Tag Archives: puzzles

Review: Orchard Toys What’s the Time Mr Wolf?

This month the small boy started Year 1 and his learning has definitely stepped up a level. One thing his class are starting to look at is learning to tell the time. We’ve been talking about the time all year and trying to figure out what the time is on our kitchen clock, but Orchard Toys have just brought out a new game – What’s the Time Mr Wolf? to help 5-9 year olds learn to tell the time. We were sent one to put to the test, so what did the small boy think?

Orchard Toys What's the Time Mr Wolf?

What’s the Time Mr Wolf? is based on the popular playground game and is for 2 – 6 players, aged 5 to 9. It contains a jigsaw game board, character pieces and stands, time cards (with analogue and digital times on them), a slot together wolf and a large clock face with movable hands.

The game has been designed to help children to learn to tell the time and it is also fun and easy to play. Like many of the Orchard Toys games, it can be played at different levels. First play and learn to tell the time on a clock, once that skill has been mastered you can move onto learning to tell the time on a digital clock.

Orchard Toys What's the Time Mr Wolf?

When you open the box and get the game out, there are a lot of different elements, so it might look more complex than it is. The first version of the game (which is what we are playing, as the small boy is only 5) is pretty simple.

Choose a character counter (I was badger, he was hedgehog), go to the start and roll the dice. Move however many squares and if you land on a question mark you pick up a card from the stack of time cards. Then you read out the time, for example “ten minutes past ten” and without looking at the clock face on the back you move the hands on the big clock to that time. If they match then you can add your card to your collection board (with the matching character on it). The first one to fill their board wins.

If you don’t get the time right, then you have to return the card to the pile and the next player has a go. If you land on the wolf you shout “dinner time” and you must take a card from your collection board and feed it to the wolf. The small boy especially liked the shouting part, but I guess shouting is optional.

What's the Time Mr Wolf?

We played after school and the small boy couldn’t wait for his dad to come home from work to play it with him too. It’s great that the What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game is so enjoyable for him, it really helps with his learning. He’s got the game out most days after school which is really encouraging for me. I do have to watch him, I’m not saying he cheats, but I am saying that cheats never prosper!

I can’t really comment on the other version of the game for older players, as we’re not there yet and we’ve not played it, but it does help to teach older kids how to tell the time on a digital clock.

The What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game from Orchard Toys is made with sturdy recycled board and has a wipe-clean finish. All Orchard Toys games and puzzles are really robust and we’ve still got some which are four years old and have been played to death. 

What’s the Time Mr Wolf? is another cracking educational game from Orchard Toys. If you can make learning fun, then it doesn’t feel like learning at all.

To find out more about the What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game, visit the Orchard Toys website.

We were sent the Orchard Toys What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game fore review purposes. All Images and opinions are our own. 

Review: Orchard Toys Shopping List Game

One of the most popular games we have at home is the Orchard Toys Shopping List game which we’ve had for about a year now.  It’s been all over the place with us and has kept us entertained during family meals out or quiet afternoons at home. The Orchard Toys Shopping List game was probably the best money we’ve ever spent on a game. 

We first discovered it in the school nursery, where the children played with it with the teachers to help develop a range of skills including matching and memory, personal and social skills as well as observational skills. I think it’s also really good for language development, as we always use it to talk about going shopping and what we are putting in our basket or trolley.

orchard toys shopping list game

I was really pleased to see that Orchard Toys have recently released an updated version of the game,the rules are the same as ever,  but there are a few different items to put in your trolley and some different, modern shopping list options. It’s not vastly different, but it’s different enough, so much so that we all got excited about the new game. 

Orchard Toys shopping list game

As you can see from the photo above the Orchard Toys Shopping List game has had a bit of an update – I love the shopping list on the smartphone, because that’s how I shop!

Orchard Toys Shopping List game

Playing the game is really easy. You just select a shopping list and a trolley or basket, turn all the shopping cards over so you can’t see what they are (each one has something from the shopping lists). Then you take it in turns to pick a card and see if it’s on your list, if it is you put it in your trolley, if it isn’t you put it back and whoever does have it has to try really hard to remember where you put it when it’s their go. Everyone takes it is turns to turn over a card and whoever fills their basket or trolley first is the winner!

We couldn’t wait to get the box open and get playing, Grandad joined in too and we played three games in quick succession and have played it every day since! The Orchard Toys Shopping List game is as good as, if not better than it ever was! We love it!

To find out more about this brilliant game, visit the Orchard Toys website.

Review: Big Alphabet Puzzle from Orchard Toys

A month or so ago I found out that I’d been selected to be an Orchard Toys Toy Tester (check out the lovely badge in my sidebar). I was so excited about this as we’ve been very keen on Orchard Toys puzzles and games since the small boy was nought but a tot. My local toy shop Giddy Goat Toys stock a brilliant range of them, so he’s grown from doing the chunky 2 piece puzzles to conquering huge 40 piece jigsaws from Orchard Toys. We were sent the brand new Big Alphabet Puzzle to try out. 

Big Alphabet Puzzle

The Big Alphabet Puzzle predictably has 26 pieces, each with a letter from the alphabet on and a colourful picture. The puzzle is printed on good thick board so it’s hard to damage and scuff them, the pieces are also a good size to be easily picked up and placed by little hands.

Big Alphabet Puzzle

The Big Alphabet Puzzle also comes with a matching poster which we’ve stuck on his wall. The Big Alphabet Puzzle is suitable for ages 3-6 and is made in the UK. We already have the giant alphabet puzzle, so I was pleased to see that they were very different from each other.

Big Alphabet Puzzle

The small boy (aged 4) was very excited to get his hands on a new puzzle, so much so that every picture I tried to take of him doing it was really blurred. We sat down and did it together. He took the lead and I just helped him when he needed me.

The Big Alphabet Puzzle helps to improve hand eye co-ordination, encourages observational skills and helps to improve his literacy. As we did the puzzle we talked about words that began with each letter, not just the word pictured, and we tried to remember what the next letter in the alphabet was.

Big Alphabet Puzzle

Since we received the puzzle he’s gone back and tackled it by himself, and with our help most days. He enjoys the challenge of a jigsaw puzzle and he likes doing them with us, especially talking about the pictures and what he’s doing. I know he’ll enjoy doing this puzzle for a long while yet.

He’s just moving to reception at school, so this kind of puzzle is perfect for cementing his learning and helping to extend and develop his existing skills and knowledge. It’s everything I would expect from a company like Orchard Toys – interesting, engaging and well made.

The Big Alphabet Puzzle from Orchard Toys is widely available online and in good toy shops.

Note: We are Orchard Toys Toy Testers and we were sent this product free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.