Posts Tagged ‘ games for learning ’

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: 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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Games for Thinking and Learning: Acuity and Clever Castle

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Wednesday’s Games:

Last year I wrote a post about how we added in some critical thinking activities into our homeschool. This year I’ve made a special point to add in some logic and thinking games into our week as well.  This is a series about some of games we include in our homeschool. We have a table that serves as our games table (the table with the red and white table cloth below). I rotate in new game about every three days or so (usually Sunday and Wednesday evenings). These are never mandatory, I simply set them out and wait for the kids to ask to play. The kids often start playing with each other.

A lot of the games we play are logic/critical thinking games, but we also bring in basic board games and card games too since taking turns and being a good sport are as good lessons to learn as any. Some of them (like Clever Castle) are single-player games, others you need at least two players.

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 Acuity.  After setting out the tiles (as you see below), one tile is turned face up.  The players have to search for matches. You can find a simple corner match (like in the photo below).

You can also rotate tiles to make a match:

Below I included a short you-tube video that also describes Acuity. This is a game that’s good for ages 5 or 6 and up.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago I mentioned another logic game called Clever Castle. Clever Castle is great for thinking logically and sequentially. It’s perfect for 4-year olds and up (it was a bit hard for her last year, but now she’s able to do the puzzles independently.) They progress in difficulty. ED is working on the easy level. The photo on the right is “super hard” level.  ED had to figure out where each piece went, using the clues provided.

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Think Challenges:

You might also enjoy reading about the Think Challenges that we did last year. These were activities that required the kids to think outside the box.  We did activities such as building a parachute that would safely protect a raw egg dropped from a distance or building a tall tower out of plastic forks!

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