Elizabeth and I were fortunate enough to be sent some more games by Orchard Toys to review. We love these games and you can see our previous reviews of Pigs in Pants, Slug in a Jug and Dominoes here. I travel around to all my clients, so my resources tend to get a little battered after a while. These games are perfect for carrying around, as they are lightweight, durable and come in handy boxes which are the right size for the game, and stay shut quite nicely so that the pieces don’t go flying all over my car!
Today I’m going to tell you about the new Rockets and Comets game, which is currently selling for £9:50. I received a copy of the game for free, but the views are my own.
One of the reasons I wanted to try this game out was because I love the theme of it. Space-themed games are always popular, especially with infant school aged boys, I find (4-7 year olds)! I bought the Orchard Toys Rocket game a while ago which has been a huge hit, so it was no surprise to me that this one was a hit too!
The game is quite straightforward to explain as it is a variation of snakes and ladders. You go up rockets and down comets. It has an extra element though – if you land on a black hole, you spin a spinner and it could send you to any of the black hole squares on the board. So, you might go up, down or stay on the same spot.
Here are some of my ideas of skills you can target with this game:-
- Any game with lots of counting in is fantastic for working on “f” and “s” sounds, especially the generalisation level. Can the child remember to say the “f” in “four” when they are thinking about playing a game as well? There are also lots of s-blends (space, astronaut, asteroid, spinner…)
- There are lots of simple concepts involved, in particular colours, up/down and more/less.
- There’s some great space vocabulary – rocket, planet, alien and spaceman or if you want more complex words, comet, vortex and vacuum!
- Like any basic board game, you can use it to work on turn-taking. There are a lot of social skills involved in playing a board game, and with slightly older children, this is a great game to work on the skill of losing graciously! Or at least, losing a game without losing your temper!…. Like many board games, you can be really near the end and then suddenly be near the bottom again, or vice versa. Some children find these chance elements really difficult, but it’s an important thing to learn!
- And of course you can use it as a great motivator for almost any other skill you want to work on. Add a set of phonology or language cards and you’re all set to work on whatever you want while whizzing through space! And while we’re on the subject of whiz zing, there are plenty of verbs you could get out of this game too – zooming, flying, shooting, falling, spinning…
All in all a great game which I thoroughly recommend. Watch out for Elizabeth’s review of The Pirate Race Game in a few weeks’ time.