OK, repeat after me: “Sophie’s Seashell Scramble.” Now try to say that three times fast. Sophie’s Seashell Scramble, by Educational Insights, is the the most tongue-tying fun kids can have while practicing valuable skills.

This matching game encourages kids to use their pattern-matching skills to be the first to collect five shells. Play begins by scattering all of the shells into the box. Each player gets a Shell Snack Mat, which has an illustration of each of the five shells players must collect to win. The shape and pattern of each shell in different. Players take turns spinning the spinner, which indicates different actions. Some spaces on the spinner have a pattern that matches a shell, so that player can claim that shell and put it on his or her Shell Snack Mat. Some sections of the spinner make things extra interesting, like Otto the Octopus. If a player spins Otto the Octopus, he or she takes a shell from his or her mat and spins the spinner again. If he or she lands on Otto or the pattern of that shell, the player gets to keep that shell and take another. If the spinner lands on any other space, that shell is lost to the sea.


Anytime players pick up a shell during their turn, they can use the Sophie Squeezer, an adorable otter-shaped grabber. By picking up the shells using Sophie’s paws, kids practice their fine motor development and manual dexterity. Matching the patterns on the spinner to the patterns on the shells and the Shell Snack Mat enforces the important skill of identifying and matching patterns, which comes in handy when kids start learning math.

The beautifully decorated box serves as a playing space so no pieces will get lost. Everything fits neatly inside the shell-shaped package, which has an adorable scene illustrated on the inside, complete with Sophie, Otto the Octopus, and more of their undersea friends.

Gameplay time is quite short, so it’s the perfect for parents who only have a few minutes, or kids with short attention spans. Or, kids can play it a few times in a row to see who really rules the sea.