Posts Tagged “puzzles”

Pocket Your Math Skills with Pocket Posh Mazematics

By |

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

pocket-posh-mazematics-profile-pic

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!

pocket-posh-mazematics-feature-pic

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.

pocket-posh-mazematics-profile2-pic

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.

Read more »

Walls & Warriors Connect Strategic Thinking with Literacy

By |

Connecting Critical Thinking skills and Literacy

We love when a game ties critical thinking skills to a love of reading or a topic a child is passionate about.

Thank you SmartGamesUS for providing us a review copy of Walls & Warriors. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Connecting Critical Thinking with Literacy

Back to school is in full force and in the spirit of things – we’ve found the perfect pair for connecting strategic thinking skills with literacy. Another SmartGamesUS puzzle game, Walls & Warriors, (coming soon) with knights and a castle is perfect for our adventure stories of knights and midevil times. Victoria was fascinated to learn that castles truly exist and aren’t just “part of the story”. We love the book  I Wonder Why Castles Had Moats by Philip Steele that showcases the inside of a castle… including the ever-famous bathroom. What really went on behind those stone walls? It is a great resource for bringing fantasy and history together. And as long as we’re talking castles and all… be sure to check out SmartGamesUS’ Castle Logix game as well.

walls-warriors-2

Couple the Walls & Warriors puzzle game with fictional stories about knights, such as The Barefoot Book of Knights by John Matthews. Children won’t realize that they are exercising their critical thinking skills while playing the game, especially if listening to the narrated version of the stories or chatting about them should you have had your reading time prior to game play. Either way… take the theme to a whole new level and completely amp up the educational value of these resources when paired together.

knights

Below you can see that the puzzle is appropriate for varying ages with 60 challenge cards, multiple knights (blue and red) and a single castle to defend. There are four wall pieces used to enclose any number of the blue knights (based on the challenge card layout) and the castle. The first few are pretty simple, even for Victoria (age 6) but they do get more challenging. I think everyone in the family has picked up this game on their own to play… something about the pieces and design that is enticing. LOL SmartGamesUS nailed it on this one.

walls-warriors

Read more »

Explore the Wild With Jungle Hide & Seek Game & Jungle Theme Stories

By |

We’ve partnered with SmartGamesUSA for a series of games and puzzle reviews. We are very excited to be working with them to provide our readers with an honest review of Jungle Hide & Seek. Affiliate links may be contained in this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

Jungle Profile Pic

If there’s one theme that gets kids really going… it’s the wild of the Jungle. We’ve done many variations with the jungle theme because there are tons of craft ideas and great reading selections… not to mention all the animal science and habitat discovery. Here the Jungle Hide & Seek puzzle game by SmartGamesUSA pairs nicely with a couple favorite Barefoot Books: The Animal Boogie and Walking Through The Jungle (both with catchy songs and CD’s). Go wild with this theme… or just enjoy a fun puzzle with some family quiet time. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Jungle Hide & Seek and these Barefoot Books.

Jungle Hide & Seek 3

Jungle Hide & Seek is a puzzle game from SmartGamesUSA, challenging players as a single person game. Similar to well-known, Rush Hour, Jungle Hide & Seek has multiple puzzle challenges which provides lot of game play and ensures players remain on their toes. Jungle Hide & Seek is particularly meaningful because it showcases a dual-sided game board, which incidentally works as storage for the puzzle pieces. On one side you have traditional jungle animals like elephants, tigers and a baboon. On the flip side, children are introduced to nocturnal animals including the lemur, fox, and panther. Aside from being a terrific brain activity, I really like that Jungle Hide & Seek can be partnered with Halloween themes around creatures of the night. It could be used as a party game using teams. We typically leave the spooks to other families and focus on nocturnal animals for our Halloween festivities and activities. It’s all about adding in a layer of learning while having a great time.

Jungle Hide & Seek Profile Pic

As I mentioned above, Jungle Hide & Seek partners perfectly with several of our personal library books on jungle animals. If you are going to the zoo as a family or class trip, this is a perfect game to follow that experience because it speaks to the animals of the wild. Likewise, if you read a lot of stories about animals, Jungle Hide & Seek will help to bring the two activities together. This game will surely become part of our Jungle curriculum, as well as, our Animal Adventures series, both coming soon.

Walk Thru The Jungle & Animal Boogie BFB

Jungle Hide & Seek offers 80 challenges building in complexity. It is perfect for ages 7 to adult… and yes, I’ve challenged myself a couple times and have gotten as far as puzzle card #23. There are four puzzle pieces (with a green and blue side each). Using the corresponding side, players use all four puzzle pieces for each challenge and trust me, it’s a lot more challenging than I’m describing. And a little bit addicting. #JustSaying

Jungle Hide & Seek Jungle Hide & Seek 4Walking Thru The Jungle BFB

Read more »

Last Minute Summer Learning & Summer Brain Drain Challenges

By |

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.

Train Your Brain 2 (4)

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.

Train Your Brain 2 (1)

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).

Train Your Brain Inside Pic

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.

Read more »