Product Type: Orchard Toys board games
Newest Review: ... player starts first but I do not always follow this rule. My son does mostly play this game with me but he does need to understand h... more
Don't miss the bus
Orchard Toys Bus Stop
Member Name: cloud99
Orchard Toys Bus Stop
Date: 07/09/11, updated on 07/09/11 (134 review reads)
Advantages: Teaches numeracy in a fun way
Disadvantages: Can get boring waiting for them to pick passengers
Orchard toys are a UK based company who manufacturer puzzles and games which are high in quality and all have a great educational base but are fun.
I spotted bus stop in a second hand store I shop. The box describes the game as a fun adding and subtracting game. It is recommended for the age group age four to eight and I find all Orchard games tend to be accurate relating to cognitive level and my son who is four has just started subtracting so this game seemed ideal.
Setting up the game
To set up the game the board is in five sections and slot together as a jigsaw to create a bus route scene. There are four different colour bus cards with corresponding small bus counters which have a stand so look like they are been driven along. Each player picks their own colour. I am unable to choose blue according to my son as that is boys colour however this is a flexible rule for other households. The game comes with two dice one red and one white. It also has forty passenger cards which are turned face upwards.
Playing the game
According to Orchard rules the youngest player starts first but I do not always follow this rule. My son does mostly play this game with me but he does need to understand he doesn't always get to go first. All player start at the start arrow and throw the dice in turn the red dice determines how many spaces you move around the bus route. The bus route has two lanes one for the buses to stop and the other with either an addition or subtraction sign. If you land on the addition square you add the number of passengers on the white dice however if you land on a subtraction sign you remove the number of passengers shown on the white dice. The bus has card has ten spaces for passengers. If your bus is full you can't add more passengers and you can obviously only remove the number of passengers on the bus. Each player follows the bus round to the bus station. The game does not conclude until all buses reach the bus station.
The winner is not necessarily the first to the bus station but the one who has the most passengers on their bus cards when all buses have reached their final destination.
I find this game is the usual high quality card that I would expect from Orchard. The board is simple enough for a four year old to put together and set up. The card has a plastic type coating which does mean it should be wipe able. Despite having bought the game second hand and it has been played with on almost a daily basis for the duration of the school holidays it still looks like new. The game actually works really well. It is a game of chance. I have gone round the board with just about no passengers and ended up with a full bus at the end. I prefer it this way as due to my competitive nature while some games I do sometimes have to let my son win where this is simply a game of chance. This means that equally older children who are equally as competitive don't simply win as they are better strategists. I have found this has definitely helped my sons counting skills. I told him yesterday I had three items of washing in my hand and another 3 in the basket before I could help him and he immediately announced that is six then. I was very impressed and proud as he has not started school yet. It does also seem to have helped him understand the concept of subtraction. If we weren't playing this game on a daily basis I am sure we would have to look up which dice is for which role. The game itself is while not grippingly exciting for an adult does not drive me insane. The worst part for me is the fact that there are 40 different pictures of passengers it can take a while for my son to pick the particular passenger he wants to get on the bus. He is now so competent at this game he is able to play this game with a friend with no real input from me.
Availability and cost
The bus stop game has a RRP of £9.25 however it is currently available on Amazon for £5.29. I purchased this game for £2.95 second hand which for me is a great bargain.
I do not know how long this game will hold my son's interest but it has done everything I have wanted it to do if he never plays with it again. It has improved his number skills and developed a concrete understanding off addition and subtraction while we have had a lot of fun playing. I would recommend this game to anyone who wants to improve their Childs basic numeracy skills in a fun way so they won't even realise they are learning.
Summary: Highly recommended
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