Review of Toy Shop Games: Monkey Nuts and Hickory Dickory Dock

Both of these games are still played in our house. They aren’t the favorites, but they are still played.

Monkey Nuts by Creative Toyshop Photo: Cathe Post

December 8, 2010

Our kids have an entire area dedicated to their boardgames that is separate from the adult games. Since my husband and I play boardgames with other couples on a fairly regular basis, it was easy to get our daughter interested in playing as well. She likes doing what mom and dad do. She doesn’t care so much about winning but more about the colors and actions and pieces to any games we play.

So, when I was given the opportunity to try the new games fromCreative Toyshop, I jumped on it. The names of the games and cute cartoon characters immediately grabbed my attention. My daughter happened to be looking over my shoulder and jumped in asking for the “game with the monkeys” (Young Learners Monkey Nuts Alphabet Game) before I even had a chance to ask if she was interested in playing.

Construction: The pieces are a thick cardboard coated material that are very sturdy. Before playing the game the first time, you may want to open the game and punch out all of the pieces. If your kids are anything like mine, they will like to help in the construction.

Rules and Game Play: The rules are located on the bottom of the box so you don’t have to go hunting through all of the pieces for them. The rules are straight forward. It is a cross between Bingo and Memory. There is repetition in the game, but it’s appropriate to the child to learn the letters and sounds and isn’t so repetitive that adults won’t want to play. My two favorite points of the game play are that there are bright easily identifiable pictures representing each letter, or letter pairing, on the player board and the letters are lower case.

Monkey Nuts board

Age Appropriate: The game is rated for ages 4+. If you started with just the single letters, it could probably be played with first year pre-schoolers.

Fun vs. Educational: Monkey Nuts is already a favorite at our house after a week of playing it. I have no reservations about my daughter asking to play this game because it reinforces what she is learning at school and is adding the element of combining letter sounds while she thinks she’s collecting nuts for the monkeys to eat.

Game On! or Cobweb Collector: Game On! I have nothing but good things to say about this game.

Young Learners Monkey Nuts Alphabet Game would be a wonderful gift this holiday season for $16.95.

*****

Set of matched game pieces in Hickory Dickory Dock

Young Learners Hickory Dickory Dock Time Game is another game by Creative Toyshop. I chose this game because it looked like a unique way to teach a child how to tell time.

Construction: Like Monkey Nuts, the pieces are a thick and hard cardboard with a glossy finish. There are several pages of clock cards and activity cards which take some time to punch out, and some assembly is required on the clock.

Rules and Game Play: The rules are straight forward and can be found on the back of the box. Hickory Dickory is a memory matching game. You find clocks that match your activity cards. When you are able to match an activity card, you get to move your mouse up the clock and change the time.

Age Appropriate: The box says 5+, but we had a hard time playing this game the first time with phrases like “quarter to,” and “quarter past.” After a school teacher went through the game with our daughter, she suggested using only the “o’clock cards” until the concept was understood, and then add in the “half past” cards and eventually the “quarter past” and “quarter to” cards. The activity cards do show a digital format of the time along with the analog making it easier to make matches.

Hickory Dickory game board

Fun vs. Educational: Because it’s a race, and there is a chance you will make the mice fall down by turning over a “1 o’clock,” there is a competitive fun factor added to all of the educational points. The child gets to practice reading the title of the activity shown on their card, they get to read the time in digital and analog before finding a match, AND they get to be hands-on learners changing the time on the clock when they make a match.

Game On! or Cobweb Collector: Game On! Though a bit difficult for the listed 5+ age range, our child still found this to be a fun game worthy of playing again.

Young Learners Hickory Dickory Dock Time Game can be found on Amazon for $12.95 and would make a great stocking stuffer.

After good experiences with both of the games from Creative Toyshop I would definitely like to try other titles. A full list of their games can be found here.

**I received Monkey Nuts and Hickory Dickory from Creative Toyshop for review purposes.**

 

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