Jeffrey D Myers
"Always rely upon a happy mind alone." Geshe Chekhawa.
Balloon Lagoon, the four-in one carnival game for kids -- it is that, but seems best for four-five year olds though ostensibly for ages five and up.
Each of the activities is great for these ages and works on different skills. Each activity nets 0-4 points per try. What you do is set by a central spinner, which also serves as an electronic egg timer with some jolly music. Scoring involves putting plastic balloons (with hard plastic "strings") into small holes in soft plastic "movers" (whale, boat, sub, or swan). This helps with manual dexterity, as it is a bit tricky.
One activity involves fishing magnetic letters out of a volcano and matching the letters on a four letter word. Good for beginning letter differentiation.
Another has one trying to flip plastic frogs into a pond. Probably the most challenging exercise for the adults in the crowd.
A third involves spinning four spinners to attempt to match a picture. Good for quick pattern recognition, but the little ones continue to spin already matched items until they get the idea!
The fourth involves dice rolling to try to achieve up to four matching snacks (labels on the dice for different food items). Speed is of the essence, so one is again doing speedy pattern recognition.
All in all, a good, quick game that should see regular service until age six.
Rating: 5 (probably 6 or 6.5 for four-five year olds).