I am super excited about today’s blog post! I have something fun to share with you all, and…make sure you read to the end of this post! 😉 Hint, hint.
I was recently contacted by someone on behalf of Cra-Z Art about reviewing a new preschool game they were launching. My son is currently four, and after checking the game out online, I decided that it was definitely something I was interested in reviewing and trying out with him. After reading about the game, my teacher brain immediately starting firing off ideas on ways to use this game in an elementary classroom. I am going to be sharing my overall thoughts about this game PLUS I created some fun activities for classroom teachers/homeschool parents even though I was not asked to do that. I am just so excited about this game that I was inspired to create some accompanying activities.
First, let me start off with the basic information. The Flying Pigs is the name of the game, and it is actually Cra-Z Art’s first ever game. I know when most teachers think of Cra-Z Art, we think of art supplies. They actually create/sell so much more than that. I’m excited that this is their first game, and I hope they make others that are as great as this one. The game is labeled as ages 4 and up and has a MSRP of $19.99. At this time of this blog post, it is available at Target in the U.S. as well as Walmart in Canada. I also found it on Amazon (not Prime), but at a slightly higher price.
The game box contains the Flying Pig unit, 4 wands, 50 foam flying pigs, 4 game mats, and instructions. It requires 4 AA batteries (not included) and requires a Phillips screwdriver to open the battery compartment.
How to play the game: The foam pigs “fly” around once the unit is turned on. Players insert their wand into their opening on the dome to catch as many flying pigs as they can. You place them on your mat (which is a cloud). The player with the most points/pigs wins. There are two white pigs included. If a player catches a white pig, they must return all of their collected pigs to the dome before continuing play. It’s a simple game, but it’s a LOT of fun! Click here to see a video of the game!
Playing the game with my son: The game was a hit! Multiple times he told me how much fun he was having. It was neat to watch him figure out a strategy and how to best hold his wand to catch the pigs. He was excited every time he caught some! He was very concerned about catching the white pig. He even asked to take it out of the game! After I explained that it wasn’t a big deal to put the pigs back in the dome, he was fine with it being in there. Of course, the two white pigs could be removed, and the game would be just as much fun. My son LOVES numbers and counting, so he was thrilled with the fact the pigs had points on them (especially those pink pigs worth 10!). He stayed very engaged with the game the entire time, and he asked if the whole family could play in the evening. Uh – of course!!
I do have two important things to note:
- The openings you insert your wand through are actually made of two pieces: the plastic part and a silicone part that is flexible so your wand can go in and out. If you aren’t careful, or you don’t assemble it correctly, you can actually pull that silicone part out when removing your wand. When this happens, it leaves an empty hole in the dome, thus providing a perfect escape route for pigs to fly out of… and they do fly out! I actually had to take the dome apart a few times and re-insert the silicone pieces of the openings because my son was a bit excited/forceful when removing his wand. I’m going to be honest – it was tricky to assemble the openings/ports because the plastic piece and the silicone have to be lined up just right and then you have to put the top part of the dome on over that to snap it all into place. When I thought they were all in perfect, I would notice one wasn’t lined up properly and when I went to adjust it, some of the others would shift around too. It was really quite a tricky process and one that I had to repeat several times. Ideally, in my opinion, that silicone would be attached to that plastic piece, eliminating the need to match it up to the notches and making it less likely that players would pull that silicone piece off. That being said, once I had it assembled just right and did some modeling for my son, the game went completely smoothly and we had no more issues with that.
- Once the game is assembled, you can not place it back into its box. If you want to store it back in the box, you would have to take the dome apart every time. Since it can be difficult to assemble the ports/wand openings in the dome, I would not recommend taking it apart every time you’re done playing. I would store it on a shelf somewhere already assesmbled. This will save you time and patience!
As the mom of a preschooler, this game is definitely fun and engaging for that age group. It’s exciting to see the pigs fly around. Seriously. You can practice numbers, colors, fine motor skills, problem solving and more. As a former teacher, there are SO MANY possibilities for this game in a classroom setting, even beyond the preschool years. I think this would be a perfect activity for a math center or indoor recess. There literally are so many things you could do with this game.
Some of my ideas for adapting this game for classroom use:
- Add total number of pigs
- Add total value of pigs
- Sort your pigs by color/value
- Sort pigs into odd/even groups
- Create patterns with your pig colors
- Each player takes a turn catching pigs. Players compare their pig values to see who has the most. Player with higher value takes all pigs caught.
- Players catch two pigs. Add their value. Player with higher value takes all caught pigs that round.
- Players catch two pigs. Multiply their value. Player with higher value takes the caught pigs that round.
And as a former teacher, I know that when you have students in a math center, you want to hold them accountable for their practice, so I created some fun actvitity pages that can be used with this game. There are several options, so students could play this game multiple times and do a different practice sheet each time.
Flying Pigs Graphing Activity:
After playing the game, students can use the graphing pages to graph their collected pigs by color.
Flying Pigs Comparing Numbers Activity:
After playing the game, students choose two of their pigs at a time, fill in the recording sheet with those two numbers, and use <, >, or = symbols to compare the numbers.
Flying Pigs Addition Activity:
After playing the game, students choose two of their collected pigs, fill in the boxes with those two numbers and add them together.
Flying Pigs Multiplication Activity:
After playing the game, students choose two of their collected pigs, fill in the boxes with those two numbers and multiply them.
Flying Pigs Color Sorting Activity:
After playing the game, students take their collected pigs and sort them by color onto the color sorting mat.
Flying Pigs Ten Frames and Counters:
For some learners/players, it might be difficult to add so many pigs’ point values together. I created these pig counters that can be used with or without the ten frames to aid those who may need some visuals/manipulatives to help them add their points together.
Flying Pigs Catch and Cover:
While playing the game, when a player catches a pig, take the pig and cover its matching number on the game mat. Alternatively, you could cover the numbered pigs with pig counters or standard bingo chip counters. The player who covers the most pigs on their game mat wins.
All of the math activity pages can be found exclusively here on my blog for FREE. To download these free activity sheets, head over to my Treasure Chest page and login with the password. If you haven’t signed up for freebies yet, you can also do that at the link above and the password will be emailed to you shortly. (Note: When signing up for the Treasure Chest, I will only ever email you when I post a new free download.)
Another exciting idea– the little pig pieces are made of foam. If you had other little foam shapes, similar in size, you could create your own pieces for this game! You could add in seasonal foam pieces/shapes and add your own numbers or letters onto them creating even MORE possibilities for this game!!
Cra-Z Art was very generous to send me this game for free to try out with my son. They are also letting me give away a game to one of you!! The giveaway entry begins now, Friday, August, 23rd, 2019 and will end on Thursday, August 29. There are several ways to enter for a chance to win. The more entries- the better your odds! Good luck to you all! Don’t forget, the game is currently available at Target, so if you just can’t wait for the chance to win, go grab one now! Your child (or students) will thank you!