When Ravensburger got in touch asking if we would like to review the My First Clock and Ready Set Count! games from their “Fun To Learn” range over the summer holidays, I jumped at the chance.
I know that Riley and Harry respond well to puzzles and board games, so they can be brilliant learning tools for us. And, what I find great about the Ravensburger Fun To Learn games in particular is that they cleverly combine play and learn so that children can have fun while learning some key developmental skills.
Both games come packaged in very smart and visually appealing boxes that include simple instructions on the box for children to follow, as well as a more in-depth instruction leaflet inside for parents. Instructions can also be downloaded from the Ravensburger website if they get misplaced.
I’ve found all game pieces to be durable, of a high quality and the perfect size for little hands. I’ve also been impressed with the use of bright colours and detailed images on them as it makes them appear much more fun and engaging for pre-schoolers.
For 1-4 players, Ages 3-6 years
The Ready Set Count game helps children to discover and become more familiar with the numbers 1-10, while having fun at the same time. They learn to count on their own as well as being shown how numbers can be represented in the form of dots on a die, written numbers and on fingers.
There is a jigsaw for each of the numbers 1-10 and each card comprises of 4 parts: a large picture card depicting the number with animals, plus three smaller cards showing the number in numeral, dice and finger format. Each card is yellow or blue, with yellow being the easier numbers and blue being the harder numbers. The idea of the game is to roll the dice and find the corresponding number card that matches the number of animals on the picture card.
What I love most about Ready Set Count! is that it teaches fundamental skills in symbol association, number recognition and counting in a fun and engaging manner. The boys can play the game together or individually and it can be adapted to suit their level of competence.
It’s the perfect game for preschool age children and children about to start in reception year at school.
For 1-6 players, Ages 4-9 years
This game is aimed at slightly older children so was too advanced for Harry but Riley enjoyed playing it. The game consists of a clock with moveable hands and 27 double-sided clock cards showing an analogue clock on one side and a digital clock on the reverse.
There are 3 levels to this game, all building on the knowledge your child has of telling the time:
A Whole Day – learning about the clock and the hours of the day. This is the perfect game for a child of Riley’s age who is just starting to become familiar with the concept of routines and time.
Setting the Clock – setting the hands of the clock to match a clock card. The idea of this game is to take a card from the box and try to set the digital time it shows on the big clock. However, Riley doesn’t really understand digital time yet so we’ve been doing the same thing using the analogue side of the clock cards instead.
Fast Time – Recognising the time on the clock as quickly as you can. For this game you have all of the card spread out with the clock faces facing up. I set a time on the big clock and announce what time it is. Riley then has to find the matching clock card as fast as he can.
I love pretty much everything about the Ravensburger My First Clock game, however, there is one aspect of it that I find a little strange. The digital side of the clock cards shows the time twice, once for the morning (depicted with a yellow background and sun picture) and once for the afternoon (depicted with a blue background and moon picture). This,I suppose, goes a long way to making it easier for children to differentiate between the two times, BUT it doesn’t use AM/PM or a 24hour clock, which I’m assuming is deliberate but it seems like a missed learning opportunity to me.
Overall, i am really impressed with both games from Ravensburger. Puzzles and board games are always popular with the boys and i find My First Clock and Ready Set Count! a great and fun way to encourage learning without them even realising that they are learning. Plus, at £7.99 each, they are fantastic value for money.