Have you ever lost something precious, then spent all your time searching, unsuccessfully, for a replacement? And have you then, with all hope gone, suddenly found it on a supermarket shelf when you were looking for something
If so, then you will know exactly how I felt when I came across “The Ladybird Game” in Tesco’s toy section today.
Have you never played The Ladybird Game? What, never? You really haven’t lived. After all, The Ladybird Game has links with Early Learning Goals. Not to mention
National Curriculum Maths Key Stage 1. It encourages those playing the game to communicate, share and play together and it encourages observation skills. None of these worthy attributes ever mattered one little bit to Sam and James, the oldest of my
Little Welsh Boys who just enjoyed it for what it was – a good fun game.
The Ladybird Game comes with 24 coloured cards. On one side of each card there is
a green leaf with one, two or three ladybirds nestling happily thereon. On the other side are the numbers 1 – 6 as portrayed on a dice. Each player takes it in turns to throw the dice, picks a card with the corresponding number on it. At the end
of the game, when all the cards have been picked, each player turns over his / her cards and counts up the ladybirds. The player with the most ladybirds wins.
see what I mean – it has all the mystery of Cluedo, the sense of property which is the province of Monopoly, the mathematical challenge of Coppit. It is environmentally friendly (on account of the ladybirds) and it doesn’t last so long that
small ones will get fed up with it and want to play Build A Beetle instead.
Somehow, between visits, I managed to forget where I had stored it away. The Little
Welsh Boys arrived saying, almost before their coats were off and their shoes lined up neatly in the hallway, “Can we play the Ladybird Game now?” and I had to confess that I had mislaid it. “I’m sure it will turn up one day,”
I reassured them, hopefully. But it never did. They continued to ask, on every visit, but with a kind of hopelessness about the query. Even as they asked, they would be setting up The Bus Stop Game as if they knew what my answer would be before I even opened
For at least two years (I reckon) I have searched in every toy shop I visited for the familiar box with the jolly-looking ladybirds grinning away on
the front. In every toy shop I drew a blank. Without even fully acknowledging the fact, I think I gave up the search. And then, I was wandering around Tesco’s toy section looking for coloured card and – there it was! The Ladybird Game! And
it was only £6 too. I’m hoping nobody saw me gathering it to my heart and breathing: “Yes! Yes!”
I’m really looking forward to the
next time the Little Welsh Boys come to visit. As always, I shall make a little pile of games next to the television set, under the window-sill. On the summit, knocking Tiddleywinks off the top spot, I will place The Ladybird Game and wait for them to
notice it. I’m just hoping Young Sam won’t say he’s too old for it now...
Mr B can’t quite understand what all the fuss is about.
He looks at the box with the smiley ladybirds on the front and sort of shrugs. So I text the only person who will understand the momentousness of my discovery and subsequent purchase – the mother of my Little Welsh Boys. Her answer is short –
just one word - but satisfyingly appreciative.
“Fab!” she texts back.