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My youngest daughter, aged 2, last year developed a slight obsession for ladybirds...so whilst browsing online for stocking fillers for Christmas I typed 'Ladybird' into various search engines to see what I could find. Amongst many items such as soft toys, books, torches, tax disc holders (?!), I found this very cute Ladybird Tiddly Winks game. I couldn't resist, so I ordered, regardless of whether she had the skills to play it or not.
TIDDLY WINKS - The Game
For those of you who don't know, Tiddly Winks is a very simple game, where you use a circular disc/counter to flick a smaller counter into a pot. The person who gets all their counters in first is the winner! It takes skill and a lot of patience.
Ladybird TIDDLY WINKS
Ladybird Tiddly Winks is a game with a difference, and the compact size of it makes it ideal for small hands. The game consists of a bright red round wooden box (painted to look like a ladybird, approx size 5cm tall, and 10cm diameter). Inside the box you will find 4 large tiddlies, and 24 winks (i.e. 4 large flat wooden ladybirds, and 24 small flat wooden ladybirds). They are colour co-ordinated so you get red, yellow, green and blue ones - each colour has 1 large and 6 small - you use a large tiddly to get the 6 small winks into the box.
As you may have guessed the game is suitable for 4 players, but you can have 4, 3, 2, or even 1 player. It really doesn't matter, because the aim of the game will always be the same no matter how many people are playing.
Once you have finished playing you can store all the ladybirds back inside the box, the lid is magnetic so it stays put once fixed in position.
Well if I'm honest when we first tried to play the game, we were all disappointed and thought it was more of a gimmicky thing rather than a functioning game. But after a short while of persevering, we got the hang of it, and it is now a favourite game/toy for both my daughters.
The problem in the beginning was that the winks only seemed to want to jump backwards! Obviously when you set the game up you place the empty pot in the middle and the players and their tiddly winks surround the pot; the aim is to use the large tiddly to get the winks to jump forwards into the pot in the middle.
We decided that the winks were jumping backwards because we were playing on the carpet, so we graduated to a hard surface; which actually made the situation worse. The winks wouldn't even jump; they just tended to slide across the surface. So back down to the carpet we went and through trial and error we realised that it depends on the angle of the large tiddly and also a lot of pot luck as to which way your wink will jump.
More often than not mine all go backwards, and to be honest, quite a long way backwards! But I have developed a technique whereby I *try* to make them go backwards, and as if by magic they jump forwards!! So that is my favoured technique for the game, although most of my winks over shoot the pot and I generally lose. I sometimes line all 6 of my winks up in a line and flick them one after the other and watch them all shoot backwards - my daughters find this hilarious, and it is a great distraction from the fact that I am losing the game...
Strangely enough my 4 year old daughter has developed a definite knack for the game, and beats me almost every time. She seems to be able to just get them in the pot one after the other, it's a mystery to me, but she's obviously doing something right. My 2 year old on the other hand, who the game was intended for, can make them jump but has not yet grasped the actual concept of the game; she mainly just fiddles about with the Tiddly Winks. I sometimes find her pottering about emptying the pot and playing with the different coloured ladybirds, just generally entertaining herself.
Quality of The Game
Well, although it's a simply made game, the quality is surprisingly good. The pot is robust and solid with no damage so far. I was not too sure about the actual Tiddly Winks at first, they looked like they might splinter or chip, but I was wrong. Despite a lot of use, and biting (my 2 year old still enjoys testing things with her teeth) they are still in excellent condition. I can see some faint marks and minor dents (teeth marks) on the Tiddly Winks, but the paint is still intact and I imagine we will get a lot more tiddly winking use out of this game in the years to come.
Price and Availability
Prices vary, but you can get it from Amazon for £6.95, and Ebay for £9.99.
I would recommend this as a game, but also as a fun toy for young children - especially ones who like taking things in and out of boxes.