Super Pop-Up Pirate, from TOMY games, is a simple but fun game for little ones. It is designed for ages 4 and up, and up to 4 players can play at a time. Play is fast, but fun!
To play, you push the pirate down into the barrel until he locks into position. Each player selects a set of colorful swords, and then take turns pushing the swords into slots on the barrel. One of those swords will trigger the pirate to pop up! The thrill comes from the anticipation of waiting for the pirate to pop, and then the surprise when he does!
The player that makes the pirate pop up is out, and the remaining players play again until there is one remaining winner. We played as directed, except we let everyone play again each time and the last one to "pop the pirate" was the ultimate winner.
The mechanism that triggers the pirate to pop out is different each game, so each game is a new game. The pirate does fly up good, but it has a soft top in case it hits anybody or anything.
My kids are almost 4, 7, and 9 and they all love this game. They played again and again. The game is quick, so it really doesn't take too long. I played one round with them, and they continued to play on their own.
It does not require reading, only simple taking-turn skills, so my youngest was on equal playing ground as the older two - he loved that!
It is a little hard to insert the swords - it requires a little force and you have to hold on to the barrel so it doesn't fall over. Also, my youngest loves playing with the swords, so I am finding them all over the house.
The pirate theme is a fun theme and the game has some educational value in that the swords can be counted and sorted by color. But, my little one likes to play pirate with them mostly!
Bonus - no batteries! The Super Pop Up Pirate game is just a simple old fashioned game with a surprise element that keeps kids entertained.
Available at Amazon.com.
I've reviewed several other games on Amazon recently! Want to see?
Educational Insights My First Microscope
My First Microscope is a great first microscope that's not only kid-proof, but it has many similar functions to a real microscope and has lots of kid appeal.
The extra large eye pieces make it easy for little ones to view objects with both eyes. The large focusing knob is easy to adjust. The LED light lights up kid "specimens" for easy viewing. It does require 3 AAA batteries, but once installed, the LED light can turn on with the push of a button.
Designed for ages 3 and up, my 3 year old was so excited to try it that as soon as it was out of the box, he disappeared with it to play with it. He has seen his brothers use their microscope for Biology, so I didn't even have to tell him what to do. He knew to look through the eyepieces and turn the focusing knob. So cute! And he has been examining things under the microscope for the past several weeks - everything from toys to leaves and rocks. He also takes it to bed with him and uses it as a night light! The light points down, so it makes a nice night light that is not too bright, and the light reflecting off of the green and blue makes it a really soothing light at bedtime. I worried he would wear out the batteries in a short time, but it is still working after several weeks.
It's sturdy and a great first microscope to teach little ones how to use a microscope. It's also great for instilling an early love of science and, in our case, makes a great night light. :)
Educational Insights Underwater Explorer Boat
The GeoSafari® Jr. Underwater Explorer Boat, designed for ages 3+, is a fun, sturdy magnified "glass bottom" boat. It easily lends itself to play in a pool, bathtub, pond, or creek, but also on dry land. My 3 year old has been carrying his around with him and loves to play with it in and out of the water.
He hasn't figured out that the orange life preserver can go around his wrist yet, but he loves to put his toy people in it. It does detach, so I worry he will lose it, but so far he hasn't. Looking at it, you would think it is hard plastic, but it is rubbery and soft - perfect for securing around their wrist.
He loads up all of his people in the boat so he often can't see through the bottom, but it is magnified. It is not a high powered magnification, but to little ones, it's neat.
I love that it encourages exploration and think this would be perfect in a ocean sensory tub. I make a baking soda clay and hide ocean animals inside the clay, and then give my little one a quirt bottle of vinegar to make a fizzy ocean world, and I think this boat would have been perfect for that! You could see the bubbles, sea shells, and creatures through the boat.
I was anxious to get my hands on this boat for another reason, though: to go along with our unit study on the book My Blue Boat. I like to give him a special toy for special books we use in our preschool and this was perfect!
It may be a tot friendly scientific tool, and great for exploration, but my little boy loves that it holds all of his little toys, that it floats, that he can see through the bottom when he is playing in the tub, and that he can use the boat for pretend play.
Disclaimer: I received these products from Educational Insights for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.