Place the game boards on a magnetic surface and attach them together. If you already own a Benefitto main board, you can decide if you would like to use them together or the Land boards separately.
If you use it with the Benefitto board, you will be able to play with more characters on a larger play area, making more motivational opportunities during the game. Even if you use the Land set separately, you would be able to create a full value, new field out of the two Land game boards.
Pick a character for your child or ask him/her to do so. You make it easier if you only offer two figures at once.
Review with your child the manners/actions the elf will help him/her in. Either you can decide or make an agreement together. Most importantly, pick a situation that causes a lot of problems for you both, when you lose your patience the most and you talk to your child a way you regret later.
The character set offers many opportunities to create a colorful outline of a story for the adventures of the main characters and the little elf. We will give you a few ideas that came into our mind but you can just let your imagination go.
After you positioned the board, place the lambs scattered on the picture. Call your child and start telling a story that might sound like this:
“This little girl/boy went out to the meadow to let his/her lambs graze (show him/her the little boy’s/girl’s character then place it somewhere on the board) but saw a beautifully colored butterfly (or a squirrel, ladybug, little bird). While he/she was chasing it as it was flying from one flower to the other (or jumped/flew from one branch to the other), his/her lambs scattered all over (position the mentioned animal on the board). Please help him/her to herd the lambs together and close them in the corral so they won’t get out again. On your way, you will be accompanied by a nice little elf that helps you with all kinds of tricks so you can succeed. (Show him/her the little elf then hide him. In this case, discuss with your child that he will only show up if him/her needs help or if he has news. The elf can also be around all the time. If so, tell your child: this little elf is watching over you from the view tower or the top of the tree and helps you overcome the difficulties.) Every time you do good on the tasks you talked over with mom/dad (or any adult the child starts the game with), the elf assists you. You will see what a great team you will be together!”
The goal of the game is that, while the child confirms its competence with his/her parents in the discussed areas (getting dressed alone, cleaning up toys not in use, etc.), as being part of an adventure, collect the fence elements for the corral and herd the scattered lambs. If this is done, go up to the elf at the lookout tower or the top of the tree and give him a gift in exchange for his help.
With each smart, praise worthy action he may collect one item or get closer to the finish line. All of the nice characters open up an area for imagination and the mutual story-weaving, while the time and complexity of the game is determined by the parent.
Ending the story
If you see that your child has made good progress and well-developed in the given task, you can decide whether you would like to end the story and start a new one or continue it by giving your child a new mission with the elf’s support.
The flute you find in the kit could be a symbolic help as a magic flute. Blowing into this makes all the lambs gather into the corral or holding on to the balloons they can all fly up to the tower, etc. So with an enchanted twist you can make the road and the number of steps shorter.
If the game reached its goal and the child grew strong enough in the given task that we can end the story, always make sure that the child’s character also reaches the finish line and gives the elf a gift. This little ritual helps the child to experience his/her own success and symbolically complete the task. If we would like to keep his/her attention on the achieved accomplishment, we can sometimes remind him/her of some parts of the game as reminiscing pieces of the tale. In this case, he/she becomes the main character, making it a deeper experience with this expressive bonus.
For instance, if the “repeated” task causes problems again, you can refer to his/her behavior in the situation. Your child stopped being fussy because he/she saw how scared the lambs, bird or squirrel became and how they hid in the bush. The only solution to lure them back out was with laughter or the elf assistance to get over a difficult situation. Remembering and evoking a shared experience gives a confirmation and disrupt us from the problematic situation. This helps to look at the task from a different view (which is also valid for the parents).
Extending the game with newer adventure items
The main character can herd the flock to the water so the lambs can drink or we can bring water to them in a bucket.
The parts of the corral can be used as a bridge or a raft to cross the river or make a ladder to climb up to a rope course or on a tree. The little bird and the ladybug as flying animals can help bring news and you can send messages to the child if you want immediate feedback about his/her behavior, you want to encourage or introduce him/her to a new task.
All of the other animals can be helpful in the same way but also delay achieving the ending of the game. If you’d like to extend the primary assignment:
“Look, the squirrel’s leg got hurt! Help him to get better and climb up the tree where he lives. If you’re good, you might get a food package from the little elf. You will find some nuts and bandage in there to cure him so he can jump around again.”
“Oh, this hedgehog scared your dog really bad! He met her before and she pinched his nose. You need to herd the lambs around the hedgehog or take her to the bush so you can move on.”
“Look, a little mole dug up the meadows. If you don’t want your lambs to stumble, you need to walk around the mole holes.” (Here you can show a “recommended route” to your child or you can give him/her the choice which way to go to get to the corral.)
“Your lamb must be scared of the hedgehog. If you do well, you can get an apple from the little elf and lure the hedgehog out of the way with it so your lamb can go forward.”
(Show your child where to lure the hedgehog.)
Place the cloud on the right side of the board, and the bush on the lowest part where the tree trunk sticks out of the grass. Then say this:
“Look, these mischievous lambs grazed everything in their path. They are even chewing on the leaves of the fruit tree. If you would like to help the little boy/girl to make sure he can have some fruits too, help the tree grow healthy as soon as possible. To do this, you will certainly need rain. You can help to move the clouds on the sky toward the top of the tree to water it. If you’re skillful, you will see how fast it gets there.”
Every time he/she succeeded in the given task, move the clouds toward the tree. When it gets there, rain will fall and the tree can start growing. You can also do this in more than one step. For example, the rain will make the tree grow in three steps. In this case, move the leaves higher on the tree.
“Look, what happened with your tree! It got attacked by bugs and worms. Let’s call the little bird to save the tree. She can catch them with her beak.” Requesting the bird into the story can happen with skillfulness, good deed or blowing into the magic flute. The mission is accomplished if the bird flew to all the fruits at least once.
Additional short, clear game goals (for those children whose attention may only be fixed for a shorter period of time or who require diversity)
“The lambs are hot. Herd them in the shadow of the tree so they can cool off.”
“The little boy/girl’s balloon flew away. He/she would like to get it back. If you help him/her, you may receive a trampoline and be able to catch the balloon.”
“The lambs ate up all the grass on this hill. They have almost nothing to eat. Help them to cross the creek and get on the other hill where all the green grass is. Try to get an item for your corral and lay it on the water so they can get across.”
“The little boy/girl has his/her birthday today. Surprise him/her with a nice present. What do you think he/she would like? A flower? A balloon? Some delicious cake?” (You can find these in the box. The child may ask for something that’s not included in the set, give him/her the wrapped gift or the picnic bundle and say that is what’s inside.) “If you’re adept, you can give him/her a present.”
“Look, poor snail/ladybug is crawling just on the path where the lambs walk. Make sure they don’t step on it. You can save it if you move it over to the bottom of the bush.” (Simply select a part on the picture where he/she can place it.)
The little bird (or any other animal character) could be the news carrier. It can show up prior to every assignment and tell the child what to do.
“Tweet tweet! I just saw your lambs and they said they’re very thirsty. Please, bring them some water in a bucket because they can barely stand on their feet in this heat.”
The characters in the tale can easily come to life rotating the pucks. The flower can wilt if it doesn’t have enough water (turn it so the petals are facing down). If it gets rain or gets water from a bucket, it gets strong so you turn it back up.
The elves and the characters can sleep under the tree the same time the child goes to bed. You can lay them on their sides. You may check in the morning if they woke up and their awakening can be part of their task: “By the time you’ll get dressed, they get up too.” As soon as they get up, you can set them on their feet.
Using the game for the evening storytelling
“If you’re good, a forest dweller would come to you and bring you a story. Who do you think that will be today?”
Using the animal characters in the game, you can tell cute, short bedtime stories to your child. This might amuse him/her because he/she would get an interesting story, feedback of his/her behavior (the squirrel came to visit because I was good), as well as the closeness and the presence of the parent.
You can prepare with complete stories about the specific characters, searching for dog, cat, bird or ladybug tales in the children books at home. You can have more fun if you make up a simple short story about the actual situation of the child, something that evokes his/her memories and involves him/her as a character.
Contact us for more help about the game, or creating customized rules on request: email@example.com or you can or you can order Land HERE.