As you all know Monkey is a rather reluctant writer. He gets easily frustrated and struggles with it all. The situation probably isn’t helped by his letter formation, when he writes, he starts most letters in the wrong place, so he’s always covering more distance on a page than he needs to. Getting him to write anything at home has been a battle and a nightmare, if I’m totally honest. The week the dreaded Spelling Test list finally came home gave me a clear indication that I needed to find a way to encourage Monkey with his writing and stick to my guns. Yes, you really do have to write on the paper Monkey! He’s been getting better at writing and learning his spellings over the last couple of weeks and I’ve been looking at different ways to make the process fun. Pass the Word from Orchard Toys is a fun word game for children aged 5-9 years, and it was suggested that this might encourage Monkey. Let’s see!
The spelling game comes with 67 letter cards, 17 picture cards and a timer and can be played with 2-4 players.
Put all of the words cards in a pile in the middle of the table face down, then scatter the letter cards around the table, also face down. The aim of the game is to be the player with the most word cards completed when the pile is empty. How many words can you complete before the sand falls through the timer?
The letters can all be fitted together easily and the pale blue band indicates the bottom of the card to make it easier for children to identify d and p, u and n.
The words to make up are all based around animals and objects that children will know and identify with and it’s been making the whole concept of spellings and reading more fun for Monkey.
The youngest player picks the first word from the pile and then has to find and fit the correct letters together before the timer runs out. Any incorrect letters have to be placed back on the table face down (so memory skills also come into play). If the play completes the word within the time, they can pick up another word and continue until the timer runs out. If they have completed the word, it gets passed to the next player, the time turned and they try their luck. The game continues in this way, until all the word cards have been used. Monkey’s got on well with Pass the Word, especially when he beats me as I run out of time to find the word. The game is obviously great for working on letter recognition and word building skills.
We’ve extended the play potential for the game by using it to help with his Spelling Test words. We place the letter cards on the table, show Monkey one of the words he needs to learn to spell, cover it and then he has to search for the relevant letters to make his word, before writing it down on his sheet. Depending on how tired and enthusiastic Monkey is, depends on whether the letter cards are face up or down!
Pass the Word is priced at £9.50 and you can order it directly from the Orchard Toys website or visit your local toy shop.
Whilst I’m talking about Orchard Toys, I got the chance to meet up with them at Toy Fair last week, and to see their exciting new products for 2016, including extensions to their Giant Road set, Airport and Railway sets, a new Woodland puzzle and Animal environment game and a new range of activity books. Watch this space as I will be sharing our thoughts on some of the new items in the coming months.
disclaimer: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review