Insey Winsey Spider Review
Insey Winsey Spider climbed up the water spout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain,
And Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again.
Or so it goes in our family, that our lovely little Maya likes to sing along to and do all the actions. It’s known as itsy-bitsy spider in the US and there are other less salubrious versions but not as far as I’ve seen “Insey Winsey” until Orchard Toys brought out this bright package for pre-school children – maybe it’s a copyright thing!
Insey Winsey spider by Orchard Toys is one of their well made, learning made fun games, that promote early skills. In this case developing counting skills, shape matching and observational skills through two different games based on the popular nursery rhyme. Children learn through play and Orchard Toys aim with their offerings to strike the perfect balance between education and fun.
So what do you get with Insey Winsey Spider? First you get 4, two-piece, double sided drainpipe boards. These are very solidly made out of thick card with bright pictures and colours. One side has blank spaces, 10 of them, for your spider to climb by counting the number rolled on the normal dice. The other side has the same layout but now the spaces have shapes in the spider’s colour: Red, Blue, Green or Yellow. You progress up this side by rolling the other dice that has six different shapes on it and then moving your spider up to the next matching shape. Incidentally the shapes are laid out in a different order on each board but that won’t affect progress.
What will affect progress is the weather! This is represented by an attractive, and again solidly made, spinner where a furled umbrella spins around over an alternating backdrop of Rain and Sunshine. After each spider movement you have to spin the spinner. If the sun shines everything is fine and your spider remains positioned in the pipe but if it rains? Well we all know what happens then and your poor, wee spider gets washed out to the bottom! Now I thought that was well harsh, even though the spinner is weighted in favour of Sun with their spaces being almost twice the size of the Rain ones.
My wife, however, has a different view, believing the children will get as much pleasure out of the action of the spider in Insey Winsey Spider being whooshed out, particularly if we’re all singing the song, handily printed out on another stout piece of card. As always, she’s right! The action bits are more enjoyable than the satisfaction of reaching the top.
Our granddaughter Maya loves this game and always pulls it off the shelf when she comes around to visit even though she is only 2, one year below the “official” age range of 3-6. What she likes is the boards are like 4 colour-coded, two piece jigsaws and puts them together and plays with the spiders and spinner.
One note of disquiet. For me the spider pieces are the weakest element. Their pictures are fine – cheeky looking, bright coloured and with contrasting coloured tiny wellingtons on their 8 little legs – but they won’t stand up! They’re printed on thick card with an angled slot in the base into which a small piece of card slots to make a stand. This, however, is never gripped tightly enough and falls out even with gentle, adult handling. A solid, wooden piece that would stand on its own on an edge would have been much better. Maya’s also got some wooden Kiwis that we got in New Zealand that are ideal for this but it rather changes the chant.
Incy Wincy Kiwi climbs up the water spout …!