Friday, 26 July 2013

The Game of Ladybirds from Orchard Toys

Here at Cuthberts we're big fans of games which combine fun with learning, and Orchard Toys are experts at this.

The Game of Ladybirds is aimed at an age range of 3 - 7 years and can be played with 2 - 4 players. The aim is simple - to collect more ladybirds than the other players.

You start by placing all 24 ladybird cards on the table so that you can only see the dice spots. Each player in turn then rolls the dice and picks a card with the same number of spots on it. They then turn the card over and see how many ladybirds are on the leaf. At the end of the game the player with the most ladybirds wins.

What I particularly like about this game is just how many skills development and learning opportunities there are for children. The game is also ideal as a first introduction to playing with a dice. Aged three children just have the right dexterity levels to shake the dice in the cup and roll it onto the table and the game provides them with a great opportunity to practise. Once the dice had been rolled you can count the spots on it and then look to find a card with the same number on - yet more counting practise. When the card is turned over there are also ladybirds to count - or not if you're unlucky with your card choice.

At the end of the game, adding up the number of ladybirds that you have in total may be beyond some of the younger children playing the game, but it's a good use of maths for the older children. The game also provides an example of comparing how many of something one person has to how many others have.

When we first played this with my three year old I was amazed at just how quickly she caught on to how to play and that's all thanks to it being very simple. The fact that the cards showing the dice spots were the same colour as the dice itself was also a nice touch to help with understanding that they should look the same. As the game doesn't have any written down numbers or words in it, it doesn't limit it to children who can already read, making it more accessible to younger children.

If you want your children to have fun whilst learning maths then The Game of Ladybirds is an ideal starting point.

The Game of Ladybirds is available in Cuthberts stores and also on our website here.

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