Orange Marmalade 2018 Non-Electronic Gift Guide: Games and Puzzles

Puzzles and board games for all ages today! Wrap them up for the holidays and enjoy them for years to come!

Links will take you either to a website where you can purchase the item or to Amazon.
If you click an Amazon link, you can wander through their website and buy whatever you like…and I receive a small dab back from them.  Thanks for all of you who do that for me during the holiday season!

Ages 0-3

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Transport Puzzle
Moulin Roty makes such adorable toys. Pegged wooden puzzles like this one are classics for good reason. Yummy brain food, dexterity, and fun all rolled into one.

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Sky-high Building Puzzle
With jolly illustrations by Marc Boutavant,  this building puzzle has 12 jumbo pieces with art on both sides, allowing kids to put it together in multiple ways.

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Forest Friends Jumbo Puzzle
Step up into jigsaw building with this darling jumbo puzzle. Its 25 pieces create a picture about 2 feet square.

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Animal Village Memory
Matching games are a great first game for young children.  Simplify the game as necessary by selecting only a few matching pairs to build your grid. This one features the sweet art of Stephanie Graegin, one of my favorite children’s illustrators.


HABA First Orchard Game
Haba’s Orchard game has long been a favorite.  This simplified version invites little game players to join the fun. Just look how cute and chunky the game pieces are! Team up to pick the fruits from the trees before the raven reaches the end of the path!

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Go Away Monster Board Game
Go Away Monster looks like a fun, silly game even 2-year-olds can play. Furnish your new bedroom with beds, stuffed animals, and more by drawing tiles from a bag — no peeking! If you draw a monster tile by mistake banish it by shouting “GO AWAY MONSTER!” and throwing it — literally — into the box. Sounds like a gigglesome hit!

Ages 3-6

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Snow Party Floor Puzzle
Up the puzzle count to 36 pieces and build this convivial 3 foot long snow party!

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Woodland Forest Search & Find Jigsaw
This puzzle is a two-in-one: a 64-piece puzzle to build with 40 woodland items to search and find in the picture when it’s complete.


Vehicles Puzzle
100 pieces of colorful vehicles. This one comes in a swell hatbox for some reason!

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Zingo Bingo
Bingo is a ridiculously fun game to play and this version ramps up the fun with the zingy card dispenser.


Animal Upon Animal
Another Haba classic: Players race each other to be the first to place all of their wooden animals upon the wobbly animal pile. Great fun for a wide age range. Like reverse Jenga.


Rhino Hero
And I’m on a Haba roll…but their games are so clever and well-constructed. Rhino Hero fearlessly scales the highest of houses looking for burglars and rogues, yet his girth can cause even the most robust tower to wobble. Help Rhino Hero accomplish his mission by literally building a towering house of cards without making that tower crash down.

Ages 6-9

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Forest Glow in The Dark Jigsaw Puzzle
How very exciting! This 100 piece puzzles glows in the dark to reveal a night time version of the original picture when it’s complete!!

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King’s Party Puzzle
Another 100-piece charmer. I’d love to work on this one 🙂

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Puzz’Art Elephant
Or challenge the crew with an unusually-shaped puzzle like this gorgeous elephant.

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Race to the Treasure
One of the classic cooperative games. Players try to beat the Ogre to the treasure by creating a path from Start to End. Along the way they need to collect three keys to open the treasure.


I’ve been drawn to a lot of three-dimensional games this year!  If you want a unique choice in your game cupboard, try this flicking-the-penguin game which looks like a blast and is so different from anything I’ve seen. Penguin school has run amok, with mischievous students snatching fish and hall monitors chasing after students! Can you propel your penguin through doors and around corners in this multi-award-winning game?

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And here’s a game with a large fan base. From the product description:  Deep in the heart of Dragonwood lurk angry ogres, giggling goblins, and fearsome fire-breathers! Collect sets of adventurer cards to earn dice, which you will use to roll against your foes. Stomp on some fire ants, shriek at a grumpy troll, or strike the menacing orange dragon with a magical silver sword. Choose your strategy carefully because the landscape of Dragonwood is ever-changing.

Ages 9-12

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Pet Portraits Puzzle
Time for some more difficult puzzles. This cheery charmer for pet lovers has 500 pieces.

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Ocean Life Puzzle
We’ve worked this ocean life puzzle. Though it has 1000 pieces, the variety of ocean creatures softens the challenge. A fun puzzle for the whole family.

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Sloths Jigsaw Puzzle
This vibrant kaleidoscope of sloths is configured such that there is no top or bottom to the pattern. That makes it easier to work the puzzle from all four sides.

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I’ve never played Dixit but oh my is it ever a popular game! A bit like Apples to Apples except with a creative storytelling twist. It’s a beautiful game, that’s for sure! Numerous expansion packs keep it fresh.

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The Game of THINGS…
We’ve enjoyed playing Things for years and actually have the best time just making up our own categories.  Buy the game to get started and soon you’ll be venturing off on your own as well. Each player writes one answer to the same prompt — Things you mustn’t eat; Things in a Hitchcock film; Things in grandma’s attic;  — then everyone takes turns trying to deduce who wrote what.  Who’s the best detective in your family?

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Hogwarts Battle
Attention Potter fans! I hear very good things about this cooperative deck-building game.  In fact, it’s going under our tree for the whole family to enjoy (shhhh!). The forces of evil are threatening to overrun Hogwarts and it’s up to you to defeat the villains. Players take on the role of Harry, Ron, Hermione or Neville and advance through Games 1-7 with more challenging adventures progressively revealed and secrets unlocked.

There are lots more puzzles and games — some of my favorites! — in lists from past years which you can find by clicking on the Gifts tab at the top of the blog.

I’ll be back next week with some book and magazine subscription ideas.