Games are a great way for families to spend quality time together and to instill good values in children. Kids who play lots of games develop mental agility, learn turn-taking and being a good sport from young. Besides the usual Monopoly, Scrabble and Cluedo which we grew up with, there are now many innovative and educational games available which provide hours of wholesome bonding for the entire family. Plus, we think they make excellent Christmas gifts too. Here’s our pick:
1. Viva Topo
An adventurous expedition to paradise. A tactical chasing family game for 2-4 children from 4 years. Which mouse family doesn’t want to live in a cheesy paradise world? A possibly perilous expedition leads you to a fantasy land filled with delicious pieces of cheese. Every step you take will be followed by a hungry cat – a dangerous journey! The winners at the end of the expedition is the mouse family with the most pieces of cheese. Recommended for 4 years and up. Read review here.
Go on an ‘eggs-pedition’ with this enchanting memory game for children. Detailed wooden playing pieces transport you to the South Pole where our quirky little penguins are ready to play with you! Roll the dice and look for the matching colored eggs underneath the penguins. A good memory and a little luck will help you be the first to collect six penguins on your iceberg to win! Pengoloo includes 12 penguins, 12 eggs, 4 scoring icebergs and 2 dice. Recommended for 4 years and up. Read review here.
Test your memory and appetite for laughs with this easy to learn and quick game of strategy. Cartoonish wooden characters bring pizzazz to this Tic-Tac-Toe style game. Just line up three of your Gobblers in a row to win. But watch out! These Gobblers are hungry for fun…and other Gobblers. Awash in cheerful colors, this wooden board game is made to be treasured. Gobblet Gobblers is the best first strategy game for kids to challenge their parents. Recommended for 4 years and up. Read review here.
It’s nap time at the pond, but the baby frogs still want to play! Help your baby be the first to race around the pond without being caught by the sleeping grown-ups. In this magical memory game, you have to remember which frogs will spot the babies and freeze their race. Beautifully crafted pieces bring the pond to life and will have kids squealing with delight! This all wooden game includes 4 baby frogs, 6 adult frogs, 12 frog eyes, 10 small water lilies, one big lily, and 2 colored dice. Recommended for 4 years and up. Read review here.
5. Tell Tale
Tell Tale is the unique storytelling game where your imagination comes to life. You will take a journey into story-land as you improvise and listen to stories based on a variety of images. The 60 charming cards will take you to unexpected situations with surprising characters. Packaged in a sturdy round tin, the game is easy to take anywhere you go, and all you need to play is the cards and your imagination. Skills developed in this game: Tell tale exercises children’s imaginations and stimulates creative thinking. It also develops literacy skills and concept imagery. Recommended for 5 years and up. Read review here.
6. Spot It!
Spot it! is the addictive, feverishly fun matching game for every generation. The first thing to know about Spot it! is that there is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any two cards. Got it? Now all you need is a sharp eye and a quick hand to play all five party games packed into the grab ‘n’ go tin. Including up to eight players, Spot it! is a cinch to learn, plays fast, and is irresistibly fun for all ages! Recommended for 5 years and up. Read review here.
Imagine a place where there’s a queen of all pancakes, a king of cookies and a pack of over-protective dragons? This is a game that helps develop memory, strategy, and elementary arithmetic skills. HOW TO PLAY: The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen and ten of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell and it’s your job to wake them up. Use strategy, quick thinking and a little luck to rouse these napping nobles from their royal slumbers. Play a knight to steal a queen or take a chance on a juggling jester. But watch out for wicked potions and dastardly dragons! The player who wakes the most queens wins. Recommended for 7 years and up. Read review here.
Rory’s Story Cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator, providing hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory’s Story Cubes, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark your imagination! Play with them solo or combine both sets to kick-start your creativity and set your imagination in motion. Rory Story Cubes features a variety of story images. Rory Story Cubes Actions features images depicting verbs. Rory Story Cubes Voyages features images pertaining to travel adventures. Recommended for 7 years and up. Read review here.
High quality wooden construction blocks which inspire both traditional building and modern design. The secret behind Citblocs is that every piece is exactly the same shape and size. Each block is precisely cut from Grade A Radiata Pine from certified renewable forests in New Zealand. Citiblocs building requires no glue, no snaps, no connectors and no magnets: just gravity, balance and imagination. Building with Citiblocs is simple: stack one block on top of another. Their specific size and shape and weight allows building that is simply not possible with other building toys. Build a small cabin by the lake or a tower that reaches the stars. Recommended for 3 years and up. Read review here.
SPECIAL PROMOTION ON GAMES:
The above games (No. 1 to 9) are available from My First Games (www.myfirstgames.sg), a homegrown local business started by a Mumprenuer who personally curates before importing the games from USA and Europe. For the extensive collection of games they carry, please visit their Website or Facebook Page. From now till 30 November 2014, receive a complimentary gift of 50 Blocks CitiBlocs (worth $24.90 to $29.90) when readers spend above $150 on board games and quote ‘Life’sTinyMiracles’ (limited to one free gift per order, while stocks last).
America’s No.1 brand of family game needs no introduction and it is one of my favorite childhood games. The objective of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand before your opponents do. The easy-to-follow instructions are included, as well as detailed descriptions of the game’s variations and strategies. It travels well and is great for families. What’s best is that UNO can be played by up to 10 players. Recommended for 4 years and up.
Singapore and Regional Finals of the 2014 Asia UNO Challenge
Witness the excitement and adrenaline-rush as 631 young participants from seven countries (Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and India; aged between 7 – 15) vie for the coveted top honour of Numero UNO. Dr Jiajia, nine year-old You-tube sensation from Singapore, will make a guest appearance to perform on his ukulele at the event.
Date: This Sunday, 23 November 2014
Time: 1.00pm – Singapore Finals; 2.00pm – Regional Finals
Venue: Jurong Point Shopping Centre, Centre Stage, Level 1
The special edition Hello Kitty UNO® Cards are available at Toys ‘R’ Us and major toy stores. Thanks to the generous folks at Mattel, we have 5 sets of the all-new Hello Kitty UNO® Cards to be given away to 5 lucky readers (1 set each). To participate, simply follow the steps as follow:
This UNO® giveaway ends on 30 November 2014, 11.59pm and is open to readers based in Singapore only. The winners will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which new winners will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will be disqualified. All the best!