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Ravensburger Hello Kitty Memory Game
It would seem that little girls the whole world over - or at least those aged three or four years - recognise and enjoy the Sanrio character "Hello Kitty".
This memory game was a Christmas gift from a neighbour of my daughter's grandfather. A man who lives 5000 miles away from us, it would seem that he is always in his thoughts and words, and therefore his similarly aged friend who knew just what our little girl would like.
Jigsaw puzzle addicts around the world would be familiar with the name Ravensburger, a German game manufacturer which was established in the 1880s.
This 48 piece puzzle comes in a very strong cardboard box that is sized approximately six inches by six inches and that has several illustrations of Hello Kitty (or "Her Kittyship" as she is often known in our family). There are also two pictures of matching Hello Kitty cards, demonstrating the aim of the game is to locate matching cards. The box has a wipe-clean coating; pencil drawings have already been removed easily on two occasions.
There is plenty of room inside the box for all 48 cards. These cards are MUCH smaller than I anticipated and also more detailed. There are 24 different designs/images of Hello Kitty.
There is an instruction leaflet included however we've never actually needed to look at it. We play this game in the manner that you'd probably expect, that is like old style memory. We each take turns to flip two cards over in the hope of finding a pair, and use our memory to establish which card or cards should be turned over.
The box states that this game is suitable for ages three and up. However I really think that this game is probably much more suited to a child older than our three-going-on-four year old. I feel this way for two reasons. Firstly there are too many sets of pairs and secondly the cards are too small, the images too detailed and some are simply too similar to each other.
I believe that this game would be more suitable for a child of my daughter's age if there were fewer pairs - perhaps six of each image - or fewer cards. This is why we remove some of the pairs when we play it.
As this was a gift I do not know how much it cost. I see that it is currently available from Amazon.co.uk for £6.99 incl postage.
On balance, I think that this is a good little game suitable for children aged five years or older. We shall be putting it away soon, and bringing it out in a year or so......hopefully my daughter will still be happy with Hello Kitty when we do!
Hope was bought this game for her fourth birthday and she has already had quite a lot of fun out of it. She loves Hello Kitty so having a game which incorporates one of her favourite characters in it is great. She has loads of Peppa Pig things so it's quite a welcome change to have some Hello Kitty things too now!
Within this game you get lots of little cards which are about 4cm x 4cm so they are only small. On one side is the Ravensburger name and the other is a picture of Kitty doing something. All the cards contain a pair and it is up to you to match them all up. The kitties are all slightly different so you may have one eating an icecream, another on a skate board, one wearing a little pink dress, another with fairy wings and so forth so they are similar but the details and the colour of the background differ. This means that children have to pay close attention to detail when they look at the cards.
We play this in a very simple way by mixing the cards up so that no pairs are near each other and then turning them upside down so that all we can see is the Ravensburger word. We then take it in turns to turn over two cards, trying to match up a pair. As the game goes on it's easier to get pairs as you remember where the particular cards were that you have previously turned over. The winner is the person who gets the most pairs at the end when they have all been paired up.
What I really like about this game is that it teaches Hope to concentrate and also to use her memory. She has to turn the card over and remember what was on that card so she can hopefully remember it in future. She has to take in the details so she will know which card it was and then hold that in her memory. This is really difficult for her at the moment as she has only just turned four but I know that within a few months she will find it much easier and will soon be playing this game with no problems at all! At the moment she is getting a bit frustrated by it as there are so many cards that it can appear daunting so what we have done is just use ten pairs at a time to make it less daunting and more manageable for her and this seems to make her enjoy it more.
I enjoy playing this as it's a game which us parents can play too without feeling patronised like so many other games you kind of just play along with the children but with this I too have to use my memory and try to recall where they were and what details they had so sometimes it's a challenge for me too which is a welcome change.
This is the kind of game that I know Hope will play with for several years. I remember playing something similar when I was younger and I used to love it. Hope now loves it when she gets a pair and seems really pleased with herself and it's really lovely to see. I like that it is teaching her important skills too not just concentration and attention to detail but also how to take turns and be patient whilst you are waiting for other to take a turn too. She is sometimes a little over excited and doesn't like to wait her turn but is learning it well by playing a game like this.
These pieces are small so they should be kept away from young children as they could try to eat them and choke. They are also easy to lose too, we have lost count how many times we've had to hunt for missing pieces which kind of spoils the game. It would be better if they were a bit bigger.
In my opinion this is a great game. It's an easy concept which children will soon learn and it will be different each time and teach them lots of important skills such as memory and concentration. It only cost £6 which I think is a good price and we recommend it.
My daughter has not long turned 5 and this was one of her birthday presents that her school friends bought her, I have seen this game on sale in our local B&M store and it costs just £2.99 which I think is excellent value.
The game comes in a strong cardboard bow which is about 6 inches square which is great as it doesn't take up much space, the front of the box is mainly pink in colour and shows Hello Kitty in the corner and two of the cards you will find inside the box too. The game is created by Ravensburger although really it is just the well love game of pairs, the game is called Memory.
Inside the box which is easy to open as the lid just lifts off you find there are 48 cards each one being about 2 inches square. There are 24 different little pictures and backgrounds and there are 2 of each design to make up the pairs, some of the pictures are rather similar so my daughter does struggle a little when she sometimes thinks she knows where the pair is and it actually isn't an exact match, one such card is a pink background with Hello Kitty on it and then a very similar one which has the addition of come black flowers on it.
The game is very easy to play but it does come with a small instruction leaflet, you lay the 48 cards down on the table with the back of the cards which is covered in the word Ravensburger showing. Taking it in turns with the youngest starting you turn over 2 cards and see if you have found a match, when you do find a match you have another go to see if you can find another. The idea of thre game is very simple however I would suggest with younger children reducing the number of cards you play with as this game is suitable for ages 3 and up but at 5 my daughter still struggles to remember enough of the cards.
The cards in the game are very thick and durable, they're too strong to be bent which is great and ther pictures are lovely and colourful and of course being of a popular character makes then a hit. This game is available in many different character options we ourselves have 3 different ones now. The game is easy to play and for you children to grasp and I would certainly recommend the game, Sophie loves playing the game and never seems to get bored always wanting to play an extra game so it is certainly loved by her.
My sister, brother-in-law and the children came to our house on Christmas Day 2011 for the first time since my eldest nephew was a baby! They arrived at our house late morning, in time for Christmas Dinner. My parents and I decided to keep some of the presents we bought for the children, at our house so we could give them some gifts on Christmas afternoon. Santa also left a sack of presents for everyone while we were having Christmas dinner and this Hello Kitty Memory game was one of the gifts my 6-year-old niece received from this sack.
Once all the presents were opened, Toni decided she would like to play this game, so my mam and I played it with her. We could see it was a pair's game so we launched straight in without reading the instructions. We spread out the 72 Hello Kitty cards, face down on the floor and Toni took her first turn.
~~ How to Play ~~
* Choose a number of pairs (start with a few and as you get more familiar with the pictures and the game you can increase the number of cards used)
* Place the chosen cards face down where all the players can see them
* The first player chooses two cards to turn over and see if they are a pair. All players must have time to see the cards. If the cards are not a pair then they are turned back face down (in the same place)
* Each player takes their turn, if a pair is found they can take another turn until the two cards they turn over do not match.
* The winner is the player with the most pairs at the end (the instructions suggest each player can pile their cards up and the winner is the person with the tallest pile. I think it's just as easy to count the pairs - and encourages your child to count. Depending on the age of the child you might need to help them, particularly if they count each card rather than each pair.)
~~ The Game ~~
The box comes with 72 square cards (36 pairs) with various, colourful Hello Kitty designs. The cards are approximately 2 inches square and are sturdy. There is a plastic tray inside the box with four compartments for keeping the cards in when you are not playing.
~~ Our Experience ~~
Toni was much better at remembering where the pairs were than my mam and I, and she quickly had a pile of matching pairs. The game was taking a long time, as there were three of us playing and we were turning over just two cards at a time. Toni decided we should just say she had won and pack up. I like to see things through to the end though and suggested that we continue playing but turn over 4 cards instead of 2. Toni agreed and we played like this for another 5 minutes. My 12-year-old nephew (Dominick) then decided he wanted to join in, so we continued to play turning 4 cards over. The game finally ended about 15 minutes later, after a total game play of over half an hour. I think this was too long for this particular game as it was getting boring when no one was getting pairs for several turns. However, the length of time it takes to play greatly depends on how good everyone's memory is and the number of pairs you decide play with.
Later that evening Toni and Dominick played Memory together, this time starting with fewer cards. They both enjoyed this and they managed to sit and play together for 10 minutes without arguing (makes a change!)
~~ My Opinion ~~
I quite like this game and Toni loves it. The instructions suggest that you don't play the first game with all 72 cards, so if we'd read them the first game would have been considerably shorter and more enjoyable. That said, I still enjoyed playing it, and I enjoyed seeing Toni's face when she remembered how to find a pair! (I must admit, I rather enjoyed finding the pairs myself! But I wasn't as good as Toni!)
The pictures on the cards, are colourful and show Hello Kitty in a number of different situations or with different coloured backgrounds e.g. dancing or in the garden etc.
The cards are a good size for turning over and most of the cards are different enough that it's easy to spot a pair (although my mam found this more difficult than Toni and me: she blamed it on her age!)
You could play variations on this game. For example, put a number of cards face up e.g. 4 or 6. Ask your child to look at them for a minute, ask them to close their eyes, take a card away and see if they can tell you the missing card.
~~ Advantages ~~
* Good for memory, concentration and attention
* Colourful and sturdy
* Cards are a good size
* Lots of different Hello Kitty pictures (which really appealed to my niece)
~~ Disadvantages ~~
* Game takes too long if you play with all of the cards
* Some of the cards are really 'busy' with colour and this may be distracting for younger children
~~ Other ~~
My mam paid £7.99 for this game on the high street. It is available online from £5.25 (currently on amazon) and is made by Ravensburger. It is suitable for 2-4 players and children aged 4 years and up.
~~ Overall ~~
I would recommend this game for Hello Kitty fans, as long as you are sensible about the number of cards you choose to play with and increase these with experience of the game (and familiarity of the pictures) rather than launching in and playing with all 72 cards straight away (like we did!)
Toni really likes this game, and as the principle is just pairs, even my nephew will play it with her, and it keeps them both entertained. Toni has asked us to play this game with her a number of times, and I think it's something she'll keep coming back to for a while yet.
Thanks for reading!