Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Game of the Month: eeBoo's Pre-school Lotto Game


Welcome back to our Game of the Month series! We absolutely love board games and play them often. Our kids share our love of games and this series is meant to share with our readers our favorite games. Our hope is to help you find awesome board games for your children. We will go over who makes the game, how the game is played, and our favorite features of the game. We also include any hiccups we may have had along the way, as far as rules go and young children being able to follow them. If that's the case, we will share the modifications or rule changes we have made for the game so that younger children can play with their older siblings.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

This month we are featuring eeBoo's Preschool Lotto Game! eeBoo makes some of our favorite games and we picked this one up for Christmas. We own a handful of other games made by eeBoo and they are always at the top of our list when we are choosing a new game to add to our collection. eeBoo is a boutique manufacturer of well-made educational toys and games. They are 100% original and feature beautiful illustrations and unique art! eeBoo's products are wonderful for promoting literacy, story telling, drawing, imaginative play and basic math skills. Many of their products have won Oppenheim Best Toy Awards, including the Lotto Game!

eeBoo's Lotto Game is great for children ages 3 and up. A 2 year old who is familiar with matching activities may be ready for this game. We have a stack of other matching games, but they are only tile games. We love that this game comes with a cards for the tiles, which is ideal for younger children to practice their matching and recognition skills. This way they aren't trying to match two random tiles in a pile. It's a wonderful beginner game and there are many ways to play!

The game can be played by 2-6 children, but honestly you can use it for solo games too. The game comes with 6 different picture cards and tiles to match each card. Each card has a set of 6 pictures on it (themes include: fruits and vegetables, toys, vehicles, farm animals, jungle animals, and pets). The cards and tiles are color coded for easy sorting (this will also help younger children recognize the groups). 

How to Play

1 - Select a Lotto Card. Players can choose at random or pick one they prefer. 

2 - Tiles are placed face down and in reach of all the players. Use the tiles that match the cards being used. For added difficulty, use extra tiles from the unused cards. 

3 - The youngest player goes first and selects a tile.

4 - If the tile you chose matches your card, you may place it on your card, otherwise place it back face-down in the spot you picked it up from. If you are playing with younger children and their first tile does not match, they can choose a second tile. Show each unmatched tile to the other players before returning it face down to the table.

5 - The player on your left goes next. They choose a tile and either match it to their card or show it to the other players and returns it. 

6 - Play the game until one child fills up their entire card. They can then call out, "Lotto!" (My kids usually just say, "I'm done!" or "I win!")

Skills

- Early learning concepts that promote family interaction and fun.
- Visual discrimination to match tiles to Lotto cards. 
- Critical categorization skills - evaluate whether their chosen tile matches the theme of their Lotto card. 
- Keeping track of the tiles replaced - remembering the location helps build their memory skills.
- Social skills - taking turns, experiencing winning and losing in a supportive environment. 

eeBoo's suggestions on adding more elements to the Lotto Game:

- At the end of the game, ask the player's to name a few other things that could have matched the theme of their card. Example: fruits and vegetables - broccoli, banana, apple. 
-  Ask the players to explain why they are returning a tile to the pile. Example: it does not match the theme, the color does not match, the animal does not belong with this group, etc.
- Tell a short story after the game using all the tiles on one card as objects or characters in a story. 

These are wonderful way to promote social and literacy skills in a fun, gaming environment!

In particular, we love how durable the tiles are. They are made out of thick cardboard and I don't have to worry about a toddler picking them up (unless it's to put them in their mouth - I wouldn't suggest allowing that). The tiles and cards are bright, glossy and sturdy. They are easy to pick up and the box is pretty compact. I love that the box isn't huge and there's only a small amount of extra space inside (great for people who already own a ton of games and need to fit them on the shelf somehow). The box is also sturdy and opens slowly, so if a child is carrying the box, it's very unlikely that the button will fall out and scatter the pieces everywhere. Overall, it's a wonderfully designed game and we really enjoy it. 


Here are a few ways we have used this game:

Pattern Making - Each row is treated as a pattern to match. The tiles are mixed up and placed face-up in reach. The child has to make the pattern below the card. 


Theme/Color Matching - Skip the cards and just play with the tiles. Each child can choose a color and practice matching the other tiles in their group. (Munchkin will often use all of the tiles and line up each color in rows. He will then name each tile and then count them, either by row or all of them.)

Solo Game - Played just like the regular game, except with only one player. Mix up the tiles and place them below the card face-down. Flip one tile up at a time and match them to the correct picture. You can make it harder and try to match them in order, meaning you'll have to remember where some tiles are.


When two players play, let them choose their cards (unless you're working on a particular theme). Flip over the matching tiles and mix them up. You can make it more difficult by adding in tiles from the other cards. 


My children prefer when the tiles are lined up. It's ok if some of the tiles aren't facing the right way. Younger children may end up turning them around a few times to find the correct way  to match their tiles.


See, those peas don't match either card. So now they know not to choose that tile!


This is a great game for toddlers and preschoolers! Kindergarteners may find it too easy, which is why I sometimes try to make it more difficult for Bean. Older children will likely prefer a tiles only game.


eeBoo has a bunch of lovely memory games to choose from, such as Life on Earth Memory GamePre-School Animal Memory GameeeBoo Number Memory GamePreschool Nature Memory Game, and I Never Forget a Face Memory Game, just to name a few!

I encourage you to check out eeBoo's shop and I hope you find unique games for your children!  Happy Gaming!

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