Homeschool Posts

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review: Life on the Farm (Preschool Edition)

lifeonthefarmbanner As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free copy of Life on the Farm (Preschool Edition) from We R Fun for review purposes. I received no other compensation. This review reflects the personal experiences of my family while playing this game.

sm04NewPreSchoolbox The first thing that impressed me about Life on the Farm is the box! It’s rare the have a game box in my house that doesn’t require its corners to be taped (and re-taped) after my kiddos have gotten hold of it. The quality of the box and the board is outstanding. The box is heavy enough that it can withstand being sat upon (don’t ask me how I know that), and used as a hat, but I don’t think it will make past being used as a step stool. The board is made of 4 thick foam pieces that interlock---no “hinge” to get torn and little ones can practice their jigsaw skills. The colored “pawns” that represent the players are large, heavy-duty plastic in bright colors that won’t bend or crack, though a few corners could stand to be filed down (sharp excess plastic from the mold). The cards are a bit flimsy (some of ours are already bent) and the artwork on them a bit fuzzy or pixilated, but overall I was impressed with the quality of this game.

Game play is similar to Candy Land in that players move by drawing a card and moving to the next color square on the card (or the second one if there are 2 squares on the card). Players move around the board. collecting animal pieces to fill their barns (the animal pieces are foam cut-outs that fit into each foam “barn”). Each animal piece is a different shape and fits into its own hole, giving players some practice with their motor skills and shape identification. Some cards have an animal on them, indicating that the player moves directly to that animal’s space to pick up that piece. No reading or counting above two required, so your under fives can easily play the game alone.

The kiddos enjoyed this one, especially the 4 and 5-year-old, as their 9-year-old brother’s experience and knowledge gave him no advantage. This is a game of pure luck and anyone can win. In fact everyone can win, if you just keep playing. Set-up was fun, as Mary and Peter put the game-board together and sorted the animal pieces. Clean-up was not so fun. The kiddos were at a bit of a loss as to how exactly to fit everything back into the box and all the different pieces made it a daunting task. When pick-up is a chore, Mom ends up doing it, and Mom has enough chores of her own. It would be nice to have a sturdy, compartmentalized box that would make pick up nothing more than sticking each thing in the right size hole---kinda like putting each animal in the right place in your “barn.”

Still, at $20, Life on the Farm is a great value and a good choice for the preschooler on your Christmas list. Also available Kmart!

For more reviews of this product and of We R Fun’s Life on the Farm game for 8 and up, visit:

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