Christmas Surprises is actually 2 games in one - a shapes game and a colour game - printed onto 100% recycled board and recommended for children aged 3+. The games are played on 4 double-sided game shaped boards with 24 baubles and 24 presents. There are 2 special dice, one for each game.
The Colour Game is played using a Christmas Tree board. It's incredibly simple and ideal for a very young child. All you have to do is roll the special dice, take a bauble of a matching colour from the table and cover the matching circle on your board. If you have already covered it then play passes to the next player. The winner is the first person to cover all of their baubles.
This game was nice and simple and quick, easy for anyone to grasp and actually quite competitive towards the end.
The Present Game is played using a Santa board and play is very similar to the bauble game only instead of matching coloured baubles, you match shaped parcels. What's special is that you don't get to see what is inside your presents until the end of the game, this is brilliant as is it gives a real excitement and buzz and the same air of expectation and anticipation that you do feel at Christmas.
It doesn't really matter who wins this game because everyone gets to turn over (open) their presents, so everybody feel a winner. It's an all-round feelgood game.
Both games are brilliant for observation and turn-taking skills. They promote memory skills and teach colours and shapes. The wide array of fantastic presents are brilliant for encouraging discussion and broadening language. Matching the shapes onto the correct places on the gameboards is also excellent for manual dexterity.
We think this is an absolutely brilliant pair of games. We all prefer the shaped presents game over the coloured baubles game, mainly because the idea that you have all of those amazing secret presents is really exciting. It's also an excellent way to teach your child shapes.
Unusually for an Orchard Toys game, we do have one complaint. The colours on the dice and baubles don't quite match up, which immediately led to a disturbance when we played. When we investigated it was clear which side of the dice was blue, but because the blue bauble is slightly purple and the purple side of the dice is much darker and more 'blue' than the lilac bauble, it does make it confusing.
Christmas Surprises has a recommended age range of 3-6, and clearly my 3 1/2 year old had no problems playing either game. The games were also popular with my teenage girls, especially the Present/Shape Game. Christmas Surprises retails at £9.50 and is exclusive to Tesco, where it is currently on offer at £7. In spite of the confusing colour dice we give it a very well-deserved 5/5 because the Christmas Present/Shape game is so excellent.
We were sent our Christmas Surprises to review.