Tag Archives: games

Quizlet – Blogging Through the Alphabet

Q Quizlet

This week is letter Q for Blogging Through the Alphabet. I had thought and brainstormed and kept coming up with things I could make work but didn’t really spark my own interest. I didn’t want to waste your time. Then, today, while thinking about the work one of the giggly girls still needed to do, I asked “Have you worked on Quizlet today?” And my brain registered the Q and said “That’s it!”

So, Quizlet.

Do you know Quizlet?

This is a free, online quiz system. It is wonderful. We have used it for tons of things. I can create my own set of cards to quiz over or sometimes, I can look up the questions I want that someone else has already done and made public. Now that has been wonderful!

When I go to Quizlet and make my own set, I have a question and answer series that I enter. It is as simple as entering the question and its corresponding answer. Then move on to the next question/answer. On and on until you have entered them all. At that point, it is time for the kiddos to start quizzing.

There are several functions on Quizlet, or ways in which the quizzing can be done: flashcards, learn, spell, test, match, and gravity.

Q Quizlet screenshot

Home Screen in Quizlet for this study set

 

For flashcards: One part is shown. After making your guess, you click the corner and it shows you the other side. You can mark ones that you struggled with and then work on just those. You can do it all again. You can do the question first or you can do the answer first. The flashcards are pretty flexible, which is awesome!

For Learn: It gives you either the question or the answer and you type in the other part.

For Spell: This one works best for vocabulary and spelling words. It tells you the part you are to type in. If you are using it for Bible study with younger ones (as we often do), the spelling will get them and they will end up with a lot marked incorrect. We seldom use this function.

For Test: This gives you a series of questions and you supply the answer. Again you can choose which part you want it to give you. The test generally has 20 questions: 5 type in the right answer, 5 matching, 5 multiple choice, and 5 true/false. This is a feature that Miss E likes to use.

For Match: The questions and answers are put out there and you drag and drop the matches onto each other. Simple and fun. All three of the giggly girls use this one a lot. This is probably the MOST used function for our family.

For Gravity: This is a game where asteroids have to be destroyed. It gives you one part and you have to type in the other part. You can use the term/question, the definition/answer, or select random for it to go back and forth. This is one the girls do like but it is harder for Bible bowl study due to the way the questions are worded.

On the main page, you see a list of the questions in your set. You can arrange them the way you typed them in, alphabetical, or by stats (how many are missed most/least/etc.). This is nice if you have only one person using it and you can quickly see what needs worked on. Even as a family, we are able to see where we need to work on our Bible bowl questions.

This is a fun and easy to use resource that really does a tremendous job of helping the girls study their Bible bowl questions and memory work. We most often access it on the desktop computer or a Kindle. It works well either way. I don’t know that the exact same activities are on both platforms but we use it both ways and the girls can move easily from one to the other.

If you are looking for a free resource to help with memory work, definitions, spelling, or other memory work, check our Quizlet. It was simple to make a free account and I can share my work with others or use quiz sets that someone else has made available publicly. I have a filing cabinet where I can list those for the girls to pick from. Quick and easy.

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

String Games

Today the girls have spent lots of time doing string games. If you are like me, you remember these from when you were 12 or 13 and you carried a loop of string with you all the time to make a cat’s cradle or a Jacob’s ladder or cat’s whiskers or any number of other things.

string-games

It started out kind of strange because we have been reading The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards. (Just a book I picked up somewhere but I’ll be sharing more about it because it is so fun!) In the book, there is a creature called the Splintercat who lives in a cat’s cradle made of string. In the story, he pulls out his loop of string and plays the cat’s cradle game but messes it up to the point that someone is stuck in the string.

It made me start thinking of looking up some videos of how to do these string games because it has been so long since I have done them that I don’t really remember.

Fast forward to sign language class this morning. Miss E’s best friend, who she takes sign classes with, had spent the Thanksgiving holidays learning a bundle of string games from her cousins and looking them up on YouTube. We then went to a homeschool lunch, which was also attended by aforementioned best friend, and the girls sat there and played these string games for about an hour.

Then, when we got home, we looked up the suggested YouTube link – Mom’s Minivan. Definitely the place to go for simple, easy-to-follow videos and her website has some printed instructions on how to do many of these string games. It’s a hit. I imagine I will be seeing string games going on here for many days to come.

Simple, fun, inexpensive, and challenging – all that I love in a game.

At Home.

 

Commissioned (Chara Games) ~ a TOS review

We really enjoy games but had never tried a collaborative board game as a family. We were glad to get to review Commissioned by Chara Games because it appealed to us in several ways. First of all, it was a collaborative game and that would be new for us. Second, it is themed on the Apostles of the New Testament with several variations on the spread of the gospel. Third, it looked like a challenge and who doesn’t love a good challenge?

Well, I found out that two of my three giggly girls do not like a good challenge when it comes to board games but my third? She loved it. She is only 7 and pretty far beneath the suggested age for this game (14+). Still, she and I have played it a few times and she enjoys it each time. She does not have the attention span to play all the way through the game but we have done well and gotten pretty far.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

So, what is Commissioned?

Commissioned is a collaborative game, as I stated earlier. That means that all the participants are working towards the same goal and do so by cooperating, choosing plays that benefit everyone. The teams work together to select moves and make choices that guide them all towards fulfilling a scenario. Acting as the twelve Apostles, the players work together to grow the church, overcome persecution/trials, and collect all of the books of the New Testament.

Commissioned is created by Chara Games. Chara Games was founded in 2014 by Patrick & Katherine Lysagh. Their vision is to create games that bring joy and develop a relationship with God. Chara is the Greek word for unshakable joy and that is built right into their vision. This startup company has a unique perspective, in my opinion, and their products are really quite innovative.

commissioned-set-up

So, how do you actually play Commissioned?

That is a bit more difficult to explain. Rather, it is best to see it. That is why Chara Games has created a fantastic set-up video that walks you through how to set up and begin play on Commissioned. You can find that video on YouTube, as well as on their website. This video explains each of the parts of the games, the pieces, and how to set them up. It is definitely the starting point for the first game of Commissioned.

A game runs through several rounds that consist of ARM (getting yourself prepared to live and share God’s word, gaining your talents or strengths), LIVE (growing the church, facing trials, sharing the Word, gathering God’s written word, and more), and MATURE (gaining more faith and talents). The team is attempting to complete the scenario that is chosen. Success of that scenario is defined on the card.

commissioned-collageExample: Acts of the Apostles (suggested starting scenario) states that a victorious end will happen when there is a church in every city on the board and all of the New Testament has been collected. It also tells us that failure occurs when the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity.

While it is extremely difficult to describe each aspect of Commissioned, if you will visit Chara Games’ website, you will find several videos and explanations to help you understand more about the game. And, as with so many of the very best games, start playing and it will make more sense. Playing is hard the first couple of times. But it gets easier with each game you play. And this one? It encourages us to be more like to Apostles and to somewhat visually see the impact that choices make on the kingdom of God and its spread in the world.

Chara Games has created a really fun game here. But they have also created another game very recently. This game is titled 3 Seeds and the first printing just came off the production line. We have been playing 3 Seeds, as well. This one is a card games in which you are trying to sow seeds, grow crops and harvest them, scoring points along the way. This is a strategy game designed for ages 12+. If you would like to view a video on 3 Seeds, please visit Chara Games’ website. I have posted a full review for 3 Seeds that you can click over to read.3-seeds-pieces

Chara Games has created unique and original ideas for games. With their first two games, Commissioned and 3 Seeds, they bring joy to families and bring the families together. The games are fun and different. We will get much use out of these games in the future, I do believe.

At Home.

Read additional reviews from other families on the Homeschool Review Crew to see what they thought of Commissioned.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Crew Disclaimer

3 Seeds (Chara Games) ~ a TOS review

3-seeds-pieces

Getting to review a game is always a fun change of pace for me and recently we have been playing two new ones. 3 Seeds is a new card game presented by Chara Games. They have already brought out Commissioned, a collaborative board game based on the trials of the New Testament Apostles to spread the word of God and bring forth new churches. You can read that review here.

Chara Games was founded in 2014 by Patrick & Katherine Lysagh. Their vision is to create games that bring joy and develop a relationship with God. Chara is the Greek word for unshakable joy and that is built right into their vision.

3 Seeds is brought to you by Chara Games. It was designed by the team of Anthony & Holli Buhr. They worked with Chara Games to create a card game where you have to work together. It is quite an interesting concept. 3 Seeds is a game for 2-5 players and is labeled as a “light strategic” card game. I guess that means some strategy is required but it is not terribly taxing on the brain. That’s my take after playing it, at any rate.

The 3 seeds in the game are time, money, and labor. Just as in life, you have a limited amount of each (each player has 2 cards of each) and you must decide where your investment will be put to the best use. Do you choose to work only for your own advantage or do you choose to work with someone else’s crop and perhaps reap additional benefits? This is the constant and changing thought: where to play and when to use any helps you might have.

3-seeds-two-player-game

You use the 3 different types of seeds to grow various crops. Each crop requires a different amount of each seed type and the harvest varies. Your goal is to get the largest number return on your investment of time, money, and labor. Each seed invested in the crop is worth a certain point value at harvest time. The harvest determines that value. The person with the highest point value when there are no more crops to invest in is the winner.

This is a fun game to play. It is not terribly difficult to figure out but the video on the 3 Seeds website is extremely helpful in seeing those first few minutes of play. After watching the video, it was really easy to jump into the game and play.

A round of the game takes approximately 30-45 minutes so it isn’t a huge time commitment. However, you may decide you want to play more than one round of the game at a time so it may take much longer in the overall time scheme.

We have not had the game long so we haven’t played it a lot but I can definitely foresee this becoming a favorite game. This game is one that all three of our giggly girls can easily play. Our youngest is 7 and our oldest is 12. The game is listed at an age recommendation of 12+ but Miss J doesn’t seem to struggle with it.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

If you are looking for a unique game to gift this Christmas, look into 3 Seeds. It is a fun and different take on games. And it seems to me that Chara Games’ purpose is fulfilled – this game is fun to play and that brings joy to our family.

At Home.

If you would like to read more reviews on Chara Games, check out the Homeschool Review Crew’s experiences with the collaborative board game Commissioned.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Find Chara Games on Facebook and Twitter  @Charagames

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Sunya ~ a TOS review

Sunya game
Math. Normally this would be followed by {sigh}. Sunya Publishing changed that. At least a little bit! This brand new company is producing a brand new math game that we have really enjoyed here At Home: Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing.

Now, we don’t typically go around laughing and giggling over math games. But this one? We did. I used this as a fun one-on-one game with Miss E in order to review her multiplication and division facts. It worked great! She laughed, giggled, and beat me every single time. I kid you not! Every time!

The name of the company – Sunya (pronounced Soon-ya) – comes from Sanskrit, an ancient language from India. This word means “empty or void of any quantity.”

This is a simple card game. Really it boils down to simply making true mathematical sentences with the cards. Then, using the cards in your hand, you have to change the existing mathematical sentence to a new one. You have to change at least one card. The first person to play all of the cards in their hand wins. Simple as that!

One rule that we adored? While you are working to rid your hand of cards, you are able and encouraged to collaborate with the other players when someone is stuck. No struggling on your own! Team work!
Sunya number sentences

Oh – and the winner gets the reward of choosing a card from the math and science fact and riddle card pile. These cards are simply challenging, funny, or strange math and science facts or riddles. It is very tempting to just spend a while reading through all of these and getting all the fun facts and trying all the riddles right away. But don’t! Save it for a win and then savor the joy of challenging your opponent with whatever is on the card you pick.

Now, we basically only played the first type of game with these cards. There are additional rules that you can use if you want something much more challenging or if you want to make it more competitive. There are rules for Sunya Multiplying & Diving Game II, Solitaire Sunya, Team Sunya, and Sunya 400. We did not venture into these rules and games.

Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing comes with a School and Homeschool Teacher/Parent Guidebook (comb bound with slick cardstock covers), a set of 60 Sunya playing cards, and a set of 30 math and science fact and riddle cards. We also received a small number line to assist if needed. That is all you need to play the game.
studying Sunya cards

When you get ready to dig into the instructions, I want you to remember that it is easier to play the game than the rules read. The rules are addressing every single possible issue that might be had but really, just play. Don’t over think it and have fun. Make number sentences that are true; have the next player change at least one part of the sentence while still making it true, and continue on. Don’t stress over these rules. They are very simple. Just play and have fun! When you need clarification on something, then pull out the rules but don’t read them too hard.

The Guidebook was sent to us mostly in black and white printing but a couple of the pages were in color. This was done to ask our opinion about which we liked best. I don’t know what the final printing of it will look like. I think the color pages looked nicer but they certainly were not necessary and did not add anything to the understanding of the game.

In the back of the guidebook, there are fun facts and quotes that can really enhance the learning. We are going to be covering these with some notebooking soon. The girls will learn about the history of our number system, what Sunya means, a bit about the language of math and its history. There is also a glossary, examples of the parts of number sentences, famous math quotes, and copies of the math and science fact cards. There is plenty of learning that can come out the Guidebook, as well!

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}
One other note: I would love to see the two card decks have different backs. It would be less confusing on the playing surface to not have two card decks that looked the same. Also, it would make it much easier to separate them when they get mixed up .

I have no complaints about this game. It has been fun and brought plenty of giggles. Plus, Miss E practiced her math facts in multiplication and division while having fun. Sunya is a win-win for us.

At Home.
Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}
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USAopoly ~ a TOS review

USAopoly gamesDon’t ask! I can’t figure out how to say the name for the game company we have been having a blast reviewing! However you choose to say it USAopoly has some amazing game concepts that are so much fun to play. We love learning through play. We have been playing Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone and laughing so hard our sides ache.

USAopoly is the company behind many of your favorite branded games. Their website is packed full of fun products that will bring delight. Since, 1994 USAopoly has been brainstorming all sorts of joy for families. With award-winning games such as Telestrations and Ratuki, there is no end to the laughter coming your way. With a passion for bringing people together and unique ideas, this company is sure to be around for a while yet.

Wonky

Wonky piecesWonky is a strange combination of a tower building game, a card game, and laughter. But don’t bump the table or it all starts over! The concept of Wonky is simple: get rid of all of your cards. The application of that concept – not so simple. You have to build a tower with blocks that are not square in the process. Those cards you have to get rid of? They have different pictures on them showing you which color and size of block you must add to the tower. If you are successful, play moves on. If not, the tower falls, you have to draw more cards, and everyone laughs at the silliness that ensues with each fall of the tower.Wonky blocks

This game is labeled for ages 8+. We played it successfully with all of our girls who range from age 6 to 11. I think that it could perhaps be a frustrating experience for the younger ages, depending on personality because the blocks that have to be added to the tower are not straight sided. They are intentionally curved and not square, reinforcing the name of the game: Wonky. However, this was lots of fun. If you love card games and building towers, this will bring you some laughter.

Tapple

Tapple is a word game that requires concentration, speed, and out-of-the-box thinking if you are going to best that wordsmith in your family. The word Tapple itself is a word play – Touch Activated Press & Play Letter Eliminator. I love that!

Tapple gameTo play Tapple, someone picks a card and selects a category from it. Then, the 10 second timer is started, and play begins. Each person has 10 seconds to say a word that fits the category and tap the timer. Play then moves on to the next person. The trick is that once you say a word, you also have to push down the first letter of that word. Once the letter is down, no one else can use a word that begins with that letter. Not so bad while T, N, S, and E are still available but when you get down to O and I, it can get tricky with lots of the categories! Not every letter is even a possibility to begin with. The letters that it is really unusual to have a word start with (like Q and U) are not included at all.

We actually didn’t use the timer all that much. We did play with it a little bit. What we found, though, was that it was really frustrating for all of the girls. Even our 11 year old, though the game is marked at ages 8+. Ten seconds is just not very long. So, when playing as a family, we often didn’t time it at all. We did push them to answer quickly and if they drug their thinking out too long, we’d move on and eliminate them from that round. It would be easy to grab a little timer and set it for 30 seconds, which I think is more age appropriate for our girls. And a neat little storage feature they have included? The cards have a compartment on the back that is easy to open and holds all the cards, so they are less likely to get lost.

What We Think

We love Tapple and Wonky is lots of fun. The girls are constantly asking to play these games and have railroaded a college-age friend who comes over for dinner every week into playing with them several times. These are perfect for family game night and these games will stay in our play rotation for quite a while, I imagine. They are fun and so very different from others that we have. Thinking games are always welcome here.

At Home.

 

Connect with USAopoly on social media:
Twitter https://twitter.com/USAopoly
Instagram https://instagram.com/usaopoly/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/usaopoly
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/usaopoly/

Read reviews on Wonky and Tapple from other Review Crew members.

 USAopoly Review

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SimplyFun – a TOS review

SimplyFun challenge

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.

Shape WhizReviewing 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!

set up to playCritical 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.

propts

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.

Shape Whiz box

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.

At Home.

Find SimplyFun on social media.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simplyfun
Twitter: https://twitter.com/simplyfun
Instagram: https://instagram.com/simplyfun/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/simplyfun/

To find more reviews of SimplyFun, Shape Whiz, and another game titled Expanders, click the Review Crew banner.

Simply Fun Review

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