My son’s Occupational Therapist has been using Tricky Fingers with him in a number of sessions and suggested that it would be a great game for us to have in the house. (Have I mentioned lately how much we love our Occupational Therapist and how amazing she has been with the kids ? – so any suggestions from her automatically jumps the que of “must have goodies.”) She originally bought her game from South Africa but I have since found that you can get the game from Halilit here in the UK.
The game comes with 2 puzzle boxes with marbles inside and a set of 14 patterned cards. The kids need to move the coloured marbles with their fingers through little holes in the bottom of the puzzle box. The objective being that they want to get the coloured balls in their puzzle box to match the patterns on the cards provided with the game.
Each patterned card is double-sided but on the reverse side of the card the marbles are all left blank so that you can also create your own pattern (love that they included this extra bit).
The first time we tried the game with my daughter she did battle and almost gave up but my hubbie sat with her and helped her work though it step by step. Once she got it she quickly tried again and again and is now loving it but I do think for some kids it might require an adult sitting with them and helping them with the first card.
I love the planning angle of this game – sometimes the kids need to move a marble which is already in position to create a space for another marble to move (this was quite a concept for my youngest – once a marble was in position he REALLY did not want to move it).
The instructions that come with the game say that the objective is to be the first player to get their game box to match the pattern card (ie you would have 2 kids playing against each other). I have to admit we have not played it quite like that. Both my kids have tried really hard to get the hang of it and are really proud when they get the game box to match the pattern card so we have left it as more of an individual challenge – the kids against the game. Sometimes my hubbie and I join in with a game box but we have made sure not to let it get too competitive yet (that can come with time once the kids are confident with the game and have practiced it more). For us the uses of this game it terms of manual dexterity, fine motor precision, visual perception and organizational skills are more important right now.
After my son’s occupational Therapist recommended this game to us I did contact Edushape and asked if we could get the game to test out, they kindly referred me to Halilit UK who sent me our game. After watching the kids play the game and after playing it with the kids myself I can totally understand why the Occupational Therapist recommended it to us. I personally think it is a brilliant kids game and I think it is going to remain popular with our family for some time.
Here is a the link for the game – Edushape Tricky Fingers Preschool Puzzle