Puzzler World 2013

Okay – so the kids are mad about puzzles, any sort of puzzle from crosswords, to word searches, Sudoku, number puzzles…….you name it we play it! Oh did I not say? I love puzzles too – such a great way to unwind.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a copy of the Puzzler World 2013 for the Nintendo DS. At the cost of £14.99, it seems a small price to pay to have so many puzzles at our fingers tips. The fact that you can pop the DS in your bad or pocket and take it anywhere was an added bonus.

So what’s it like? Well there are loads of games to play, and when I say loads, I really do mean lots and lots – in fact if you finish one game there are plenty more to get through and loads of levels to boot. There are lots of the old games that you would find on Puzzler 2012, but a few new ones as well – so you get all of your own favourites, pus a few extra that will so be joining your favourite list.

The variety of games mean that there is something for everyone – my youngest particularly likes the fruit machine and my son prefers the anagrams. They are challenging enough to get you hooked and make you want to play more! We often play together and it’s great that you can play bonus games and gain hints to help you when you get stuck – which you will at one point or another!

So as a family of puzzlers, would I buy this again? Well, for me I could sit and play on it for hours – especially when there is very little on TV and the OH is watching yet another football match. My son (who is 11) really enjoyed it at first, but got bored with the easier levels – he would prefer to be able to jump to the more difficult ones. My daughter (7) really enjoyed it. She needed a bit of help to navigate her way to the games she wanted to play, but soon got the hang of things – she’s even introduced Nanny (who loves a puzzle)  and now Nan is thinking of borrowing the DS when the kids are at school!

All in all, for £15 this is definitely worth the money – plenty to keep you al entertained, a great game for playing together or on your own and superb for taxing your brain and keeping it active. If you have enjoyed previous Puzzler World games, you’ll want to get this one too, and if you haven’t tried it before – give it a go. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked!!!!


Teach your Monster to Read and Win £150 of Books!


Teacher Your Monster to Read is a brand new game that does exactly what it says – it teaches your child to read but in a fun and interesting way!  This is what the website says:

Teach your Monster to Read: First Steps is a new, free game to practise the first steps of reading.

Combining top quality games design with essential learning, the game is built on the principles of synthetic phonics and follows the teaching sequence of the Letters and Sounds programme.

It has been assessed by reading experts at the University of Roehampton

There is a playable demo on the site here: http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/game/demo

If you are in the early stages of teaching your child to read, then you will just LOVE this game! Once you have signed up and logged in, your child can build their own monster……my daughter loved choosing all of the different body parts to make her own one.

 It is a really fun way to help your child to learn the phonics sounds and have fun at the same time. If your child is anything like my 6 year old daughter, she loves playing on the computer and so the fact that this is an educational game is a huge bonus…….it means that I can let her play but know that she is learning all the while she is playing.  The game is bright and colourful, and my daughter, once logged on could navigate her own way through the game and the different levels. She loved the fact that she was awarded a prize at the end of each stage and that she could choose which parts of her spaceship she could repair!

This is a screen shot from one of the games:

  This game asks you to round up the sheep and put them in the “a” pen. Once you have completed this task, you are set another and you play until you have reached the end of the level.

Another bonus with this game is the fact that it saves automatically, so if you child leaves the games, their progress will still be recorded.

The Usbourne Foundation have set up this game, and as a charity they are giving the game away for free as a way of encouraging children to read, and also to support those that may struggle or need extra help with their reading.

Here’s further information about the game and the Usborne Foundation:

Teach Your Monster to Read has been developed for the Usborne Foundation – a charity set up by Peter Usborne (who also founded The Usborne Publishing company). There will be a series of games, all of which will be given away for free. 

The game has been featured in the Sunday Times, the Times Educational Supplement and recently won Gold in both the Practical Preschool and Primary Teacher Update awards.

Now, here is the best part……..The Usbourne Foundation are running a competition and you could win £150 of books. All you have to do is get your Little Monster to create a monster of their own, by drawing, painting or building using whatever materials you have to hand. You then need to take a photograph of the monster and email it to: competitions@teachyourmonstertoread.com

All entries have to be submitted by Friday 9th November 2012. 


1st prize: £150 worth of Usborne books of your choice*
2nd and 3rd prizes: £25 worth of Usborne books of your choice*

You can find more details on their blog and there are also lots of ideas on the blog that you and your child can use to help you to create a monster of your very own!

Entries can also be viewed on their Facebook page

We have already entered our monster, and we had great fun doing it……….so why not keep your Little Monster entertained on a rainy afternoon and be in with a chance of winning £150 of Usbourne books that can read together!

Very First Reading: Easy phonics words         Very First Reading: abc        Stop that cow!

Please note that we were asked to review this site and will be receiving a couple of the Usbourne books as a thank you for doing so. My opinions  are my own, and I always give a frank and honest review of anything that I am asked to consider.