Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fun and Games: Learning At Its Best!

I can't believe Summer is already here! Seriously, did time speed up over the past few months? We've been so busy here it just doesn't seem possible that we are almost half way through the year. I guess that old saying is true, “time flies when you're having fun.”

Now, please believe me, we don't always have fun in the LML household. We're just an average family, and some days are definitely better than others. But, I can tell you this with certainty: when it comes to our homeschool learning time, games make everything more fun.

I was recently invited to host a game night and review three RoosterFin games through These games are advertised as “educational,” so I couldn't wait to get them into our classroom. The big box of fun arrived just in time for our last week of second grade. Woo-hoo! This mama was relieved to have some new educational fun to round out the school year.

MonkeysUp was by far our favorite. It mixes strategy with math...and a bit of luck. My not-so-little-anymore Bug had a blast with “the flip'em, switch'em and steal'em game.” Monkeys Up comes with eighteen red, plastic monkey figures, all with a number or “x” printed on the bottom. Players take turns rolling the die, then switch, flip, or steal a cute, little monkey. The game ends when any player has three of their monkeys number side up. Just add up your monkey's numbers. The player with the highest total wins. Guess who else wins.....ME! I win! I don't have to worry about moans and complaints over the day's math lesson. And, I don't have to work on a complicated lesson plan. I just pull out the box, say “let's play,” and enjoy a simple, fun, and educational game.

Bug and I had a great time playing per the instructions, but I plan to modify this game as well. With a few changes to how we play, the game will be used to review not only addition, but subtraction and multiplication. I am pleasantly surprised about how excited I am to have Monkeys Up in our classroom.

 As for the other two RoosterFin games we received, they're nice. TurtleFlip is a cute game that helps teach directional skills (left/right) and number recognition. Although the game is advertised as two to four players, I recommend having at least three to help younger players understand which way is left and which is right. If you only have two players available, maybe you could ask a few stuffed animal friends to join the game.

PongCano was also loads of fun, but not something we will keep in the classroom as an educational resource. It is labeled as “The Game of Sacrifice,” but it definitely is no sacrifice to play. The goal is to bounce a ping pong like ball into the top of a three inch high plastic volcano. If you miss, you drop one of your “gold coins” (sturdy plastic chips) into the volcano. Make the shot and you get to empty the volcano. The game ends when one player has all twelve coins. Easy peasy! PongCano had us erupting with laughter, and Bug has requested to play many times. I can see this game becoming a big hit at our large get togethers as many people can play at once, and laughter seems a given.

I'd love to know what games your family enjoys! Are they specifically educational, or just a great way to spend some fun quality time? Please let me know in the comments below. Happy gaming!!! 

I received these products for free, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links may be present in the above post. Rest assured, I will always give my honest opinion and only recommend products and services my family and I would happily use ourselves. 

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