Reviewed by Jennifer Seymour
The bright engaging box with carry handle, easy for any toddler to use – it must be a new Orchard Toys game!
Orchard Toys are well-renowned amongst families as making educational games of great quality. They generally last through generations. As a family of 5, we have had many Orchard Toys over the years.
The latest game from Orchard Toys did not disappoint. It has a familiar feel – as the rules are very similar to the Rocket Game. The idea is to make the longest sausage dog, but with this game, the rules are slightly different and can be adapted to give a couple of variations to the game: the spots are also important for colour matching! In current times when we are looking for activities at home that are educational and can class as a “Home schooling activity”, what is great about this game is that it has been “teacher tested”!
Each player takes a sausage dog’s head and then places the rest of the cards upside down to show the paw prints. We play that the youngest player spins first and then takes a card with the same number of paw prints as shown on the spinner. This involves counting and recognising how the numbers are ordered on the card. You take the card and turn it over to see whether it extends your sausage dog or whether it’s the dog’s tail. If it’s a dog’s tail then your dog is complete, but the more spots your dog has, the better! Don’t worry though – if you find a tail and your dog is complete, you can still play and try to find a tail for your opponents’ dogs and stop them getting more spots! Sound complicated? Not at all in reality and it is really easy to play.
I thought it sounded too simple at first and didn’t think it would keep my little one engaged because each game is very short, but in actual fact that kept them more engaged and they wanted to play it again and again.
The instructions with the game are easy to follow and this game teaches lots of skills. In addition to counting and patience that comes with any game that requires you to take turns, there’s also the element of someone else getting involved in your game and finding a tail to end your dog (and ultimately your game). This has the ability to end up in arguments, but this didn’t happen. I think this is because the games are so short, you are never “out of the game” for long and if you are the person who loses one game, you will be the winner in the very next game.
The designs of the dogs themselves are colourful and appealing – will you choose the sporty dog or the super hero? One variation of the game also requires you to choose a coloured disc and match the spots of the same colour and count just those.
The game is for 2 – 6 players and whilst the box says it is for ages 4 and up, I can imagine that toddlers from 3 would be able to play this. You would just have to be aware of parts, such as the spinner and be safe.
If you have finished the game and are looking for more activities, the instructions direct you to Orchard Toys website. There you will find lots of further activities linked to this game.
Spotty Sausage Dogs can be found on the Orchard Toys website here and is currently on sale for £8.30.