We were recently sent this Shelby’s Snack Shack game from Learning Resources to review, and my 4 year old (Mr Z) was really excited to get started.

Child boy with a dog game counting gameThe game comes in a large, shaped cardboard box and says it is recommended for ages 4-8 years. It helps to develop number and counting skills and it is for 2-4 players.

learning resources shelby's snack shack games childrens games counting board gamesInside the box you find:

  • One Shelby the Dog tweezers to pick up the bones
  • A packet with loads of bones (40)
  • 4 different coloured bowls for the players to collect the bones
  • A board with two spinners

contents of shelbys snack shack gameThe rules of the game are quite simple and were easy for my 4 year old to pick up. It took him a couple of practises to get good at using the Shelby Tweezers but then he easily got the hang of it. I really liked the element of including these tweezers to help with fine motor skills. Both my 4 year old and 3 year old do have some difficulties with their fine motor skills and strengthening the muscles in their hands will also help give them skills for better handwriting.

When you spin the first spinner, you will land on either the bones symbol  (the most likely option as it comes 3x on the spinner) which allows you to pick up a certain number of bones from the beach (this number is found by spinning the 2nd spinner), or you can land on a seagull so that some of your bones will be stolen back onto the beach, a dog with a bone which allows you to take bones from other players, or a lazy dog with a slipper which causes you to miss your turn. I liked that the game box doubles up as the beach for when you are playing the game. This is a clever use of the space and means less waste as the packaging has a double use!

Mr Z really enjoyed the game. He has loved counting since he was quite small, so counting the bones was not too challenging for him but he loves the competitive element in a game, and luckily for him he always seems to manage to win!

After playing the game with Mr Z, I felt it was not as difficult as I thought it might be with a 4+ age recommendation, so I decided to call my 3 year old (Mr T) along to have a turn. As some readers might know Mr T has some special needs and I would not normally expect him to be able to manage a 4+ game at all but he was able to grasp the concept, and with support from me he was able to play the game, and enjoyed it. I was so proud that he has managed to play this whole game, and it reinforces skills like turn taking which he is always doing in his speech and language groups. He is also showing an interest in counting at the moment so this game was really ideal for him. I do think the recommended age of 4+ is possibly a bit high and many children would be fine from age 3 years.

Learning Resources are giving one of you the chance to win a copy for yourself – Just click here and fill in your details. The competition ends July 9th.

I have just made a short video so you can see some of the game in action

I would definitely recommend the game. I love Learning Resources and have never been disappointed with any of their products, they have a massive range on their website – if you haven’t looked before go check it out but beware you might get tempted to spend a lot and buy everything! (its just too tempting!! they have a lot of unique and really good products)