Wednesday, September 5, 2012

playPLAY Games - a review

We love to play games around here, and they are a regular part of our school day. The kids don't even realize they are learning, and they all get to play together! We were thrilled to review a set of three games from "playPLAY games"

We reviewed a set of three games that are available to purchase individually or as a set. The set is designed for ages 5 and up and helps to promote creativity and imaginative thinking.

Since we regularly incorporate games in to our day I just put these games into our game pile and waited for the kids to ask to play, which took about 30 minutes for them to ask. I really like the games because they are short (about 20 minutes to play) so they hold everyones attention, including Zach, my attention deficit 7 year old. They also let us have the break of playing a game but don't take the entire afternoon.

PaintPlay Game

This game is created for ages 6 and up although my 5 year old had no trouble at all with it, and I think even kids as young as three could play if they like games and are assisted by an adult. This game was so much fun! Everything, including the paint and paper is included to play. However, there is not a lot of paint, so you may have to replace that after several games. You will also have to provide your own paper after 4 games (There are 4 sheets of paper included). But, for us, that's not a big deal because we keep paints and paint paper around at all times. This game was not only fun for my 5 and 7 year old, but even Paul, at almost 11, really enjoyed it. And I enjoyed that it was just the right amount of painting and creativity without being too messy, but still a great deal of fun. This was our favorite of the three games, and we have already gone through several extra sheets of paper and another set of paint. This game is all about using your imagination and painting things that you would not normally paint. For instance, my kids love when they draw the card that says "Think about how a mushy banana feels in your mouth. Add that feeling to your painting", or another favorite is "make a shape that looks like it is going to explode!" At first the mushy banana feeling was a bit tough, now they get pretty creative with it. The game also encourages working together since everyone shares the "canvas".

ColorPlay Game

This game is intended for ages 5 and up, although, again I think it would work for a child as young as 3 with adult assistance. This game has three ways to play "Puzzle It", "Shape It", and "Build It". It encourages color, pattern and shape recognition, as well as encouraging creativity. My 7 year old was actually quite bored with this game. And Molly, at 5, was a little bored. I think the 3 to 5 age range would be a more appropriate age range for this game. My two did enjoy playing with the pieces like a puzzle and creating all kinds of crazy shapes. They are just way beyond color, shape, pattern recognition so it got a bit boring for them.

StoryPlay Game

StoryPlay is designed for ages 7 and up. My 7 and 10 year old were my "test" subjects for this game, although Molly did try, it was a bit too tough for her since she is still a beginning reader. There are three ways to play this game. My favorite was the "Let's Story Play" game where the players work together to create a story. There are word cards and a white board for the story. It was tough for Zach at 7, but he did enjoy it and learned a lot while playing with Paul and myself. The kids favorite was the "Name It and Draw It" game. The player creates crazy (and trust me with two boys the drawings get rather crazy!) based on randomly drawn word tiles. The third game is "Totem Pole" where the player draws random word tiles and draws an image and then the next player does the same thing on top of the last picture. The boys played this once, but were not impressed. I loved the first two games and played with them a couple of times, and loved to listen to them work together and laugh while they played.

These games really promote cooperative play, and not just a winner and a loser. I do like this concept and it's been great for my kids! They are all so competitive that it's nice to play a game together and not have someone upset because they lost. No one really loses in these games! It's just fun for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I am not the type that thinks no child should ever lose, kids have to learn to lose or they won't work hard in life, but that's a different topic for a different day! It's just nice for them to play together and not have to worry about that element of game play!

These games would make great Christmas gifts. You could purchase the entire set and split it up between three different recipients or give them all three to one person. Even for a busy parent squeezing in a 20 minute game with your child is much easier then some of the much longer board games that are typically played.

PlayPLAY games can be purchased at retailers such as Toys R Us, Barnes and Noble, and other specialty shops. They may be purchased individually or as a set.

Disclosure: I received the above games for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions are my own, honest opinion. There was no other compensation given for this review.

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