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I have many fond memories from when I was a child of us playing games as a family. Creating similar moments with my own kids was something I’ve always looked forward to, and now they are 3 and 5 we have reached a stage where we can really start to do that. Orchard Toys sent us some of their new games and puzzles so we can spend some time together as a family and give their games a try.

Family Travel Games

Last week we had to opportunity to spend the afternoon at my parents caravan. The weather took a turn (doesn’t it always when you’re at a caravan?!) so we stopped playing outside and went inside. Keeping two boisterous pre-schoolers occupied is difficult enough at the best of times, but when you’re trapped inside a caravan it feels like a mammoth task. I had packed the new Penalty Shoot Out game just in case we needed to fill some time, and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

A top down view of a travel game. A box with Penalty Shoot Out written on it is surrounded by cards shaped like football tops.
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The box is small, perfect for tossing in my changing bag for day trips or in a suitcase for a weekend away. All the game needs is the cards and a dice (included) and they don’t even fill the box so you could easily move them to a ziplock bag to make more space. Penalty Shoot Out is for children aged 3-7, and with JJ turning 3 in just a few weeks I assumed I would have to sit and play it with him to keep things on track.

A boy sitting at a table in a caravan playing a card game
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I shouldn’t have worried though. The rules are so simple that Zee was able to keep the game moving and make sure JJ was doing the right things. Both boys were really focused on the game and it was great to see them doing some number recognition practice. The game lasted long enough to give me 5 minutes peace, but wasn’t so long that either of them could get bored. It worked really well as a two player game, and we will definitely be taking Penalty Shoot Out on holiday to Center Parcs with us next week to give it a try with 4 players.

Family Board Games

Another rainy afternoon, but this time at home, we pulled out Dino-Snore-Us to play. My kids love anything to do with dinosaurs, and this is actually our 3rd dinosaur themed game from Orchard Toys. In Dino-Snore-Us you are trying to sneak past the T-Rex to steal his eggs while he sleeps, but watch out in case he wakes up! The game encourages the players to snore as they turn him to sleeping and roar as they wake him up, but I added an extra element and requested we were all super quiet and whispered while he slept. It was by far the most quiet they’ve ever been while playing a board game and I was able to hear myself think for once!

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Dino-Snore-Us is for age 4+. Although JJ often manages to play games that are designed for children older than him he did really struggle with this one. There are a few different elements to the game which went over his head, but that’s ok and I’m sure he’ll manage in another year. Zee, on the other hand, was fully engrossed. He is easily distracted when he’s not really interested in a game but he focused from start to finish.

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Dino-Snore-Us is for 2-4 players. As JJ wasn’t really playing it was just the 2 of us, and it turned out to be quite a long game. The game doesn’t end until all the eggs have been collected, and so with 2 of us this took longer than it would have done with 3 or 4 players. It’s not generally a problem, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a quick game to play before bed.

Toddler Floor Puzzles

JJ and I have 2 mornings a week together, just the 2 of us. It is his chance to really shine and do the things that he wants to do. Most of the time that revolves around the same thing – jigsaws. The Mermaid Fun jigsaw puzzle has 15 chunky pieces, making it perfect for little hands to manage. Designed for age 2+ it is a great puzzle for when they are ready to increase the number of pieces but not yet ready to reduce the size.

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JJ did complete the puzzle quite quickly, but he does seem to have the kind of analytical brain that can problem solve pretty fast. Speed didn’t take any of the joy away from it for him, he still laughed and smiled as he chatted away to me about it. He had fun pointing out the different animals and was keen to do it again straight after he’d finished. We know from experience that Orchard Toys jigsaw puzzles can take a lot of use and still fit together perfectly, and this will be a fun addition to our collection.

We were sent these Orchard Toys games for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are my own.

Win 2 Orchard Toys Games

We love Orchard Toys games, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Enter below to win 2 games and try them out for yourself.

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Terms And Conditions

The closing date is 11:59 pm on Sunday 23rd May 2021
The prize is 2 games from Orchard Toys, no cash alternative
The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over
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