I am a firm believer in teaching young children through play. I have been stumped recently on how to make learning how to tell the time fun. I tried using the wooden clock, but couldn’t devise a way to make the difficult task of learning that three also means 15 minutes and quarter past stick without it being boring or using the words, “it just is!” My worries were taken away when the opportunity came up to review Orchard Toys new game.
What’s the Time Mr Wolf by Orchard Toys
Orchard Toys describe What’s the Time Mr Wolf as “a great board game to develop analogue and digital time telling skills.” Absolutely perfect! It claims to feature the ability to encourage observational, number, counting, personal, social, matching and memory skills. Quite a list for a game aimed at 5 to 9 year old children. Little J couldn’t wait to open the box. In fact he didn’t. By the time I entered the living room with my cup of tea and camera, he had already unpacked it.
Setting the game up didn’t require much instruction as it was fairly intuitive. There are two games to play. One slightly more difficult that the other, which is great for being able to begin at your child’s ability. As Little J is quite proficient at reading a digital clock, (he has been able to read six zero zero – Cbeebies time – for quite a long time), I decided we would play the version of the game where you read the digital time first. I think children can switch off very quickly if they feel they cannot achieve something. Confidence building and having fun is key.
The aim of the game is to move around the board by throwing the dice. If you land on a clock, you can choose one of the cards and try and match that time on the analogue clock by moving the hands. If you succeed, you place the card on one of the four squares on your coloured clock display board and wait for your next turn. But beware of Mr Wolf. If you land on Mr Wolf, you must feed him with one of the cards you have won.
It wasn’t my day. Mr Wolf had a feast on my cards! And as a result, well it’s my excuse anyway, Little J was the first to fill his board and win the game.
Not that he was happy about it!
We played What’s the Time Mr Wolf three more times. Each time Little J became more confident at moving the hands of the clock to the correct place. He really enjoyed the game and has played it a few times since.
As little J would say “Double thumbs up”.
What’s the Time Mr Wolf can be brought directly from Orchard Toys for £9.50 and is very good value. All the pieces of the game are very good quality and perfectly sized for it’s audience.
Please note: I was sent this game by Orchard Toys (through Mum’s Club) to publish a fair and honest review. I do however think it is very good value and would recommend it to any parent wishing to teach their little one how to tell the time.