Piglet is nearly 4 and is starting to show some interest in learning numbers and letters. I am always keen to encourage that, and I find using games by far the best way to do it. The problem is he has a typical preschooler attention span and tends to lose interest fairly quickly. We were sent a copy of the BaaBaa Bubbles game to try out and see if it could help maintain concentration and help with some basic numeracy skills.
What Is BaaBaa Bubbles?
Bubbles the sheep is hungry. You feed her an array of foods by pushing her head down. Her wool grows, but watch out for her allergies as all of a sudden she can sneeze and bubbles will go flying! It’s a simple game that will keep you on edge waiting to see what will happen next.
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What Is In The Box?
There aren’t many items in the box, meaning minimal set up is required. This is ideal when playing with young children as they usually just want to get going. In the box you will find:
- Bubbles the sheep
- Bubble solution with applicator cap
- 12 Meadow tiles
To get ready to play you just have to pop the meadow tiles out and arrange them on the table, then open the bubble solution and remove the foil cover. You then rub a bit of bubble solution on to the mesh on Bubbles back, set the sneeze mechanism and you’re ready to go.
Once the bubble solution runs out they encourage you to keep the container and fill it back up with regular bubble solution so you can use it again and again.
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Playing BaaBaa Bubbles
The object of the game is simple – the winner with the most meadow tiles at the end wins. Each player takes a turn (after a quick competition to see you can say “Baa” the longest to go first!) to turn over a meadow tile. The each have a number on it and you push Bubbles head down to “feed” her the same number of times as is on your tile.
If she doesn’t sneeze you keep the tile. If she does then you discard the tile back into the box, reset the sneeze mechanism and keep playing until all the meadow tiles are gone. The first time that BaaBaa Bubbles sneezed I would be lying if I said we weren’t a little disappointed. There hadn’t been enough turns for a decent amount of bubbles to build up on her back, but we quickly learned that if you give it time the suds build up and the sneeze becomes a lot more impressive – leaving Piglet giggling away every time.
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The game incorporates both counting (as you feed Bubbles by pushing her head) and number recognition (as you read the number on your meadow card). Piglet wanted to play over and over again, oblivious to the fact he was practising his numbers as we played – and that is what I really want from a game. If it’s not fun they he simply won’t want to play.
As they get older the instructions have an idea for a slightly more complex game. It combines memory and simple addition to make the kids think careful and apply a bit of strategy to the game. I love that BaaBaa Bubbles have thought about how to future proof the game so it won’t be grown out of too quickly.
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So far BaaBaa Bubbles has been a hit. With minimal set-up and quick to tidy up I really appreciate how easy it is to put away. Piglet loves making Bubbles sneeze, and although he needed some help to make sure he had pushed her head down far enough at first he soon got the hang of it. It’s educational, it’s fun, and I know we’re all going to be playing it together a lot over the Christmas break!