Have you ever bought a game marketed for toddlers only to find out that it was either too advanced or boring for your child? I have and then proceeded to go through feelings of anger for wasting money and guilt for wondering if my child is not developmentally on target.
We love games in our house. They teach important concepts including turn taking and rules. I’m not sure about you, but my toddler has a lot to learn about rules! As a way to help some fellow mamas out, I’ll post a review of the newest game we purchased, Sparky.
Sparky is a cute little bug with a glowing tail who tells you what shape to find when you press the button on his back. Jack was obsessed with the light up tail. For the first 15 minutes of opening the game, he just pressed the button and looked at the tail.
There are tons of double-sided cards and different colored shape manipulatives that come with the set. One side has a picture with different themes and the other is more of a bingo card. The object is to fill your card up first by matching the correct color and shape.
After a little modeling from mommy, he quickly figured out how to select the correct shape. It took him a few more times playing before he was able to understand that he needed to pick the same shape and color. Once he mastered this, we moved on to playing the bingo side of the game as a family.
Although Jack knows his shapes and colors, he started putting them together after playing this game (e.g. yellow triangle). He also took turns during the family bingo game. This was pretty amazing since he usually just takes his turn and everyone else’s turn. He did, however, insist he be the only one to push the bug’s button.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND ALTERNATE USES
Overall, I would buy this game again. Sparky is developmentally appropriate for a 2-3 year old and teaches concepts including colors, shapes, visual perception, and cooperative play skills. As a bonus, it includes tons of sturdy shape manipulatives we can use for different activities. We are already imagining putting these in a sensory bin and using fine motor tools to dig them out and match to the cards.
What games keep your toddler’s interest and are developmentally appropriate?