Name: Georgina from The SEN Resources Blog
Age of children: 4 years
Product Testing: Uh-Oh, Hippo!™
Georgina is a qualified teacher/special educational needs coordinator. She runs The SEN Resources Blog, a site for parents and teachers of children with Special Educational Needs. Her site recommends resources, provides advice and gives suggestions of fun learning activities to try at home to help develop important skills (fine motor, literacy, numeracy etc).
What were your first thoughts when the toy arrived?
If I’m honest, I didn’t get very long to think when the toy arrived. By the time I’d thanked the postman for delivering the parcel and closed the front door the children had already excitedly opened the box and were attempting to play it with their own rules! My first thoughts when they
were playing with the toy was how engaging and exciting it was for them. It was an instant hit, and different to all their other toys.
How did you use it?
The three of us filled the Hippo’s mouth with the various different ‘munchies’. The children found the choice of munchies hilarious (hats, bags, a cactus and other random objects are included as munchies) and were laughing that a hippo wouldn’t eat them.
We then spent a minute each trying to learn and remember which munchies were in his mouth. Then we shut his mouth and when it opened, tried to guess which of the munchies had been ‘eaten’. To check we were right we then had to press the lever on his tail to get the munchie to drop out of the hippo’s bottom! (Comedy gold in my house!)
What are the educational benefits?
- Develops Memory Skills and Strategies- Remembering the objects in the hippo’s mouth and trying to come up with ways of learning them easier.
- Practise social skills- Such as turn taking, listening to other people’s answers etc.
What did you like/dislike about the toy?
We loved how much the children enjoyed it, how many giggles it provided and how their memory skills improved over just a few turns.
The only improvement would be the mechanism of the hippo’s head. We had to keep reminding the children to keep their fingers clear of the hippo’s mouth when someone was closing him so as not to trap fingers.
What is the long-term appeal?
This game was lovely as an introduction for young children into family games. But long term I can see this game being used by the children with their friends as a fun game to play themselves.
Is it unique? If so, what is unique about it?
Absolutely unique! It’s a memory game that doesn’t feel educational, it’s silly and fun and therefore really appeals to children.
Would you recommend it to a friend?
The final score (out of 5): 4
Fun Factor: 4/5
Educational Benefits: 3/5
Ease of use: 4/5