The new Discovery Garden Game is a beautiful, eye catching garden adventure that will entertain and challenge little ones. Players search the garden for hidden treasures by flipping over a card to reveal what colorful bug, lost tool, or buried heirloom needs to be found. Then the player spins the spinner and peeks below one of five secret locations — from the melon patch or flower field to the fruit orchard or vegetable garden. Can they find the match? If they spin “mix the soil”, watch out! You’ll shake the box and the treasures will slide and hide in new locations. Whoever finds the most treasures is the winner. The game focuses on matching and memory skills, deductive reasoning and promotes exploration and discovery. Ages 3 and up. Retails for: $16.99.
For very child that loves Crayola, there’s now a new collection of Crayola games that focus on creating, and mixing and matching colors – without the mess. Some of the games are designed specifically for the under six set including, Doodle Match™. Doodle Match is a memory game in which two to four players practice matching colors and objects (so the whole family can get involved!). The game involves artistic set-up as players color images outlined on 12 specially coated cardboard tiles. Once the tiles are colored, they are shuffled and laid face-down. The game has dual spinners; one points to a color and one points to an image. Players turn over a single tile, hoping to find the color or image on which the spinners landed. If there’s a match, they keep the tile; if there’s not, the tile is turned back over and the memory portion of the game begins. Once all the tiles have been collected, the game is over and the player with the most tiles wins. Ages 3 and up. Available in retail stores. $9.99.
Getting a head start in school may just be what mom and dad ordered. But while a pre-school prep kit may not sound like much of a game at all, kids can rest assure that they will have lots of fun with the Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kits – no workbooks, pencils or teachers required. Designed to be both educational and fun, each kit comes in a no-spill carrying case and include items like flash cards, dough stamps, bubbles, mini-crayons, safety scissors, glue, and game pieces made especially for little hands. Each of the four kits available are focused on different development skills such as hand/eye coordination, improving fine motor skills, learning early writing, following directions and listening. Ages 3 to 5. Available at grasshopperkits.com, Barnes & Noble and FAO Schwarz. $29.95 per kit.
A bit more challenging, but a solid and fun game to consider for children who are quickly mastering their alphabets is the Pairs in Pears game. The game comes with four sets of the alphabet and players try to beat each other to make words and matching patterns. From the makers of the international hit game Bananagrams, Pairs in Pears is a great game that can be easily toted to grandma’s house as it doesn’t require any special set-up, no pencils or paper, just a table or floor to play on! The instructions come with game play as well as exercises to practice spelling their names, pattern recognition, learning constants and vowels, and beginning constructing simple words. The letter tiles come in a cool bag shaped like a green pear too! Ages 5 and up. $17.00.