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We tend to visit our local car boot sale a couple of times and month and picked up the game jitterbugs for £1 as we wanted something my 4 year old and 18 month old could play together. It's aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6 but my youngest is very capable of playing it and thus it makes a very nice family game.
When you open the box you're faced with a big plastic base, 12 jitterbugs (little bugs with a magnet on the top) and 4 spider wands that are basically a handle with a leaf halfway down and a spider on the bottom that has a magnet underneath. There is a button on the top of the base that will make the base vibrate and the game can begin as soon as you've placed the jitterbugs onto the base. I should note that the game requires one C battery.
There are two different ways to play the game which are described on the box but it's possible to play it in a variety of different ways too. One of these ways described on the box are to catch all 3 of your coloured bugs before your opponent catches theirs but this version is a little hard for my 18month old so we tend to keep this to just my 4 year old and I. The other way described on the box can be played with my youngest and it's as simple as trying to catch as many bugs as you can! This is a bit of a dud if you only have 2 players as it's likely that you'll both catch 6 bugs each and there will be no winner but it's a bit easier to win with 3+ players as the wands can get tangled or you can block them from getting any bugs.
We also play another way that my 4 year old likes and that's to get your opponents bugs before they do and award points at the end for each bug caught. For example, an opponents bug would get 3 points, one of your own bugs would get 2 points and a bug that has no owner would get 1 point. This is a fantastic way of helping your little ones tell their colours, count higher than the possible 12 and show them to use their imagination to come up with new games to try. We've also played it with awarding points to a colour (blue 4, red, 3 etc) and adding them at the end to see who has won. She loves doing this and is trying to think of new ways to play as we speak.
I find children get bored with games very quickly and it's for this reason that we make up our own games to play with what we have so we're not constantly buying new games that take up storage space we don't have! This game of jitterbugs is perfect for it and it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. It's supposed to cost £10 in ELC but ours was a bargain price of £1 and in perfect condition too. The battery isn't included in the price but it can be purchased from ELC or if games and toys are constantly running out of batteries then you'll have a stash just waiting at home for a time like this!
Jitterbugs is a great game for young children. It comes complete with 4 magnetic spiders making sure that all the family can get involved and have some quality time with the kids. The packaging is nice and sturdy and appeal to the little ones, and the games is a good size for storage.
The aim of the game is to catch your bugs which are 'jittering' about on the vibrating base. Yes you do need to buy the battery, which is a C size, however, i would recommend that if you are buying this as a present you test it first. My daughter has received 2 of these games and on both occasions the connection in the battery compartment was not tight enough which meant that as soon as you put more than 2-3 bugs on the base it stopped shaking which my 3 yr old found quite upsetting. ELC are great though and replaced them free of charge without the receipt.
This a great game for children young and old and worth the money if you can pick up during one of ELC's sepcial offer periods.
What is it?
Jitterbugs is a game from Early Learning centre aimed at children between ages of 3years to 6years it costs £10.00 although I purchased this with Manic Martians as a double offer at two for £15.00
A Vibrating base this requires 1 size C battery which is not included but can be purchased directly from Early Learning Centre I would recommend doing this as my Daughter was very disappointed when had to look at game as Mummy had forgot to buy Batteries! Also contains 4 spider poles and Bugs believe is 4 bugs of each colour however seems to be missing some. in our game already.
The object of the Game
There are two games you can play
Game one catch the bugs that correspond to your spider the winner being the one that completes this first.
Each player uses their Spider to catch as many bugs as possible and when all caught the winner is the one with the most
According to the Early learning Centre this games promotes Social Skills personally not too sure about that as my Daughter screams if anyone else gets a pink bug!
However has made everyone in the family play the game with her and has played it every day since the beginning of January!
It is also supposed to promote hand and eye co-ordination and this I would agree with as at the beginning my daughter found it very hard to attach a bug to the spider and would resort to holding it still! She is much better at this after a month and only cheats occasionally!
Buy or not to Buy
This game is excellent value for money as mentioned we have played this every day for over a month and I have also purchased this as a Birthday present for two friends children it really is entertaining. A game not just for children but one adults will enjoy playing as well.
Jitterbugs is a fun little game made by the Early Learning Centre and is aimed at children between the ages of three and six.
The game comes in an attractive and sturdy box, and when you open it up you discover a big plastic platform, four magnetic poles and twelve bright little bugs. The platform itself is round and colourful, looking a bit like a garden on the top, and has an on/off switch. When you turn it on, provided you have put in a C battery (which is not included) it will vibrate. This on its own is fun for your little children to put their hands on and feel what it is like. The poles each look like a small branch of a plant. They have a string at the end dangling down and at the end of each string is a different coloured spider! The twelve little bugs tend to resemble ladybirds (as they have spots on although they are not red) and come in four lovely shades of blue, pink, orange and purple. All the spiders and bugs have magnets, the reason for which, will soon become apparent.
At the start of the game you put all the bugs on the platform and then turn it on. This has the effect of making the bugs jump and dance all over the place and causes tremendous amusement for my daughters. Each player has a pole and the aim is to be the first one to catch the coloured bug that corresponds to your spider. This is no mean feat as the bugs do jump about quite a lot and you have to be quite steady with the pole. In fact it is so tricky for three year olds that I would suggest that the game is really more suitable for four years and upwards! The first player to catch all of his or her bugs is the winner!
An alternative version suggests that players do not necessarily go after their own colours but just try to catch as many bugs as possible. This definitely makes it more of a free for all! Sometimes the poles do all get tangled up which can be a problem - usually it's up to Mum or Dad to sort them out!
Sometimes my daughter just likes to turn the platform on by herself and just enjoy catching the bugs by herself, so it can actually be used when there is no one around to play with!
As I said earlier this game really is a lot of fun and my almost four year old really enjoys playing it and by now just about has the coordination required to catch the bugs. My two year old (who obviously is too young to play the game) just loves to watch the bugs jump about. I also think that all the coloured pieces are great and dfinitely make the game more attractive than just using the conventional colours - red, green, yellow and blue!
It also seems to help young children's development too. It is obviously encouraging them to recognise and match colours, and also helps them to count albeit quite low numbers. I think more so it really does help to develop coordination and dexterity. I have found that younger children can lose patience with this game, but once they start to sustain their concentration, the hand-eye coordination really does seem to take off!
More than that though, this game is fun. On the side of the box, it suggests a story line where the bugs are eating all the lovely flowers and leaves which is why the spiders have to come along and get them! It also suggests that children might like to make the noise of the spiders chomping on their feast! (Lovely!)
The game can be bought from the Early Learning Centre and having just looked on the website I can tell you that it is currently selling for only £6.00 which seems exceptional value! We have had the game a year and it certainly seems to be quite durable and easy to clean! Definitely one to look out for!
Children have to use the magnetic spiders to catch the creepy- crawlies. Requires 1 x C battery. Age Range: 3 - 6 years