Educational games are a must for us. The child gets the fun of a game and has no idea they are learning as well. We have a lot of Smart Game items because I think working on critical thinking is a super important thing for children. To add to the collection we got Walk the Dog. This one requires you to place the dog walkers and their dogs in the right spots so that the animal are not next to another animal because they might not like each other. I like that the game pieces are very well made and do not get damaged from the child playing.
What all is included in this game? You get the game board, a tree, 3 dog walkers with dogs, 2 cats and a dog. You also get a cute bag to put all the pieces in when you are done. The booklet/manual included has 80 challenges to do. Each challenge done gets more difficult as you go through them. The front 2 pages of the manual has the instructions of how the pieces should and can be placed. You can not have any animals side by side, the leashes can not cross each other, the leashes must extend as long as they can and the leaches can go around the tree/ Since our daughter is 5 I read and explained the instructions to her so that I knew she understood.
We started with the first few challenges and our daughter was able to do them with ease. After doing some of the higher difficulty ones she needed a bit of help. I gave her time to think about the problems and if she just could not get it I placed one walker and its' dog for her. I do let her chose which one I place and then she was able to get the rest on her own. With games like this I only help if she absolutely needs help. I like for her to try and think about what is the best solution to the problem so that she is really working those critical thinking skills.
At first she was not really grasping that the dog walkers' leashes needed to extend all the way. She decided that since we walk our dog and the leash is not extended that these guys' leashes did not need to be either. However, she did finally understand that it was apart of the rules. Our daughter really enjoyed this one. She even started to make stories while playing so she was also working those creativity skills. Another plus of this game is that since the manual is all done in pictures she is able to do them on her own. I can take care of some housework or tend to little sis while she is getting her learning on.
Since the challenges do get quite hard I feel this game is well suited for elementary to middle school children; maybe even some high school. Our daughter is 5 and is easily able to do quite a bit on her own with no help at all. It does take her some time on the expert and master levels but she eventually gets them with some help. If your looking for a fun and cute learning game then Walk the Dog would be a great one to get. We have a lot of the Smart Game items and we've gotten them all from Timberdoodle. They have such a variety of critical thinking items for all ages. I suggest that you check them out even if you do not homeschool. Critical thinking can help children in other areas of school because they are learning to problem solve on their own. Ready for our next review of our 2nd grade curriculum from Timberdoodle? Let's see if you can guess what it will be.