Product Type: Orchard Toys board games
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Orchard Toys Shopping List
Member Name: MrsD76
Orchard Toys Shopping List
Advantages: Simple to play, sturdy, fun
Disadvantages: May get boring too quickly
Not so long ago I used to play this game with my two nieces. Now I have a tiny little troublemaker of my own and this was gratefully received when handed down to her. The game is suitable, according to the box, for ages 3-7 so, at two and a half, this is technically a bit above my daughter's age range but I take these things with a pinch of salt and thought why not give it a go anyway.
So what's in the box?
Well there are no dice, counters or other bits and pieces - it is simply lots of different size pieces of very sturdy card. The four largest pieces of card depict shopping trollies with eight spaces to put your groceries. There are then four different shopping lists with eight items each, both written out and illustrated, and 32 small cards, each showing a different grocery item. the idea is that each player gets a trolley and a shopping list, and takes it in turn to pick one of the smaller cards which you first lay face down. If the player picks up an item on the shopping list, they pop it onto their trolley. If it isn't on the list, back it goes into the pile. Although it isn't made clear on the box, you can choose whether or not to show your opponents the card you have selected if it isn't on your shopping list - this can add a new dimension to the game as the other players try and remember where the card was replaced if it's an item on their list.
So this is a very simple idea and it's nicely executed. The pictures are very clear and have a slight watercolour effect to them so it's attractive to look at, and the groceries look realistic and different enough not to confuse very young players. The card used is really sturdy and it would be hard to damage these - despite being in my family for a few years these look as good as new. It also takes literally seconds to set up which can be a bonus if you have an impatient child wanting to start playing.
I remember playing this with one of my nieces when she was about 4 or so, and I think this is the perfect age for this game. She was at the point where she completely understood the rules, taking turns and also had sussed that it was worth remembering where other people replaced their cards if it was an item on her shopping list! The game also has that competitive element but it's very fun and lighthearted so it's not the sort of game that is going to cause arguments! On the downside, the simplicity of the game means that it can be over quite quickly - a few rounds of this is probably as much interest as you can muster from a small child (and probably yourself if I'm honest as it isn't the most thrilling of games!).
But how does my younger daughter get on with it? At first I tried playing the game with her according to the rules but this was a bit too much for her and it descended into shopping anarchy. So instead I lay all the small cards face up and we go through each list together, looking for the various groceries on each list and putting them into the trolley. At first she had problems identifying some of the items (she is not, for instance, very familiar with jars of Bovril!) but playing this a few times she is getting more accustomed to what is what. We rarely manage to complete all four lists before she is either got bored or come up with her own version of the game (she has the shortest attention span ever!) but I think this is still a really good introduction to the concept of playing games for her, and it is quite different to most of the other activities we do at home. SInce we first played it, she often asks to play it again which I take as a good sign!
Nice, simple fun
Overall I think this is a really nice, simple game for children and I'm hoping I'll be playing this with my daughter for at least a few more years. I think the age range given on the box of up to 7 is a bit optimistic as I really think this is too boring for a 7 year old but I may well be wrong, and I'll come back in 4 and a half years to update this review if this is the case! It's something fun to play with young children and is a perfect introduction to the idea of playing games and it is gently competitive which I think is also a good thing. It may also help younger children with language development and learning new words.
The game itself is also of a high quality and our version has certainly stood the text of time. The only downside is that it won't keep youngsters occupied for very long I don't think.
This is currently selling for £6.99 on amazon, but do a search online as I have seen it for as low as £2.99. There are also "booster packs" available with different items such as clothes, so you can get more life out of your game.
Summary: A simple, fun game for happy little shoppers