I played this game (specifically using the rhyming card game cards) with my eldest daughter who is 5 and a half. She knows the story of The Gruffalo well through school and was delighted to be offered the chance to play.
Some of the rules were a little difficult to follow, but basically we were meant to play a kind of snap game using rhyming words as well as some wild cards (mouse and Gruffalo) if we weren't able to make a rhyme. The cards were also colour coded for those children who couldn't read the words on the car, which was useful. We were able to use the rule to play quite well and my daughter liked the illustrations on the cards.
We also used the cards as a traditional snap game, which also worked well.
There is another bonus game card set within the pack which we haven't gotten around to playing as the rules seem quite difficult to grasp at such a young age.
I think overall this set affords good value for money and should have a long shelf life, due to the sheer popularity of The Gruffalo series. With some basic modifications parents can enjoy numerous play sessions with very young children, and be assured that the child is learning while they are having fun!
In summary my daughter thoroughly enjoyed playing this with me, mainly due to the one on one time with a parent, but also because of the familiar illustrations and easy to grasp game play of the rhyming game.
A definite winner with the under 6s!
My youngest daughter is mad keen on The Gruffalo stories by Julia Donaldson. As we have the book, just before Christmas I was browsing on Amazon and decided to look for any Gruffalo associated gifts that I could get for her, and I stumbled across The Gruffalo word rhyming game. It is a game for children of ages four and above and is for between two and four players. As Natalie is now in Year 1 and very good at recognising rhyming words I thought it would be right up her street and make a nice little extra present.
The game comes in a very attractive small box which has a very familiar picture of the Gruffalo with the little mouse on the front. Around the sides of the box are the other familiar characters of Snake, Fox and Owl and they do seem to be Axel Scheffler's illustrations. (He was the illustrator for the book). The box contains two sets of large playing cards as there are actually two different games in the box - the Gruffalo rhyming game and also another one called There's No Such Thing as a Gruffalo!
The first game is very straightforward and is based on matching cards with pictures on of words that rhyme. The words are all ones that appear in the Gruffalo story such as 'paw' and 'claw' and 'snake' and 'cake'. It is a very simple game but the instructions make it look quite complicated and I had to read them through a couple of times at least to make sure that I understood them! Maybe that's just me though and I should have let my seven year old work them out instead. This is a fun game but I was disappointed that it did only take a couple of minutes to play especially as there are not that many cards and rhyming pairs. I felt that my daughters were just getting into it and it was game over!
The second game seems a little bit like Happy Families and the object is to collect all of the five cards in a family. These have to be a mouse, fox, owl, snake and squirrel in the same colour. It was very easy to play although once again the instructions did look quite complicated, but once we had worked these out there was nothing to it. Again this was a very quick game and perhaps, in my opinion, a bit too quick!
The games are both fun though and now that they have played them with us, my daughters have also played the game on their own a few times. The game is made by a company called University Games and they claim that the games will help children develop their early strategy, colour matching, sequencing and social skills. With these thoughts in mind, I would expect that these games would be most successful with four year olds which is the youngest age that these are aimed at.
The cards are bright and colourful though and, with very familiar illustrations, are very likely to appeal to any Gruffalo fans. My five year old seems very happy with both games and has definitely enjoyed playing them. You can buy the game on Amazon for Â£6.25 which does seem slightly expensive for what you get and I suspect that you are paying that little bit more for the Gruffalo brand!