Being Play Patrol Agents for Bigjigs Toys has been an honour, but our time as testers for their wonderful wooden toys has come to an end. However, Freddy has one more toy to test and it is a good one!
The Bigjigs Games Compendium is a beautifully made set of traditional wooden games that packs neatly into its own box. The games included are Snakes and Ladders, Tic Tac Toe, Draughts and Tiddly Winks. The set includes two reversible games boards and all the playing pieces, which are kept in cloth drawstring bags. One of the games boards doubles up as the lid to the storage box. It is a very clever design. The box has a handle making it easy to carry, so it's great for holidays or visits to the grandparents' house, ensuring kids are never at a loss for something to do.
The four games are really well constructed and everything is made of wood except for the tiddly winks counters and dice. The Snakes and Ladders game is lovely and colourful, featuring pictures of favourite nursery rhyme characters that children will recognise, prompting many a rendition of a story, a rhyme or a song whilst playing. As a twist to the game, we made the rule that you had to recite the rhyme if you landed on one of the picture squares, which was a lot of fun.
The Tic Tac Toe has really chunky playing pieces, which made playing it really satisfying - more so than using the paper and pencil version. Freddy really loved this game of strategy and did really well trying to make his winning moves while blocking my attempts at getting three in a row.
This is Freddy's first ever Draughts set and he took to the game really well. It was lovely to see him so engaged with a traditional game, rather than playing Minecraft on the computer! It made him think and he enjoyed learning new skills.
The Tic Tac Toe board features a target with scoring circles that the counters have to be flicked into. Unfortunately neither myself or Freddy could get the counters to flick upwards and just ended up shooting them across the table missing the board completely! With a bit of improvisation we tossed the counters instead, which Freddy loved doing.
Playing traditional games with children helps them develop many skills. It helps their dexterity, their communication skills, social skills, logical thinking skills, maths skills and helps them learn to take turns. The games are suitable for children aged 3 and up, but will definitely be enjoyed for many years to come.
You can find the Bigjigs Games Compendium at www.bigjigstoys.co.uk/p/games-compendium and its RRP is £22.99.