“ Learn about counting and shapes with this best-selling game based on the popular nursery rhyme. Be the first to move your spider up the drainpipe before it starts to rain. This classic Orchard Toys game now includes two games in one for even better value! „
It was only last year that I accidently discover the wonders of Orchard toys. I happened upon one of their games on sale and bought it on impulse. I was instantly taken with the game as were my two daughters who enjoyed playing it unbeknown to them that they were learning whilst having fun. I began to research the company online, discovering that they produce an array of educational games. A few weeks ago I picked up our fifth addition to our Orchard games collection "Insey Winsey Spider". I bought this from a local charity shop for the bargain price of £1.99. (Infact I think about 3 of the Orchard games we own have come from that same charity shop!) Of course when buying anything second hand it is always a good idea to have a quick check inside to make sure all the pieces are present, in this case everything was there. A quick look online shows that this game can be found for £8.21 on Amazon (free super saver delivery is available).
The game comes packaged inside a lovely bright box that is certain to entice and interest any young child. The title of the game "Insey Winsey Spider" appears at the top of the box in bold white writing. On the front of the box we have a cartoon style picture of a green drain pipe, popping out from inside is a rather surprised looking yellow spider and next to him a happy red spider. In the background the sky is blue with a lovely happy sun looking on, we also have too grumpy grey clouds. This is clearly a Orchard toys game as the brand logo is proudly displayed in the bottom corner. We are also given the information that this game is for 2-4 players and that the age range is between 3-6 years. The box is sturdy and is made of strong card. The box is easily opened and the contents removed from the top of the box. This style of box keeps everything neat and tidy and also lessens the chances of pieces being lost compared to boxes where the lid is removed altogether. I find a durable games box is very important and this one certainly ticks all the boxes!
Inside the box we have the following contents:
4 Drainpipe boards
4 Spider counters
1 Number dice
1 Shapes dice
1 Dice shaker
1 instruction leaflet
As stated on the box this game is for up to four players, so it stands to reason that there are four drainpipe boards, one for each player. These boards come in two pieces, which are easily assembled by slotting them together much like a simple jigsaw. This is a two in one game, the boards are reversible and a different game is played on each side. Each of the drainpipe boards are a different colour these being blue, green, red and yellow. The Spider counters also come in these colours and therefore match the drain cards. So, if player one chooses a yellow board they will play with the yellow spider counter. These spider counters are of a nice size and perfect for little hands. They are made of strong plastic and are bright. They all have white googly eyes and big smiles, which I think makes them look very friendly and appealing to small children. Also included in the game is a large spinner made of strong durable board. Again this is very bold and bright. On the board we have the red spider, happy sun and grumpy cloud as seen on the boxes cover. There is also a circle with alternating pictures of happy sun or a sad grey raining cloud. The black spinner is located in the centre of this circle.
The instructions give two variants to the game. The first game is a counting game. The boards are placed on their appropriate side and the number dice is used. Spiders are placed at the start. The first player rolls the dice and moves up the drainpipe then spins the spinner. If the arrow stops at a picture of the sun the player stays were they are, however if it lands on the cloud picture down the drain they go right back to the start. The winner of the game is the player whose spider reaches the web at the top of the drain board.
The second game is fairly similar to the first. However, instead of a number game we have a shape game. Again the spiders are placed at the start. In this game the shapes dice is used instead of the normal number dice. The dice has pictures of the following shapes: circle, semi-circle, triangle, diamond, rectangle and square. Each of these shapes are also present on the reverse side of the drainpipe board. Again the spiders are placed at the start. The first player rolls the shape dice they then move to the appropriate square which features the picture of the shape they just rolled. A spin of the spinner will determine whether the player is staying put or sliding back down the drainpipe. The object of this game is the same as the number game with the winner being the player that makes it to the top first.
As i mentioned earlier we have had this game for a few weeks now and have already played it quiet a few times. My eldest daughter is 9, she played it once and said it was boring. That being said it is aimed at children under 6 so I was not overly surprised by her response. My three year old daughter really loves this game thought. She was initially drawn in my the Insey Winsey Spider theme as she has recently been singing this in nursery. She often sings the rhyme as we play. Although she does like the number game I would say the shape game is more popular with her. She grasped the concept of numbers and counting quite quickly so think that the number game is not a huge challenge to her. She finds rolling the shape dice and then matching it to the shape on the boards fun.
This is a great educational game that teaches colours, numbers and shapes along with turn taking and communication skills. My youngest daughter and I enjoy playing it and do so often. However, it is not our favorite Orchard Game. I am not sure that this is a game we will still be playing this time next month as I believe my daughter may tire of it by then. Although there are two variants i dont feel there is huge difference in how the games are played and feel it may begin to get a bit boring for us both. I can imagine it sitting in the games box and maybe brought out occasionally, until it finds it way back to the local charity shop in a few years time. But for the time being we are enjoying it and my daughter is learning and having fun at the same time, plus we get to spend some nice quality time together.
My 4 year old received this for her birthday back in January. I love Orchard Toys games, so I was really pleased when she opened this and we played straight away. At first I was a bit worried that she seemed to be a bit old for the simplicity of the game, but then as we played for longer I realised that despite the fact it's suitable for a much younger child, my 4 year old gains a lot of enjoyment from it; and she can persuade me to play for very long periods of time...especially if she's on a winning streak.
Insey Winsey Spider is described on the box as a 'fun counting and shapes game' which is exactly what you want from an educational game aimed at 3-6 year olds. The game is obviously based on the well known nursery rhyme, insey winsey spider, and revolves around you getting your spider up to the top of your drain pipe before the rain washes it away.
Inside the box you will find 4 drainpipe boards, 4 spiders, 1 spinner, 1 number dice, 1 shapes dice, 1 dice shaker and 1 instruction leaflet. As you may have already guessed, you can have up to 4 players in the game, and you can play one of two ways - using the shapes dice, or the number dice. The drainpipe boards are double sided, one side has blank spaces (for you to count the numbers) and the other side has random shapes (for you to throw the shape dice and land on which ever shape you throw).
Each player has a drainpipe board and a spider, the aim of the game is to be the first to get your spider up to the top of the drainpipe. There are 10 spaces on each board, so really you would think it would be pretty easy to get to the top in a very short space of time, and this is actually possible (if you are lucky), but the game also includes a spinner board which can very easily hinder your chances. After each player has a turn and moves their spider up the board, they then have to spin the spinner, and the arrow can either land on a sunshine or a raincloud. If you land on a sunshine your spider stays put, if you land on a raincloud, then the spider is washed back down to the bottom. And those are the basics of the game, it's very simple.
***Time To Play***
Both of my daughters really like to play the game, I think the fact that it can be over in a very short space of time appeals to my 2 year old, and the fact that I nearly always lose really appeals to my 4 year old. Both my children can count and they both know their shapes so either method of play is appealing to them, although my 2 year old understands the concept of the shapes a lot better than she does with the numbers. It's a lot easier for her to see the shape on the dice and plonk her spider on the same shape on the board, rather than count the dots on the dice then count her spider up the drainpipe, usually adding on a couple of squares along the way...which can causes arguments with her big sister.
I am always present when this game is out because my youngest is too young to be able to have the patience to take turns and remember to spin the spinner and everything else you need for playing a game in a civilised manner. So I have played it on numerous occasions, and I have noticed that I do not seem to possess any luck whatsoever and have only won the game a handful of times. This is also an advantage because losing does not agree with my 4 year old, so the more I lose, the happier she is, especially when I cry. Although the game can be over very quickly, sometimes it can drag on endlessly if the spinner is not playing to your advantage. The other day we were playing and we all kept hitting rain clouds and would be plunged back to the bottom of the drainpipe over and over again, but eventually my spider prevailed and I won the game (cue lots of screaming from bad losers).
As always with Orchard Toys games, there is an educational aspect to it, and of course with this one it is obviously counting and shapes. It is a fun way for a child to learn their shapes, and also to assist with their counting skills. I am always a bit dubious about whether your child will 'learn' their shapes or numbers from games like this, but I do believe it is definitely an aid to what they already know. My kids learnt their shapes and numbers through every day life, but playing games like this just cements the knowledge that they already have.
What I do believe is that games like these really help children to work together, to learn skills such as patience and taking it in turns, and that when they grasp these skills, the whole play experience is much more enjoyable. It's obviously the taking part that counts, and this is still something my 4 year old has not yet grasped...according to her it's the winning that counts!
I can recommend this game because it is simple, easy to grasp the rules, even for a 2 year old (perhaps a 2 year old with an older sibling to guide them) and really quite enjoyable to play. Both my children love the game and at the moment it is the one we play the most.
I would recommend it for children from perhaps 2 ½ years old up to about 5, beyond that I think the child would be too old.
Available on Amazon for £5.29 (Oct 2011)
My 3 year old loves this game!
The idea of the game is to get Insey to the top of the spout. It contains 4 different coloured double sided boards and 4 chunky plastic spiders. On one side of the board each space contains a different shape. On the other side the spaces are blank. The game comes with two dice, one is a normal spotty dice, the other dice has shapes on. The idea being that if your child is too young to count they can move using the shape dice and board and move their spider up the spout according to the shape they roll.
Once the spider has been moved the player spins the dial, if they get a sun they stay where they are, if they get a rain cloud then their spider is washed down the spout to the starting line!
This is a brilliant game to introduce children to moving a game piece around a board. We have played it for several months using the shapes side, now my daughter has progressed to counting the spots on the dice and then counting the squares. As there is usually only two of us playing we often have two boards each and have one on the shape side and one on the blank side.
The game is extrememly well made, all the card (including the top opening box, so much better and longer lasting than the box/lid design!) is durable and the spiders are made to last!
Insey Winsey Spider
A useful counting game for young children, I use this quite often, mainly because it is very simple to play and most young children are already confident and familiar with the rhyme.
The game comes in a box which is quite sturdy and feels as though it has been almost plastic coated- great for keeping it in good condition.
The fantastic thing about orchard toys games is that the instructions are on the base of the box-no losing bits of paper or trying to read the instructions for a game when those said instructions are all dog eared and tired looking. Suffice to say I do think its an excellent idea to put the rules on the base of the box.
~~What do I get?~~
Inside the box are the bits and pieces necessary to play the game:
4 drain pipes- one each in red green yellow and blue. These are in two pieces but easily clipped together as a jigsaw.
4 plastic spiders in the colours corresponding to the drain pipes
small dice beaker
one spinner showing 3 sunshine symbols and 3 rain symbols.
~~Who is it for?~~
Children between 3 and 6 years will probably enjoy this. This is the age range recommended on the game, and I would tend to agree. Its best to play when children are able to count in logical steps, and not just count by rote because otherwise they will be moving to the top irrespective of the number they have thrown.
~~How do I play it?~~
A game for 2-4 players.
Before the game is even played, we go through the familiar rhyme of Insey Winsey Spider- for anyone who has forgotten it, it is, quite conveniently, written on the base before the rules of play are listed.
To play, make sure each player has a drainpipe with a spider at the base, where it says start. In turns, the players throw the dice and move the corresponding number of spaces up the drainpipe. It could all be over too soon, since there are only 10 jumps up the drain pipe. However, this is where the tricky bit starts, and children can fall right back down the drain pipe. After each player has thrown the dice, and moved up the drain pipe, the player has to spin the spinner. If the arrow lands on the sunshine, they stay where they are, but if it lands on the rain cloud, the player has to go to the bottom of the drain pipe, and start all over again.
The winner is the first player to reach the web at the top!
~~Price and availability~~
Available from the website, www.orchardtoys.com and from some toy shops and book shops.
This costs £8
~~Other games appropriate for this age group~~
Orchard toys produces lots of age appropriate games linked to the National Curriculum. These are some of the games I have used for maths with young children.
Nursery rhyme Puzzle
Cock a doodle Moo
Colour Match express
~~What I think of it~~
Another good game from Orchard toys.
I tend to buy a lot of these to use at home and most often in the classroom. Mostly I buy them online, but check out second hand shops, because they can often be found for a fraction of the RRP.
The game appeals to young children because they usually know the Insey Winsey spider rhyme, and they tend to like the idea of moving a big bright spider up and down the drain pipe.
The pieces are sturdy and easy to put together and the game can be set up with minimum fuss and preparation. The rules are simple, and once children have played the game a few times, they usually remember how to play it and can usually be relied on to teach other children.
As mentioned before, I like the fact that the rules are on the box, and that all the equipment is supplied, in big bright and fairly sturdy format.
The game links to the National Curriculum Maths and also the early Learning Goals in Personal social and Emotional Development, encouraging as it does, turn taking and sharing.
For anyone wanting to develop their childs counting skills using a very simple game, I would recommend this. Children have only to be able to count to 10, and there are no complex rules and no counting backwards. A simple game with a familiar rhyme. Good quality apparatus which can withstand quite considerable game playing without showing too many signs of obvious wear and tear.
Thanks for reading.