Archive for the ‘Logic (Thinking) Games’ Category
Creating Line Designs
Some curriculum ages quickly, others like I am going to share with you today are as relevant now as they were 15 years ago when we were first started homeschooling Michelle and Michael. Creating Line Designs by Randy Womack at Golden Educational Center is an excellent resource for teaching your child not only how to accurately use a ruler but so much more:
- Visual-Motor Skills
- Visual Memory
- Visual Discrimination
- Following Directions
- Right Brain Functioning
- Personal Respect
Last week I came across Book 4 as I was cleaning out. This is suitable for grades 4-7 and we used this with both Michelle and Michael. As I looked on the date of the copyright (1985, renewed 1994) I really doubted whether I would be able to find the first books in the series to use with Daniel, Hannah and Caleb. Guess what? They are still in production! You can purchase them new at several online places but also can find them used which is what I did.
Due to these being line designs, the books can never age. I was really excited to receive both Books 1 & 2 in the mail today. There are 4 in the series with 20 activities in each one. The best thing is that they are reproducible (the pages are perforated for easy removal) so once you have outlaid the cost one time, as long as you copy and save before using you NEVER have to outlay for the book again. I LOVE it when companies allow this as it really helps keep the cost of homeschooling down when you have more than one child. (Thank you, Randy!)
Once your child has completed the pattern they can then get creative with coloring it. Book 1 is for K-1st and then they progressively get harder. Here is a sample from Book 2.
SO guess what we are going to start tomorrow? I am SO excited! I do recommend that you work on the same worksheet alongside your child so that they are seeing an example of what it should look like. You’ll have as much fun, if not more, than them! I have copied Book 1 and will start Book 2 once I have finished “chatting” with you 🙂
Tangrams for Little Ones
Education.com sent me details on FREE printable Tangrams this week 🙂 A great selection of Tangram Pattern Cards along with 2 different colored sets of Tangram pieces so a couple children can play this at one time. Obviously if you want more than two children playing at a time, print out extra sets.
I recommend printing out the Pattern Cards on colored paper & then laminating them & the colored pieces so that they can enjoy a long life without getting cut up, crumpled, drawn on etc. Oh, I know your children are perfect angels but you just don’t want to put temptation in their way! Hee Hee!
To store I used a cheap (15c) folder with pockets that I had here. (Be inventive & use whatever you have on hand.) For the two small white pockets I sealed a small envelope, cut it in half, covered each half in clear book covering for reinforcement & used four velor dots on the back of each to secure them to the folder & then put one velcro dot inside the top of the envelope to hold the pieces in. Works like a dream. We have this out where the children can access it & I will be using it to keep Caleb occupied at times when I am trying to teach the older two.
Tangrams are what I consider a precursor to Mighty Mind & Mighty Mind Super Challenger.
We have both these sets & they are great for older children. Really gets them thinking about shapes, sizes etc. Highly recommend them.
Another adVENTURE of nearly FREE, fun learning
The Educational Value of Lego/Duplo
I’m sure most kids don’t think “School/Learning” when they are having fun playing/building with Lego or Duplo but that is exactly what they are doing – learning. We all know that if we build “bricks’ one on top of the other without over lapping we are going to have a weak structure. If you watch little ones that is how they start to build, one on top of the other but it is not long before they learn how to strengthen their structures.
We have both Lego & Duplo here. Duplo is the bigger blocks for younger children, whereas Lego is the smaller blocks with way more detailed figures to create for older children. Both are an invaluable teaching tool which involves relatively no involvement from the adults 🙂 Lego & Duplo can be expensive to buy but it lasts for generations. Some of what we have here goes back 15+ years to when Michelle & Michael were little & much of it was purchased off of Ebay in lots making it more reasonably priced. We don’t plan to take many “toys” with us when we head to NZ but this is one that will be going with us as it would be way too pricey to replace.
Daniel is into building Space Ships right now & has actually done a great job. His imagination is running wild as he imagines his space ship fighting the alien (far left).
Smart Car Age 3+
Smart Car by Smart Games (Age 3+) is the newest Logic Game here in the house. Caleb had finished Castle Logic & was eager to move on a “new game.” I was pleasantly surprised at how big the car was & its sturdiness.Each colored wooden block has eyes on different parts, sometimes in two places so it is not only the skill of putting the block in the correct place that is required but also getting it the right way round so that the eyes are in the place shown in the puzzle. When he has finished a couple puzzles he then plays with it for a while.
Highly recommended for young inquisitive minds.
Teaching your children to think
I am a great believer in teaching children to think through things. Not a day goes past for any of us when we do not have to find a solution to a problem. It may be as simple as there not being a clean shirt for someone to wear & figuring out to to improvise until the laundry is washed & dried OR it may be something way more serious that requires some complex problem solving skills to figure out an answer. How we decide to act in response to the problem can, when serious, bring about good or dire results.
SO how do we train our children to think through their actions? Yes we can talk to them but many times that advice will go in one ear & out the other side! Another way is through games. Long ago we discovered Logic puzzles & since then a couple of companies have expanded their offerings so that kids from preschool up can play. Let me share some examples with you. Caleb just started with Day & Night by Smart Games designed for children aged 3 & up. The puzzles start off really simple showing him a full color picture that he has to duplicate with the pieces of the puzzle. As the game progresses he will have to recreate the picture just by looking at a shadow image.
Hannah & Richard are working through Bill & Betty Bricks. They have to build a building as shown by the shape.
Before that she completed Camelot Jr – a game where the prince has to rescue the princess.
Daniel & I just finished Camouflage – a fun game with Polar Bears & fish.
Now he is playing Rush Hour JR from ThinkFun where he has to place the vehicles on the board as shown on the card & has to figure out how to get his Ice Cream Van out of the jam.
Many of these games can be found used or much cheaper on Amazon or Ebay.
At a younger age these games do need parental supervision but as children mature they should be able to play them by themselves. We have several of the games for older kids through to adult that Michelle & I have done.
We use these logic games as part of our schooling each day. Even if your children are in public school you can still have these games are home for them to enjoy.
Caleb, of course, is watching each day as the older two do school & will “play” with the games just building with the blocks etc. When Hannah started school I found out about bambinoLUK – a European teaching tool. FANTASTIC! She is working through the minLUK books – teaches logic & observancy. Yesterday the Primary Books for bambinoLUK arrived for Caleb. (Hannah was older when she started with the series.)
As he has seen Hannah working with it he knew exactly what he was meant to do. Very very simple to start with but he loved it. You start off with the tiles in the top tray & have to put those tiles in the correct place in the bottom tray. If you place them correctly the pattern on the back of the tiles will match the ones on the back.
Hannah is now using a different controller with numbers & it encompasses math, patterns, comprehension etc. You always start with the numbers in order in the bottom of the tray. In this example, Hannah had to figure out where #1 blue bird is on the bottom page in red.
Once completed & all the tiles are placed on the clear part of the tray, you close the controller up & check the pattern on the back.
Of course we all still need to talk to our children – many times nothing speaks better than our actions, hearing about our mistakes & how we solved the problems we faced but don’t forget the games 🙂