Product Type: ELC board games
Newest Review: ... 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 e... more
Good fun for little monkeys
ELC Monkey Business
Member Name: karalouk
ELC Monkey Business
Advantages: Fun, Educational aspects, Simple to play, No batteries required!
Disadvantages: None for us
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.
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.
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.
Summary: Fun, simple and educational.