Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Goldilocks and the Three Bears from Orchard Toys

Following on from our recent review of The Game of Ladybirds from Orchard Toys, we're this week looking at another one of their games - Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

There can't be many children ages four and older who don't already know the story of Goldilocks and that's why this game works so well with children in that age range. The aim of the game is that the bears have to race home to stop Goldilocks from eating Baby Bear's porridge, breaking his chair and sleeping in his bed, and any child who is already familiar with the story will easily grasp this aim straight away.

When you unpack the game, the playing board comes in eight pieces which are then put together as a jigsaw - providing younger children with a great opportunity to help set the game up.

Each player selects one of the bear families and that is their playing piece. The dice has the numbers one, two and three written on it (rather than in dots), along with two pictures of Goldilocks. When a player rolls they dice, if they get a number they move their bear family that number of spaces forwards along the brown path. If a picture of Goldilocks is rolled then the player must spin the Goldilocks spinner and move her playing piece that corresponding number of spaces along the green path (in the two player game) or just one space along in the 3/4 player version.

Scattered along the path are honeypot tokens. If a player (either bear or Goldilocks) lands on one of these then they must turn it over to find out of they must go further forwards, move back, stay where they are or return to the start.

If one of the bear families arrives home first and reaches their front door then they have won the game. If Goldilocks arrives at the front door first she must then work her way through the rooms of the house and she does not win the game until she's made it to the bears' bedroom and got into Baby Bear's bed.

With the aim of the game so clear for the children playing it, the game is quite easy for children to get to grips with, and as they're not trying to understand the aim, they can instead get on with understanding how the play actually works.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears provides excellent maths opportunities for moving playing pieces the number of spaces indicated on the dice and also for understanding that the + and - symbols on the honeypot tokens mean that the playing pieces should be moved forwards or backwards.

The only confusion that we had when playing the game was the time that Goldilocks won. As no one player is in "charge" of Goldilocks my daughter couldn't quite understand how we could have finished the game, yet non of the players round the table had won. I think she finally got the concept of Goldilocks having beaten everyone who was playing, but can definitely see where her confusion came from.

The Orchard Toys range includes several games that are based on well known stories like this one, as well as nursery rhymes and family activities and they all provide an excellent scenario for children to play a board game around. When looking through the leaflet that was in the box showing the other games Orchard Toys make, my daughter was very keen to point out which of her books the games were based on.

The games themselves are full of educational opportunities are made here in the UK to the highest quality standards. We believe Goldilocks and the Three Bears would work particularly well for families where there are two or more children within the suggested age range of 4 - 11 years, as they could then play it together without needing adult help.

The Orchard Toys range is available in all Cuthberts stores (Letchworth, St Albans and Hatfield Galleria) and also from their online shop.

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