SmartGames puzzles are an essential part of our homeschool curriculum. Here is an honest review of the Smart Farmer game that is great for teaching kids problem-solving and logic skills!
We are a huge fan of the puzzle games made by SmartGames in this house. Currently, we have 4 of them on the shelves that we use to organize our homeschooling materials, including the Smart Farmer board game.
We use puzzle and logic games from SmartGames are part of our homeschooling curriculum. Since all the games are played independently, they allow me to focus on one kid while the other is having fun solving the challenges presented in the booklet.
At first glance, the Smart Farmer game seems like a simple game with cute animal game pieces. However, once you start tackling the challenges, you will realize soon that this game will help your kids build important spatial insight and problem-solving skills that will last a lifetime.
Overview of Smart Farmer
The animals at the farm seem to be all over the place. Can you help the farmer separate the animals with the 3 fences provided?
The objective of Smart Farmer is simple: Separate the animals by type so that they all have their own meadow. The farm animals include 2 horses, 2 cows, 2 sheep, and 2 pigs. For the harder levels, you also need to include a water trough in each of the meadows so the animals don’t go thirsty.
The game comes with 60 challenges, including Starter, Junior, Expert, and Master levels. If you have multiple kids, they can all play the game at their own levels, so it’s a game for the whole family. If you are a puzzle game person yourself, you may enjoy playing it alongside your kids.
- Suitable for ages 4+
- Players: 1
- 60 Challenges, including Starter, Junior, Expert, and Master levels
- 1 game board
- 4 fixed fences and 3 movable fences
- 2 horses, 2 cows, 2 sheep, and 2 pigs
- 3 water troughs
- Booklet with challenges and solutions
My Review of Smart Farmer by SmartGames
As our 5th game from SmartGames, my kids fell in love with Smart Farmer right away. The farm animals are adorable and easy to move around the board. It’s easy to set up the challenges so my kids can play independently without any assistance from me. This is important because I am able to focus on teaching one kid while the other plays Smart Farmer quietly by himself or herself.
To play the game, you first pick a level that is suitable for your kid. My 4-year-old daughter started from the beginning of the booklet and moved through the first few challenges at the Starter level fairly fast. However, it was good for her to complete those challenges to get the basic strategy and logic of how to place the fences.
First, you place the animals on the game board as shown in the challenge you selected.
Then you need to figure out a way to divide the field into separate meadows using the 3 fences. You cannot move the 4 fences surrounding the field (don’t worry, they won’t come off the board in case your kid tries to pull them off). The different types of animals must be in their own meadows. In other words, horses, cows, sheep, and/or pigs cannot be fenced in together.
Once you are done, flip to the back of the booklet to check the solution.
In later challenges, each separate meadow must also have a water trough. This makes the challenges more difficult because you are not sure which water trough is for what animal.
We are always impressed at the different puzzles that SmartGames come up with to challenge my kids’ spatial insight, flexible thinking, and problem-solving skills. When we purchase SmartGames puzzles, we do tend to purchase one year up from the recommended age. For example, my son is 6, and I like to buy games that are for 7 years old and up.
Therefore, when we received Smart Farmer, I was worried that it might be too easy for my 4-year-old. We tried Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Piggies, both of which have similar age recommendations, and found that she flew through all the challenges in a couple of hours.
Smart Farmer, however, was just the right difficulty for my 4-year-old daughter. Especially at the Junior level, the challenges would take her several attempts to figure out, but it wasn’t so hard that she couldn’t finish the challenges by herself. I would compare the difficulty level similar to that of Camelot Jr, which was my kids’ favorite puzzle game for years before they both finished the booklet.
One thing that Smart Farmer teaches a preschooler is patience and focus. Even though my daughter is completely capable of figuring out the challenges, sometimes she gets impatient and frustrated. She wants me to give her hints so she could move through the challenges quicker.
After a few of the Junior level challenges though, she did figure out a pattern with the animal placements. Then after knowing where one fence goes, it’s not too difficult to make out where the other two should go. I was so proud that she recognized the pattern!
My 6-year-old son also loves the game, but he started at the Expert level. He has been playing SmartGames for almost 3 years now, so he knows that there is a logic behind all the games – you just need to figure out what it is. Since the other SmartGames puzzles he is playing are for kids ages 8 and up, he enjoys playing this simple game that provides just enough challenge for him.
Final Verdict on Smart Farmer
I want to give a big thanks to Timberdoodle for providing us a free copy of Smart Farmer. As I mentioned above, since we tend to purchase SmartGames products for older kids, we probably would not have purchased this game. That would have been a huge opportunity missed to expose my kids to a game that is fun yet so educational!
My kids also love to use the farm animals for pretend play. While completing the challenges, they would pretend that the animals are running loose and they must help the farmer round them up. They also pretend that the parched animals drink water from the water troughs before going back to running amuck.
If you are a homeschooling mom like me, or if you are looking for something to occupy your preschooler or kindergartener while you work, I highly recommend Smart Farmer. It’s amazing to watch your kids’ brains working while they solve these puzzles all the while having tons of fun. I never have to force my kids to play any SmartGames products – they always go grab them off the shelves and play on their own!
Smart Farmer is part of Timberdoodle’s kindergarten curriculum kit. If you want to learn about more awesome puzzle games from SmartGames, make sure you check out my review on Camelot Jr and Color Catch!