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‘Our child has a problem with losing.’

'Our child has a problem with losing"....

That is probably one of the greatest grievances that we hear most from our parent customers – and for good reason too. Electronic games these days leave practically no room for kids to lose: if they don’t like the way a game is progressing, all they have to do is press the Restart button – and no one will be any wiser. This ultimately creates a ‘Winning Only’ attitude, which is not only unhealthy, but obsessive and psychologically detrimental when the child gets older.

First up we got the Haba Orchard game out as it was the easiest of the three and the most fun by the looks of it.  In it’s simplest form Haba Orchard is a cooperative game aimed at children aged 3 years to 6 years and can be played with 1 – 8 players.

The aim of the game is for the players to harvest wooden fruits pieces and place them into their baskets before the mischievous raven eats them and is a game of many angles.  The game is brilliant for encouraging counting, colour and shape recognition and also fine motor skills.   Perfect for pre-school kids.

The game is brightly coloured and made from beautiful wooden pieces.  It contains 40 wooden fruit pieces (10 apples, 10 pears, 10 pairs of cherries and 10 plums) also included are 4 baskets to collect your fruit in, a raven jigsaw, game board and a dice with four coloured sides and one side with a picture of a raven and one the picture of a basket. In order to play the game the fruit is placed onto the correct fruit tree on the game board ready to be ‘picked’.  Once the fruit is on the trees the dice is thrown and the player takes a piece of fruit that is represented by the colour on the dice and places it into their basket (red – cherry, yellow – pear, blue – plum and green – apple).  However, here is the twist.  If a players dice lands on the raven one piece of the raven jigsaw is placed onto the board and if the basket symbol is shown the player get to pick any two fruits for their basket.

The aim aim is to pick all the fruit before the raven jigsaw is completed and the bird eats the fruit!

Whilst this may sound complicated it is surprisingly quick and easy to learn.  The game has the perfect attention span for young children too, taking approx 15 minutes to play so it is ideal for the 3 years + age group.

As this is a cooperative game it means beating the raven makes all players winners and stops anyone feeling they ‘lost’ which again is great when playing with younger players. They don’t understand the concept of not always having to win yet.  Vice Versa and if the hungry Raven jigsaw is completed before the fruit is picked all players lose and not just an individual.  This encourages players to work together and this would be a great classroom game for getting children to bond and work together.

Interactive games have the significant benefit of improving social skills through encouraging diplomatic and organised communication between children. When adults aren’t playing, kids have to negotiate rules, follow a set system of directions and take turns to keep the game running.

Cooperation games are particularly useful for kids who need to adapt to ‘losing’; losing in a team is always better (and probably more fun) than losing alone. 


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