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The Squiggle Safari arrives shrink wrapped and contains a piece of card on which are stuck a spin wheel with various animal options, and a small square pad pre-printed with some random squiggles. The aim of the game is to take turns selecting an animal by spinning the wheel, then turning the squiggle on the paper into that animal.
This seems simple but the concept is probably a bit too much for the suggested age range, which is 4 and up. I would think a child would need to be around 6 before they could enjoy this much. Also, even children of that age will probably need some assistance from adults as the animals printed on the wheel are quite exotic, such as gazelles, antelope, ostriches, hyenas etc. Of course most children won't have heard much about these, but this does provide an opportunity for education and learning, as you can describe the animals to your kids, look them up in the encyclopedia (or on the internet!) and talk about what they are like.
Turning the squiggles into animals is quite fun and can be quite comical as well. It will also encourage creative thinking and help children to think outside the box as they have to turn the squiggles into body parts. However I think it may actually be more amusing for adults than kids in this regard, especially as adults will probably have a harder time with it!
The toy isn't amazing for travelling, as the part where the pencil fits is very flimsy and even before it's broken (which it inevitably will be) it still doesn't hold the pencil well. Plus, the card is likely to bend or break if it's in a bag, and the smallish pad of paper would easily run out on a train journey of a couple of hours. (To make it last longer, you could suggest kids colour their pictures in too).
Although this is a nice idea in many ways, it's not durable and it won't last very long. I would suggest that you make your own, with a pad of paper and a few cards or bits of paper on which you write down random animal names. If you're looking for a cheap gift though, this would suffice.
Oh, and because it's the sort of game that no one can really win or lose, hopefully no one should get too upset!
The Squiggle Safari costs £5 and can be bought from Amazon.co.uk.
This is such a cool idea!!! My kids happen to love drawing, especially animals . . . mostly dogs and cats, but this really opens their imagination. Some are quite tough, but that's OK because then they can do a little research and learn about the animal. We find it helpful to bring in the car. They just love it and we love to see what they create! Cool squiggle!