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I have an abundance of Orchard Games in my house. I do find some are different themes but teaching the same skill but I am always on the lookout for new games for my four year old son who started school in September. I do find that the age recommendations are accurate and as a result my sons games are all designed for children under five. I spotted this Orchard game at a car boot with the age 5+ so carefully read it to see if it was too advanced but it seemed appropriate so purchased it for £1.50.
My son wanted to play it immediately upon his return so I set about reading the instructions which my son followed to set up the game. His first task was to build the four piece jigsaw which was to be the main playing board which at his age is very simple but does help with fine motor skills and cognitive recognition. Also put out the ready assembled rubbish bin. This seems strong and sturdy and unlikely to fall apart without effort. Then he had to turn all of the small tile cards over on the table. There are 50 of these tile cards and these contain a variety of Rubbish: different types of recycling and litter bugs. You then place twelve cards anywhere on the board without looking at them. This was a very difficult for my son not because he didn't have the dexterity to complete the task simply he wanted to look at every piece he put down.
The game is for between two and four players. To start the game each played picks two different recycling cards and place their coloured counter anywhere on the board. The instructions suggest that the youngest starts first but this is not a rule I follow. I think it is important for children to learn right from the beginning that they don't go first all the time. The game begins with the first player spinning a spinner it has various sections a large litter bug section and smaller number sections.
If you land on the litterbug section you don't get to look for a piece of your recycling but you do put one of the spare small tile cards another space on the board. This means it will be quicker to fill the card. This seemed to be almost impossible for my son to do without looking at the small tile he was putting down. I frequently have to take the tile off him he has looked at an ask him to collect another.
If you land on a number section which are the numbered between two and six you get to move the number of squares around the board and any picture tiles you pass you get to check.
If you land on a piece of recycling that you need for your card you can take it off and put it on one of the empty squares on your card. If it is one of your opponents then you should simply turn it back over however if it is Rubbish then it gets posted through the slot in the bin. We also post recycling if our cards are full as we have no idea what else to do with them. We did have tears the first time we played as I hadn't looked what my son was recycling and threw a T shirt in the dustbin which was what my son needed so I have since paid more attention. The types of things that are recycled are paper, cans, glass and clothes. It does encourage little ones to think about recycling and has lead to quite a few conversations on the subject. The other type of tile is a littler bug and if you pick one of these up you return one of your tiles on your collection back to the table. Any tiles that are removed from the game board during your turn are replaced at the end of your turn.
This game is made from sturdy laminated thick card which is made from the quality that I have come to expect from Orchard. The only thing I would have preferred was a base in the bin as every time my son moves the bin all the rubbish tiles seem to fall out. The instructions for this game are on the side of the box which does prevent them getting lost.
Educationally it is a great introduction to recycling. My son already does help with the recycling and like most boys is fascinated with the dustbin and recycling truck so was already aware of most recycling we do. As a game that is 5+ I do think this game did stretch my son a little more than previous Orchard games. This is a game that we enjoy on a regular basis.
I have found this game on Amazon and discovered that it was £24.00 with free super save package and postage. I was actually quite shocked when I discovered the full price of this game. There is another version of this game with a more modern type bin for £10.69 which seems a far more reasonable price. Most Orchard Games are around the £10 mark and while my son has enjoyed this game I do not think it is worth the full price of £24. If you spot this cheaper than it is a great game for moving your child on to the next level of game playing but not that astonishing that I would pay £24.
A useful game made by a favourite of mine- Orchard Toys.
This begins to teach children about recycling and encourages them to think about sharing and playing together. As with most if not all of the Orchard Toys products, it is linked with the National Curriculum- this time, Maths and Science.
Who is it for?...
This is a game for 2-4 children, ideally between 5 and 10 years old. It is quite a complex game until children get used to the rules and so younger than 5 would probably be struggling- this is one little miss has yet to be introduced to
I have had to select age 6-8 on the pull down list as there is no option for a wider age range
What do I get?...
Inside the jolly box, you get:
a game board
8 recycling bin boards
50 small cards showing bottles, materials etc
4 litterbug cards
4 plastic counters
Spinner with numbers 2,3,4,5,6 and a litterbug section
3-D refuse bin (not Dusty Bin!!)
How do I play it?...
The object of the game is to be as competitive as possible and fill your own recycling bin with the correct materials.
1. So, once the game board is in the middle of the table with the refuse bin to one side, each player then takes two recycling bins.
2. The small cards are shuffled and 12 of these are placed face down on the game board. 3. Players take a counter and after placing it anywhere on the board, the youngest player spins the spinner (we play oldest so that I get to spin first!).If they spin a number, then they must move the corresponding number of spaces around the game board.
4. If a player passes a square with a small card on it, they look at the card and if it can be recycled, they put it in their recycling bin, and turn over another card which can be placed face down anywhere on the game board. If not, then it is returned to the pile. This is the stage at which children have to be a certain age to play the game- they have to know which materials can be recycled.
5. If a litterbug card is turned over, then it is shown to everyone and they have to take a card out of their bin and return it to the pile. This all sounds a bit complex but when you play it, the game becomes quite simple.
6. If a card is turned over that can't be recycled, then it is shown to the other players and posted into the litter bin.
7. If the spinner lands on the litterbug section then they take a card and without looking at it, place it anywhere on the board.
8. This type of play continues until a player has filled both their recycling bins
All of this does sound complicated, but the instructions are clearly explained on the box, and as with most games, it's easier once you start playing. I find that I adapt the game depending on the age and knowledge of the children. Essentially it is just a game of picking up cards and deciding if the materials can be re cycled or not.
Note for 3 players, 2 recycling bins and their matching small cards must be removed and for 2 players, 4 bins must be removed.
The first time we played, we forgot to do this, and it does affect play.
Where do I buy it?...
As with most of the Orchard Toys games, I buy the games online at www.orchardtoys.com, but a catalogue can be requested from Orchard Toys, Formlend Ltd., Keyworth, Nottingham.
How much does it cost?...
This costs £9.00
Great range of good quality products, often linked to the requirements of the National Curriculum, including:
Colour Match Express
If you are interested in looking for age appropriate games and activities, the website is worth checking out.
What do I think?
I think this is a great game to introduce children to environmental issues. I have played this many times with children in Key Stages 1 and 2, and will introduce little miss to it when she is just a little bit older. It's useful to make a list together of items which can't be recycled, and which they will come across on the small cards such as fish bone, broken television, broken cup. There is lots of discussion to be had before even playing the game, letting children look at the small cards and deciding as a group which can and can't be recycled.
With older children, I tend to let them be a bit more strategic and look at the card when it is picked up from the table, and place it anywhere on the game board, thereby making it more difficult to be collected.
The game is actually really easy to play once you get started and children enjoy making decisions about what they can recycle- usually there are some varying decisions.
As with most of these products, it is well made and sturdy and although this has been "manhandled" on many occasions, it shows no signs of being grubby or tatty.
Useful game for anyone wanting to introduce environmental concepts, and worth looking out for at charity shops if you don't want to pay full price, because it is quite expensive for a game teaching a specific concept. I bought mine from a charity shop for £3 and all the pieces were there so it was a great buy for a game which I will continue to use.
Thanks for reading.
This is a fun, educational game. The idea is to be the first to fill your recycling cards and teaches children what items can be recycled. For 2 - 4 Players, ages 5 Years+