Posts Tagged ‘ critical thinking games ’

Games for Thinking and Learning: Lab Mice

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…

Why games?

  • 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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Games for Thinking and Learning: Set

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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Games for Thinking and Learning: Zoologic

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Sorry, I had to bump this post back a day because I wanted to honor the mission team from the Mars Exploration Program – and talk about how we (the public) have benefited from the technology spinoffs we derived from the space program. Now on to logic games!

This is a series about some of logic and critical thinking games we include in our homeschool. You can see the first post about here that explains why we include games in our homeschool. Last week I highlighted Acuity and Clever Castle.

My sister passed along another thinking game to us last summer. It’s called Zoologic. DD (age 6) has been the one most drawn to this game. ED hasn’t quite had the patience for it.

Players have to determine where to put the animals (dog, cat and mouse) and food (bone, fish and cheese) while adhering to the rules:

  • A dog cannot be placed next to a bone or a cat
  • A cat cannot be placed next to a dog, a fish or a mouse
  • A mouse cannot be placed next to a cheese or a cat

As the game progresses new obstacles are introduced such as hungry ants or an angry bull.

  • Animals cannot go on top of an angry bull.
  • Food cannot be placed on top of ants.

LD quickly joined in on the fun!

You might enjoy other posts in this series: Games for Thinking and Learning.  Go to Categories in the right sidebar and select “Games.”

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Have Your Kids Join in on the Think Challenge!

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Think Challenge – Week 2

 The kids did their second Think Challenge this week.  Each day I spend time reading a book aloud to the kids. Right now we’re reading a wonderful book about the Oregon Trail.   On Thursday I had them try this challenge while I read.

The Goal: Build a tower with post-it notes. Make it as sturdy and high as you can.

Here are some of the solutions my kids came up with.  Maybe your kids might want to give it a go?!

 Thanks again to  Ami over at Walking By the Way and  Kids Who Think for posting the Think Challenge ideas.

Here is last week’s challenge:


Think Challenge –  Week 1

When the kids were much younger (2009 or so) I heard great things about a website called Kids Who Think. Each week she put up new challenges and lots of people got in on the act.  Recently Ami over at Walking By the Way put together a class syllabus based on those challenges.  My kids are just about the right age to participate in these challenges now. We did the first our first one Friday, Feb. 17th.

The Goal: Build the tallest tower you can with silverware.  Surprisingly, ED (age 4) was the first to assemble something that stood upright.  After that LD took the lead.  These challenges are supposed to get kids to work together, but in this particular challenge the kids and I all worked on our own towers.

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