I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
I feel like I spend 90% of my days at home with Cub trying to find excuses not to play with him. I know this sounds terrible, but I know I’m not alone. Even if you’re not running a business from home during the day, you probably have other things to do besides follow the nonsensical barking orders of a pint-sized dictator. Don’t get me wrong: there are lots of things I love doing with my son. I love reading books, even the same books over and over. I don’t mind doing puzzles. I enjoy doing crafts and baking with him, and I am even patient enough to let him “do the dishes” with me. But when it comes to playing, playing the way he wants to play… not my cup of tea.
Thanks to our new game from Educational Insights, when Cub says, “Mommy, I want to play with you!”, I’m not overcome with dread. I bust out Sophie’s Seashell Scramble! It’s a simple game, but not a mind-numbingly boring game. It doesn’t take an eternity to play a round, and it requires no set up. You could even pack up the pieces in a baggie (leaving the box behind) and take this game to go.
The object of the game is to collect one of each shell from the “ocean” (the game box, or whatever surface you want). You pick up these shells, depending on what you spin, using Sophie the Otter.
The spinner gives just enough variety to keep your preschooler eager to see where the arrow will land next. Land on one of the patterns, and use Sophie to pick up the matching shell from the ocean.
Spin a 1 or a 2 and choose whichever shells you need. Land on Sophie the Otter, and you get to steal from another player. Land on the wave, and everyone loses a shell. Land on the octopus, and you have to gamble with one of your shells. You get one more spin, and if you land on the octopus or on the pattern that matches your shell, you get to keep your shell. Otherwise, back to the ocean it goes!
My preschooler is practicing turn taking, counting, shape recognition and even fine motor skills, but most important for him, his Mom is playing with him! The hardest part for him is when he spins a turn that he doesn’t like. Sometimes he tries to “guide” the arrow where he wants it to go. So, we’ll have to work on the concept of “cheating,” and I hope he can be a better loser than his father! As much as I love board games and card games, I can’t stand playing them with my husband because he’s such a sore loser! Like his Dad, Cub is a very enthusiastic winner.
So I would call Sophie’s Seashell Scramble a total success at our house. We play it almost every day, and it makes both of us happy. Cub has also tried The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game and Shelby’s Snack Shack Game from Educational Insights at his friends’ houses, and these games work on the same premise as Sophie’s Seashell Scramble. He loves them, and as with Sophie, they’re the kind of games that preschoolers can almost referee without adult supervision.
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