The fantastic Orchard toys have released some new games. You can read my review of Robot Run here. Very kindly they also sent us a copy of one of their other new games –Farmyard heads and tails – which I am going to review today. I was given a copy of the game, but the opinions are my own!
Farmyard heads and tails is a simple matching game for children 18 months old and over. It is designed for 1-4 players. It is made up of 24 cards which create 12 animals. For younger children, they can just match the 2 pictures together and then name or make the noise of the animal. For older children you can put the cards face down and use it as a pairs/ memory game. It is currently £7.50 from Orchard Toys.
We know that Orchard toys are well designed and support a number of different areas of development. We also know that they are always well designed and great quality! So how did I use this game to support speech and language targets.
- Animal noises: I was working with a younger child and wanted to encourage early words and sounds so this game was great. The child was infact happy just using the picture with the head of the animal. We pulled them out of a bag and made the noise and attempted to name the animal.
- Supporting understanding of ‘who’: You can give the child the tail section of the animal and talk about it e.g. who has a long tail and is covered in fur. They then have to guess which animal it could be. Then you can give them the matching head and see if they were correct.
- Descriptive language/ adjectives: With an older child we randomly pulled out a head and a tail and created a monster! We then used a range of adjective to describe it. So one monster had a furry face and long whiskers with curly green feathers on its bottom! We also had fun trying to name them and guess what noise they might make!
- Following instructions: Put all the cards out on the table and give the child instructions to make a monster (There is a theme here!) So for example you can give a 4 step instructions of “Get the chicken’s head and the mouses tail” If this is too tricky, first ask for the chicken’s head, wait until the child has picked up that piece and then give a further instruction for the tail. If you want to make it easier and have a step instruction, you can put all the animals together in their pairs and ask the child “Where’s dog?”.
- Phonology/ speech: Most of the pictures are simple CVC words. This mean they have a consonant, vowel and consonant structure e.g. dog, cat, mouse (although mouse has more letters, you say it with the m….ow….s sounds so it is a CVC word!) So you could post the cards or match them – but whatever you do you have to say the word.
- Forming questions: If you had a few children to play the game with you could play it like uno where they have to ask the other players for the cards you need to complete you pair. You can model the question form of “Do you have the ….”.