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Monday, December 11, 2017

Pop the Pig game review

One of the things I've been looking forward to most as bub's been getting older is introducing her to board games. I have fond memories playing board games with family as a child and I want to create my own family traditions, starting with buying a new game as a joint Christmas present each year. I'm excited that at 4 and a half she's finally getting old enough to understand simple games, obviously we won't be playing monopoly any time soon, but her attention span is finally at a point where we can enter the world of family game nights {or afternoons}.

But where do you start with kids games? There's just so many out there. And how do you know which ones they'll like? This is where technology has actually been helpful. A few weeks ago she started obsessing over youtube videos of Pop the Pig. She watched videos of other kids and reviewers playing the game over and over again. Gone are the days of watching unboxing and surprise egg videos on repeat a thousand times, now it's all about kids reviewing games. 

The fact that she kept watching Pop the Pig in particular piqued my interest. At first I thought it was only available in America {because most of the videos she found were American}, but then I started seeing it in shops here, so it went straight onto our Christmas list. As luck would have it an opportunity came up to review it so I said yes straight away because we were going to get it anyway.

Pop the Pig is a multiplayer game designed for kids aged 4+ You feed the pig burgers until he gets so full his stomach pops! The game comes with 16 individual burgers; 4 green, 4 purple, 4 yellow and 4 red. Players roll the dice to determine which colour burger to feed the pig. Each burger then has a number on the back and once you feed the pig you press down on his chef's hat the corresponding number of times. The game continues until the pigs stomach pops, his belt flings open and his arms go up in the air. 

Pop the Pig arrived on a kindy day so bub didn't even know we had it, but it took her about 4.5 seconds to spot it once we walked in the door. I had this whole spiel planned, but she spied it while I was literally still closing the front door. So the big reveal I had rehearsed in my head didn't quite go as planned, but she was super surprised none the less. As soon as she spotted it she started jumping up and down on the spot unable to contain her excitement. She swung back and forth between "mummy look it's the pig off the youtube" to being completely speechless to "mummy and daddy thankyou sooo much for the pig, it's the best". Safe to say she liked it before we even opened it up. We then spent all afternoon {and every day since} playing Pop the Pig at least 3 times in a row, sometimes multiple times a day.

I love that the instructions are so simple as she only has to roll the dice and press the head the corresponding number of times. It's been a great way to introduce her to games and concepts like turn taking, waiting and rolling a dice, without adding in any other complicated rules. She's getting much better at waiting her turn, but she's usually so excited she rolls the dice before we've finished pressing the chef's hat, sometimes patience is not her virtue. And even though the rules are super easy, it hasn't stopped her sometimes trying to cheat, if it gets near the end of the game and she rolls a colour she doesn't want she tries to change the colour, or tell us that was our roll not hers. For the most part though she plays by the rules and there haven't been any tantrums yet {which says a lot}. 

As players can roll any colour in any order and each colour can have different numbers each time, no game is ever the same, so it's always a surprise when the pig's going to pop and who's going to be the winner. Which is great because she hasn't got bored with it at all, despite the fact we've already played it 20+ times in 5 days. She's even played it by herself a few times when I've been busy feeding her sister and she finds it just as exciting and suspenseful on her own, despite the fact she's obviously going to be the winner.

On the surface the game may seem super simple and just a lot of fun, which it is, but it's also got a lot of learning thrown in too. While playing kids are learning to recognise, name and differentiate between colours when rolling the dice and picking a burger. They're also recognising numbers when feeding the pig and also learning to count while pressing the pigs head. The more they play, the more these skills are reinforced. 

In addition to this its also helping kids develop fine motor skills by using their pincer grip picking up the pieces, hand/eye co-ordination to put the burgers into the mouth and hand strengthening when pushing down the head. These are all skills that will help them once they go to school. Bub currently uses two hands to push the head down as she's not quite strong enough to do it with one, but I'm sure over time she'll eventually be able to do it one handed.

I love that Pop the Pig isn't a traditional board game, but rather a combination of a toy and educational game in one. It's a great way to introduce young children to games with purposeful actions and outcomes {as opposed to free playing with toys} and it's fun for the whole family, not just the kids. I'm well over 4 and I get just as excited as bub does waiting for it to pop. Even though I'm generally not a big fan of anything plastic, I'm loving this game and all the learning that's happening each time she plays {and the best part is there's no need for batteries so it'll never stop working}.

Pop the Pig is available at all leading toy stores as well as Amazon US, Amazon AU and Catch. For more about Pop the Pig and other great toy reviews visit Talkin Toys.

Will you have any games under your Christmas tree this year?

Toni x

Disclosure - This is a sponsored review as per my disclosure policy for Talkin Toys. I chose Pop the Pig to review as we were planning on purchasing it already.

Would you like to comment?

  1. You'd be hard pressed to find a kid who wouldn't love this! So such fun, and can hear the giggles already :)