Archive For The “Math, Logic & Strategy” Category

Deducktion: Logic Puzzle Game For On-the-Go Fun

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This is post was #sponsored by SmartGamesUSA by which we were provided a complimentary copy of Deducktion in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein strictly my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Quite simply, Deducktion is a logic puzzle game similar to other SmartGamesUSA reviews we’ve done like Little Red Riding Hood last week. Deducktion comes with cards to present 48 increasingly difficult challenges.

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The one major thing that differentiates this puzzle game from others that we’ve enjoyed is the magnetic component that makes Deducktion the perfect travel game. The cards are contained in a spiral bound binding and the game includes a flat, sturdy, magnetic boardgame as the back cover. The game is compact and held closed with a snap. It is very well designed for travel and the magnets are strong enough to keep pieces in place… this isn’t a given as I’ve seen poorly crafted travel games with weak magnets, but that’s not the case with Deducktion.

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Money in Motion; Money is Art

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We were excited to receive a sample copy of 3D Coin Art for review from NSI. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. This article may hold affiliate links.

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Let’s talk money. For my children, this was the “easy” math. They both enjoyed learning about money and how to use it. Interestingly, my son was more curious about the faces and images on the coins and bills, whereas my daughter was and is more interested in learning how to save and spend it. That is a completely honest statement. I would spend time discussing the presidents with Greg and in fact before Kindergarten he knew money by the presidents (plus Ben) more than the face value. Funny story. One afternoon he and I were driving home from the mall. Greg had gotten some birthday money but hadn’t brought his wallet. When he had found something he liked we purchased it and agreed he’d give me the money later. So driving home, I asked him how much he owed me, thinking this would be a good lesson on adding bills… $10 plus 3 singles. He bought a toy for $13. Without any hesitation he says, “3 George Washingtons and a Hamilton”. Not completely surprised, because again this was how he referred to money, I attempted to correct him in saying he owed me a Jackson instead of the Hamilton. At fives years old, boy, he stood his argument saying he ONLY owed me 3 Washingtons and a Hamilton. Finally, at a red light, I reached in my purse for a 10 or a 20 to settle the argument and of course, he was right. And at that point, he owed me nothing.

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Another fun fact: this was the same year the Lewis & Clark nickle had been released. Talk about great timing! Greg and I had been reading and researching all the cool discoveries Lewis & Clark had documented. (Ironically, this was also the foundation of Homeroom At Home, although we didn’t know it at the time.) It was terribly cool that the new nickle was being minted in honor of Lewis & Clark just as we were enthusiastically researching all that they had explored and encountered.

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So money isn’t necessarily just money, the paper we exchange just buy stuff. There’s history to explore behind each coin and every bill. Having been a bank teller many moons ago, I grew to have a deeper appreciation for the currency system. Money in – money out. Now not everyone can get that close to a vault full of cash – although I highly suggest taking an early career job as a teller, as it offers great perspective – but what families can do is visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Here you will find the permanent exhibit: Money In Motion. Money In Motion is an interactive, state of art display of our central banking system. Philadelphia is the birth place for the Bank of the United States. Exhibits include interactive displays of our nation’s financial history and changes to currency dating back to 1600’s. Take a look back at the money from each of the 13 colonies. Then explore the forecast measures for our economy and learn about the national deficit and electronic banking era.

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A bucket of change may never look the same to your child. To help them better appreciate our currency system, perhaps, start a small coin collection. Examine the artwork and symbolism of coins. It’s fun to find coins from certain years like family birthdays. In fact the other day Greg came to me with a shiny new penny from the year I was born. Who would have thought a 20 year-old would be concerned with my birth year but the fact that the penny looked brand new stood out. Collectors are of all ages. This 3D Coin Art puzzle is both a bank and a puzzle at the same time.

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It comes with collecting trays so your family can hand select the shiniest coins or those made in particular years. When the trays are filled, and the puzzle is complete using pennies & nickles for the stripes and dimes for the stars, the total amount on display is $25. It comes with a stand so the whole flag can sit on display.

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Enter to win a 3D Coin Art.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Money is a topic we can’t get around. Often we find these conversations to be difficult ones and believe it or not, our children overhear these discussions and comprehend more than sometimes we give them credit for. And while we want to, and should, teach our children how and why saving is so vital to our economy, it is also important to take an opportunity to see the other side of money: the artistic side, historical side.

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Geometric Puzzle Fun With ShapeOmetry Game

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This #sponsored post is brought to us by Think Fun. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Math isn’t the easiest thing… and certainly not trendy either. So no wonder it can be difficult sometime to get our children engaged in activities that are math-focused. ShapeOmetry is a family game, building on logic skills along with abstract and spacial reasoning, and mathematical strategies.

The game is placed solo or with a partner and the object is to solve the puzzle challenge cards as they increase in difficulty level. Each card shows you the exact blue and green game pieces to use to build identical shapes in blue and green. Trust us… it’s trickier than it sounds. Don’t be fooled with the simplicity of design or the preschool colors… this game packs some challenge.

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Speaking of packing… the mesh bag is quite convenient for storage and travel. And as Greg mentions in the below video, it makes for easy beach clean up should you choose to pack it in your late summer beach travels (it’s not too late). Either at home or on the go… ShapeOmetry offers a puzzling good time.

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Pocket Your Math Skills with Pocket Posh Mazematics

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While this is not a sponsored post, it does contain  affiliate links. As always, the opinions expressed herein strictly contain my own.

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Math is NOT a “necessary evil”.

While mathematics are essential… and definitely can present the trickiest of equations, it is in no way evil. As parents, we have to encourage our children to view math as a series of puzzles or challenges instead of a chore or a bore. And yes, of course, there will be those moments of tough love, urging our children to just push through 40 problems of practice work… but when you look at mathematics in a bigger picture, with a healthy respect and perspective… suddenly it feels less burdensome and far more manageable… and dare I say FUN!

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Math? Fun? How? Where do we find this magical math?

I’m not even sure how or when I got Pocket Posh Mazematics but they are available on Amazon, in several variations, as well as, through the publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing. Pocket Posh Mazematics are pocket-sized puzzle books of mathematical mazes. As you work your way around the maze, you are calculating the equations. For a maze lover, like me, Pocket Posh Mazematics is quite entertaining without being a chore or overwhelming. Obviously this math exercise is designed for older math, whereas yesterday’s measurement game, How Tall Am I was geared for the younger mathmagicians running in our circles.

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I love that it pops into the front pouch of a bookbag for easy access and travel, or your purse or slide it in the pocket behind the front seats of your vehicle. Convenient, non-overbearing challenges held together in a super cute patterned notebook-like cover. Perfect for stocking stuffers too.

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Back to School Focus on Math & Measurement Skills

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Every now and then you come across something that surprises you. That’s how I feel about the game How Tall Am I? by Jax.  It’s simple… maybe too simple and perhaps that one of the main things that attracts me to this game. This game is perfect for back to school season in that it offers great value hidden behind the fun of building silly characters.

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With heads and hats and shoes and mid-sections, participants are basically constructing a person based on their roll of the die. Then they guess how tall they think their character is. That’s it. They measure each piece earned and add or estimate the total height. This game is adored by Victoria and let’s be honest… how often are we coming across ways to teach or reinforce measurement? It’s so nice to be able to visually explain an inch and half inch. Fractions are tricky and How Tall Am I? gives a realistic use of fractions in such a way that our children not only get it but have fun learning about them. Win/Win.

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This is a terrific game for older and younger siblings to play together. It is an easy “off-the-shelf” game where you open the box and start playing. Minimum set up. Minimum clean up. You can pick up a copy for as little as $13 on Amazon. Here’s my affiliate link to How Tall Am I? on Amazon.

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Last Minute Summer Learning & Summer Brain Drain Challenges

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Try the Train Your Brain series for last minute summer learning.

This posts contains affiliate links and was #sponsored by Train Your Brain, by providing us review copies. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

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Ok, it’s the end of the summer… are you sitting here thinking, “wow, we really didn’t get to library as I hoped” or “oops, we were too busy for puzzles and reading”?  With less than two weeks before Labor Day and the start for local schools, we’ve got you covered. Train Your Brain is the perfect summer series to squeeze in that summer learning you soooo intended to do. Really. There are six books in the series, packed (but not overwhelmingly packed) with puzzles and mind games to get the kids ready for school… while still poolside. Many of the activities don’t even require a pencil, just mentally solve and move on. Very cool as a shared family resource. And kinda fun for the grown-ups too.

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So let’s take a peek at two of the books we were issued for review: Train You Brain – Cranium Crunchers (fitting, right? LOL) and Train Your Brain – Perplexing Puzzles. Each have 84 puzzles that get increasingly more challenging. The books are broken into 3 sections: Super Brain, Mega Mind, and Ultra Genius. Each have a variety of activities, and both books have similar puzzle styles (obviously not the exact same puzzles).

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Here’s what I like most… the puzzles are “doable” meaning not too intimidating and with quick instructions. Some people love a good crossword puzzle… for me, I don’t want to invest that much time into a single puzzle activity. I can’t help but think many children feel the same way… this Train Your Brain, the puzzles are challenging without being overly time consuming. Love it.

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Lessons through Lemonade – Supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

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We’re so excited to be holding our first ever lemonade stand, and just as excited to be supporting a wonderful cause and team of dedicated, sincere supporters.ALSF stand

Holding an Alex’s Lemonade stand affords many learning opportunities, the first & most significant being a lesson on the sensitivity for and awareness of childhood cancer and all that can be done on a small scale and personal level to help bring a cure all the closer.  ALSF has a fantastic children’s book to explain the true story behind the one and only Alex, the little girl with a big dream.

When you register to hold an official Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the organization sends you a free kit to get started (including the sign below that we adhered to a large piece of plywood).  Their guide is super helpful (and includes Alex’s tax ID which many of our sponsors requested).  The kit includes instructions for collecting donations and submitting them after your event.  Really – they take the guesswork out of the equation.  Please consider holding your own stand – no stand too small and no effort unnoticed.

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National Lemonade Days:

Friday, June 6th thru Sunday, June 8th

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#OneCupAtATime

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Getting started is part of the fun and learning process.  We looked around for something we could convert into a stand… and found a couple pieces to paint.  Call on the creativity of your kids… what should the stand offer? How will it be setup?  ALSF Via n Mom

Decide on your “menu” and prices.  We offered lemon jello cups and lollipops for 50 cents plus two varieties of lemonade.  We bottled some lemonade in cute mason jars ($4) for those that wanted some for later.

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We secured some raffle baskets from local businesses that wanted to contribute to this awesome cause… who wouldn’t want to help these kids?  ALSF lemons

Many thanks to Acme Markets, Fornaro’s Wine & Spirits, Cracker Barrel, Destination Organized, Pennscare Pharmacy and Big Mike’s Grill.

ALSF basketsDon’t these baskets look amazing – valued between $30 to $110 – Many thanks again!!

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Please note that raffle tickets are still be accepted until May 28th at $3.00 per chance.  We accept checks made out to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation or through PayPal (Barbara.Spalding@yahoo.com).  Donations of any amount are appreciated and accepted through our official Alex’s Lemonade page.  Winners will be notified May 29th.

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Again a big shout out to ALSF for providing the awesome prize pack of official ALSF goodies including a tee-shirt, water bottle, plus more.  To participate in the giveaway, you need NOT purchase a raffle ticket.  To participate, simply Like us on Facebook AND tweet out the following between May 23rd and May 28th.

“I supported @HomeroomAtHome and @AlexsLemonade stand to help fight childhood cancer. #OneCupAtATime #GoLemonOnLocust”

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Lastly, let me mention the beautiful little darling that touched our hearts with her  and her family’s amazing story of courage, compassion and strength.  Dear Ms. Lily Adkins ~  Thank you for opening our eyes and hearts.  Thank you for your continued lesson on love and survival.  May you continue to be blessed forever. Good luck with your upcoming stand on June 7th.

Learning to love beyond our own circumstance is the greatest lesson – for that I thank the Adkins family and Alex Scott, may her dream be soon realized.

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