Panda Play Time On Important Skill Building With Our Four-In-A-Row

We love hearing feedback from professionals who utilize our products as educational tools! This week we chatted to Nina Hampton, a B.Ed Foundation Phase teacher based in Cape Town, who advocates learning through play with her educational e-books and workshops via her page "Panda Playtime". Through watching her son Tom play with our Four-In-A-Row, she documented the important skills that this game strengthens during early childhood development:

"I was really excited when Gabi from “Stumped Wooden Toys” asked me to do a review on their Four-In-A-Row Family Game. I’ve always loved this game as a teaching tool and this beautiful wooden version just takes it to the next level!

Stumped Wooden Toys is a local company that uses sustainable and natural materials for their toys and promotes something I’m passionate about, which is learning through play. Their products give opportunities for both structured play and unstructured play. My son uses his “Knock-a-Block” toy regularly and it is 2 years old and going strong.

I love games that are fun for the whole family as well as being educational and this Four-In-A-Row game ticks all those boxes. This game boosts:

  • Strategy and problem solving – children need to come up with a plan to get their own “four-in-a-row”, as well as blocking their opponent from getting four-in-a-row and coming up with new solutions if their opponent blocks them!
  • Spatial abilities – the blocks need to be fitted into the slots in a certain way, plus the child needs to figure out where to put the blocks to achieve four-in-a-row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally, all of these require an understanding of space.
  • Fine motor skills - holding and working with the blocks requires small muscle strength and finger dexterity.
  • Concentration – children need to remain focused to see where their opponent is putting their blocks, as well as adjusting their strategy to achieve their own four-in-a-row.
  • Turn-taking – because the game works with each player having a turn, this game requires and practices patience and turn-taking.
  • Basic counting skills – in order to achieve four-in-a-row, children need to be constantly counting their own blocks, as well as their opponents blocks and working out how many more blocks they need to achieve their four-in-a-row.
  • Besides this, learning to win and lose is a life lesson all children need practice in! As soon as we unboxed this toy my 4 year old was super keen to get stuck in. Even though the game says for 7+, with a bit of help, a child aged 4 to 6 should be able to master it too. We played it 4 times in a row

This game makes a stunning gift or resource for a pre-school. It’s sturdy and robust wooden design means it will really last and makes it good value for money too. I highly recommend this game!”

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