Firstly, we need to thank Spin Master for providing us with some free and amazing game titles to add to our growing collection we are using to gameschool with. We will likely get into more of how we ended up here in another post, but to give you all a brief rundown, we have decided to homeschool our daughter. There was no one reason why, but multiple such as bullying, physical and mental health issues that went hand-in-hand and it was taking its toll on all of the family. After a whole lot of research, we felt this was the only way to go for us. Don’t get me wrong, neither of us are saying it’s better for you, nor that going to school is better, just that this is what is working for our situation.
What do you think of when I say homeschooling? You would likely expect that we have a location in our home where one or both parents would teach a child or children the exact same way that is being done within the school system. In some cases, you would be right. In most cases today, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are many types of homeschooling. More than I would even begin to mention within this post, but will tell you that our daughter will be getting a bit from each and every one of them. This is where gameschooling comes in and is described below by gameschooling.org.
Gameschooling is the use of games (video games, board games, and other games) for an educational purpose. While anyone in school or out of school can “gameschool“, the term is often applied to homeschoolers who use games as part of their educational plan.
When do your children learn the best and retain it? When they are having fun! Why do you think they rhyme off messages from cartoons, music, video games and more? This is exactly why! So to expand on that, using board games as part of your gameschooling, enables your child to learn while having fun and retain it. Repetitive actions that are not monotonous and touch on subjects like; mathematics, language, sciences, geology are proven to educate. We hit the Spin Master Canada website and spoke with our representative to see what they had in mind and between our request and their own suggestions, we came up with some great educational games to start with. Check each of them out below to see what we mean and why we feel games of all types are great tools to educate with.
Depending upon which model you purchase, the Perplexus is available in so many choices. 3 dimensional balls with a maze built within as well as other shapes, themes, colors and more. Choose the level of difficulty all the way up to Epic. The teaching ability of this toy is almost endless. It has you guiding a small ball through a maze of twists, turns, drops, stairs and more, becoming more difficult as you go through. I can personally attest to spending hours playing myself, which is another ability! You need nothing more than time and a place to enjoy Perplexus. Some do have music and noises as you progress but that too is an option you can use or play without. This very well reviewed toy definitely grabbed our attention! The main teaching words that come to mind when we think about perplexus are; focus, patience, timing, resistance, challenge, science, math, physics. Check out other variations of the Perplexus toy by CLICKING HERE!
This strategy game can be easy enough for a kindergarten student to play to being advanced enough for any age. Santorini is played on a five by five square grid and involves chess like techniques. Each player starts by placing the base of a Greek building in any location of their choice with the goal of getting their player’s piece to the top of the third level first. Don’t let this fool you, Sherri and I’ve played this game and it can get pretty thought-provoking as the building goes on. Couple this with the fact each character will have a special ability that the other player doesn’t and the ability to add the, “Golden Fleece Expansion Pack” for additional features and challenges. In terms of what this game teaches while gameschooling, logic, planning, building and imagination. Santorini is for 2-4 players aged 8+. More details and to purchase are available by CLICKING HERE!
Competition is good for everyone and Otrio has you testing out strategic skills against your opponent. The game really depends on the skills of your opponent, so you may start off thinking the match will be a breeze, then need a readjustment in order to conquer. In order to win in the game Otrio, you must get three pieces of your players color in a particular order vertically, horizontally or within the same spot on the game board. Otrio really engages your thought process of what you do next. This allows your gameschooler to work on their critical thinking in a fun and challenging way. We actually have Otrio stationed on our living room table set for each of us to make a move whenever we can. Otrio is for 2-4 players aged 6+ See more and purchase by CLICKING HERE!
Ok so Bellz! is one of those games where you feel it is just going to be to darn easy for you. Let me straighten you out! It can be pretty tricky and definitely challenging. This magnetic game has you with 40 metal bells, in a mixture of 4 different colors and a magnetic wand with two different ends. Each end of the wand is different, one end having a smaller but weaker magnet and the other a little larger and stronger. The goal of the game is to pick up all 10 of the color bells you choose at the beginning of the game without picking up any of the other colors. Should you pickup the wrong color, you will need to return all of your back to the board and your turn is over. This game teaches in areas like science, physics, math, patience and more. The child learns about magnetic attraction, keeping count, resistance. Another great feature of Bellz! is that it’s easy to play and easy to take along wherever you go. Bellz! is great for 2 to 4 players, ages 6+. See more and purchase by CLICKING HERE!
5 Minute Dungeon / 5 Minute Marvel
So much fun! If you are wondering why the title has two different versions, it is just that! There are themed versions of this game, so if you have fans of Marvel in your home you have the option to go that route instead of the original. This is a fast paced, (hence 5 minute) team-working battle of cards. I’ll explain using 5 Minute Dungeon. You and your friends, (heroes) are trapped in a series of 5 dungeons. What is needed to defeat the boss within and escape is shown on the dungeon card. Using cards dealt to each player, you have to work together quickly to destroy each dungeon boss before your 5 minutes run out. Either themed title teaches your child to work as a team, quick thinking, matching and provokes their imagination. Made for 2-5 players aged 8+. See more and purchase by CLICKING HERE!
Hedbanz is an investigative style of game. It has you asking the other players, “yes” or “no” questions to find out what exactly you have on your head, (a card held onto your forehead by a band). Are you an animal, food, or an object. The game is very thought-provoking as everyone around you knows what you have, other than yourself. The person whom guesses what they are first is the winner of the round! Hedbanz is made for kids aged 7+ See more and purchase by CLICKING HERE!
Would You Rather…? Kinda Clean Party Edition
We would have to describe this game to you as a, “what would they say/do” type of game. What happens is the game provides you with all sorts of crazy choices and situations and your goal being to figure out what other players would have chosen to do. Would You Rather…? Kinda Clean Party Edition provides you with two ways to play, classic or a fill-in-the-blank style. Once a round is over and choices have been made, your voting token that was chosen earlier is revealed to see if it’s a match. This particular game is rated at 16+ and can accommodate 3 or more players. Considering Cadence is going on 13, we are careful as to what situations make it into our own situation but you can use your own judgement. There are over 1000 dilemmas, so be prepared for many revisits and a whole lot of fun! This game would be one that we would use to relax and just have fun, because every day of teaching deserves a break as well. See more and purchase by CLICKING HERE!
We hope you can also see the benefit of having game time with your family. Whether you are a parent who homeschool their child, or looking for fun ways to educate without realizing, game nights/days are a great way to do so. I have to say that before our families venture into this process, I never looked at playing a board game as being a learning experience, at least not in a school type way. Now our whole family sees games in a completely different way, so much so, we started a new Instagram page dedicated to gaming, (@tullysgamplay). We really enjoyed these titles and look very much forward to exploring some more!
Thanks to Spin Master, at the time of this post, we were given the fantastic opportunity to giveaway a few of the titles offered to us! That’s right, it’s GIVEAWAY TIME!! Enter below for your chance, and please share any of your game moments with us using the hashtag #tullysgameplay.
ENTER BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!!