From the Archives: Game University: Orchard
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." -PLATO
The toys we choose for our children influence the qualities they will possess when they are grown. Therefore, it's always important to consider what lessons they learn from their play. As a mom, I've always loved HABA's games, but Orchard in particular holds a special place in our game chest at home.
Orchard is a modern-day classic, which places emphasis on working together — not winning. It allows for everyone to succeed while learning how to interact in a group-play setting. Children must play cooperatively to accomplish the common goal of harvesting the fruit from the trees before the crow arrives to eat it. In Orchard, children are able to play a game with each other and not against one another. Brilliant concept.
Each game includes one playing board, which illustrates four different trees; a plum tree, a pear tree, an apple tree and a cherry tree. On each tree you must place the corresponding wooden fruit pieces. There are pieces forty total, ten of each kind of fruit. You also get four adorable baskets, a colored die and a 9-piece square puzzle of a crow. This puzzle will be assembled in the middle of the orchard as the game progresses.
To begin, the youngest player rolls wooden die. On the die there are four different colors, one for each of the fruits on the tree. Green for apples, red for cherries, etc... The color rolled determines the type of fruit a player may pick from the trees. It is a fun way to reinforce color recognition by creating associations with the different types of fruit the child places in their baskets.
If a player rolls the crow, they must put one puzzle piece in the middle. The more pieces assembled in the puzzle, the closer the crow is to the orchard. As the game progresses players cheer for others to do well. Because if one player succeeds, they all succeed. It’s wonderful for teaching basic socialization in the early years of childhood.
The game is either won by everyone by picking all of the fruit together, or by the crow by showing up in the orchard. The game's simple concept makes it easy to learn and a lot of fun to play.
Traditional Orchard is recommended for players ages 3+, but for an even younger crowd, HABA has developed My First Orchard. The concept is basically the same, but the pieces are larger for children with oral fixations and play time is shorter. It's the perfect introduction to taking turns, following simple instruction and playing with others.
HABA games are also perfect for free play. The wooden pieces are durable and open-ended, which allow for pretend play narratives outside of traditional game play.
HABA's Orchard game series are responsibly manufactured in Germany from the highest quality materials. They are crafted from solid beech wood and colored with water-based vegetable dyes. As always, HABA's wooden toys are not laquered with any kind of chemicals. Their exquisite finish is the result of a unique process. Each wooden piece is poured into a large buffing machine and gently polished to a soft shine.
To learn more about HABA's classic game Orchard, here is a video review by Games with Hayden's little brother, Jackson. Be sure to enter our HABA Game Night Giveaway! We will anounce the winning families on Tuesday November 1st. Click here for details on how to enter.