Product Type: Orchard Toys board games
Newest Review: ... the middle of the play area. They all look the same on the back - dark blue with Orchard Toys written on them. Each player turns a card ov... more
A Fun Way To Get Your Kids Trollied
Orchard Toys Shopping List
Member Name: Hishyeness
Orchard Toys Shopping List
Advantages: Easy to set up and play. Educational. Quality Product.
Disadvantages: None to speak of.
As a parent of young children, you quickly become familiar with the insidious and almost viral form of children's advertising known as the "character tie-in". Simply put, you take a kid's TV character or show - think Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder or In the Night Garden - slap their animated mug on any piece of tat you care to produce, bombard the impressionable little souls with incessant advertising and then rely on pester power to manipulate exhausted parents at the end of their tether into buying said junk just to keep his or her highness quiet for a day or two.
Fortunately, every now and again, you manage to find a little gem on a long-forgotten shelf somewhere that doesn't need a porcine piglet or a bloke in a hard hat to shift units out the door - instead relying on good old fashioned fun, playability, simplicity and quality to do the marketing for you. One such treasure is the now classic "Shopping List" game, made in England by Norfolk-based Orchard Toys.
WHAT IS IT?
"Shopping List" is a simple memory game for two to four players and aimed at kids between the ages of three (3) and seven (7). It is designed to encourage concentration and observation, as well as foster social and inter-personal skills. It's very easy to grasp, doesn't take long to play and offers enough variety to keep both children and adults engaged.
In the sturdy, re-sealable box, you get four robust cardboard cut-outs shaped in the form of a shopping trolley, four card "shopping lists", each with a unique list of eight items, and thirty two "item cards" which feature pictures of everyday shopping items - such as pasta, cheese, bread etc. - each of which correspond to the items on the shopping lists.
HOW DO YOU PLAY?
Each player chooses a shopping list from the four available and takes a cardboard trolley. The cards are placed faced down on the playing surface, and each player, starting with the youngest, takes it in turns to turn over a card and try and match it to the items on their list. If they succeed, they place the item card in the trolley and play passes to the left. If they fail, they show the card to everyone else and put it back where they found it. The first player to fill their trolley with all eight items on their list wins the game.
If played in accordance with the provided rules, the game takes no more than about ten minutes to play - perfectly suited for some after-dinner quality time with Mum & Dad (obviously length of play will depend on the skill and age of the players). Our daughter finds it very good fun, and although I initially thought I would be bored to bits, I find it strangely compelling - so much so, I end up fighting hard to curb my "competitive dad" streak!
We tend to play this game in our "family time" after dinner, and we often find that play passes a little too quickly for our fairly sharp five year old. As such, we have varied the rules to make it more challenging. Our new object is to match the items on the list in the order in which they appear - so you not only have to remember where your items are, but you also have to find them in sequence. The game is now twice as hard and twice as long, but makes it more fun for slightly older children. To be frank, it's kept us, as parents more engaged in the game as well, as the new format can be surprisingly challenging!
The first thing that struck me about the game when we first played it is the "build quality" and durability of the playing pieces. Each part of the game - the trolleys, lists and item cards is made of thick cardboard with a glossy, dirt and moisture resistant laminate. Whilst I would not suggest immersing these in water or spilling drinks on them, it makes them much easier to wipe clean of marks left by sticky little fingers. The shopping lists are typed in a large, clear and easy to read font, with a picture of the item next to the name - perfect for non-readers, those just learning to read, or those who already know their way about the alphabet. The pictograms are colourful and slightly cartoon-like, and although one or two of the items look vaguely similar, there is little risk of confusion.
Inadequate and badly designed packaging is a frequent irritation with some kid's games, making it easy to lose small bits and pieces, especially if kids are left to their own devices. However, the box for the game is as well put together as the pieces, and its top-opening design (which has one of those tuck in extra flaps that's secures the lid) helps minimise the risk of loss. In any event, we store the item cards in a Ziploc bag inside the box as well to ensure they don't go walkies.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
"Shopping List" is available in most good high-street toy retailers. We bought ours from our local independent toy shop for £7.00, but I have seen it available on-line (at Amazon.co.uk) for as little as £5.99. Orchard Toys also sell booster packs which increase the number of available items and provide two additional shopping lists. These, which require the main game to play, included, at last look, "Fruit & Vegetable" and "Clothes" sets, which retail for around £4 apiece and add to the longevity and variety of the game.
This a thoughtfully designed and fun developmental game which is very easy to grasp, set up and play and is equally suited to family time, or for kids to play with their friends on a play date. If you are looking for a quality game for this age group, thankfully free of character merchandising, you can't go wrong with "Shopping List", which represents excellent value for money even at the full RRP. Highly recommended.
© Hishyeness 2010
Summary: A great little memory game for kids aged three to seven.
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