We absolutely love using games for learning and fun! We have actually been trying to be more intentional about family fun nights in our home too. What better way to learn and come together as a family? In a home full of boys who love movies and video games and can sit for hours at various screens…..Getting them unplugged is a big deal for this momma too. Enter in, exciting and fun board games. And with reluctant or struggling learners, some games are such a blessing too! Such as the ones we were recently thrilled to have the chance to review from USAopoly! We received two awesome games to review: Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone. And when they say crazy, and fun, they really mean it!
Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game is a game of blocks and cards; building and strategy. This game is played with 54 cards, 9 blocks (blue, green, and purple) and a handy bag to keep it all in. To begin you simply deal cards to each player and as you play the cards you see which blocks you must stack. But it sounds easier than it actually it! Since each block has its own unique angles and sides this can be quite an act of talent and critical thinking skill. I wasn’t sure how my slightly perfectionist son would do with this one but if he did not love the challenge. It didn’t take long for them to play one game and they couldn’t play just one game either. What a fun way for them to play together, and practice thinking outside of the box. My oldest son did wish for more cards (He is making some for them to use in the future). There is a penalty if you make the tower fall (thats not hard to do by the way) and the winner is, simply, whoever runs out of cards first.
My boys loved this one; my oldest son is 10 and my younger son is 6. Both just could not get enough of this game! If I didn’t put a stop to it they would continue playing all day long. They have always loved building, from Legos to K’nex to Minecraft….Anything that they can stack and use to create is a winner for them. My younger son has quite a nack for this kind of thing too; I was rather impressed with his ability to really focus and gently stack some of these blocks. And my oldest son loved studying and trying to sketch the crazy shapes these blocks came in too. Talk about a fun way to practice some strategic thinking, maybe a bit f geometry even? Of course we did repeat some of the cards as we played (they really do need more cards and blocks so there can be lots more options for building?). Definitely consider adding this one to your cash if you are a game junkie 🙂
Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone is a game that requires some quick thinking. This one consists of a wheel with letters on it and a built in timer. There are 36 cards included and the cards are double-sided with both a challenging side and an easy side for the categories provided (2 categories to each side). With 144 categories provided for the game the possibilities are limitless (we even made some of our own categories as we played). The game requires 2 AA batteries to run the timer, and there is a handy storage space in the bottom of the wheel for the cards, so this is also an easy game to play or take when you travel.
To begin your game, just pick a card and choose a category from the card drawn. Now say a word and then press the letter of that word, then press the red button. On to the next player. Each player has 10 seconds to come up with a word. If you hear the buzz before a word is found, you’re out for that round of the game. The tapple wheel has 20 letter of the alphabet (they left off the letters Q, U, V, X, Y, & Z ). I personally think with those letters in the game it would be even more fun! But then I love to read, and I love to learn and study words 🙂
I know I said it before, but this game was SUCH fun for all of us. Even my four year old daughter played along. I cannot imagine a better way to practice vocabulary and spelling. For my younger son who is 6 and beginning to read, this was a great inspiration and I think it helped his little sister (she is four) too with a desire to learn letters and sounds more than before. Our one main challenge with this one was that when one of the younger ones accidentally hit the wrong letter, we had to either keep playing or reset the whole wheel (there is no way to reset just one letter without resetting the whole wheel). Since my littler ones are still really learning spelling and letters, in some games this occurred quite often. There were a few times we played and chose not to use the timer too (my oldest tends to stress over that kind of thing and we really want game time to be fun for everyone!) but for myself and my younger son trying to race against the timer made it more exciting. Told you I love words.
Both of these games are recommended for ages 8+ and are good for 2 or more players. But my younger son, age 6, did quite well with both of these. We had lots of fun and will continue to (we may even bring these when we travel in the coming weeks). I love how fun and challenging both of these games were to play. And really, I think there are so many opportunities to expand on them both for learning and entertainment. In fact my oldest son even made a couple of his own cards for these games the other day. It was a great idea and a project that will make these games that much more fun for all of them (and that much more challenging for me…). These are available through the USAopoly website where you can get yours for $19.95 each. I definitely recommend them, especially if your family is looking for some fun games that help our kids to learn incognito. 🙂