With Christmas just a few short days away (Yeeey!!), we were incredibly lucky when the brilliant people of Orchard Toys sent us on their fab festive game “Christmas Surprises”. As you will know from following my Blog we are massive fans of Orchard Toys as they are one of the best toy makers of games for children of all abilities. So of course we were delighted to be sent on another fab game to play with.
The game is for children aged between 3-6 years and is suitable for 2-4 players.
It comes with 4 double sided game boards, with Santa Claus on one side together with his toy sack and on the other a Christmas Tree with bright colorful baubles.
There are two different die; one is a color dice to use with the Christmas Tree Board and the other is a shape dice to use with the Santa Board. The game also comes with 24 colored baubles and 24 shapes presents (the presents have wrapping paper on one side and toy images on the other).
There are two differing ways to play Christmas Surprises 1. as a Shape Game and 2. as a Color Game.
When Conor saw the Christmas Surprises Game Box on the Kitchen table after it arrived he handed it to me with a huge smile to tell me he wanted to play.x Hailey as usual was all set to play the moment she saw the Christmas Surprises Game in Conor’s hands.
Hailey and Conor had so much fun playing with this game. It is a great game in particular for introducing the concept of Christmas and Santa Claus to children with Autism. This is the first Christmas that I can tell Conor really understands about Santa and what a tree is for! I wish I had heard of this game before as while we were playing the game I would explain to Conor about Santa, presents and the Christmas Tree. When I would point at Santa I would say “Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas” and Conor would light up with the biggest smile so I knew he was understanding what I said and meant.
As Conor already knows all his colors and shapes both ways to play Christmas Surprises provided more opportunities to build on what he already knows, for example when we were playing the Color match game with the Christmas Tree board and the baubles, I would say to Conor, “where is the purple bauble” and Conor would point to it for me and then I would say Conor “match” the purple bauble so he would match the purple baubles to each other.
He was more than able to play both games with Hailey and loved throwing the die to see which present or bauble he would be playing with next. It was so lovely to see Hailey playing with Conor as many years ago I wouldn’t have believed it would have been possible when Conor was first diagnosed.
I really like that the games are not overly complicated, and do not require masses of Conor’s attention as he can be quiet distracted at times and needs a lot of encouragement to continue playing some games. In this case however he was highly motivated and didn’t need much encouragement at all.x
They played the color match game first. They each had a Christmas tree board and took turns rolling the dice which had colored circles on each side. When the dice landed on a particular color, they would have to pick a bauble of the same color and place it on the matching bauble on their tree. They played this game more than once as it was super fun but easy too for Conor to follow along. Whoever has all their baubles first, wins!
Once Hailey and Conor were finished playing the Color match game they turned over their boards to the Santa side. On this side their is a Santa with a sack on his back. There are blank spaces on the sack where presents have to be placed by the players of the game. Hailey and Conor took turns rolling the dice which had shapes on each side. When the dice would land on a particular shape they would then pick out the Christmas Present in that shape and put it on their Santa Board with the wrapping paper side facing up. Whoever got all their presents on their Santa sack first, won the game. Once they each had completed the game they could then turn over the shapes to see what presents they each had “won”.
Of the two games Conor loved the Bauble game the most. Hailey loved the Shape game more as she liked finding out what presents she had “won”.
After a little while Conor had enough playing and ran off to his room to chill out with some sensory lights and music. Hailey was still eager to keep playing so I player with her lol! It was a slightly addictive game for sure! I found that it was a lovely way for just the two of us to play and talk and have some fun. A few stolen moments for my best girl and me.xx
We love Orchard Toys in our house, and Santa is bringing lots of new Orchard Toy games this year for Conor, Hailey and Jack. What I love most about Orchard Toys is that they have games for children of all ages and all abilities, no child is left out, everyone is included.x
Disclaimer- Orchard Toys very kindly sent on their super fab Christmas Surprises to Hailey, Conor and Jack as a gift.x I did not receive any payment whatsoever for my above Review, all opinions expressed are honest and my own.x