No, this was not one of the Christmas presents that Josh and Zoë got. It’s actually from the stash of toys/games that I bought earlier this year. I tend to buy, on-the-spot, toys/games and even clothes that might not be right or age-appropriate at the time I buy them. So, yes, I do have a stash of toys and games for “emergencies” –e.g. for trips, last-minute presents, when they get bored.
Two weeks of no school over the Christmas holidays means more TV time than usual and I am not very keen for them to be glued to the set the whole morning, but neither was I up for cleaning up after them after a “painting” session. So I dug around. And I found S’Match.
I’d always loved memory games as a child. I think one of the best presents I got was a memory game that came with (removable) plastic tiles mounted on the game board. You could easily “flip” the cards over with your finger for matches. I think my parents must have given that game away and I have not come across anything anywhere close to that game since –in terms of set-up. Anyway, when I saw S’Match, I thought it would be something that Josh and Zoë would enjoy. Besides, it’s from the makers of Zingo! (ThinkFun), so how could I go wrong?
Despite the big box, the only contents were --
• 1 S’Match!® Spinner
• 30 Picture Cards - very small, but sturdy ones
• 1 Parent’s Guide
S’Match is very similar to your usual memory game in that you have to make matches, but S’Match is literally a memory game with a spin. Before each turn, the players get to spin the spinner to find out what type of match they’re supposed to make: A match by Color, by Number or by Category.
On the box, it says for Ages 4+. If you have a precocious 2-year old, even she can join in –and win! I think luck had a hand in Zoë’s winning against Josh by one pair in the first game they played. She just seemed to be able to pick all the right cards at the right time. Seriously, though, because the cards had both words and pictures, for as long as your pre-schooler understands color concepts, can count, and understands how certain objects belong to certain categories (musical instruments, things that ‘go’, animals), she can definitely join in and have fun.
The Parent’s Guide that comes with the game has plenty of great tips on how to improve your child’s thinking skills –including some that take you beyond the game itself.
S’Match is available from Amazon.com for US$19.95. Here in Hong Kong, it retails for HK$179.90 and should be available at any of the following: Seibu, Bumps 2 Babes, Toys ‘R’ Us, Apita or Wing On.