Archive for the ‘
Critical Thinking Activities ’ Category
Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
It has been WAAaay too long since we had a family games night. For a while we did really well holding a family meeting once a month or so (see this post-Holding a Family Meeting) and this post (Our Monthly Family Meeting). Last weekend, though, everyone was home (no sleep-overs, no sporting events!) and so we gathered together to play a bunch of games! Fun!
This was the first time we had played the Hasbro game, Whoonu. It sure was fun and was a great way to think about the ones we love! The premise is pretty simple. One person is “Whosit” — and everyone else chooses a card that they think the “Whosit” will really like. All the players puts that card into an envelope and then the “Whosit” places the cards in order from favorite to least favorite. She reveals the cards and the players all get a token (numbered 1 through 5 depending on where their card was ranked).
LD has ranked all the cards and reveals that root beer is his favorite thing!
ED revealed her cards — showing that she liked camping the most. I was surprised that she ranked chicken noodle soup as better than bumper cars!! Who knew?!!!
We also played several card games… Quiddler, which is a game where you have to make words. (great for young readers through great grandparents!) To play, you draw a card from the discard pile or from the draw pile and try to form a word. You have to keep the same number of cards in your hand so you must discard each round. When someone has a word (or words) she says “Quiddler.” Each player has one more chance to draw a card/discard. Once everyone has had their turn the cards are revealed.
You add up the points at the end of the round (based on the numbers on each card). Also, the person with the longest word or most word gets and extra 10 points. In the picture below “bad” would have 15 points, “that” would have 14 points plus 10 more for being the longest word and “at” would have 5 points but you’d have to subtract 2 points for the card that wasn’t used (each word has to be at least 2 letters in length).
Each round you add a card — so the first round is 3 cards, second deals 4 cards to everyone and so forth… all the way through 10 cards (or whenever you want to stop). Our family played just three rounds.
We also played Set and Blink. I reviewed these two games before (they’re really terrific for challenging people to think quickly!!).
Read more about the card game Set here (great for ages 5 or 6 on up)
read more about the card game Blink here (great for ages 3 and up)
If you are thinking ahead to the holidays, these are all really terrific games.
I’ve reviewed lots of games on the blog. You’ll find information about other games (we have a lot of critical thinking games and cooperative games) here.
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
With Halloween right around the corner it seems only fitting that I bring up this game, Mmm Brains. It sounds gruesome, but it’s really just a dice game which requires addition and multiplication. It brings the kids running, so you can’t beat that, right?!
This game has five dice with the numbers 1-5 and a brain on each side. Then there are lots of counters (red brains=5 and white brains=1). Finally, for the second phase of the game there are color cards.
First Phase of the Game:
In the first part of the game, players take turns tossing the five dice. The object is to gather as many points as you can. You have to collect one color numbers and as many brains (of any color) as you can. You get 3 rolls on your turn.
Then you add the numbers together and multiply that by the number of brains you have:
Here’s another example: If on your turn you collected a yellow 3 and a yellow 2 and three brains, they you would get 5 x 3 or 15 points.
Or, if another player got a blue 4 and blue 3 and just one brain then he would get 7 x 1 or 7 brains.
During the second phase of the game each player chooses a color card. Players take turns trying to steal brains away from the other players. On Player 1′s turn he would toss the dice. He would then look at the dice and take that number of brains away from a player with the same color card.
In the picture below DD rolled a green 1 and a green 3. She targeted ED who has to give her 4 white brains:
The game ends when only one player has brains left or when Mom says it’s time to go!!
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Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
This is a series about the logic and critical thinking games we play in our homeschool. We have a table in our homeschool room and I rotate in new games a couple of times a week. These are all games we’ve acquired for schooling and/or for fun (I haven’t received them to review).
Today I’m going to highlight a card game called Blink that is a great game for preschoolers on up. I remember playing this with LD when he was just under three, though we modified it to be just color or shape. We love this game and play it a lot. In fact, this is the card game I often have in my purse for waits at the doctors office or at restaurants!
Each player is dealt seven cards. Each player takes a turn placing a card that somehow matches the card in the discard pile — either by shape (lightning, tear-drop, triangles, etc.), color or number of shapes on the card.
Here DD is playing a blue flower card on blue stars:
Here DD is playing one star on one moon.
If your kids are up to a bigger challenge you may be interested in a game I highlighted a couple of weeks ago called Set. Rather than one-one-one matching, Set challenges you to see sets of three cards. In Set you just have to remember that if two are __ and one is not, then it’s not a set… all three cards need to be the same or all three cards in a set have to be different. Click this link to see more about the card game, Set.
For other games I’ve highlighted in this series such as Acruity, Zoologic, Clever Castle and others this link on this link, Games for Thinking and Learning.
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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
This is a series about the logic and critical thinking games we play in our homeschool. We have a table in our homeschool room and I rotate in new games a couple of times a week. These are all games we’ve acquired for schooling (I haven’t received them to review). Back in September I explained…
- They’re fun.
- They can be challenging and helps kids (and adults!) apply creative strategies to problem solve.
- They can sharpen the ability to focus and can help increase attention span.
- They can help with visual perception.
- Games can sharpen logic and critical thinking skills.
- For the younger kids games can help with number, letter, and shape recognition; grouping; and counting.
- Some of the games promote problem-solving.
- Games can trigger creativity and innovation.
- They can promote social skills such as taking turns and being a good sport.
- Games can help children to lose graciously.
- They can teach perseverance and not to give up. You might be losing, but with a twist of fate you can suddenly come out on top!
Today I’m going to highlight a game called Lab Mice.
This game comes with a set of cards and a dry erase marker. The object is to connect all the mice to their cheese (red mouse to red cheese) without crossing any other mouse’s path.
What a HUGE hit this game was with the kids. We all love this game and there are so many levels it keeps all of us (including me!) thinking and trying to work out the solution!
We chose to put the cards into our dry erase activity center just to make sure the cards stay pristine.
Even ED worked on the puzzles, though as you can see she didn’t quite get the idea that only one mouse could go through each square.
This has been part of a series called Games for Thinking and Learning. You can see past posts by going to Categories in the right sidebar and selecting “Games.”
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
This is a series about some of games we include in our homeschool. Set is a fast paced card game that requires the players to think quickly and logically. Set is a fairly easy game to learn to play and can be played by one or more players.
To play, we laid out twelve cards. Each card contains one of three symbols (squiggles, diamonds, ovals) in varying numbers (up to three), colors (purple, green, red), and degrees of shading. You have to make a set with the characteristics being all the same or all different.
Below we have three ovals with the same number and shape, and all three have different colors.
While here the cards have the same number and shape, but different shading.
And here we have the same outline color and the same number, but different shapes.
This was recommended for ages 6 and up. DD, LD and I had a lot of fun playing it. At first it was too difficult for ED (4), but now about 4 weeks later she seems to have the hang of it. We liked this game so much, we chose this to bring on our trip!
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