Product Type: ELC board games
Newest Review: ... which was difficult to set up and harder to distinguish between winners and losers. But this Honey Bee Tree makes it all a bit easier and ... more
It creates a buzz in our household
ELC Honey Bee Tree
Member Name: jillycat
ELC Honey Bee Tree
Advantages: fun to play great for hand eye co ordination well made
Disadvantages: The base of the trunk of the trunk can't fit all of the bees in it
This game is one we have had in our household for about a year now and is played with at least once a week meaning in my book this is a winner of a toy as we have other toys and games that gather dust in between times.
This Honey bee tree game is really the Early Learning Centre's version of Kerplunk with a bit of a twist. Designed for children from 3 years and above my son got this when he was 3 so was just right for the age range for this toy. The design is fairly simple there is the main body of the game which comprises of a twisting tree trunk and base which is to resemble some grass with a section for each player for the bees to come down into. The top of the tree as it were is a clear yellowy gold plastic that is to resemble a bee hive. In the hive there are multiple holes at the bottom to place the leave sticks into, the top is nice and wide to accommodate all the yellow and black bees to rest on the top of the sticks.
Setting up the game takes a few minutes to do as you have to put all the leaves/ sticks through the hole initially my son's hand eye co ordination meant that he found this difficult to do so this job would be mine alone. However now he is coming up to four he likes to place the leaves in the various slots and sees this as part of the game now rather than getting impatient whilst I set them up. He loves putting the bees into the top to rest on the leaves and then can't wait to get started. In the set up I have to say I find it a bit tricky at times to actually get all of the leaves into the various slots and sometimes when we are doing it we don't use all of the leaves or don't have them going fully through the hive.
The idea is to remove the leaves/sticks and not get any bees down into your slot and the winner is the person with the least bees. However the way we play this at the moment is the person with the most bees wins as this is how my son and his friends like to play it as they all like the bees so much. I find that the slots for the bees to land in at the bottom of the trunk is a little small too accommodate all the bees especially when only two people are playing. What we do as we turn the tree trunk to take turns is to remove the bees as we go to stop them building up. This is never a problem for us as my son likes to keep a close eye on his bees as he gets them to make sure no-one pinches his bees.
The educational benefits of this toy are about learning to take turns, hand eye co ordination and some counting when you get to the end of the game. I can definitely see how the hand eye co-ordination has helped with my son as he getting more dexterous in his playing of this.
Fun wise it is a popular game in house and with our son and his friends when they come to play. This is in part I think down to the cuteness of the bees as they all seem to want as many of them as they can. When we play this game we generally play between 2-3 games at a time which last up to around 20-25 minutes which I find is a good amount of concentration for my son. My son and his friends are always are giggling at times when they are playing with it too which is nice to see as a parent.
Robust wise the game seems to be holding up well the main body of the game looks as good as new and the bees still look bright and cheerful after a years worth of play. The only wear and tear we are seeing so far after a year is a bit of bending with the sticks of the leaves as they have got a bit bent out of shape with them being put into the various holes. However despite this they are still usable and are no more problematic than the others to insert into the holes on the hive.
I would definitely recommend this game as it is fun for children to play and improves hand eye co ordination and helps them learn to take turns. The game is well made and even after a year of use shows little damage the only criticism is the small holders for when the bees go down the trunk as it can't really accommodate all the bees that drop down. The game at full price is £12 from the Early Learning Centre but it is frequently on offer for £6 and at this price is it a definite bargain for most Christmas presents and can be nice gift to give at Birthdays of friends as we have done.
Summary: A great game for preschool children and their families
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