My kids are 12 and 3, so on any given day, my brain swings from helping with algebra to helping with play dough — and back again.
It’s a wild ride.
[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary Fanta Color Baby game from Timberdoodle in exchange for writing and publishing this post. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]
This also means you, dear reader, get to go on a wild ride with me. One day I might be talking about how to use Fischertechnik Etronic for high school credit or middle school enrichment, and the next day I’ll be talking about fun ways to teach colors to preschoolers.
In other words, welcome to my life. It’s colorful, caffeinated, and feels a lot like being stapled to a cheetah.
Fanta Color Baby is an Italian eco-game designed to help littles ages 1 to 4 learn colors in an interactive, hands-on way.
The toy set includes
- 1 recycled plastic base,
- 6 recycled die-cut game cards, and
- 28 recycled plastic “pebbles” AKA game pieces
This is an eco-friendly game — it’s part of Italian company Quercetti’s PlayBio line, which means it’s made from environmentally responsible materials. I really love the texture of the pebbles. The material is matte “bio plastic”, and doesn’t at all resemble the cheap shiny plastic that’s everywhere these days. The game is super aesthetically pleasing, and doesn’t contribute to the landfill heaps. I appreciate that.
Toddlers and preschoolers play Fanta Color Baby by matching pebbles to brightly colored scenes.
The color-matching concept of Fanta Color Baby is simple: toddlers and preschoolers place red, yellow, and blue pebbles onto a game card, matching the colors of the pebbles to the colors of the image shown on the card. The butterfly card, for example, has a yellow body (3 yellow pebbles), and red and blue wings (3 red and 2 blue pebbles on each wing).
Lochlan already knows his colors, so instinctively knew how to play, without me giving him any guidance.
He also quickly figured out that he could swap out any of the six cards — which he calls “placemats” — as soon as he was done with one. (Some kids might need guidance at this step, though, as the cards aren’t very stiff and could be wrecked by younger toddlers.)
Fanta Color Baby comes with six classic tri-color scenes:
- a house
- a butterfly
- fruit (an apple and banana)
- an elephant
- an airplane, and
- a car.
Fanta Color Baby is designed to reduce frustration during game play.
To keep the cards from sliding around — and to keep the pebbles from sliding off the cards — Quercetti employed some clever design choices.
The rimmed baseplate is bumpy, featuring a grid of half circles. And the cards are diecut, with hole corresponding to each circle.
Since the hollow pebbles fit perfectly on top of the half circles, they won’t slide away as kids are trying to make color matches! I love how this minimizes the potential frustration levels, and ensures kids can focus on color matching — not on fussy coordination — while playing.
Lochlan is a precise sort of kid, and can be easily discouraged if things don’t line up perfectly, but he didn’t experience any of that while playing Fanta Color Baby.
Fanta Color Baby is an ideal independent game for young preschoolers.
Quercetti recommends Fanta Color Baby for ages 1 through 4, while Timberdoodle includes this set in their Tiny Tots curriculum of learning activities for toddlers ages 0-2. At 3, I feel like Lochlan is the perfect age.
Lochlan is right at the developmental stage where he wants to do a lot of things by himself. (“Locha do it!”) He’s always rummaging through the game closet and pulling down games which are way over his head — like single-player logic games or enormous puzzles. Of course, that tends to end in frustration for both Lochlan and Aveline, who is (understandably!) anxious he’s going to break or lose parts. Fanta Color Baby is perfectly suited to his age and attention span, and both kids are thrilled to see a new game in our stock which is not off-limits to him.
Fanta Color Baby affords my young preschooler the great independent privilege of being able to set up and play a single-player game all by himself, just like his big sister.
Since I got this game out of my Timberdoodle stash to review, he’s asked to play it over and over and over again. That’s a solid thumbs up from us all!
Fanta Color Baby is a great match for…
..youngest kids who want to be like their older siblings, as well as moms who are looking for hands-on activities to do alongside their toddlers.
I can also see this being a terrific toy to give at a baby shower, so the little one has something waiting in the wings for when he or she outgrows the muslin blankets and teethers.