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ELC Monkey Business

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5 Reviews

Manufacturer: ELC / Age: 3 Years+

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    5 Reviews
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      14.03.2012 21:58
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      fun but with some educational elements for preschool children

      The rules of this game are very simple and easy to understand, so I found it a good place to start for introducing my young children to games with turn taking and rules to follow.

      All you have to do is spin the spinner to see how many monkeys you need to place on the tree, which you then try to hang up without them falling down. The winner is whoever can hang the most on the tree without it falling. This helps with number recognition and using numbers in play (from looking at the spinner - although it only has a small range of numbers up to 4 I think it is), and also helps with hand eye coordination and developing their precision as they place the monkey on the tree.

      It is very easy to set up, taking just a couple of minutes as the pieces of the tree easily click into place. My 3 year old is able to do this by himself.

      The quality of the pieces is good, the monkeys are quite solidly made even though they are small the limbs can not be bent or twisted around by children, they retain their shape well.

      The game is recommended for 3+ but my 2 year old also enjoyed it, and as he was playing supervised with me there I felt its absolutely fine for his age. Of course just watch they don't put any of the monkeys in their mouth but I would say it is fine for age 2. He was easily able to grasp the concept and he seemed to find it quite satisfying placing the monkeys onto the tree.

      My boys love the nursery rhyme about '5 cheeky monkeys in the tree, teasing Mr Crocodile.. etc' which fits in really well with this game, as it has the crocodile design at the bottom where the monkeys land if they fall down, so you can also use it as a prop to sing this song in an interactive way. For those who may not be familiar with the song it's one where a monkey is eaten each time, until there are none left so it helps with learning counting and subtraction.

      We have been very happy with this game and the price from early learning centre was very reasonable so would definitely recommend, it is a great starter or addition to any young child's game cupboard.

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        07.02.2012 14:34
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        Fun, simple and educational.

        Monkey Business is a childrens game from The Early Learning Centre. It is designed for children 3-8 years and is suitable for 1-4 players.

        **Contents**

        The game consists of a blue plastic game base (which looks like a pond, complete with crocodiles inside) with built-in spinner, a plastic tree trunk, a leaf canopy, 32 plastic coloured monkeys and 4 slightly larger blue gorillas.

        **Setting Up**

        The game is very quick and easy to set up - just clip the tree trunk in to the base, attach the leaf canopy on to the other end of the tree trunk (it's magnetic so will stick itself on) and place the 4 gorillas in the base (or the 'pond'). The coloured monkeys should be divided evenly amongst players.

        **How To Play**

        The rules of the game are quite simple and should easily be grasped by most young children. The youngest player goes first, followed by the player on their left and so on. Players should spin the spinner which will land on a number - this number decides how many monkeys need to be hung from the leaf canopy. The spinner is numbered 1-3 and also has a picture of a gorilla on it - if a player lands on the gorilla they must take a gorilla from the pond and hang it from the leaf canopy (if there are no gorillas left, play passes to the next player) - the gorillas are slightly larger and heavier. Monkeys and gorillas can be hung anywhere on the canopy and from any monkey or gorilla. The aim of the game is for players to get all of their monkeys on to the tree without it falling down. If the tree collapses the player is out.

        **Overall**

        The main thing that I like about this game as a parent are the obvious educational aspects which include problem solving (manoeuvring the monkeys in a way that will not make the tree collapse), social skills (playing and taking turns with others), numbers/counting (the spinner and the monkeys) and fine motor skills (hand-eye coordination).

        Other good points are that it isn't a noisy game (until the tree falls down!), it doesn't require batteries, it's durable (made of thick quality plastic), it's easy to set up and the rules are pretty simple.

        The 3-8 year age range is about right - any younger and they wouldn't have a steady enough hand or might lose interest, any older and they might find it a bit boring. My 4 year old really enjoys playing this game and we all enjoy playing it as a family (although it's not a game that would really be enjoyed by adults only, unlike some kids games). She loves the suspense when putting the monkeys on (even more so with the gorillas!) and concentrates really hard when it's her turn. She finds it highly amusing when the tree comes falling down with a crash and monkeys scatter everywhere, as expected...

        You can play by the rules or make up your own - for example, dividing specific coloured monkeys to each player and counting how many of each colour was on the tree after it collapses (the player with the most wins). Sometimes my daughter will happily play with this game by herself and see how many monkeys she can get on the tree before it falls, and also how many different ways she can hang them (by arms, legs and tails). The monkeys are quite easy for little fingers to hang on the tree (and on to each other) but definitely require skill and patience.

        The game comes in a colourful cardboard box which is surprisingly small considering the game is about a foot tall. It can be found in The Early Learning Centre and some Mothercare stores. It retails at £12.00 which seems a reasonable price to me.

        Overall, a game I'm happy to recommend.

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          18.04.2011 10:31
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          simple game for young children

          Monkey Business is a game for young children that is sold by Early Learning Centre, (ELC), and Mothercare. It cost me £5 in the January sales, although it's currently priced at £12 on the ELC website, (ours was was exchanged for another toy of equal value which had been returned - the 'Frogs Frenzy' game had lasted five minutes before breaking on Christmas morning). The recommended age is 3-8 years and it's for 1-4 players. It appears to be a very simple game which consists of hanging plastic monkeys from a tree until the tree collapses, let's look a little closer.


          ~What You Get~

          It comes in a slim box which opens at the top and makes it a bit of a squeeze to get the contents back in. At least it's minimal packaging - no instructions other than on the back of the box. There's a plastic tree which comes in four pieces; the trunk, the branches or 'leaf canopy', the base and a magnetic piece that connects the trunk to the branches. The base is decorated to represent a little lake full of snapping crocodiles. It all has to be put together and dismantled again to pack away and it's very simple to do so, my three year old can do it. The way it works is that the centre of the leaf canopy attaches magnetically to the top and falls down once it gets too heavy, ie: overloaded with monkeys. There's a plastic bag full of monkeys, with four different coloured sets of eight, (32 in total). They are blue, orange, yellow or green, there are also four blue gorillas which are slightly bigger than the monkeys. It would be an improvement if the gorillas were a different colour, because it's easy to confuse them with the blue monkeys. We have so far managed not to lose any pieces.


          ~How to Play~

          Monkeys are divided equally amongst the players, with any extras set aside. The youngest player goes first, followed by the player on their left. There's a little spinner dial at the base of the tree that determines how many monkeys are to be placed on the tree, 1, 2, 3 or...a gorilla. The gorillas wait under the tree to be picked out by any player when they show up on the dial. The deal with the gorillas is that they are bigger and heavier, but there's really not much in it. The dial isn't that great, my daughter likes me to spin it for her when it's her go as she doesn't have the knack of spinning it around fast, which annoys her. Spinning the dial can also make the tree wobble, I don't know if this was intentional on the part of the makers but it can add a little tension to the game. The dial makes a change from a die, but I think a die would probably work better, I suppose at least the dial won't get lost.

          On your go you hang your allotted amount of monkeys on the tree. You can hang them directly from the tree by their tails, (less tricky than the arms, and legs are almost impossible), or you can hang a monkey from another monkey if you prefer.

          The aim of the game is get all your monkeys on the tree without it collapsing. If the tree collapses on your turn then you are out. The remaining players are then supposed to start again until only one player, the winner, is left. The instructions don't mention what happens if the tree doesn't collapse. We play it so that if you get all your monkeys off first then you are the winner, if the tree collapses before this happens then we end the game there, as it just seems like the natural way to end it, but we will start again and have two or three rounds - that way everyone gets a chance to lose. It's a quick game, only takes a few minutes to play a round. We did have one game where the tree didn't collapse at all which meant that the first player to finish won, and the others played to the end, we said no-one lost.

          For a one player game the box suggests that one person can try to hang all the monkeys and gorillas on the tree without it collapsing, not the most thrilling way to spend time, but I have attempted it and found it oddly satisfying. A three year old would be unlikely to have the motor skills to achieve this, but older children might get some satisfaction from it. (If my daughter plays with it on her own it's more likely to be in the form of talking to the monkeys and making them play with each other). As a variation on this, two players could take turns to see who can hang the most monkeys on the tree before it falls.


          ~Cheeky Monkey Says:~

          My daughter knows I'm writing about her game and has offered her opinion thus: "It's a bit boring and a bit fun and a bit cheeky. It's all of those things." On being asked why it was each of those things the answers were; 'because I love it', 'because I don't like it' and 'because I think it's funny'. So, a mixed bag of opinion there from the expert. My interpretation of this is that she sometimes has fun playing it, but can get bored of it after more than one or two games. She doesn't always want to play it and will sometimes say it's boring if I suggest it, although 'it's boring' has become a bit of a saying that's being tested out a lot at the moment, so I wouldn't focus too much on it. However, she rarely makes an independent choice to play it.


          ~Fun and Learning~

          This isn't the most exciting of games but it's simple enough for young children to play and can be fun. Playing a game with rules to follow can be quite demanding for the very young and this is simple enough to be amongst the first games my daughter has owned. It's ideal for learning a few simple rules common in many games, things like learning to take your turn and following the rules so that everyone has fun, but it also has the physical aspect which makes it feel less cerebral than a board game. You do have to be quite gentle and think about where to place your monkeys on the tree, so young children should learn a little about how things balance and it could be claimed that this game helps develop problem solving skills, better co-ordination and fine motor skills. There's also the aspect of reinforcing counting and number and colour recognition. My daughter needs a little guidance as to where best to place the monkeys so that the tree remains balanced and won't collapse. You can almost see the cogs turning as she plays this and thinks about out where to go next. She she tries her best to do it very gently but occasionally gets over excited and jumps around the room between turns, which makes the tree wobble. We sometimes liven things up with 'ooh's and 'ah's as the tree gives a wobble, which can lead to nerves about adding any more monkeys and declarations such as "I've finished now, you carry on."

          This is the kind of simple game that could probably be played by siblings or young friends together with minimal adult supervision; let them get on with it while you get the dishes done in peace, (or write reviews).


          Whilst I wouldn't say this has been a huge hit in our house, it gets pulled out on occasion after tea, as something the family can all join in together. It seems quite a stable and hardy game which should last for a long time provided the pieces don't go missing. I can't see it holding my daughter's interest in the long term. There's just not much to it, no variation, and I suspect only children at the younger end of the age range will be entertained for more than a few games.

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            10.02.2011 23:10
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            A great Game

            Monkey Business is a game I picked up from a charity shop for my son. The Game is made by ELC and is designed for between 1 and six players.

            Setting up the game.

            The game comes in three sections a base which holds the spinner a river with a crocodile and a hole for the three. A tall palm tree which has a grove in which to be inserted to ensure that it faces the right direction and the end of the tree hangs over the pool. The final section is the palm leaves that are attached to the tree using a magnetic. The monkeys are then shared equally amongst the player the monkeys are orange, yellow and blue and the gorillas which are slightly larger and heavier. If there are any monkeys these are left on one side. The four purple Gorillas are left in the pool

            To play the game

            The game has three different versions:

            Sole Play

            The idea is to hang as many monkeys and Gorilla on the tree before it collapses and then to challenge yourself to see if you can hang more on each attempt.

            General play.

            To play the general Game the youngest player spins first, the spinner shows one, two, three monkeys or a gorilla sign. The spinner is actually one of the better ones I have used recently it spins freely and doesn't pull off.

            The player adds the respective number of monkeys or a gorilla from the pond that correlates with the spinner. The monkeys can be added to other monkey s either the right way up or by their tails and also on the leaves of the tree. If all the Gorillas have been used up and another player spins the Gorilla it simply moves to the next players turn.

            Advanced game

            To play the advanced game it is similar with the exception that each monkey on the spinner has a colour and you have to put your monkeys hanging from the correlation colour. Only if none of those colours have been hung can you start up in the tree.


            To win

            The aim of the game is to either manage to get rid of all your monkeys before the tree falls and then the player with the least monkeys is the winner.


            Our Experience.

            This game is recommended for children over three years and older and my son is three. When we play the game sharing the monkey's means that he has to have the blue one's as they are boy's colours. The rule the youngest goes first seems to apply in every game in our house. My son seems to very much enjoy this game and loves hanging the monkey's from one another although. I seem to spend my time trying to refrain myself from balancing up the tree as the climax of this game is when it comes crashing down. My son loves this part and screams with joy. The game usually lasts about ten minutes which is ideal for short attention spans and also stops mum getting to bored.


            This game is very sturdy as you would expect from an ELC toy, all parts are easily wipe able and it is very easy to clean. This is one game with lots of pieces but should you lose a monkey the game is still playable. The game itself is excellent for developing balancing skills, fine motor skills, teaching children to take turns in games.


            My son does also play it solo but he only usually does this when we have played together and I have got bored and for him it becomes more of a construction exercise than a game.


            Availability
            This product is currently available at ELC for £12 and like many other ELC products is also available at Mother Care for the same price.

            Overall

            Overall this is a fun game that entertains children and secretly teaches skills. I do think this is a game he will enjoy for a few years and has been value for money. While this game is for up to six players when playing with younger children I would recommend smaller groups as little ones get bored and then the game descends in to mayhem. I do also find when other children come to play a wide age range of children seem to be able to enjoy it and it is enjoyed by both girls and boys. If you are looking for a simple game that doesn't have too many rules then this one is for you.

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              10.09.2010 17:40
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              One of our favourite games.

              I can not find the recommended age for this toy as I no longer have the box. I imagine it will be ages 3+ like most games. I would recommend this from ages 2 + though. There are no small pieces to choke on, and while there are magnets they are well encased in large plastic pieces.

              The game consists of a pond base, with a crocodile in it, and a built in spinner, a plastic tree which comes in 3 parts plus extra leaves and a number of plastic monkeys. The top part of the tree attaches with a built in magnet. The monkeys are almost identical to the old barrel of monkeys, which I am old enough to remember owing, in fact I still have one which has been added to this set. They also feature in toy story.

              To play the game, you spin the spinner which will tell you how many monkeys to place ( 1, 2, or 3) or it may tell you to choose one of the gorillas which are just the same but larger. The idea is to place as many monkeys as possible before some one ends the game by getting the treetop unbalanced which will bring it crashing down.

              Of course any one who has read my reviews knows we very rarely play games without adding to the rules. As monkeys are often dropped into the crocodiles pond when playing, we bring our crocodile puppet "Snap" into play. Whenever someones monkey lands int he water, they have to grab it and jump up screaming like a monkey ( I'm sure the neighbours are used to this by now) and run in a circle waving their arms and beating their chest, while the next player chases them with the crocodile puppet. If they get caught, the crocodile eats their monkeys.

              My children both enjoy this game, and I think t is a nice addition to family game night as even the youngest child can play. It is currently on offer at ELC for only £5, which is a pretty good bargain so this would be worth considering for Christmas shopping.

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