TRU Review: Jack & Jill Game (Orchard Toys)

The Boy is obsessed, seriously obsessed, with singing nursery rhymes at the moment. And he does so beautifully, right up until the time that I get the Flipcam or voice recorder on my phone out. Then he clams up and refuses to utter a sound. However, one way to get him singing it to play the 'Nursery Rhymes jigsaw set' with him. When the 'Jack and Jill game' from Orchard Toys was delivered for review in our recent Toyologist box, I saw an opportunity! He knew what the picture on the box was showing straight away and started singing it. Could I get the Flipcam out in time? What do you reckon?

This is a beautifully illustrated and brilliant game designed to encourage your little one's to communicate, share and play together nicely. I'm more and more aware of the need to develop The Boy's socialisation skills over the forthcoming months (Nursery next September, eek!) and so sharing is a target to work on.

The set contains:
* four double-sided boards,
* four different coloured character pieces and stands,
* a spinner
* a numbered die
* a coloured die

Each board has a coloured stone at the beginning of the path up the hill, this matches up with the colour of your Jack and Jill. The player boards are double-sided for differentiatied playing. One side has coloured spots on each stone in the path; the other side has a plain stone path. The spinner has six sections on it; three wells and three spilt buckets. It is worth noting that the wells sections are bigger than the spilt buckets, which means the chance of having to 'move back' a space is lower than moving forward. Always a good thing with little ones who want to be the winner!

Players roll the colour-spot die, move their Jack and Jill card to that matching stone on the path and then spin the spinner. If the arrow stops on a well, then the player stays on that stone; if it lands on a spilled bucket then they must move back to the beginning. Play then moves to the next player who repeats the process. Obviously, the first person to reach the top of the hill, and the well, wins.

In the counting game, the numbered die is used. The only difference between the coloured game and the numbered game is the obvious one: move the number of places shown on the die, not to that colour. This variant of the game is designed for older children than three who have a better understanding of counting.

We have just used the colour game so far as The Boy is too young to try the counting game, additionally we've not used the spinner with him because he didn't understand why he had to go back to the beginning once he'd started to move up the path. However, this is one of the things that I love about Orchard Toys; the games are adaptable to the needs of your child. Technically this game is for three years and older, but The Boy is two and he is capable of playing it and enjoying it.

I tested the two 'proper' levels out on my five year old nephew and eight year old niece, and they both understood them and thoroughly enjoyed them.

This game is brilliant fun and of course, encourages your little one's development in various ways:

  • identification of colours and matching (colour on die to stone on path) is a mathematical and pre-counting skill
  • counting the number of spaces to move from the number on the die
  • turn-taking develops social interaction
  • language skills are developed through singing the nursery rhymes, following instructions and discussion.

Do you know what Mr. TheBoyandMe and I have always wondered though about that rhyme?

Who on Earth builds a well at the top of a hill?

The 'Jack and Jill' game is available in-store at Toys R Us. For more reviews, please click the banner below.

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  1. […] Last month, The Boy was lucky enough to receive an Orchard Toys Jack and Jill game to review from Toys R Us. The review of it is here. […]

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