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When I first qualified as a teacher, there was a real lack of permanent teaching positions and so worked as a substitute teacher for a while. THis meant that I could easily get a call in the morning to ask me to come in to cover a teacher off sick and so I needed a little 'bag of tricks' to get me through the day, especially when a teacher may not necessarily have left anything. I have a variety of things in this bag most of which were books but there were also a few practical things including this Orchard Toys 'Dotty Dinosaurs game', which I bought mainly for teaching, but it ended up being a real favourite of my nephew when he came up to my house to visit. It is now being kept for my daughter in a few years time.
This Dotty Dinosaur game is a very basic board game that is suitable for ages 3 to 6 which I would say is a good age suggestion. This board game can actually be played in two ways: you can choose to play the game based on shape, or based on colour. There are four coloured dinosaurs with reversible sides - one side has shapes and one side has colours. You are given two dice - one with colours and one with shapes, as well as a little cup for shaking (good for little ones!). You are also given a variety of shapes and coloured circles to use depending one which game you are playing. Since there are 4 game boards, you can play this as a group of 4 players, but you can also play it in pairs. When I used it as a substitute teacher, it would usually be used in this fashion, with a couple of children who were finished a piece of work, being allowed to play this with a partner or in a small group or 3 or 4.
If you choose the shape game: you role the dice and if the shape that comes up is one that you have, you can place it onto the matching shape on your dinosaur board. The person to have filled their dinosaur board first is the winner. The same is true of the colour game. You roll the dice and see what colour it lands on and then put the corresponding colour onto the board.
For children that are already beyond colour and shape recognition, this would definitely be deemed by them as being too babyish, but for those in their early years of schooling, this is an ideal game to reinforce these basic facts. As I said, my nephew used to play it constantly every time he came to my house from the time he was a preschooler, but as he got older, and was way beyond shape recognition and colours, he was no longer interested.
All in all, this is a lovely, bright colourful board game for preschoolers etc. It is very educational, reinforcing early colour and shape work, in a completely fun way, where children don;t even realise they are learning. I can't wait now to get this out for my daughter when she gets to the appropriate age.
Dotty Dinosaurs is a game from Orchard Toys. Orchard toys are well known for making fun yet educational games.
This is one of my 3 year old son's favourite games, and it is played regularly in my house. In fact he actually has two lots of this game, as he got two at christmas. However instead of exchanging we kept both so we could play both sets together and get a larger group of the family involved.
Packaging- The box is rectangular in shape, which is made of sturdy carboard, it is able to take being bashed around or dropped down the stairs no problem. It is bright yellow in colour, so is very eyecatching. The front of the box has large blue writing at the top that says Dotty Dinosaurs, with the aim of the game written underneath. "Match shapes and colours with these friendly dinosaurs". There is a large picture of two cartoon style dinosaurs, a red dinosaur with shapes on its body and a green one with coloured circles on its body. The front of the box also states the intened age range 3-6 and the number of players 2-4. The orchard toys logo features on the front along with a star that states there is a educational guide on the reverse.
Both the left and right hand sides of the box feature most of the same information as the front, including the name and aim of the game, age range and number of players, and the logo. There is a small picture of one of the dinosaurs on each side, one with shapes and one with coloured circles.
The back of the box has the orchard toys logo, a picture of the box and of all its contents. There is also a written contents list which is as follows,
4 dinosaur boards
24 colour dots
1 shape dice
1 colour dice
1 instruction leaflet.
There is a more detailed aim of the game on the back of the box,
"Can you help the dotty dinosaurs to find their missing spots? Throw the dice to match shapes or colours and be the first to cover your dinosaur board in this fun game for young players. Two games in one"
The eductional guide on the back states
Orchard toys fun learning games encourage children to communicate, share and play together. This game was designed to
Encourage social skills and observation
Improve manual dexterity
Link with early learning goals
The box opens from the top with a fold in flap, so there is little chance of losing pieces.
Inside the box-
There are 4 different coloured dinosaur boards, one red, one yellow, one blue and one green. On each dinosaur, one side has 6 coloured spots and on the other side there are 6 shapes.
There are 24 coloured dots, 4 of each colour, the colours included are Red, Yellow, Purple, Blue, Green and Orange. There are 24 shape pieces again 4 of each, the shapes included are Circle, Square, Rectangle, Triangle, Semi Circle, and Diamond.
One dice with the 6 different colours on it and one dice with the 6 different shapes on it. There is a red dice shaker and one instruction leaflet, which has many different languages on it.
The dinosaur boards and the playing pieces are made of sturdy carboard that has a wipe clean surface, they are all of a good size so are perfect for little and big hands alike. The shapes and coloures come on sheets of cardboard and need to be popped out, which is really easy to do. Once these have been popped out the rest of the cardboard can be discarded. Although the box has a fold in flap at the top and there is little chance of pieces falling out, we keep the coloured dots and dice in one zip locked sandwich bag and the shapes and shape dice in another. This keeps them safe and is also easier when getting the game out as you don't have to divide them up everytime. The shape pieces have blue on the back and the coloured dots have white on the back, this is helpful as the circle shapes and coloured dots can get mixed up when looking at them face up, and if you don't choose to seperate the pieces into shapes and colours this is a quick way to seperate them each time.
How to play-
Firstly you have to choose if you are playing a shape game or a colour game. Once you have decided you turn your dinosaur board to match your decision.
The playing pieces, shapes or colours are placed face up on the playing surface. If you are playing the shape game the colours are left unused or the other way round.
The youngest player begins by shaking then rolling the dice, then looks to see either the shape or colour on the dice. In the shape game the player looks for the shape that matches that of the shape on the dice but also the colour of there dinosaur board, if playing the colour game they just simply look for the coloured dot that matches that of the colour on the dice. The playing piece is then placed on their dinosaur board. Play is then passed onto the next player. If you happen to roll a colour or shape you already have, play moves onto the next player. The winner is the first player to have all shapes or all colours on their dinosaur board.
Like other Orchard toys games aimed at this age, the game is over quite quickly, unless everyone is unlucky with their throw of the dice. This is great for when you only have a short amount of time to play, or a child who struggles to stay focussed on one thing for a lenght of time. However it is also a good game for when you have a longer amount of time to play, as you can play both versions of the game on repeat. This game is ideal for on a one to one basis, or for the whole family to join in,like I said before my son has two lots of this game and we get all the grandparents joining in too. Although dinosaurs so tend to be a more little boy thing, the game is gender neutral, just may have son little ones doing their best dinosaur impressions. The game is a great introduction to the more typical style board game, i.e rolling a dice, but it is also a great way to help teach your child colours and shapes. My son found it hard to begin with when he rolled the dice and got a colour or shape he already had , but has since managed to get the hang of it, especially once he saw it happened to everyone. There was one time daddy kept rolling an orange over and over and he found this really funny. The child can also get involved and learn even when its not their turn "can you find mummy her red traingle, or can you find daddy's blue square?". My son loves this game and we do play it alot, however as it has two games in one it is alot less repetitive than some of his other games. The game is straight forward and easy for both adult and child to pick up. I feel the age range recommmended is correct for this game as it is a good introduction and learning tool for the younger ones, but also quite a fun little game to play with the family for the slightly older kids, even once they know their colours and shapes well.
I have seen this game in Waterstones, Dobbies,John Lewis, large toy stores and online, all for under £10.
I would highly recommend this game. We have other Orchard Toys games (see my shopping list game review) all of which come with the same high standard and durability. I also noticed while picking my son up from nursery the other day, this game was laying out on the table, so not only am I highly recommending it but it is also used in a educational nursery.
We have quite a huge collection of Orchard Games, acquired variously new and from School Fairs, I wasn't thinking of getting more, but this is the what my three year old chose with her Christmas money when given free rein at Toysrus and an upper limit of £10, the rest of her money being put away for more boring things in later life. This game was £8 instore and seems to be a similar price online.
Dotty Dinosuars is a game for up to 4 players, aimed at the 3-6 year old market. It's a fun way of learning shapes and colours. The specific colours young players will learn along the way are red, yellow, ornge, blue, green and purple, whilst the shapes covered are circle, semi-circle, triangle, rectangle and square. These are all part of the Early Learning Curriculum, if you are worried about such things - for me they are just quite useful to know and things that young children can find quite hard to learn
What you get:
The game comes with 4 dinosaur shaped boards in primary colours - red, yellow, blue and green. Your average 4 year old could probably tell you what kind of dinosaur they are supposed to be, I am not sure, but they are cutely drawn in any case, and are double sided; there are two different games to play, one with each side. One side of the dinosaur has printed coloured dots to match up to dot cards in the different colours, the other side is printed with different shapes to be matched with the shape cards - there are 48 cards in all for matching, these come in the box on a printed card and have to be punched out, which is easily done.
There are two die - one has colours on it, and one an outline of the 6 different shapes already mentioned. There is also a shaker for the dice. The instructions are clear, and quickly read - which is a boon the first time you play and you have an excited child rearing to go!
At the start of the game you need to decide if you are playing a shape or a colour game, and the adult playing, will need to sort the cards so that either the dots or shapes are available for play and select the correct dice. It is a lot easier to play than explain, you shake the dice and then if you get a purple dot, selct a purple dot from the dot cards and match it to the one printed on the dinosaur. If you get a shape or colour you already have play passes to the next player, the winner is the one to finish their dinosaur first.
Is it any good?
This game is simple to play and so appeals to the very youngest as they can easily play. Along the way there is plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction "what colour have you got?" - "whose turn is it now?", and the game does not last too long and the challenge level is spot on for this age group. Children of this age really like dinosaurs, so this game is likely to become a firm favourite.
Because the game is printed on wipeable and sturdy cardboard, it is pretty durable, and it is great that there are two ways of playing this game too. The shaker is a good idea as it helps the youngest players throw the dice without it spinning across the room - an occupational hazard when we play some other games. One thing I would have liked to see Orchard doing here is providing some way for the two sets of cards to be seperated - they are printed with different backs (one white, one blue - the shapes have a blue black), but they are a pain to sort each time you play, so I have put our two sets into small ziplock bags so that I don't have to sort them every time. It is a minor criticism and doesn't detract from my daughter's enjoyment of the game, she loves it and her 6 year old sister has fun playing too - though she really is at the upper age limit of this game according to Orchard, and I would tend to agree with this assessment.
This is a simple and no-frills game which is fun for children, not too repetitive for assisting adults to play, and also has an eductational aspect, and as my children demonstrate the age guideline is spot-on.
Compared to some of the other Orchard games it has more variability due to the two sided dinosaurs. This game has been well designed and made, it's a great game and I have to say that my daughter is showing every sign of making good consumer choices - just like her mum - and whilst she might not know her dinosaur names either, when it comes to shapes and colours she is a pro, in part thanks to this game. Recommended!
Dotty Dinosaurs was a game that my son received for his third birthday (over three years ago now) when he was in the midst of his dinosaur obsession. It has recently been rescued from the depths of the playroom cupboard by my almost three year old daughter which is why I am reviewing it now. Perhaps suprisingly, it still contains all the original pieces (and, more shockingly, both dice) and we have just started playing it again on a regular basis. It is a game that I remember my son loving as a 3 and 4 year old, and one that my daughter really enjoys now.
* The Game *
Contents - The game comes in a brightly coloured box with two dinosaurs on the front. It is actually two games in one - the first is a shape matching game, and the second is a colour matching game. Inside the box are four brightly coloured cardboard dinosaurs in red, yellow, green and blue. These are the game boards and are reversible - one side has six shapes for the shape-matching game and the other side has brightly coloured dots for the colour-matching version of the game. The shapes and coloured dots need to be popped out of the cardboard, but the game is quick and easy to prepare - important when you've got an impatient pre-schooler waiting to play.
Gameplay - For both versions of the game, the rules are very simple. Each player takes a game board and the shapes / coloured dots are spread out on the playing surface. Each player takes their turn to roll the dice and collect shapes / coloured dots depending on what you roll. There are six shapes / coloured dots on each game board. The first player to collect all the shapes / dots is the winner.
* Our Experiences *
This game is definitely a hit in this house. It only takes 5-10 minutes to play, depending on how lucky you are with the roll of the dice, so it's perfect for the limited attention span of the typical pre-schooler. It is educational too - helping them to recognise shapes and colours, and encouraging turn-taking and playing together. In addition to shape / colour recognition it is also a game that encourages basic maths skills such as 'how many more colours do you need to get / how many shapes have you got already?' My daughter has quickly grasped the concept of taking turns while playing this and seems to recognise that who wins is entirely down to the luck of the dice (I wish I could say the same for my ultra-competitive six year old who still sulks if he doesn't win). The dinosaur game boards and play pieces are strong and can withstand being thrown around in temper when your little one doesn't win - always an important factor in games in this house! Obviously it is a game that you have to play with your children, in my experience three year olds can't sit and play board games with each other, but that makes it ideal for encouraging that valuable family time which all families need.
* Cost and Purchasing Information *
The game is around £9-10 depending on where you buy it - it is currently available on Amazon for £9.05, but, in my experience, there are often buy one get one half price offers on Orchard Toys games so it's worth shopping around. I feel that this represents good value for money, especially as we are now using the game again with our second child.
* Final Thoughts *
I would definitely recommend this game - it has everything a pre-schooler needs in a board game. Simple game play, bright colours, suits a short attention span and is playable over and over again (because, as the parents of pre-schoolers know, they are very fond of repetition). The dinosaur theme will appeal to all young children who are into dinosaurs but it is definitely not 'just' a dinosaur game. Overall, I feel that this is a great starter game for young children who are just getting into the idea of playing board games as a family and will hopefully encourage more family game play in the future.
My three year old son is dinosaur mad. He likes anything to do with dinosaurs and has done for quite a while.
Shortly after his second birthday my brother, knowing his dinosaur obsession, sent him this Orchard Toys Dotty Dinosaur game for Christmas.
The game consists of four different dinosaur shaped boards in different colours, 24 shaped pieces and 24 coloured dots. You also get a shape dice, a colour dice a dice shaker and your instruction sheet. The dinosaur boards are double sided and a different game is played on each side. I'm not sure if the dinosaurs are supposed to be images of actual dinosaurs but one is obviously a Stegosaurus and another is a triceratops.
On one side of the board you have six different coloured dots on the body of each dinosaur. To play this game you need the dinosaur boards, shaker, colour dice and 24 coloured dots. The idea is for each player to have a dinosaur board in front of them and then place the coloured dots face up in the centre. Each player then takes a turn to throw the colour dice. The player then selects the coloured dot from the centre and places it onto the corresponding colour on their dinosaur. If you already have the coloured dot you miss a turn and the winner is the first player to get all 6 of the coloured dots.
The second game is played using the reverse of each dinosaur. This game is a shape matching game. To play this game you need the dinosaur boards, shaker, shape dice and 24 shapes. Each board has six different white shapes on the body of the dinosaur. To play this game each player has a dinosaur board and the shapes are placed face up in the centre. The shapes are in the same four colours as the dinosaur boards so you can either collect the same colour as your board or mix and match! Each player takes a turn to throw the shape dice and then collects that shape. Again if you already have the shape you miss a turn and the winner is the first player to collect all six shapes.
The manufactures recommended age range is between 3 and 6 years or age but at just over two my son picked up the game straight away. Obviously being a little younger it was more difficult to explain about taking turns and having to miss turns but he enjoyed the game anyway. I would say that a child over 6 years old may find the game a little childish but if playing with younger siblings I don't think this would be an issue.
My children aged 5 and 3 both enjoy this game and have played it many times over the past year. My son is obviously very pleased with the dinosaur theme but also enjoys winning and beating his sister!
The boards and coloured dots and shapes are made of thick cardboard which is easy for little fingers to pick up and hold. The sizes of the dots and shapes are just right and the pieces aren't too fiddly and can be placed easily. We have had this game just over a year now and all the pieces are still in excellent condition despite being played with many times.
I have been very pleased with the game as it can be quite a quick game to play which I feel is just right for this age range. I have always been pleased with my purchases from Orchard Toys and this game is no exception. The quality is excellent, the colours are bright and the dinosaurs are fun and friendly looking. I think that the game is very good for colour and shape recognition and encourages learning in a fun and entertaining way. I play this game with my son on a one to one basis and he also enjoys the game when played with his siblings.
This game is currently available from www.amazon.co.uk for £7.83 with free delivery and www.orchardtoys.co.uk direct for £9.00 with postage of £2.50 but for orders over £15.00 they do offer free delivery.
I would recommend this game to anyone with younger children as it is fun and entertaining and can be enjoyed by girls and boys alike.
Match shapes and colours. For 2 to 4 players.