Showing posts with label Games Night. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Games Night. Show all posts

Monday, 6 April 2020

Boredom Busters From Ideal Games

We are all going through worrying times at present with the current pandemic and for children in particular, there has been a lot of change and uncertainty created. Like most parents, we are trying our best to stay positive and encouraging our kids to continue with their school work, take some time out in the garden, speak with their friends regularly and talk to us if they have any worries. They have been absolutely fantastic these past couple of weeks, however it is only inevitable that the boredom will gradually start to creep in for all of us.

We have therefore been looking for some boredom busting games and activities that we can enjoy together, make us laugh and help us to take our mind off current events, if only for a moment. We were therefore absolutely delighted (and a little overwhelmed) when the lovely team at Ideal Games sent us a fantastic selection of products to keep us busy over the coming days and weeks.

For any families out there that enjoy board games, I intend to write a full review on each game pictured and I will upload a new one every couple of days throughout April. This will not only help us to keep busy as a family, but I also hope it will help to provide other families with some ideas and inspiration of games that they can also enjoy together.

Be sure to check back in the next couple of days to see our latest review, we just need to decide which of these great games we are going to play first!

If you would like to find out more about any of these games, then you can visit the Ideal Games social media pages on the following channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IdealGamesUK/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/idealgamesuk/


*This is a collaborative post and we have been gifted the games featured in this image for the purpose of writing an honest review. 


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Wordsearch Junior - A Review

Like most parents we are still trying to find the right balance between learning at home and still having some fun, during the school closure period. My children are doing great with the work that has been set by their teachers, however I think it is also good to add a touch of educational fun into the mix to help try and maintain a positive mood.

Therefore, when an opportunity recently arose to review Wordsearch Junior, I thought this would be an ideal game to help Riley learn how to identify and read some new words, in addition to working on his spellings. We therefore excitedly waited for it to arrive, before involving it in one of our literacy lessons this afternoon.


Wordsearch Junior is described on the box as being a fun way to play and read. It is recommended for children aged 5+ and can be played by 2 to 4 players at a time. There are three levels of play which each vary in difficulty, so you can choose the most appropriate game boards for your child.

The front of the box is really bright and vibrant, which features the name of the game across the front in large text. The rear of the box has some really clear images, that give you a good idea of how the game is played and what you will find inside.


On opening the packaging we found the following contents:

  • 1 x Game Board (consisting of a base, transparent disk and ring)
  • 6 x Blue Picture Grids
  • 6 x Red Picture and Word Grids
  • 6 x Green Word Only Grids
  • 140 Counters (35 red, 35 green, 35 yellow, 25 blue)
  • 1 x Instruction Manual

The grids have varying levels of difficulty, with the Blue picture grids being the easiest. These grids consist of pictures only and you have to look for sets of 3 pictures in the right sequence. The red grids feature both pictures and words, so this is ideal for younger players who can use the picture clues to help them locate and identify the words. The green grids are words only and you simply have to search for the word as quickly as possibly against your opponent.


As this was Riley's first attempt at such a game, we opted to try one of the red grids first, so that he could get use to the game and understand exactly what he needed to do. We therefore chose one of them and placed it into the base of the game board. I then covered this with the transparent disk, which then holds the grid into position, before finally adding the blue ring.

To begin the game, you simply turn the board until the grid colour appears in the word gap in the ring. Each player then takes a turn to turn the grid and reveal a new word and reads this out aloud for everyone to hear (or in the case of the blue image board, simply describe the picture instead).

The words can be displayed in any direction so it is important to look not only left, right, up and down, but also diagonally too. Everyone searches for the word and the first player to spot it, shouts out the word and points at the answer. If this is correct, then they can place down their coloured counters to cover the word.

Game play continues like this until all the words have been found and the coloured section appears in the word gap again. If a word you find has to cover a space that already has another players counter in, then you can remove it and replace it with yours. Riley particularly enjoyed this part of the game and thought it was hilarious that he could remove my counters.

Once a full turn of the grid is completed then each player counts how many counters they had placed down on the board, with the winner being the person who has successfully used the most counters. A player can also win by using up all their counters, which Riley managed to do on a couple of occasions, much to his delight!


Once Riley had got the hang of the game, we decided to try one of the harder levels and switched from a red grid to one of the green wordsearch grids. Riley was a little apprehensive at first as he thought he would find it too difficult, but to be honest he surprised both himself and me, winning the first game with ease!

The green grid works in exactly the same way, except you are solely looking for words and there are no images this time to help you out. There were a couple of occasions where I thought I had found a word only to find that I was wrong, so make sure you definitely know where the word is before shouting it out.

For younger members of the family, the blue grids are ideal as these feature pictures only, so it is a great way of improving observation skills from an early age. I felt that these boards would have been too easy for Riley so we didn't attempt them, but they looked great and easy to understand.


Overall I really enjoyed playing this game with Riley and felt that it was a great way to help him learn some new words, whilst also staying focused. He enjoyed reading out the words, as well as racing against me to be the first to find them. We also made sure that we spelt out each word as we placed our counters down, which I hope will help Riley with his spellings going forward. We both found it to be a fun educational game and I look forward to playing it with him regularly going forwards. 

The game is very easy to set up and it has simple instructions to play, making it an ideal game for families to enjoy together. Wordsearch Junior has an RRP of £19.99 and can be purchased from Amazon.


*Disclaimer - We were gifted with this item for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.



Friday, 11 October 2019

Slap Ninja by Jakks Pacific - A Review

Last night after a rush of homework, driving children to various clubs, making dinner and general tidying up, I had prepared myself for an early night, or simply just relaxing on the sofa and watching television. However, my children had other ideas and my lazy peaceful hour actually resulted in sixty minutes of hilarity, fun and so much laughter that I cried!

Why was this? Well....allow me to introduce Slap Ninja! A brand new game which was sent to us from Jakks Pacific to review. It is suitable for all the family from ages 4+ and requires 3 x AAA batteries which are included. Designed as a game of skill, you must perfect your speed and precision on your quest to become the ultimate ninja champion.


The packaging is simple and you can see the full product on display, which is great for shoppers as you can instantly see exactly what the game is about. There is also a 'try me' function, so you can press the button whilst it is still in the box and listen to some of the audio as well as feel the buzz. My children found this extremely funny before game play even began as the buzzing would make the box move across the table and it was also very loud, much to their delight.

The game was easy to remove from the box and was simply a case of tearing some of the box and cutting a couple of plastic ties from various parts that were holding it in place. My only minor complaint with this, is that it is the sort of box that you cannot use to store the game in afterwards. Within less than a minute though, the game was ready to play and my mini ninjas prepared for battle.


Game play is super easy and simply requires two players to sit opposite from one another, with each player placing one hand around their handle. One player is the designated Ninja Student, whilst the other is the Ninja Master. The challenge if you are the student, is to press the red button three times without being slapped and believe me this can get tricky, especially if you have a very competitive Ninja Master in charge of the giant slapping hand.

If the student manages to do this, then the master gets a shock through the controller, however if the master successfully slaps three times, then this shock is delivered to the student instead. Super easy to understand, but not quite so easy to master the skill!


Whilst playing there is music provided, which adds to the tension of the challenge and I personally thought that this was a great idea. It certainly built the suspense as we each took it in turns to take a go of being the student. There are star lights which turn red to help you keep track of the score too, so there are no worries about missing a point.

My children are all extremely competitive and as most parents will know, this can often lead to arguments where games are concerned, but this one just resulted in so much laughter that it was fantastic. It was actually funny to lose, which helped to create such a nice atmosphere during play.


Overall we absolutely loved this game! In short, it is an electronic version of the age old playground game of slaps, but with an added twist and plenty of laughs. I really liked the fact that the game was good to go from the moment you got it out of the box. There was no tricky set up, no having to read through mountains of instructions, you just simply have to place it on your chosen surface and get ready to play. My family found it hilarious and the look on Riley's face when he lost the first round and the handle began to buzz was absolutely priceless. I would happily recommend this game to others and I can see this definitely being a Christmas must-have!

This game is currently available to purchase from Smyths Toys, Amazon and other good retailers.

For more information on this product or others in the Jakks Pacific range, then you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.jakks.com
Facebook - facebook.com/jakkspacifictoys
Twitter - @JAKKSToys
Instagram - @jakkstoys



*Disclaimer - We were gifted this product for the purpose of writing an honest review of the game. All opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.