Posts Tagged ‘ critical thinking games ’

Strategy Game: Quoridor (ages 6+)

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I don’t know about you, but there are times when the kids complain about being bored and not having anything to do.  We’ve been trying to bring out some board games that don’t get much use during the school year. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about a game called Quarto. Another quick strategy game we’ve been playing this summer is called Quoridor. The goal of this game is simple, to be the first player to reach the opposite side of the board. What keeps it challenging is that your opponent can place barriers from letting you get across.

Your opponent tries to stop you from reaching the other side by putting up fences to block your path and slow you down.  On your turn, you have a choice of moving one space or putting a fence in place. At times you might be forced to back-track and retrace your steps along the maze of fences!

This game is recommended for ages 6+. My kids have all enjoyed it.

Related Posts: You might want to check out the Critical Thinking Activities category for more board games and card games that our family enjoys such as Set, Quiddler, Who Nu, Blink, Lab Mice and more.

Be sure to check out the entire Summer Activities SeriesWe have lots of indoor and outdoor activities to share with you all summer long – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!

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Quarto Strategy Game

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

This summer, we’re trying to bring out some of the board games that are often ignored during the school year. Board games and strategy games can foster the ability to think, focus, and problem solve. Games require players to plan ahead and can help develop more sophisticated thinking skills. Games are beneficial because they foster social interaction and social skills. Everyone practices taking turns and following the rules.  Games also help everyone learn good sportsmanship–winning and losing gracefully. A board game can cost less that taking the family to the movies and yet can be repeated over and over. Besides, they’re fun!

The game I want to share with you today is a strategy game called Quarto.  It is a challenging game that takes tic-tac-toe to another level!  Players try to get four in a row by attribute:

  • color (tan or dark brown)
  • shape (circle or square)
  • solid or hollow
  • tall or short
The twist is that each player gives the other player the next piece to place onto the board.

In the picture below, DD is placing a solid square piece on the board. This prevents me from winning by placing hollow or circular piece.  After she places her piece, she’ll decide which dark piece to hand me for my move. 

My six year old is able to play this game, though it is more competitive playing with my 8 and 10 year olds who can both strategize and think ahead.

You can find the Quarto Strategy Game at Amazon.

Related Posts: You might want to check out the Critical Thinking Activities category for more board games and card games that our family enjoys such as Set, Quiddler, Who Nu, Blink, Lab Mice and more.

Be sure to check out the entire Summer Activities SeriesWe have lots of indoor and outdoor activities to share with you all summer long – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!

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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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