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SimplyFun Game Review

by Liz Sagaser

play

July 29, 2014

SimplyFun Game Review


Recently, I engaged in a fun social experiment with my kids, ages three and five, and a friend from kindergarten. I packed up the kids and a couple of board games and headed to a nearby kid-friendly chain restaurant to find out whether games are a fun distraction, or whether I could actually help my kids develop better social skills through cooperative game play. Because let’s be honest here, mom friends: unless you’ve got a Mary Poppins on staff, toddlers and kindies can use a little help in the social skills department.

We brought two games along to test my theory: Tibbar’s Find My ABC’s and Find My 123’s Puzzles and Bubbles & Puddles, both from SimplyFun.

We started off with Bubbles and Puddles, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised at all of the social learning that took place. Patience, taking turns, flexibility, sharing, eye contact, learning to lose with grace; this game offers two options for play and it is a go anywhere bundle of fun for ages 3 and up. The “guy” that gets moved around is an adorable rubber duck, and both girls (and maybe a little bit me) were clamoring to get started with the duckie. We’ll be playing this one again, and all the bits and pieces fit into a drawstring bag, so no need to tote the whole box along.

We played Tibbar’s Find My ABC’s and Find My 123’s that evening, and again at home. If you are averse to puzzles in general, like me (ain’t nobody got time for that!), this game/puzzle combo will be a pleasant surprise. The pieces are XL and easy to match up, so this is good for every level of puzzler. Both games are fantastic for the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, counting. I was sort of blown away at how many different skill sets this simple game reinforced. Because it has a look and find feel to it, it doesn’t feel like homework to work on these skills. I recommend this one for preschoolers through first graders, and it works well for a mixed age group since you can pick and choose which activities to participate in. You might be counting birds, finding items in a color category, or naming items that start with a particular letter. I love a game we can “make our own,” and Tibbar’s Find My ABC’s & 123’s fit the bill.








Together in one bundle, Tibbar's Find My ABCs and Find My 123s will take your child on a learning adventure. Your preschooler will delight in assembling each oversized floor puzzle while learning the alphabet, numbers 1 thru 10, and colors at the same time! (Ages 4 and up)




Share your thoughts

I would something compact, but that will also engage the kids and encourage social skills. It sounds great.

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My son loves playing games that I create from books bad blogs I've read. Low budget necessary. :)

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We are starting a new MOPS group this fall. These would be wonderful for our Moppets!

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My husband has a large board game collection and has been slowly adding more child and family games to it. Our son is two this week and isn't ready for lots of rules yet, but he loves rolling oversized dice and counting the pips. He also likes playing with the pieces from "Animal Upon Animal" and looking for matches in his Memory tiles. He is so happy to be playing 'games' just like mom and dad! We look forward to "Mice and Mystics" and "Forbidden Island" when he gets older - yay for cooperative games!

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My son loves spending quality time playing any games that I make from a book called, "Slow and Steady." It's got weekly activities for babies starting at birth until 4 years old I believe.

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My daughter just recently started playing games and we LOVE them! My husband and I have always been very into board games, so it's very fun to share this love with her.

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We love a Mix and Match (memory style) game from Ravensburger right now. Its awesome and our kiddo can do it all on her own, which she likes. Perfect for the times where she feels like she has to be independent.

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Both my husband and I enjoy playing board games. I think for that reason, we both value playing games with our 3 year old. We know he is learning about the "world" of games (the systems, rules, strategy, etc.) now, that he will use when he's older to participate in more complicated games. Eventually, he'll also learn about winning and losing too (but he doesn't seem to be aware of that right now). There is a tedious-ness to game playing with a toddler. Especially a toddler who enjoys exploring boundaries and limits. But again, the lessons learned outweigh that.

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We love games! I usually keep the game Spot It in my purse to play in waiting rooms and restaurants.

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We love playing Candy Land and Dominoes. :)

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Playing games is one of my favorite childhood memories. I can already tell after 15 rounds of CandyLand that games will be one of my girls' favorite memories, too :)

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My kids love Zingo and Memory right now! We would love to try these new games!

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I love playing games with my kids, 3 and 5, and they both adore puzzles, too, so these sound great.

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These are the games my 4 and 6 year old kiddos enjoy at the moment. Spot It -Preschool Edition, Count Your Chickens and Memory. This game pack seems like a fantastic choice for my 4 year old to have fun while reinforcing her ABCs and 123s!

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Plays games in restaurants is a great distraction.

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I love Simply Fun! Thanks for the new game ideas. :-)

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I actually created this game (a week ago) for my kids (22months & 4yrs), and they ask me daily to play it! It's super easy to make. http://mypinnedlife.blogspot.com/2014/07/repurposed-wipes-container-turned.html

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My son is finally interested in games, this would be awesome to show him.

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Hi Laira, if you are just entering the world of games Tibbar's ABC/123 puzzles are an easy way to play. I had a hard time with rule-oriented games when my kids were younger (they are just-turned-4 and 5 now), and I often got frustrated and gave up on the game altogether. I love that this is fun but FLEXIBLE. So important with toddlers.

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We like to play with alphabet blocks. My son loves stacking. He also enjoys legos as well.

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My little guy turned 4 just a few days ago and he lagged behind a bit in the imaginary play department. One of his first attempts at imaginary play was building simple creatures out of Lego Duplos. I'm talking two blocks together = a dinosaur, things like that. I loved watching him invent and create things, finally!!

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Love, love! Cannot wait to play games with my little man!

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I remember feeling the same way when mine were tiny. WHEN would I be able to really play with them? WHEN would they start ____ (talking, walking, etc.)

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Uno and Guess Who are our big favorites right now :)

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I haven't played UNO in forever!! Gotta pick that one up.

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They love Uno Moo :)

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My kids will play ANYTHING with animals involved!

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I love playing all the games that you can have social interaction, laughter and educational learning to count, etc Our family especially loves playing Cooties, Memory, and Hi-Ho-Cheerio, it is so much fun to see your kiddos giggle and learn at the same time:)

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Memory was the first game I played with my little cheater - I mean MY DAUGHTER. I am still in recovery from that one. Cooties is fun but SO MANY LITTLE BITTY PIECES...

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My daughter JUST turned 2. Haven't tried many games with her--although she has done some face up matching games.

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Hi Christie - I had the chance to do this review of SimplyFun games and one of my favorite features on their site is Personal Shopper. If you are ready to start playing games with your daughter, or will be in a few months, this feature takes all the guesswork out. It was actually really fun putting in parameters to find the right games for my kids.

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I did a search with what I would've looked for when my son was a little younger (he just turned 4) and it brought up several options, including Bubbles and Puddles which I reviewed and liked and another game called Share a Berry which involves stringing beads - so good for their fine motor skills.

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I also love games you can make your own. I'm not a fan of the classic puzzle.

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My husband bought me a puzzle for Christmas one time that we could do together "for fun." Puzzles kinda make me MAD and don't feel like fun for me personally - it feels like someone is trying to pull one over on me! That said, my kids like puzzles and I have tried to rise above my puzzle prejudice for their sake. :)

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Memory

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We really like the ThinkFun Roll and Play game. Great from about 1.5 yrs old, but now that he's almost three, my son plays the whole game as they intended.

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This looks like a great one for toddlers.

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Headbands. Fun and easy

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I've heard that's a fun one - haven't tried it myself.

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Oh I am glad I'm not the only one that typically dreads puzzles with my just turned 4 year old! Both of these sound great and I love that the first game is portable, with a bag for quick clean up.

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Not only was the game portable - it actually fit into my purse! I was surprised a game like this would be that user friendly on the go. Most of our games would not boil down to one drawstring bag like that.

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We like Tibbar's Apple Race, my 8 yo, 6 yo, and 4 yo twins all enjoy it.

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This one sounds like a great bday gift for my about-to-be-6-year-old! Here's a link to the description and a video demo. I think I'd enjoy playing this one. http://bit.ly/ULC4kX

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My daughter loves playing "big kid" games!

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It is fairly simple to make it little kid friendly!

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My kids love Cariboo!

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A very fun game!

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Candy Land is the only game that we have that is child friendly right now for our 5 yr old and 3 yr old.

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You can't go wrong with the classics, Stacie.

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I've always loved playing games and I love games that I can play with my littles. Especially games that the can play and learn while doing it.

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Learning through play is a definite win-win!

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I like to play UNO. It is a game that can be played with all my children- even the youngest can play by matching a color or number to the top card. UNO Attack usually brings out the most laughter- as the kids think its funny when others get many cards thrown out by the machine!

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UNO is a great game for learning and a lot of fun. With older kids playing UNO where you pass your hand when a "7" is put down is a lot of fun.

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