Family and Kids Board Games

Learning Resources Little Banker Coin Matching Game Review


Reviewed by Deborah Banasko

I adore learning Resources toys and games, so it’s lovely to have another one to review. The Little Banker Coin Matching Game is a perfect review for me right now as my 7 year old is learning about money in school so I like to support him, but simply working with coins at home has lost its appeal now as well as his full attention!

My first impression of this game relates to the size; we have so many games already and this is so compact that it will squeeze into the games cupboard easily. It is also one of those games that we can take out for a meal or to visit family so that my kids are entertained but not carting large bags of toys over the Christmas period.

Second impression, wow this is cute! The cardboard cylindrical game box has a slit in the lid like a money box and is really solid. Inside, you have a cardboard game spinner, 50 small cards and 70 plastic coins. There is also an instruction leaflet which is really easy to follow. I appreciate a game that incorporates the box into the game play, it saves on wasteful packaging and space at home.

The coins are fantastic quality, especially the £1 coin, and they are pretty accurate to the coin they represent. Whilst plastic money cannot have the same shine and colour as real money, they have great little details such as the lion designs on the tails side and the sizing is good. A great tool for learning. They make a lovely little coin jingle in the bag too!

The cards are double sided, one side features a shopping item with a price tag whilst the other has a number of different coins depicted beside one-another. The shopping items featured are products that a child would recognise and be drawn to, and are actually quite sweet. A point to perhaps mention to your child is that these products are a bargain in many cases with unrealistic prices. The manufacturers have little choice as only small monetary values are in play for young children with a game such as this, so popcorn just has to be priced at 8p which always makes me smile.

Now as a bonus there are two games in this set. Game 1 is called Money Match. The lid is replaced on the money bank and the other pieces are placed in the centre of the table. Cards are placed coin side up in a pile, and the first player spins the spinner. The three spinner options are miss a go, pick up cards or put cards back. If a player spins and lands on “pick up card”, they must choose from the top of the pile and look at the side with the coins. The player must then find the plastic coins in the pile which match those on the card. A correct match allows them to keep the card and slot the coins into the money bank. Otherwise the card is returned to the bottom of the pile. The first player to collect 10 cards (or 5 for a shorter game) wins.

This is a basic coin recognition game, ideal for year 1 children and covers a crucial part of key stage 1 maths. The only possible issue with this game is that your child needs to play it with you or an older child so that their answers can be checked. This isn’t a self-learning tool, but I personally wouldn’t expect it to be. It ticks the box on familiarising children with money.

I loved that the cards have a mixture of pictures depicting the coins on the tails or the heads side so that children can recognise both sides of a coin.

This game can get a little repetitive after a while, so it was one that I had to play with my son as his 10 year old sister is beyond this stage educationally and didn’t really want to play. However this game isn’t targeted at her, and a younger child of perhaps 5-7 would enjoy it as long as you keep the praise coming.

I did increase the difficulty by making sure that my son stated the name of each coin as he matched them and I think that should be part of the card-winning requirement. I also feel that having just the coin name on half of the cards (for example 50p, 2p and so on) rather than pictures would have presented more challenge, variety and fun. Great potential, just a slight adjustment is needed for me, and as a parent this game relies on your enthusiasm so that it isn’t too school-like. That said, it beats getting out a pile of coins and repeatedly asking your child to locate a specific coin.

The second game is Shopping Spree, and takes things up a notch. Again cards are coin side up, yet this time a “pick up cards” spin will require you to look at the side with the item for sale. The player then needs to find coins which match the amount on the price tag. If they are correct, placing the coins into the bank will “buy” them their item and allow them to keep the card. Again the principal of the first player to win 10 cards (or 5) wins the game.

Game 2 is far more interesting for older children and requires a lot of thinking. Your child really needs to be on top of their addition and counting. As my son became more confident I would ask him to think of alterative ways to find the amount on the price tag so there is plenty scope for challenge. I think these sorts of extension ideas would be great on the instruction sheet to prompt parents who perhaps haven’t been home-schooling over the past year or so, as I have.

I loved to get a couple of the cards wrong so that my son could correct me, as this isn’t a play-to-win sort of a game like a conventional board game.

The increase in difficulty between the two games is pretty big, so you almost want an intermediate level. I think this would be remedied by the suggestions I made for game 1. Paper money is not covered by the game, but I am not sure that is required for younger children anyway.

This game is aimed at children aged between 6 and 10, which based on my children’s curriculum I would adjust slightly. I personally see no issue with starting a 5 year old on game 1, progressing to stage 2 by year 2, and I would say that by age 10 they could still play the game but should pretty much understand money by that stage. If you are going to buy this, I would start on the younger end to really get the full use of it.

The price-point of £10.50 is a bargain for the quality, the two games and the amount of learning you can gather from this toy.

This is a lovely stocking filler for Christmas, partly because it could literally fit in a stocking but also comes at such a great price. The fact that it’s educational as well as fun is a great parent bonus. The game can be quick or slightly longer, and you can play at home or when you’re out with friends. A total winner for us.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

RRP: £10.50

The Little Banker Coin Matching Game can be purchased from Learning Resources here.

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