Do you believe that play has a purpose? SimplyFun does. This company strongly believes that play can make the world a better place, increase learning, and build bonds and strengthen family ties through interactive and educational games such as Shape Whiz.
Reviewing Shape Whiz has been a blast and it is one of those products about which our family has said “I can’t believe we got to review this! It is so much fun!” Begging to pull the game out night after night, we have played this game several times a week since we got it. We have enjoyed being together and playing together. That doesn’t even touch on all the math – yes, math! – that the girls learned.
Math/Geometry and critical thinking skills are the focus of the academic learning with Shape Whiz. The math skills include things such as area, perimeter, and angles. Terminology includes greater than, less than, parallel, sides, line of symmetry and more. The learning is so engrained now that these are almost every day language for the girls; they are not just for math time anymore. Playing Shape Whiz so much has helped the girls see these things in every day life and application. It is wonderful!
Critical thinking skills show up throughout the game, as well. To play, you have a mathematical statement that you have to find the answer for. It isn’t really a question, more a phrase. Something like “< two lines of symmetry”. Or maybe “perimeter of > 8”. (Some of these took quite a bit of out loud discussion between At Home Dad and I to decide what it was asking for but once we figured out the patterns, it made all of them easier to read.) Each player has shape cards turned up in front of them that may or may not answer the statement. The players are racing to find the card that fits the statement. There can be more than one right answer or no cards that fit the statement. This is challenging your thinking skills and forcing a player to be able to verbally defend their answer choice when another player questions the card.
We played this game several different ways, modifying it for the youngest member of our family to be able to participate. At 6 years old, she could not compete with her older sisters in speed since we had to explain a lot of the terminology to her. So, when she was playing, the person turning the statement card over had to read it out loud and then each person had to give her a chance to answer it first. Then every one could jump in and race to answer the it. When I played with just me and her, we just answered the questions together one by one, learning the words and phrases. She picked up on a lot of the concepts and ideas quickly.
When we played without the 6 year old, we tried to play it by the rules. The first couple of times were hard; it is definitely a game that you learn the rules by playing. We played with just the blue cards for a while, as these were the simpler shapes making the answers a bit easier to find. Once the girls became a bit more familiar with the terms and application of the concepts, we switched to just the green cards with the more difficult, less straight-forward shapes (such a tear drops and semi-circles). We did mix the cards some to play, as well.
This is a definite hit for our family. We will be using this game a lot. It is fun to see the girls mathematical reasoning skills growing by leaps and bounds through a game that can be played in 30 minutes or less. Even a busy family can find 30 minutes to spend together playing a game.
Building Smarter Kids and Stronger Families through the amazing Power of Play! – that is SimplyFun.
If you would like to experience the power of play, visit SimplyFun. They have offered At Home readers a discount code that is available through July 31, 2015. At checkout, just use the code SHREVIEW for 15% off of your first purchase. You can’t beat that. I have been eyeing a couple of their items to use this code with. I imagine you’ll find something, as well.
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