Orchard Toys Look And Find Puzzle Review

Ahh man! I have been terrible at posting daily this week. The half term holidays caught up with me (I was doing so well!) and cabin fever set in. We’ve spent the last few days playing outside, avoiding the TV and laptop. It was sunny outside though… and we had fun! I can certainly feel that Spring is just around the corner. How exciting!

So, Board Game Week has turned into ‘Board Game Whenever-I-Can-Post’ Days. After nearly 6 years of blogging, you would have thought that I would be better at time management. Anyways, Shall we continue?

Orchard Toys are a well known games brand in our house. The kids have a few epic games from Orchard Toys (Veg Patch Match, Shopping List, Tell The Time- to name a few) on the shelf, but we recently discovered the wonderful Look And Find puzzle range by Orchard Toys. How exciting!

What’s in the box?

Firstly, the box looks amazing! It’s bright and colourful and catches the eye of any curious toddler. The illustrations are just adorable!

Inside the box was 2 fun puzzles to complete. Each puzzle is just 10 pieces, so is a nice and easy puzzle for young children. The aim of this product is for both puzzles to be completed together. Lay the puzzles next to each other and discuss what can be seen between the 2 puzzles. We took our time spotting all of the matching illustrations and then I played eye-spy with simple phonics. When complete, the puzzles measure approximately 21cm x 30cm.

I really like that there is no extra packaging within the box. It’s just the puzzle pieces- that’s it! No nasty plastic to open and throw in the bin, unlike most puzzles available to buy these days. The box and puzzle pieces are made from a thick cardboard, so totally recyclable (not that you would want to bin this fabulous little puzzle) and has no lasting effect on the planet.

Who’s it for?

The Look And Find puzzles are aimed at children aged 3+, but my 2 year old surprised me greatly and played very well with the puzzle. I know that she enjoys puzzles at nursery, but rarely does she ever ask to play with one at home. I sat with her and helped her get the jist of the puzzle. We discussed how she needed to divide up the puzzle pieces by colour, as there are 2 puzzles to complete. I then helped her (just a little) to put the puzzles together. She didn’t take long to get it and once her confidence was built, she managed perfectly well on her own.

My other daughter who is 4 years old has loved this puzzle lots too. In fact, it seems to have been in constant use for the last 4 days. She’s played with it much more than my 2 year old has. I think 4 years is the perfect age to be playing with this kind of puzzle. She has even requested another one for her birthday, which in a few months time!

Why play with puzzles?

There are lots of benefits to playing with puzzles at such a young age. Taking time to sit with your child and put a puzzle together is not only a load of fun for you both but you will be seriously helping their mental and physical development. Here are just a few reasons why puzzles are great for preschoolers:

  • Help with their hand-eye coordination skills
  • Boost shape sorting abilities
  • Develops memory and problem solving skills
  • Gets you talking and developing your child’s speech
  • Encourages observational skills
  • Gets children understanding pattern recognition
  • Teaches patience
  • It’s the perfect time to bond!

Final thoughts

I really think that Orchard Toys have excelled in creating puzzles for preschoolers. The box is a good size, not too big nor small. The illustrations are beautiful, clear and eye-catching too. The puzzle pieces are made of a strong thick card, made to withstand the rough and tough play of toddlerhood. The concept itself, of 2 puzzles that can be put together and talked about is such a wonderful idea. Honestly, I cannot think of one negative point about this Look And Find puzzle! Well done Orchard Toys, you’ve created yet another amazing product.

There are 4 all-new puzzles in the Look And Find range, each with an RRP of £8.00. They are available to buy directly from the Orchard Toys website– along with lots of other fun and addictive games for the whole family!

** I have been gifted this puzzle from the lovely people at Orchard Toys, in exchange for this honest review. All opinions made are my own.**

Dobble & Dobble Kids Review

Every day this week I have been telling you all about an awesome new game you may never have played or even heard of before! So far I’ve told you all about Arokah and Rory’s Story Cubes and now it’s time for the epic Dobble!

Dobble is a simple pattern recognition game. Players have to spot a matching symbol from the card deck to their own card. They have to do so before their opponents spot their own matching symbols and take the card. Once the card deck is all gone, count who got the most cards to see who won!

A simple game that the whole family, young and old can enjoy. As soon as you start playing, you will be hooked. The first time we played Dobble, we were playing for a very long time and the kids kept interested for ages too. Perfect half term, rainy day fun.

How to play

It takes seconds to set up Dobble ready for play. Simply open the tin, shuffle the cards, hand each player one card and place the remaining cards in a pile in the middle of all players. That’s it!

Players try to spot a matching symbol between their card and the top card in the middle. They quickly shout what the matching symbol is and take the top card from the pile. If you win that card, simply use it to find a match from next. Simple. So very, very simple.

There are actually 3 ways to play Dobble and Dobble Kids. All 3 games are explained in the instruction sheet that comes with each version of Dobble. I can promise you that all 3 games are just as easy and as addictive to play too! We could sit playing Dobble for hours, keeping boredom at bay.

I actually used the cards as a game of ‘eye-spy’ with my 2 year old. She had the pile of cards in front of her, and I asked her to find “The fire, the cobweb, the turtle” etc. A great mini-game suitable for small children!

What’s in the box (well, tin actually)?

There are 55 cards in the game. Each card has 8 symbols, but there are lots and lots of symbols throughout the game, so not every card has the same symbols. The game is rather clever that there’s just 1 matching symbol between each and every card in the game. Are you with me so far? Try not to think about it too much… I tried and I just couldn’t get my head around it. Simply just play the game. It takes a second to learn, but forever to explain!

Dobble Kids is the same game as Dobble, but less cards and fewer symbols on each card. There are just 30 cards in the kids version of Dobble. All of the illustraions are animals, so super easy for the kids to remember. Watch this video of us playing Dobble Kids to get the idea…

Seems easy, but as soon as you realise that the symbols are all different sizes and in different positions, your brain suddenly finds it really hard! Dobble recommends players aged 6+ which I think is about right. I think children any younger would struggle with so many symbols on each card. Luckily Dobble Kids is suitable for children aged 4+ but my nearly 3 year old really understood the game and (despite being slow) totally got the aim of the game.

Also in the tins are a simple to follow instruction booklet, with game ideas. The instructions are easy enough to follow, but (I’ll be honest) watching someone else play Dobble is a way better way to learn. Check out some awesome YouTube videos to see how other people choose to play.

Handy info

Dobble 

Ages: 6+

Players: 2-8

Game Contains: Game tin, 55 cards, Instructions

Dobble Kids

Ages: 4+

Players: 2-5

Game contains: Game tin, 30 cards, Instructions

Design

I think this game looks wonderful. The metal tin keeps cards safe. It’s also a handy little size, perfect for throwing into a handbag or suitcase when travelling. This game would be a great time-passer on long train journeys!

The original version has many random symbols (seen here), the Kids version has less… and just features animals!

The circular cards are a nice size and are easy to see and handle. The cards are made from a thin card, which works well for the original version of Dobble, but I would have liked to have seen the kids version made from a laminated card or a thin plastic. Kids get very boisterous when playing and when they all go to snatch the same card at once, I worry that the cards could easily be damaged. That really would be my only negative comment for this whole game. Everything else is absolutely spot on!

Where to buy

Dobble and Dobble Kids is available to buy in lost of high street stores and online. Argos, Amazon, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Smyths and Tesco are all recommended stockists. The RRP for Dobble and Dobble Kids is £12.99, but do shop around to find the best price!

**Dobble and Dobble Kids was gifted to us from Asmodee Games in exchange for this review. All opinions mentioned in this review are my own.**