picture Puzzles Usborne Picture Puzzles

This is a super collection of sturdy, brightly coloured cards designed to stimulate children's thinking and observational skills. The range of ideas is excellent - there are number activities, crafts, searches, memory tests, odd one out and many more. The cards are wipe-clean and a pen is provided, so they can be reused over and over. Ideal for travelling and holidays, this is a very attractive set.

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Musical families Quartet Game

This is a fun set of 32 brightly illustrated and really attractive cards depicting animals playing a range of musical instruments. Six games are described on the box and I am sure imaginative families could think up some more! The games help children learn to recognise 'families' of musical instruments. The game could be used to complement 'The Lost Music'. Great family fun and a super way to learn about musical instruments.



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