We love to reinforce topics with educational games, especially if it’s competitive. My little one seems to be very motivated to learn facts if it means winning against Mom and Dad. This was our first game haul of the year from a locally owned store called Beyond the Blackboard. If you are ever in the Denver area stop by and check them out, it’s so much fun to browse their store and chat with the people working there.
Now that we’ve had a chance to play with these educational games from the haul I’ll give you the breakdown on how they worked. First, let me say that none of these items (except maybe the wall maps) are homeschool specific. They can all be readily used to reinforce concepts learned at a conventional school or just to make game night a little more educational.
This was a game that we purchased to replace worksheets while practicing multiplication and division facts. I was the most excited about this game when I purchased everything. I have to say it was a slight let-down. It’s a great game and I recommend it, it just wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. I don’t why I thought doing multiplication and division would be a party-pleaser, but that’s what was in my head at the time.
It does work great for a little competition driven fact memorization. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing it at a store like Beyond the Blackboard though. After my purchase I found it almost half price on Amazon. So, if you’d like to give Tri-FACTa a try it is currently only around $15 online. There is also an addition and subtraction version of tri-FACTa here.
On the Line and IQ Fit
Both of these are HUGE wins in the educational games department! The strengthen spatial reasoning like most puzzles with added challenges build into them. Miss E gobbled them up, she even asked to play them instead of watching TV or movies in the evening…..can you believe it! My mom heart did flips over that and I will be purchasing other products made by these companies in the near future.
On the Line is essentially a puzzle. We didn’t read the directions and it was SO hard the first time we played. After deciding to be smart and read the directions it was a much more appropriate game. It can be played with 1 or 2 players. There are 8 clear semi-L-shaped pieces that you use as an overlay onto the picture cards. When we first played we didn’t lay the clear pieces on top of the pictures and that’s why it was crazy hard. E caught on quick and was soon able to beat us!
The IQ Fit puzzle that we purchased was a little young for E, but she loved it anyways. I didn’t want to purchase something too difficult and have her disengaged from brainteaser puzzles. This was another one that once we got the hang of it, it became addicting. The great thing about this game is that it would work well in the car. There are lots of small pieces, but for an older kid it wouldn’t be a problem to keep in the case lid that has a tall lip while in the car.
Melissa and Doug USA Floor Puzzle
The USA floor puzzle was another huge win as far as educational games go. It is meant for younger children, 6+ is the recommended age. I think it works well for both younger and older children. The younger ones can use it as intended while older ones can use it to practice speed and recall. We take turns timing each other to see who can complete it faster and we also take pieces out of the puzzle and asked which state belongs in the empty space. This puzzle has been a tremendous resource in learning the US geography and I highly recommend it.
Maps and Map Skills Wall Hanging
I really like this set. It’s been a great reference to have on the wall. It has a lot of pieces that you have to put together, but I had E helping me and she got practice matching the descriptions to the photos. So technically we were ‘doing school’ while checking off a semi-irksome task. Win!
Jelly Belly Bean-boozled
It’s gross. ‘Nuff said. If you have more than 1 child I think it would be hilarious to watch them play, but I’m over playing that game and so is my husband. Maybe a good stocking stuffer? Try at your own risk!
Other Educational Games
We haven’t used the rest of the products shown in the videos yet. I will update with my thoughts on those after we have a chance to check them out. If you haven’t seen the video about or you just want to try them out yourself then here are links to the other items I purchased.
These are see-through plastic geometric solids with a hole in each one. You can fill them to compare volume, they can be used to compare shapes side by side, and hold them in 3-D so there is better understanding and retention of geometry.
These are the fraction tiles that we purchased. I believe that they come with stickers and games. When I update this post after we use this I will share some ideas on how to play with them that worked for us.
I always love trying out new educational games, and I think I’m having as much fun reviewing as she is learning. Do you utilize educational games in your homeschool? If so, what are some of your favorites? Also, if you try out any of the games I shared please let me know how they worked for your family!
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