Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Around The Box Reviews - Penguin Party Family Game and The Box - compendium of wooden games and puzzles (age 3-99+) Sent for review

'The Box' is a really carefully curated compendium of games, puzzles, fidgets and things to do. It's very small, and neat, virtually plastic-free (mostly wood), and perfect for anyone with time on their hands.  Everything in it can be washed, so it's ideal for someone who is ill. And it's really a gorgeous thing... 

Around The Box was founded by husband and wife team, David and Alice. They first created The Box to give families with someone in hospital something special to do. It isn't just about the games and puzzles, they feel what’s most important is what happens around The Box. It brings people together. 

Around The Box and Penguin Party games packaged away

So what is inside The Box? 
All together the contents can be used for a really good variety of different games and puzzles. I've counted 11 already, and that doesn't include all of the extra suggestions, or "just playing penguins", which my 10 year old was doing earlier - with sound effects... Contents are packaged in single-use plastic, which usually I don't like, but as the compendium was designed to be appropriate for hospital use, in this case it's perfect. 

The BOX modern wooden games and puzzles compendium contents displayed in small arrangement on table

The games and puzzles are all very easy to pick up and play, some of them have no rules, some are much more structured.  They include things like:
T Time - create a T shape using all of the shaped wooden blocks. 
Rocket Launch - remove the rocket without touching the base
Curious Cube - turn the cube into a snake (easy), and back again (not so easy).
Measure Up - tape measure games 
Penguin Party - which is also available as a standalone game. 

Contents of Around THe BOx washable eco friendly game compendium

It's beautiful, it really is. The wood is lovely in your hands, and the whole box full is very classic and elegant. Everything is very tactile, so if you want to fidget, there's plenty here. 


The games are brilliant. We've spent a few hours playing, and my 10 year old especially is in his element. The Box encourages chatter and light-heartedness, and very mild competition - which anyone can win. 

Penguin Party game The box review puzzles

We DID manage to make a T (although none of us could remember how the second time we tried), and remove the rocket - and have a mini contest to see who could make it fly the furthest.  

We discovered a measuring tape can be a brilliant tool for all kinds of games, and that snakes can be really really hard to re-cube! (Although my OH has that one sorted.)

Penguin Party wooden toys and puzzles review

Around The Box have created something really special and lovely here. They originally started giving these as gifts to people in hospital, and not only is it perfect for that, it's something special and exciting that will be brought out time after time here. 

collage of 4 photos showing mainly you8ng boy playing with wooden puzzles

A whole host of games-in-1 box, fidgets and things to fiddle with, toys to play small worlds, and puzzles to master and impress everyone with. It's great. Having had a young person in hospital for almost 2 years, I can tell you it gets boring playing the same card games time after time. Even with an older family, we'd have really got a lot out of The Box. It would have kept us all entertained for weeks.
 
Penguin Party and Around THe bOx green games and puzzles review

There is a copy of Penguin Party in The Box, and it's also available separately. It is a brilliant game.  Just flick the stepping stones into the right place to waddle across to the other player's home - easy! Well, a bit harder than it looks - and no points for flicking an iceberg out of play onto the floor - that makes it harder for both players! 

Penguin  Party gameplay in action on table

Penguin Party doesn't require you to put in loads of brain work, there isn't any reading and there's no score to keep. It's perfect for players of all ages around 3+, and the pieces are big enough that if your eyes aren't so good, you'll still be able to play on a level playing field. 

There's a huge amount of time in the design and curation involved in fitting so much into such a small box, and the beautiful quality of the finished product. The small parts aren't suitable for children under 3, but really anyone over that age could get a lot out of The Box and Penguin Party. 

Penguin Party Around The Box green gifts ecofriendly wooden

The Box (including Penguin Party) is available now priced £30, and you can opt to send a box to someone in hospital too. Penguin Party is available separately in a very sweet cloth bag, for £15. Find out more, and buy, on the Around The Box website. And at the time of typing, they have free UK delivery. 




We were sent our Box and Penguin Party for review.  

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