Archive for the ‘
Games for Thinking and Learning ’ Category
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
We have been playing a couple of wonderful geography games in our homeschool. We have the Africa version, but you can also buy these same games in a version of Europe, Asia, or the Americas.
The first is a card game called WorldWise Geography (Africa) I got for just a couple of dollars (it’s a different version that the one I linked to. It looks like the game has been updated a bit.) We didn’t play it quite like the rules indicate, but the kids loved it so much they asked to start school with it (and the other geography game) each day last week!
Each card has a country on one side and the neighboring countries or bodies of water that surround it on the other. We played with the map side face up and each person looked to see if they had one of the neighboring cards to place on top. If not they could place a wild card or super wild card or would draw from the pile.
The first couple of times, we played with are cards face up so we could all help one-another (to make it less competitive). This game was great for my kids (ages 7 and 9), but it is much too complicated at this point for my 5 year old.
The other game we played is a wonderful board game called 10 Days in Africa. In this board game, each player is give 10 cards. Each person has to take a trip across Africa by going from country to a bordering country. If you have a jeep, you can travel to any other country. And, if you get an airplane (let’s say a green plane), you can travel from one green country to another green country by plane. You cannot end your trip with a jeep or a plane ride.
There are three draw piles and three face up cards to choose from when it’s your turn. You can discard onto any pile. Each play should always have exactly 10 cards (you just can’t see all the cards in the picture below because we were trying to figure out how to make the trip work!)
Here is a winning trip:
I can’t recommend this game enough for your homeschool or for a family game night. It’s really fun and educational!
We also have this same game for Europe — 10 Days in Europe… and there is also 10 Days in Asia, 10 Days in the Americas, 10 Days in the USA. Just choose the geography you’re interested in learning and you’ll be building your dream trip too!
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!!
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
We have several cooperative games that we play pretty regularly. I love that there is no winner or loser! A few weeks ago we borrowed another cooperative game from a friend called, The Secret Door. It was a huge hit with all of my kids!
In this game there are clock cards and object cards.
Set Up: Before the game starts you place three object cards behind the wooden door. These are the objects the robber has taken off with. Then you place all the rest of the cards (mixed up) upside-down in the various rooms of the house.
To Play: The players take turns flipping over a card. If the player gets an object (such as a crown or a necklace) she places the object on the bottom row. If she turns over a clock card she covers one of the clocks at the top.
To Win the Game: The object of the game is to figure out what three objects the robber has hidden behind the secret door before time runs out and all the clocks are covered at the top.
If you are interested in cooperative games for your kids, you might want to look at one of my previous posts. My 4 year old still loves Lost Puppies and Hoot Owl. We play Lost Puppies two to four times a week still! I had a post about them last year here: Preschool Board Games.
Click here to see other games we use in our homeschool.
Have a great day!
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.
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.”