It was recommended to me and has lots of positive reviews for 2-3 year olds but I was still skeptical. Would Lucy really be able to understand the game and take turns? And I wasn't really sure what a cooperative game was but it sounded lame.
I was wrong. It's awesome. We have played at least 3-4 times a day since we got it. The concept is pretty simple - you roll the die and either pick a fruit of a certain color or move the bird closer to the orchard. Everyone works together to get all the fruit before the bird can. And Lucy not only gets the concept, she loves it. When we win, she claps then she picks up the bird and says "Hey, where be fruit?" but if we lose, she has him eat up all the fruit left on the tree. You could say it helps kids learn colors and perhaps counting to 4 but really, its about learning to take turns and follow the rules. When the bird gets close, Lucy gets nervous and will sometimes try and move the fruit quickly the basket but a gentle reminder that we need to follow the rules is all it takes to get the game back on track.
One thing though, we have the My First Orchard game but there is also the Orchard game. They are essentially the same game, but the my first version uses 4 pieces of fruit instead of 10 and has bigger pieces. I'm glad we got the my first version but if you have a 3-4 year old, you might want to move up to the original. Either way, I highly recommend it and I'm already checking out other HABA games now that I know how much fun we can have playing a board game with a toddler.
Last year when we planted them, those strawberries seemed like a distant dream, but they have finally arrrived and the wait was worth it. Walking to your backyard, picking a strawberry and popping it in your mouth is truly one of life's pleasures. We are getting quite a few every day now so strawberry picking is now part of our afternoon rhythm. We have enough to save up to make something but while I like strawberry shortcake and jam and all that, I like plain old strawberries better.
Chiropractic adjustmentsI've only had one so far but it was a big game changer. I haven't cried myself to sleep from hip pains once since then - and sadly, that is saying quite a bit. And because of that, I've even been able to start...
ExercisingTo be honest, I'm not a big fan of working out. I like to do things - hike, swim, etc. and I can enjoy a class of ballet or kickboxing but straight up exercise like running or workout videos are not really my thing. But I knew it would be good for me this pregnancy so I got Lindsay Brin's 4-DVD set and started on the 2nd trimester dvd and am really enjoying them. I can really tell the difference in my energy levels on days I do it and days I don't. Her plan is to do the cardio/tone on days 1,3, and 5 and rest or yoga on days 2 and 4. I actually got my set from goodwill on ebay (who knew goodwill sold things on ebay, right?) for $5 and it was the target version which doesn't have the yoga. So now I'm looking to pick up a yoga dvd (if you know of a good one, let me know) for days 2 and 4 because I miss working out those days. I can't even believe I said that but it's true.
side note: I know that not all christians are comfortable with yoga. Its a matter of personal conviction but I've looking into it but I feel like there are two different definitions of Yoga/yoga. Real Yoga, with its emphasis on the spiritual and mental aspects of life and it's self focus, is very much intertwined with eastern religions and not something I am comfortable with as a christian. But most of what we see called "yoga" today isn't really Yoga, its yoga or more precisely - stretching, posture and breathing exercises. The 20 year old college student who led the yoga class I took at college and Lindsay Brin don't really care at all about you focusing your chi or bleeding your yin or whatever, they want you to stretch and tone your muscles.