In full disclosure, we were provided Three Little Piggies in exchange for our honest review.
The story of the three little pigs has been interpreted and re-envisioned in movies, books and cartoons with each new generation. SmartGames took a story told, read and sung to children and imagined a toy that stimulates logic, reasoning and creativity based on a familiar fable. There are three pigs that build their own home: one of straw, one of twigs and the last made out of brick. The big, bad wolf huffs and puffs and blows the first two houses down causing two of the homeless pigs to find refuge in the brick home with the third.
How do you play?
The Three Little Piggies game revolves around manipulating the pieces that represent the three homes so that they are all placed on the board. The game consists of the board, three pigs, one wolf, houses in three different colors to represent each unique home, challenge booklet and picture book. The challenge booklet provides two different variations of the game: daytime and night-time. During the day, the three little pigs are safe from the wolf and thus are outside their homes. The player has to place the three houses on the board surrounding the three pigs. At night, the wolf is included in the game and the player must place the pigs safely inside the houses.
Mommy University Presents Educational Benefits of Three Little Piggies
Imaginative Story Time
Accompanying this game is an illustrated book that shows the story of The Three Little Piggies. Most times when we think of books, it contains words; however, this book does not. It might appear challenging to “read” a book with no words yet it is a wonderful opportunity for your children to become involved in story time. Each time you tell the story there will be variations. When the story becomes repetitious, ask your children for their input with key questions on what they anticipate will happen next. Ask them to describe the pictures and tell the story.
Since there are puzzle pieces that represent the story you can actually have the children play with the pieces of this game to act out the story. They can mimic the different pictures represented in the book or let them direct the story with the pieces. How fun it is to use the puzzle pieces as figurines to tell this fable!
Let’s also review the moral of the Three Little Piggies. Was the main message of this classic that three heads are better than one and thus encourage children to collaborate? Was the message that hard work and diligence overcomes hardships? A strong foundation builds a solid home, future, or life? As the story changes with each retelling there is a moral that can fit the change.
Encourages Problem Solving
How clever for SmartGames to create a puzzle on this story which revolves around problem solving. As the first pig loses their home to an aggressive wolf, they seek refuge in another’s home instead of giving up. This game invites children to find solutions to various challenges that range from basic to expert.
At first, it was interesting to see how many different challenges there are (and there are a lot). While my son could easily solve a couple of them, his mistake playing the game was attempting the same pieces in the same position. I truly enjoyed watching him put the wrong pieces down because it was such a wonderful opportunity for him to maneuver the pieces to find the solution. Currently, he is using a trial and error method but like the three pigs he isn’t giving up.
Enhances Visual Spatial Awareness
With the permeation of technology in our lives, physical puzzles are often times overlooked. It is not healthy to become over-reliant on electronic toys. As a parent, I limit my children’s screen time and prefer that they have brain boosting physical toys. Three Little Piggies invites young children to manipulate the uniquely shaped pieces to find a solution. A slight turn of the piece changes how the other pieces can be utilized and the solution to the puzzles change each time. While playing they are enhancing their visual-motor and visual-spatial skills. These are skills important in learning to read and write!
Promotes Creative Thinking
Raising small children, parents spend a significant amount of time teaching them how to follow instructions. Part of playing games is learning the rules in order to be successful. However, as adults (after we learn all the rules) we are challenged with finding creative solutions to problems. I truly enjoy how this game appears simple yet the answer may not be.
Children are tasked with moving the pieces around to find the solution which may involve turning pieces in new directions, around, to the side, and other movements that even seem contradictory to what is easy. While we want children to learn the rules, we also want them to have the ability to think outside the box. As they maneuver pieces, I think to myself what a great activity for them to complete on their own so that they can see the solution to that the problem is not quick, easy, or obvious.
We really enjoyed playing with SmartGames Three Little Piggies. This game is small enough to bring on a family trip or use for family game night. It has many layers and brain boosting opportunities for children to learn through play. It is designed for one child to play on their own; however, my children collaborated (for a few minutes together but they are 3 and 4 so that’s an accomplishment).
You can purchase your own Three Little Piggies for only $24.99 on amazon.com. For more information, visit http://www.smartgames.eu/us/new-smartgames-2015.