Orchard Toys Match And Spell is suitable for 1-4 players aged 4+. Your child could possibly gain from it even younger, as no knowledge of letters is needed before you begin.
The game is a very simple matching game, and there are several ways to play, with increasing difficulty. You have a set of double-sided cards with a picture, on one side the word to go with the picture is printed and on the other it is blank. There are also a complete set of letters to match, which you use to spell the word.
All of the words are spelled the way they are said, they are all 3 and 4 letter and very familiar. They are all words that children learn very early on in education. Learning that 'p i g' says 'pig' not only teaches early spelling, it also reinforces the letters involved because children can work out the different sounds themselves from a whole word, even if they are just copying the card before learning to spell.
You can play at the same time, filling your own cards, or you can play alone. My son opened this immediately on his birthday and clearly decided 'alone' was best! Very proud he was too, and frankly so were we...
It's interesting to note that actually children regularly 'get words wrong' because they've heard and learned them wrong. We didn't realise until this point that our little fella thought 'slug' was 'snug'.
Now that he's more confident, my child has even started using the letters to make his own words, this is a giant leap from where he was a couple of months ago.
Orchard Toys Match And Spell is not so much of a game as an activity in our house, and we think it's excellent. Our 5 year old can now work out all of the words himself using the blank side of the cards. He loves it, he takes great pride in completing it, and it's given him some confidence to do some writing. I would recommend this game for any child at that stage.
Match And Spell has a fantastic recommended retail price of £7.50. It's a perfect buy when your child is beginning to learn letters, and by adapting the game difficulty will keep them entertained for a couple of years at least. I'd advise that lifespan may be limited once your child is confident with 3+4 letter phoneme words such as cat, fox, hat etc. and you might be better off with a game such as Rhyme Robber or Shopping List.
We love Orchard Toys games and puzzles and have reviewed several, they can all be found on my Toy Review page.
We were sent our game to review.