Showing posts with label visual discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label visual discrimination. Show all posts

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Think Fun! continued...

After I blogged about how wonderful the Think Fun! games are, I found even more reasons to celebrate. First off, did you know that they will replace lost or broken parts for FREE? Yes, FREE! They even pay shipping! And, the turnaround time is amazing. We lost a piece to the Chocolate Fix game this week. I sent an email to the company with their attached request form on Wednesday. I opened the mail today, Saturday, and voila! They had included an entire set of pieces, not just the one missing chocolate. 

They also included a few sample cards from their newest game - Word Around - along with a 20% off coupon to be used on their site. Word Around looks like a lot of fun. I was challenged with the few cards they sent, but not impossibly so. I think kids would really love this game.

Basically it's a word puzzle. You have to look at one of the bands of color (determined by the color of the card back that came previously in the stack) and find the word that is spelled around that band. The key is knowing which letter you need to start with, then it just flows. No need to unscramble. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast! You're competing with others to get the answer.

Some of the words are a bit tricky and may not be known by younger children (e.g. astonish, delicate, trauma) yet, others are readily identifiable: cinnamon, driven, before. This is an excellent game for children who need practice with visual discrimination, tuning out excess stimulus, and maintaining focus. 

It also provides a great opportunity to learn vocabulary without feeling hit over the head with it. Once you've solved a word it's only natural that kids will want to know what it means. 

It's also a great way for children to build problem solving stamina and strategies. Many players will quickly begin to understand that one needs to choose a start letter or look for a common letter pattern to try to form a word, and continuously move along using this strategy. Children who struggle with tasks like this tend to take in the detail or the whole picture, but are not able to chunk their thinking, or look for patterns.

It may seem like the game has limited play value given that there are only so many solutions, but the beauty of its design is that you will only use 1/3 of each card's possible answers in any given game. That, combined with the fact that there are over 300 words, and a game only takes about 10 minutes, means that you can play for quite some time before you've mastered all the words. 

The fun thing is that you'd also be able to easily replicate this game and make your own cards on card stock. That would be a great way for kids to learn new vocabulary and try to come up with words that will trick others.

What a wonderful company to work with. They make excellent products, provide amazing customer support, and know how to get you coming back for more!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blue Orange Games

I have purchased many games from this company and have not been disappointed yet. Our most recent find is "Golden Gate".

It's a relatively quick game, played in 5 rounds. The tin box is sturdy and the cards and chips are high quality. It's for 2-4 players and rated ages 7 to adult. I must say that I enjoyed playing it and so did my kids. The object of the game is to be the first to play all the cards in your hand and earn the most chips in the process.  Players need to sequence cards either by going up (0,1,2,3...) or down (7,6,5,4...) while keeping in mind that green cards are neutral and red cards left in your hand will penalize you at the end of the game. Gold cards earn chips, but a player needs to be strategic in when he or she plays them. The longer you can hold onto and play a gold, the higher score chip you'll earn. Since it's a five round event, you have a chance to make up for a poorly played round. Like many games of this genre, there's a bit of luck and a bit of strategy, which is perfect for those children who maybe aren't ready for "full-on" strategy games. The educational value isn't huge, but children do need to think about whether to count up or down based on their hands, and the count "resets" at 0. That means that a count down from 0 goes to 10, 9, 8 and so on. A count up from 10 goes to 0, 1, 2, 3. Also, at the end, chip tallies need to be added (the values are 10, 20, 30, 40) and that makes for a perfect opportunity to practice mental math. At appx. $12.00 this game is well worth its value. 

Another wonderful and fun Blue Orange Game is Spot It! We have the basic version:

Since purchasing this last fall, the company has come out with a number of themed versions of the game based on sports teams, holidays, and basic shape/number recognition. The idea is amazingly simple, yet so much fun to play. Basically, you're looking for matches on cards (and each card has a match with another no matter what). The images that you are trying to match will likely be different sizes and it takes careful examination to find the right combination. It really levels the playing field between adults and kids.

The beauty of the game is that it has high replay value. There are many variations in the directions and the game is never the same regardless of which way you choose to play. It's quick and easy and lends itself to playing at the beach, a restaurant, or even on a plane. Although this game is fun for all, it's particularly useful if you have a child at home or school who needs help and practice with visual discrimination.