If you watched the video of the opening of the first box of toys from TRU then you will have noticed that The Boy kept referring to paint and wanting to open it up. Meany old mummy wouldn't oblige at first, mainly because the item (which was actually a Play-Doh board game not paint) is aimed at children five years or above, and I therefore wanted to review it with his cousins.
The Play-Doh Smashed Potatoes board game is a really lovely game which is very easy to understand, and The Boy's cousins (Boy Cousin – 5, Girl Cousin – 8, Fiery Cousin – 5) picked up the rules very quickly. The board has a 'kitchen' in the centre with various ways of turning a 'potato' into another form and a route around the outside of this which the (up to) four players must complete in one piece in order to win. Each player makes their own playing piece from one of the four different colours of Play-Doh provided, and using the Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head mould.
They spin the arrow on the dial to decide how many spaces they move and move that amount. If the arrow stops on a potato symbol then they must move to the nearest section of the kitchen and squash their potato using that device. Following this, they remould it and start again.
All of the children wanted to play it, we just gave The Boy a potato-head mould and lump of Play-Doh and he was perfectly happy. Boy Cousin (5) really got into the game very quickly and wanted to complete it, Girl Cousin (8) was very interested too and was enjoying it, but Fiery Cousin (5) was getting demoralised with it, mainly because her potato kept having to be squished. This is the element that might need to adapt depending upon the ages of your children; the five year olds weren't happy to have to keep making their potatoes. Another minor, and I mean minor, irritation is that the blue 'kitchen' insert kept sliding around while we were trying to use it and the scissors occasionally popped out of the guide on the cutting device.
The children said: "I like this game because it's delicious" (Boy Cousin was having a mad moment), "I like the mashing", "Chopping potatoes is fun", "The Play-Doh is nice and squidgy, it's easy to make the pieces."
Generally a good game, I personally feel it's suited to 6+ years due to the fiddly nature of the squashing, but that depends entirely on your child's skills.
Play-Doh Smashed Potatoes board game is priced at £24.99 and launches this month in Toys R Us stores.