We love Orchard Toys, you all know that. It’s a relationship Monkey and I would have whether I was blogging or not. Their games and puzzles are such good quality, educational and fun. The recently launched two new games and a new puzzle for autumn. We received the What’s the Time, Mr Wolf? game, which is aimed at children aged between 5-9 years of age. It’s a bargain, as it’s actually two games in one.
Both games can be played with 2-4 players and come with full instructions. You receive a 4 piece, jigsaw style playing board, 20 double-sided square playing cards, 4, 2 piece jigsaw style collection boards, a large clock face with movable hands, a slot together Mr Wolf, 4 character playing pieces with stands and a dice.
Monkey’s been finding school a little tough since moving into Year Two, by the time he comes home in the afternoon he is just worn out. You can see that his brain has quite frankly had enough of thinking. It’s meant that he’s taken a little long to warm to What’s the Time, Mr Wolf? than normal. He’s seen it as ‘learning Mummy’ so for a little while we’ve not played the board game itself at all. Instead we’ve made up stories about the characters on one side of the playing cards.
We’d make up little stories about the different cards and what the animals were doing. We also put them in time order, to come up with a different story. Apparently this didn’t class as ‘learning’ but obviously he is thinking about scheduling and working on telling the time, without thinking about it. Children can be funny things can’t they.
Over the last few days he seems to have come to terms with school a little more, and is finding everything a little easier to cope with. It’s meant that after school he’s been more interested in trying new things and playing with me, rather than just collapsing in a grumpy heap on the sofa.
It’s been nice to have my happy boy back with me. Not being so grumpy means he also realised that What’s the Time, Mr Wolf? is actually a fun game, and not hard work like school. The penny had dropped, we rolled the dice and began to have some telling the time fun.
The first game is aimed at younger children as you match the time on the playing cards by moving the hands on the clock.
Begin play with all the square cards animal side up in front of you. Decide which player will play with which animal and playing board. The winner of the game is the first player to fill their collection board having been able to tell the time correctly.
Take turns rolling the dice and moving your character around the board. As you land on a space, the other players ask you ‘What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?’ If you’ve landed on a space with a clock and question mark, pick up a card (looking at the animal side only) tell everyone the time and move the hands on the clock to match. So a great way of working on number recognition and digital times and then translating them to the clock face.
When the player has moved the hands to the time they think is right, they turn over their playing card to check. If it matches, they keep the card and place it on their collection board. If it doesn’t match, they return the card to the table to be played again. Play passes on.
Should you land on Mr Wolf you have to reply ‘Dinner Time’ and you need to feed one card from your collection board to Mr Wolf, before play passes on.
Monkey has a play clock, and actually knows his time quite well, so he has actually enjoyed this game, especially when it’s meant my cards being fed to Mr Wolf!
Game 2 is designed for the older children, with this game you turn your collection board to be clock face side up. The square playing cards are placed in a pile, animal side up. The winner is the first person to fill their collection card by matching the written or digital times on the playing cards to those shown on the clock faces of the collection board.
Take it in turns to pick a playing card, place them on the table and look at everyone’s cards to see if the times match with any of those shown on the clock faces on your board. If you think one is correct, turn it over to check the clock faces match, if it does place it on the relevant clock face. Play moves on. If it doesn’t, return the card to the table and play on.
This game has certainly made Monkey think a little more and has worked on his observation skills. Overall What’s the Time, Mr Wolf? has been really good at helping him with his digital times. He knows the numbers, but we’ve not really translated that onto a normal 12 hour clock face before. So it’s really helped everything click into place for him.
Priced at £9.50 What’s the Time, Mr Wolf? is available from the Orchard Toys website as well as from all good toy stores.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review