Sunday 30 July 2017

Book-related games and activities that are enjoyable ways to introduce children to concepts and story telling structures. A favourite at VOLUME isStory Box. The box contains 20 double-sided puzzle pieces that can be arranged (and re-arranged) to make wordless fairy tales. The illustrations are playful and clever allowing for different interpretations depending on the nieghbouring cards. An array of characters from gnomes and brave children to kings, witches (who may or may not be friendly) and wolves, against backdrops of farms, forests and mountains where people live in humble homes, majestic castles and forest trees give children an endless array of possible stories. My favourite cards include the wolf flavouring the tied-down gnome with salt and pepper, the strange giant pink rabbit who is busily nibbling away at the palace, the princess on her moped in the night-time forest, and gnomes lamenting some catastrophe, their boxes of tissues well in use. Sturdy, and with plenty of story-telling possibilities: ideal for 3-to-6-year-olds.                                       {STELLA}

Animals at Home is a matching card game for young children. 27 animals nee to find their homes. This great for small children - they are introduced to a variety of animals, some of which will be familiar (horse, bee, mouse), others perhaps new to them (beaver, platypus, mole). All the cards remain face up and the matching begins. Where does the beaver live? Who goes home to the cave? The illustrations are bright and clear and the text is restricted to nouns. There are clues in the colour backgrounds - you're right when the background colour matches. To make the game a little more challenging it can be a matching memory game with all the cards turned face down. Sturdy cardboard pieces are just the right size for little hands.

For children who love animals, Amazing Animal Facts is brilliant. This is produced in book form as well as a boxed file set. The box contains 50 postcards (25 different animal fact cards, so one of each can be posted) that can be coloured in and sent as postcards or kept as information file cards. The file box is segmented into five categories; Sea, Forest, Field, Jungle and Sky, with 5 different animals apiece. The Blue Whale fact card tells us that its heart is as big as a car and that it has a belly button, that the Sloth is so slow that it grows green algae on its fur, and that flies are deaf, poop every 5 minutes, and that a group of flies is called a business. Wonderfully designed, with intriguing facts perfect for young enquiring minds (and plenty for adults to learn too)!                   {STELLA}

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