In our house we like playing games together which will help our young son's with their development. My boys are aged four years and two years old. My eldest started nursery last year and I have seen his development rapidly grow. As much as the teachers do whilst they are in their care I still think as a parent it is our job to help our children when they are at home. So I am always on the lookout for new games which are fun with general skills. This particular game was bought for my son last year and although it is a game of luck it is great for turn taking, something my four year old likes to pass on!
This game is very simple and consists of four houses and a coloured die with a set of rules to read too. The house is taken apart to begin the game; you have a white wall which is the base of the house, a red roof, two black chimneys, a green door, two yellow garage doors and three blue windows. All the pieces eventually slot together to make a house. All the contents for the house are made from thick card. The game comes with a die which has white, red, blue, yellow, black and green spots on it.
*****The Rules of the game*****
As I have mentioned this is a game of luck and there isn't really any problem solving to do, none the less my eldest son loves it. To play the game the youngest rolls the die first. The rules state you must role a white to get the base of the house till then you can't start collecting any of the other pieces. I have to admit sometimes we pass on this part and all start with the white base. My boys are not the most patience children! After you have the white base of the house then what ever colour you roll the die you get the corresponding piece, for example red gets you a roof, green gets you a door etc. As you would expect though if you roll a black and don't have a roof you can't get a chimney you must just pass. Likewise if you have the piece and don't need any more of that colour you must pass. These are all rules my son's had to learn! The person who wins is the one who completes their house first.
*****My son's opinions*****
My eldest son picked the game up quite quickly as there is no problem solving involved just pure luck of the die. He really enjoys playing this game as he doesn't have to think about it. He especially enjoys it when he is winning but what young child doesn't. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have improved his turn taking he still isn't great at sharing especially with his younger brother! He likes using the die as most of the games he has doesn't involve the use of a die his control of it has got better and we do manage to keep it on the table.
My youngest son is only two years old and if you go by the recommended age range he is too young for the game. It is recommended for ages three year and up but I don't see the problem letting him join in with his brother. He loves to have a go at rolling the die and although he doesn't know his colours yet (his development is a little slow) he is able to have a go at matching the colours up. I think in time it will help him learn his colours as when we play it we always repeat back to him what colours he has rolled. He does struggle a little with the concept of miss a go but he does well. After a while he does get a little in patience and will leave the game to come back to it later but that is fine. I like to encourage him to have a little go if he wants to.
***** My opinion *****
I love the simplicity of this game and the fact my boys are learning turn taking and using a die even if it is just a coloured die. We have quite a few games for my eldest that requires memory skills so I feel it is nice to have a game he doesn't really have to think about. We often play a few games after tea and this is one we often end on when my eldest is beginning to get a little agitated but won't give up.
It is currently available (Feb 2012) on Amazon for £5.99. We have had many a fun family game with this and both my boys love it. As fun as it is I would say it will only last my son a year or two and he will get a bit bored of it.
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The House that Jack built a game designed for pre schoolers using a die.