Wonderforge Jake Treasure HuntThe big buzz right now is “Back to School” everything–backpacks, mommy calendars, pencil cases, notebooks and headbands. How about having some fun playing games that sharpen listening skills, get conversation going, and encourage role play and imagination leading to story telling? New PAL Award Winning games from Wonder Forge, “Disney Doc McStuffins All Better! Game” and “Disney Jake and the Neverland Pirates Shipwreck Beach Treasure Hunt Game” are fantastically fun beginner games for kids that encourage pretend play with inviting pirate and doctor props. AND I might add, you have an incredible memory if you can remember the name of the games:)

“Disney Jake and the Neverland Pirates Shipwreck Beach Treasure Hunt Game” is perfect for family play or speech therapy as all the pieces fit in a storage bag that doubles as the game board. Kids use the foam sword, spyglass and doubloons for game play but can’t help but take time out to venture off as a pirate brandishing their sword and spying for treasure. Here is my full review:

Yo ho ho and away we go! Kids gathered around to place their doubloons on the grid over a map of Shipwreck Beach (which doubles as a clever storage bag for game pieces). Players took turns turning over two gold tokens to find a match, using Jake’s spyglass to decode secret clues. Finding a match, they flipped over the timer and raced to grab the same stand-up treasure–a bell, tiki, hat, sack of gold, or urn–snagging them with the foam sword. We had quite a laugh as older brothers were playing, got their first match, started the timer, grabbed for the sword but it was missing. Soon, toddler Sam entered the room brandishing the sword in his oblivious world of pretend play! We convinced him to give it up and continued our treasure hunt. The winner collected the most treasures. A great blend of physical and mental play (visual memory, matching, fine and gross motor skills), this game includes props that invite role play. My players were “playing pirate” as soon as we opened the box, tapping language skills as they took the game play to a new level of creative story telling .

Wonderforge Doc McStuffins Feel Better“Disney Doc McStuffins All Better! Game” taps visual memory, matching and language skills as players “slap” bandaids on opponents and score points for remembering who needs what tool to heal their boo boos! Doc’s kid sized foam tools invite pretend play as kids start their story using  props to play doctor. Here is my full review:

Playful pretend meets problem solving in Doc McStuffins All Better! Game. I could hardly open the package fast enough as little hands were grabbing for Doc’s tools–magnifying glass, otoscope, stethoscope, reflex hammer, syringe and thermometer–and trying them out on each other. Spread out the tools and snap bandages matching each tool, and spin the spinner to get your instructions. Name a tool and snap the corresponding bandage on another player (with the tool illustration on the inside of the bandage so no one sees it), “use a tool” to match to a bandage on someone, or spin the “All Better” option when any tool can be used. Make the boo boos go away with a correct match of a tool and bandage to win a scoring tile and put the bandage back in the pile for further play. Memory skills are further challenged as bandaids are re-used and players have to remember who is wearing which bandaid. When we were packing up the game pieces stored in Doc’s bag, mom commented, “That could be the best part of the game!” My little friends tapped into the role play aspect of the game, exercising language learning as they chatted up the role of Doc McStuffins using the tools to perform “check ups” on each other. My 3, 6 and 8 year-old friends were so engrossed in play that they didn’t realize they were walking out the door with bandaids still on their arms!