Lighten & Brighten Series #8 – Little Red Riding Hood
This series is dedicated to the mama who may have discovered that she has either planned too much/too little or has not included enough variety/engaging activities in her homeschool lesson plans. Follow along as I show you ways that you can lighten your load without compromising learning while adding in some truly awesome extras!
Now, I hear you. If your load is heavy, why am I suggesting that you ADD something?! Well, I am actually going to offer suggestions for both replacing time-consuming (or otherwise challenging) things and including resources if you are currently left lacking at the end of your homeschool days. Hopefully, you’ll find something helpful in this series that will bless you and your family.
Here is another fun find for your preschoolers! Little Red Riding Hood is the first of the SmartGames products that I’ve tried. Timberdoodle includes several of these games in their grade level packages so I was excited to give this one a try. For this review, I used this game with my four-year old daughter.
My little girl received this for a Christmas gift. I think I can safely say she loved it because it was the first gift she wanted to get into and play with after opening all her presents. She happily dove into the game with little assistance and achieved “expert” level before Christmas breakfast. Here is all that comes with the game:
As you can, there is a little hardcover story book. It is a wordless, graphic novel style retelling of the classic story, Little Red Riding Hood. Now, for those of you who, like me, are used to the current versions of the story…..beware, lol. This book follows the older version of the tale in which the wolf eats Grandma and Little Red. Just a heads up. My little one was quite shocked, as was I.
Regardless of the surprise ending, the little book was a nice introduction to the game. The concept of the game is to get Little Red to Grandma’s house, so the hearing the story ahead of time definitely adds to the fun.
I love that there aren’t too many pieces to this game. It doesn’t seem overwhelming to my little one to just open up the box and start playing. The brightly colored pieces are easily featured in the picture instruction booklet. My daughter had no trouble figuring out how to setup each round. She even figured out the “secret hint” on each page. Be sure to read about this hint ahead of time. My daughter actually discovered it on her own, which the creators encourage. There are several levels of puzzles that slowly increase in difficulty. This makes the game approachable for new preschoolers and still interesting enough for kindergartners. Timberdoodle actually includes this game in their Kindergarten Package.
Little Red Riding Hood is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun, no-stress way. If your child is getting frustrated with the puzzles, by all means, help. Talk through your thinking process to model it for them. Ask specific questions, like, “Do you see a piece where the path makes a letter ‘C’?” This approach allows your child to experience some level of participation at a manageable level. Not to mention, it won’t really lighten or brighten your day if frustration mounts. It’s great to encourage independence with games like this, but developing confidence in these types of activities is key to future compliance and endurance in academic endeavors.
Now it’s time to hear what you think. Have you used any SmartGames? What should I try next? Let’s chat in the comments!