Two by Two is a fun matching game by Orchard Toys. The game is based on Noahs Ark.
Inside the box is a cardboard Noahs ark box. At the top is a slit, a bit like a money box, where the cards fit in. The ark is in two pieces, the bottom of the boat is easily attached by placing the top on the holes that are already made to keep it in place. By unattaching it makes it easier to get the cards out. The bottom of the boat has a square hole. I'm not really sure why it is there as when you move the boat cards drop out. Despite this the hole is not big enough to take the pieces out easily.
There are 42 cards with brightly coloured animals on. These include toucans, tigers, elephants and many more. Some of the animals I don't even know.
All of the game is made from cardboard which is a great quality and has lasted a long time.
The idea of the game is to place the cards face down on a surface and match the animals up. When you find a pair you put it into Noahs ark. The children absolutely love this idea and try to push to have there go for this reason.
It is recommended for children over two. When we play it with younger children we often put the animals face up as they get impatient the other way around.
The only issue is losing the cards. As with a lot of games, some pieces have mysteriously gone missing, where to we don't know. This isn't the fault of the game though.
It can be bought for around £12 (Amazon) which I think is well worth the money. This simple idea provides a lot of fun.
As my son's second birthday approached I was on the lookout for age appropriate games and puzzles that we could play together. After searching on Amazon and looking at the different games that were suitable for his age group, I decided to order the Two by Two game which is suitable for children from 24 months. The retail price of this game is £11 however I paid £8.99 at the time of purchase. This is a game that is produced by Orchard Toys; they produce a wide range of toys and games and puzzles.
I thought this would be an ideal introduction to games for my son's first game, as the concept is quite simple, and it looked fun.
~What's in the box?~
The game comes in a bright box with a carry handle, which is ideal for easy transportation when you have a toddler in the other hand. The box is just the right size with the Noah's Ark snugly fitted in the box, along with this you are provided with 42 cards, (20 pairs of animals and 2 rain clouds) and an instruction leaflet. The cards are an ideal size for little hands and they are nice and chunky, they are made from a heavy duty board with a glossy wipe clean finish. There are lots of animals that my son is familiar with such as, tigers, elephants, parrots, hippos, and snakes, and some not so common animals that were new to my son such as iguanas and flamingos.
The Ark is also constructed from card and for some reason it isn't as sturdy as the cards that would take quite a bit of effort from and adult to bend. I was a little surprised that the ark was card and quite thin in comparison to the cards, I did wonder how well it would fair with my boisterous toddler. It is brightly coloured with some of the animals decorating the sides of the ark. There is a slot at the top for posting the cards into and a larger opening in the base to retrieve the cards from once the game has finished.
~How to play~
The game is designed for 2 - 4 players and it is aimed at children from 2 - 6 years. The idea of the game is similar to that of pairs; to begin with you need to make two piles of cards each pile containing one of the animals you then take one of the piles of cards along with the rain cloud cards and place them face down on the table. The other pile of the cards should be equally distributed amongst the players and placed upwards in front of each player; the players then take it in turns to turn over one of the face down cards to see if they can form a matching pair. When a matching pair is found the player is to then post them into the top of the ark, if the cards turned over by the player does not match then they place it face down in the position in which they found it. The game continues until one of the players has matched up and posted all of their animals, the player who has matched all of their animals must then find a rain cloud card which they must then post into the ark so that it may "sail away" and win the game.
This game is designed for children aged from 2 years up to 6 years; I thought the concept of the game was a little too difficult for my then 24month old son to grasp at this age so we changed the game and played it in a more similar style to basic pairs. To begin with I placed the ark in between my son and myself and I sorted out the animal cards so that only the animals that my son is familiar with were used for the first few games, and this also meant that there wasn't too many cards to make it easier for my son. I placed the cards face up and asked my son to find an animal and its matching pair, and then to post it into the ark, my son seemed to enjoy this and had great delight in posting the animals. Over time I increased the amount of animals and now we are playing with the cards face down, my son is now 27 months old and he gets a little over excited and doesn't quite understand to only turn over two at a time, it is still lots of fun even if he does cheat he-he.
My son is also quite happy to play with the cards alone and he also enjoys posting the cards into the ark and retrieving them from underneath. He will sit for a long time 'sorting' them and pairing them. It is also nice to use the cards to talk about the animals and the noises they make. My son will sit for long periods of time looking at the animal cards and he likes to post them into the ark.
We play naming and matching games with the cards and this is great to promote my sons speech development and he is learning about the animals too. It is also great fun trying to imitate the animal noises and this often makes my son giggle.
My little boy has found out that the ark comes to pieces as it is made out of two separate pieces of card. Nothing gets past toddlers as they like to explore everything; unfortunately the ark is not very toddler friendly as it is quite flimsy, which is not very good for boisterous heavy handed little ones. The ark is a little worse for wear as it is a little bit squashed and crumpled looking which is a shame as it is a vital part of the game. The material used for the ark is about the same thickness as a cereal box, it has a glossy finish to it so it looks attractive and it will appeal to toddlers it is just a shame that it isn't a bit more robust so I'm not sure how long it will last. I am quite disappointed with the overall quality of the ark as this is essential to the game. It really could be improved greatly if it was made from a more sturdy material which would be more suitable to heavy handed toddlers.
The cards are of a good quality, with a nice shiny gloss finish to them, they have been played with a lot since my son has had them, they have been tossed about the floor walked on and stacked up, my son also likes to scoop them up and let them fall, so they really do get thrown about and none of them are showing any signs of wear, the box is also ideal for storing the game in as it is well made and it is easy to carry about with the handle.
I just wish the ark was of better quality as this is a lovely little first game that will grow with your child as the game can be adapted according to your child's abilities. I would have happily paid a little extra if the quality was better as I like toys that are built to last.
Games are great for bonding with your children and siblings can play together too, as this game is designed for children from 2 years, at this age toddlers are learning new skills and they are learning how to play alongside other children and how to share and socialise. This game has many educational values as it will teach your child to take turns, share, and play alongside others. It will promote speech development and animal recognition and matching and sorting. It will teach your child social skills, as well as this it is a game that encourages observation and it will build on a child's concentration, focus and memory skills.
Overall this is a great game that is fun and educational, I would love to rate it higher but the ark lets it down a bit as it is a game that has great longevity to it which unfortunately the ark itself doesn't share.
I'd forgotten how much fun this game could be until it was rediscovered lurking in the back of the my daughter's wardrobe during wind-down time this bedtime. So in honour of a rather pleasant 20 mins playing with one nearly 3 year old and one 5 year old I thought I would explain what this game is like and why I think it is a good buy.
"Two by Two" is made by Orchard Toys, who produce all of their puzzles and games in the UK. This particular game, like their other products is made from recycled cardboard and designed to be durable.
What do you get in the box?
The game contains 42 cards - 20 animal pairs and 2 rain clouds, and a cardboard Noah's ark with a posting slot and a hole at the bottom for getting the cards out after play. The animals are cartoon style and brightly coloured stylised cards, with well known animals like an elephant and tiger and a rather more unusual iguana.
Aim of the game?
This is a traditional "pairs" game with a twist. It is designed to be played by 2-4 players and is based on a Noah's ark theme. The animals must be matched before the game starts, and then one of each pair must be turned over and the second part of the pair distributed between the players. The rain clouds are added to the turned over animals. If you are playing with 3 players obviously you might want to work out how to distribute them fairly.
Players take it in turns to turn over a card to see if it matches one of their animals, if it does they pick it up and post the pair of animals into the slot at the top of the ark. If it doesn't match the card is returned to the table, turned over.
The winner is the person who has matched all their animals and then finds a rain cloud to set sail with the ark and win the game.
The game is much easier to play than to explain! Children love posting the animals into the slot, and trying to remember where the animal they need was. As there are only 20 pairs it is not too long, and though the manufacturer's guidlines say 3-6, I think that it is fine for age two, as long as your child is starting to understand how to turn take. The game is rather repetitive for parents, but my children really enjoy it and would happily play it time and time again.
The cards can be used for naming and matching fun as well, it is one of those games that really promotes language skills and is educational without being low on fun value.
Orchard Toys have been making toys for almost 40 years and I think they really know what they are doing - there are lots of games out there for children but many of them can be over fussy in my experience. This game, like many of the games in the range is simple, but works.
If you are playing before bedtime with one fractious child, in my experience you may have to "fix" a quick win for them - this game does lend itself to this, though you have to be a little cunning to do so, still nothing I can't manage! This game can probably be paid by a 5 year old or above without assistance (eg with a friend), but generally it is a game to play with your child.
Overall, like I said at the start, this game is great fun to play. I do find that a couple of the animals are a little over stylised, and the colour choice of the animals is a little confusing on a couple of them - however this is a minor criticism. We often dispense with the "you get a raincloud to win" rule at the end as well as it is just a bit unnecessary. If playing with younger players you might need to pre-match the cards or make doing so part of the game.
This is a good, durable game, despite the ark being made of cardboard, that is well worth the £8.79 it will set you back on Amazon.
We bought the Two by Two game for our 2 year old for Christmas. It is marketed as being for 3+ but I believe it is suitable for 2 year olds.
Inside the colourful box, you get a cardboard Noah's Ark and a selection of animal cards. The animals featured range from elephants, monkeys, lions and zebras to slightly more unusual animals such as armadillos and iguanas. The cards are solid, chunky squares which are very easy for toddlers to hold and do not bend easily. The ark is fairly durable and well made.
The basic aim is to find matching pairs and post them into the ark. You need to separate the cards into two piles (with one of each pair in each pile) and then lay one pile face down on the playing surface. The other set of cards are then dealt out to the players. They take it in turns to turn over one of the cards and see if it matches one of their cards - if it does, they can post their pair of animals in the ark, if not, it's the next player's turn. Once a player has matched all their animals, they need to find the rain cloud to make the ark sail away and win the game. So, basically this a straight-forward matching game!
Buying the Game
The recommended retail price for this is £10.00, although it is currently on sale on Amazon for £8.79. I bought it on special offer at Christmas with another game, so it's always worth shopping around to see if there are any good deals. It is available both online and on the high street.
I think that this is a very good game for toddlers, especially if like my son, they are obsessed with animals. He doesn't yet have the patience to play the game properly (i.e. nobody else gets a turn... well, he is only 2) but he loves trying to match up the animals and he loves posting them into the ark. I feel that it is good for developing matching skills, and hopefully in the longer term, developing social skills as well by playing it with others. I am much in favour of games where we can sit down quietly for 15 minutes and play together - something I think should definitely be encouraged.
Two by Two
Another game produced by Orchard Toys
This encourages children to take turns, communicate and play cooperatively.
This is designed specifically to link with early Leatning goals, encourage observation and personal and social skills, and to encourage observation.
Who is it for?...
This is a game for 2-4 players and is recommended for ages 2-6. However, I think 2-6 is quite a wide range developmentally, and would recommend it for the lower ages ie about 2-4 years
What do I get?...
Inside the box, you get:
3-D Noahs ark which is an ark made of thick card and decorated with animals and Noah himself
42 cards 20 pairs of animals and 2 rain clouds. There are a good range of animals- butterflies, lions, iguanas, zebras, crocodiles (to name a few). One of the most useful things is to ask children to name the animals and discuss initial sounds.
How do I play it?...
The object of the game is to match all the animals post them in the ark and then sail away having found a rain cloud.
So on with the game.
Put the ark into the centre of the playing area, so that everyone can reach it
Separate the rain clouds and pair up the animals then divide them into two piles with an animal in each.
On the table, spread out one set of the cards, including the rain clouds, face down and deal the other set of cards equally between the players. These should be placed face upwards in front of the players.
The first player should turn over any card in the centre of the playing area and should look to see if it matches any of the cards they have in front of them. If a match is made, then they post their pair of animals into the ark and play moves on to the next player.
If the card does not match, then it is turned over again, face down, in the same position and play moves opn. This is the point at which memory comes into the game.
Play continues until one of the players has posted all of their animals into the ark. Then, this player must try to turn over a rain card so that the ark can sail away
Remember with 3 players, 2 pairs of animals must be removed from the set, and its very boring with 2 p[layers, as little miss and I found out.
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 £10.00
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?
A useful game for very young children to encourage them to look carefully and to recognise pairs.
The pictures of the animals are bright and appeal to young children, and the ark is also brightly decorated with Noah waving merrily from the side.
As with most of these toys, they are well made, although I dont know how well the ark would bear up to continual useage because it is after all, just made out of card. One thing about the design-it is very difficult to get the cards out of the ark, and children will require adult help. Once posted, to get them out, there is a hoile at the base and they have to be taken out of this- quite tricky as the cards cant be shaken out, you have to get your hands up there.
Children find it quite interesting for a few games but its not one to play all the time. I am going to recommend it because it is useful for all of the reasons I stated at the beginning but its a game to play a few times and not every day. It is excellent for matching and sorting and for naming animals but there are all sorts of matching games children can be introduced to, and actually, you can make your own.
Good game if you can borrow it as children enjoy the fact that they are posting the animals and love it when the ark sails away, but try to do that- borrow it from someone.
Thanks for reading.
A Noah's Ark memory game. Pair up the animals and post them in the big 3D Noah's Ark, then find the rain cloud to make the Ark sail away.