Oct 22, 2017

Gameschooling with University Games

If you've been following us for awhile now, you know that we are homeschoolers! Although we've been homeschooling for the past 3 years, we are always changing, adding new things in, and switching everything around to accommodate our little learners. Recently, we stumbled upon "gameschooling". (If you want to learn more, head over to our very favorite gameschooling blog - fellow New Hampshire homeschoolers: My Little Poppies - seriously you could get lost over there for DAYS!) Our kiddos love to game, especially our oldest. Kingston is a born gamer! While I get kick back for doing certain "school" things with him sometimes, I never ever get any flack for playing games. The amount of learning that takes place while playing games is absolutely amazing! What's even beter, there are games about EVERYTHING. There are games for every single subject. We have been incorporating a lot of games into our school day in place of some of the more boring and tedious sit down work. 

We recently partnered with the amazing University Games to showcase some of their fabulous products! They sent us some amazing titles: I Spy Dig In, Race Across the USA, Totally Gross, and Kids on Stage. My kids were literally chomping at the bit to dig into these games. (Note: my kiddos are 3 years old and an advanced 5!) 

Dexterity - I Spy Dig In
We are ALL about working our fine motor skills over here! (Don't believe us? Check out our books 99 Fine Motor Activities for Ages 1-5 and 100 Fine Motor Ideas for Parents, Teachers, and Therapists) This game surprised me BIG TIME! When I first saw it, I thought, "Man that's going to be way too easy!" I like to have games in the house that have great replayability. Well I was SO surprised with this one - both with how FUN it was and how HARD it was! This game doesn't just work fine motor skills, it is the ultimate game for hand-eye coordination. I was personally challenged during it. I loved that both my preschooler and first grader were able to both play together and be challenged throughout. 

To Play: Each player gets a card and a turn to find their 6 images. But, they have to beat the clock!! Play goes around as each player gets a solo turn to look for their objects. Then it becomes a free for all! We loved the frantic fun and challenge that this posed. Younger kids can get some great color and matching practice, while older kids (and adults!) will find themselves challenged to fill their cards in time. This is a great game to play in the morning before you start the school day! It's perfect for getting kid's excited, thinking, and moving. This game would also make the perfect gift for birthdays and holidays! 

Rating: 3 thumbs up from the 3 year old, 5 year old, and me!

Grab a copy of I SPY Dig In! 

Science: Totally Gross! The Game of Science
Oh my GOODNESS. If you are a homeschooler or have kids who like Science and/or gross things, you NEED this game! This is the perfect game to give as a gift. It covers SO much! The questions inside cover biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy, zoology, anatomy, and physics. We are so excited to be adding this to our science curriculum. 

My kids were SO excited to play this game that they asked me day in and day out until we sat down to play it. They were so excited that I had to shoot a quick picture of it before I took the plastic off the cards because I knew my oldest would be all over those cards! My youngest was obsessed with the slime aspect of the game. 

To Play: Each player chooses a kid from the center of the board to be. Each one gets a hunk of slime. There are two different kinds of cards - Professor Cards with questions and Totally Gross Cards where the player has to perform a "Gross-Out"! First one to stretch their slime to 10 wins the game! 

Rating: Thumbs up all around! My oldest especially loved the game. Since they are young, some of the questions stumped them, but I was surprised with how much they knew and what was even more awesome was how much they LEARNED. (We are big into Science over here.) 

See! Totally slime obsessed! I just love all of the hands on aspects to this game. Experiments, gross (and educational!!) questions, AND slime? Sold! 

This game also comes in a smaller travel version

Geography: Race Across the USA
We are always on the lookout for awesome geography games to add to our homeschool curriculum. This game is AWESOME, and the perfect addition to our USA unit. We love games like Scrambled States of America, but this one was so much more educational! I love games that are educational, but not in an obnoxious way. We have just started learning about the states, so this game was quite a challenge, but we all learned so much. Don't be afraid to make games collaborative for younger kiddos. Once I realized that the questions were a bit beyond my oldest's knowledge capacity, we worked together instead of against each other to play the game. 

To Play: One of my personal favorite things about gameplay is that different grade levels can all play together at their OWN level. This is HUGE for homeschoolers because we are often schooling multiple kids at different levels! I love that in the future they can all play together at their own level. The goal of the games is to visit each of their 6 states, collect a card for each, and make it back to their home state first. To do this, they have to correctly answer questions from each of the states on their cards. 

Typically I don't pay attention to the age suggestion on the front, but this is one of those games that I truly believe are best for the recommended ages! We will probably be putting it away until the end of the year when we have more USA knowledge under our belt. The kids had a great time just reading the cards and collaboratively playing together to get back to their states! And they LOVED the airplane playing pieces. 

Rating: The 3 year old wasn't interested, but the 5 year old and I both gave it a thumbs up! This is going to be an amazing tool and fun game for us going forward. 

Language and Literacy - Kids on Stage: The Charades Game for Kids
Ok. I'm going to gush now. THIS GAME PEOPLE!! We have never laughed so hard and had so much fun! This is not just your typical charades game. If you are looking for a game that makes your kiddos really think creatively about words, get some physical activity, and have a whole lot of fun, than THIS is your game. This one should be under every tree this Christmas for sure! This one will be our very top birthday game choice to give to all of our friends. The whole family had fun playing this one. 

To Play: Kids on Stage comes with a really cute board with a built in spinner. (Can we just talk for a second about spinners? How many games do you have that come with crappy spinners? I have quite a few, and they drive me CRAZY. This game is quality! This spinner works perfectly! Back on topic.) The cards are separated into 3 piles: animals, actions, and objects. You spin the spinner and move the amount of spaces shown. The card you choose is based off of the color you land on. Then you act it out! You can't talk, but you CAN make noises. If you haven't played charades with little kids then you are in for a treat. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. 

I love that all of us could play and enjoy. We had a 3 year old playing with a great grandmother, and everyone enjoyed themselves. It truly made the kids think about words differently. I loved seeing the wheels turning as my oldest tried to figure out how he would described an umbrella or picking an apple off a tree. (This is him below acting out some kind of fish! I'm telling you, we died laughing!) This is one of those games we will be bringing out constantly as a mood brightener!

Rating: a SERIOUS thumbs up all around!! 

This game also comes in a smaller travel version

A big thank you to University Games for providing these games for us to review. All thoughts and opinions were our own! (We really were just THAT impressed!!) Check out their other titles. They have so many awesome quality games! 

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