Tag Archives: Video Games

Should you ban video games for your kids?


It seems like almost every child has a device to play games.

Games have replaced physical toys and books as must-have Christmas and birthday presents.

But with so many scare stories about the effects of games on children’s development, especially those that contain violence, should you ban them in your household? What are the consequences of the digital entertainment take-over?

So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of games for kids, check out fun, educational alternatives to violent games and offers tips to help integrate game-playing into your kids’ lives in a sensible way.

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A story well worth telling

Once upon a time dominoes
Targeted age range: 3-6

Price: £9.25

Available from Orchard Toys and other retailers

An unwritten rule of parenting – the quicker you need to get somewhere, the slower your children become.

So when it comes to walking to school, we play a little game; a little diversion. At its best, it calms me down AND speeds the sproglets up. And it’s as simple as once upon a time.

Each of us chooses a word or idea that must be included in a tale. That tale can be one of mystery, adventure or strange dastardly deeds, or perhaps even going to the shops. Importantly though, it is led by the children.

Unsurprisingly our heroines always seem to be a little boy and girl with a baby tagging along too, but other than that, we often travel to the most wonderful places while on our way to school.

With this game in mind, Milly, five, along with three-year-old Mac and I quickly unwrapped Orchard Toys’ Once Upon A Time dominoes and began to play.

The instructions were simple to understand and the children interested enough to play many games, one after the other, even when sitting in the sunshine on a beautiful afternoon.

The educational guide on the box talked of creating observational skills and the children enjoyed noticing the details of each of the fairytale characters on the cards. We also used the details to create little stories about each the characters.

Milly, in particular, found the characters “so cute”.

From a parent’s perspective, it would have been even better if numbers and/or dots could have been included within the illustrations. Then the game could have been used to develop numeracy skills too.

That said, the game was a great hit, and Milly has asked to play dominoes many times since.

Orchard Toys’ Once Upon A Time dominoes would make a great 3rd, 4th or 5th birthday present for a little girl.


The pros
Friendly fairytale characters that bring life to the game

Well made, durable cards.

The cons
Not to be confused with the domino topplings of my mis-spent youth


Also worth knowing
There’s a great activity guide on the box, suggesting how the game can be used to encourage observational skills


Our not so happy ending!

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