The Benefits Of Board Games
We have a cupboard in the living room filled to the rafters with board games, they are such a simple yet effective way to spend time together as a family. Our family has a busy schedule with work, school, nursery and a whole host of extra curricular activities, I often feel that there is little time for us to get together and relax, chat, giggle, and simply enjoy being a family.
Board games are a fantastic tool for the promotion of communication, providing a relaxing atmosphere to laugh, share stories and to let off some steam. Not only do board games create the perfect platform for time together as a family but there also promote a wide range of skills which can be developed through game play.
Board games increase concentration, attention, listening, reading, observation, increasing vocabulary, counting and higher level thinking and problem solving skills. Whether it’s counting the spots on the dice, reading the instructions or taking an active role in a game, they are all essential skills which your child is able to develop through game play whilst enjoying themselves.
Board games are also an excellent tool for teaching sportsmanship, turn taking and cooperation, all of which are essential life skills. Learning takes place most often when we are having fun, board games provide an excellent opportunity to have fun as a family. Playing games with your children enables parents to develop a trusting, caring relationship with their kids whilst nurturing their development.
Orchard Toys – What A Performance!
We were recently sent ‘What A Performance!’, an action-packed family game from ‘Orchard Toys‘ to play, review and to share with my readers. I love ‘Orchard Toys’ products and was thrilled that we were asked to review one of their board games.
Orchard Toys started out around a kitchen table making simple blocks and stencils for a local nursery schools. Over 40 years later they now ship to over 50 different countries around the World and are globally recognised as a leading manufacturer of education games and puzzles.
Orchard Toys are proud of their British roots and continue to design, produce and pack all of their products from the market town of Wymondham in Norfolk. They have a fantastic reputation for quality, durability and pride themselves in creating products which are able to withstand the wear of tear of little hands.
I am a great lover of Orchard Toys and have been since being a child myself, I have fond memories of playing ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ as a youngster. Over the years Orchard Toys have created a wide range of hugely popular games, puzzles and traditional entertainment for children, we certainly have a rather large pile of their games which are pulled out regularly to play and enjoy time and time again.
According to the packaging ‘What A Performance!’ is suitable for five-year olds and over. However, we have a seven-year old and a three-year old who was rather keen to give the game a go. Rather than splitting into teams we gave her a counter of her own and the opportunity to have a go despite age recommendations.
We began by setting up the board which comes in four pieces much like a jigsaw, the children quickly put this together whilst Paul and I arranged the game pieces. Included in the ‘What A Performance’ board game is:
- 1 x Board (split into four pieces to jigsaw together)
- 1 x Dice
- 1 x Dice Cup
- 4 x Counters
- 77 x Activity Cards
- 1 x Magic Decoder
- 1 x Sand Timer
- 1 x Spinner
- 1 x Instruction Leaflet
How To Play
The idea of the game is simple, the player rolls the dice and moves their counter the correct amount of spaces. There are a range of spaces which the player may land upon (see below) and then use the sand timer to complete actions before the time is up.
Blue Spaces– the player may relax and pass the dice to the next player
Spin – The player must use the spinner provided to identify which of the three actions they are to carry out:
- Who Am I?
- Make A Noise!
Who Am I? – The player must pick a card from the deck and read the ‘Who Am I?’ section which will instruct them to pretend to be someone that the other plays must then guess, for example ‘Pretend to be a waiter’.
Make A Noise! – The player must pick a card from the deck and read the ‘Make A Noise!’ section which will instruct them to make a specific noise that the other plays must then guess, for example ‘Make a noise like a cow’.
Action! – The player must pick a card from the deck and read the ‘Action!’ section which will instruct them to carry out a specific action which the other players must then guess, for example ‘Do five star jumps’.
Forfeit– The player must pick a card from the deck and using the magic decoder read the forfeit from the back of the card, for example ‘move back one space’.
The Aim Of The Game
The aim of the game is to be the first player to reach the centre of the board game and to win. As this is a children’s game and often kids can become quite uptight about being told to carry out a specific action they can choose not to carry out the suggestions offered by the board and cards. There is no consequence should a player decide they do not wish to act upon their space or card, games are to be enjoyed, there should never be any pressure put upon players especially children to carry out specific actions.
As I have previously mentioned, we have a cupboard full of board games, Cadoo being one of the many. I found ‘What A Performance!’ quite similar to Craniums ‘Cadoo’ in that physical actions must be played out. I enjoy both games but felt that ‘What A Performance!’ is more suited to younger children as there is less pressure, easier actions to carry out and the board itself is presented in a classic ‘first to reach the top of the ladder’ format.
Prices & Where To Buy
‘What A Performance!’ is available from ‘Orchard Toys’ currently retailing at £15.95, this game provides hours of fun and is definitely worth every penny.
We really enjoyed playing ‘What A Performance!’, there was certainly a whole lot of laughter in the kitchen that evening sparked from the game. The kids have since asked to play this game almost everyday which is far better than them begging for their IPads or lazing in front of the television!
I love how board games generate such excitement in our household, the sparkle in the kids eyes as it becomes ‘their turn’, the giggles that we share whilst carrying out the challenges of the game and the bonds built whilst playing together as a family. What A Performance! provided was a fantastic game which we all enjoyed, the children built confidence whilst carrying out the many actions within the game whilst having a huge amount of fun. What A Performance! has quickly become one of our families favourite games and will be played regularly throughout the future.
For further information upon ‘What A Performance!’ visit www.orchardtoys.com.
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.