Playskool's Noodleboro Game Line: Teaching Social Skills Through Play

10/15/2008 at 06:00 AM ET
Noodleboro Pizza Palace Listening

As the parent of a child with autism, social skills training is a big part of our lives. But most toddlers — regardless of their abilities — can use a little help in this department from time to time, and what better way to teach social skills to a toddler than with a game? Recognizing this void, Playskool recently launched a series of games under the ‘Noodleboro’ brand —  Pizza Palace Listening ($20), Fun Park Sharing ($25) and  Picnic Basket Manners ($20).

If you have a budding pizza chef, the Pizza Palace Listening Game is a great place to start. Designed for kids ages 4 and up and suitable for 2-3 players, each game comes with two miniature pizza boxes containing two tiny pizzas and dozens of toppings — including everything from pepperoni to soccer balls! Kids must listen carefully to the pizza orders of the other player so that they can prepare the pie; Depending on how many toppings they get right, they get closer and closer to winning the game.

The novelty of this game for our son initially rested with the pizzas and their toppings. Getting him to actually view it as a game, and not a toy, took a few days.  But he has since gotten the hang of things and the Pizza Palace Listening game is a welcome addition to our game closet. It opened up some good conversations on why it’s important to listen, and how it’s easier to remember what you’ve listened to when you make eye contact with whoever is talking. That at the end of things, our son gets to make pretend pizzas is a fun way to reinforce the social skills he’s just learned — albeit unknowingly!

The stories and themes are bolstered by a companion CD and book which accompany each Noodleboro game. The Noodleboro song — unfortunately! — is etched in my brain for all of eternity as a result, but it keeps the kids happy. And with lyrics like "We say ‘thank you’ and we say ‘please,’ I think of you and you think of me," I can’t really begrudge them listening to it (what seems like) 100 times each day. If you’re looking for a fun, low-pressure way to lay the groundwork for sharing, listening and manners in your preschooler, Noodleboro makes a great choice.

— Missy

FILED UNDER: Deals & Gear

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