Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mensa Select


You may have seen this sticker before. Five games each year are awarded the Mensa Select seal at the annual Mind Games competition that is held in a different city each year and rated over a weekend by 200 American Mensa society members. According to their website, "Games are judged on aesthetics, instructions, originality, play appeal and play value."

Many families, educators, and homeschoolers give games a second look when they see the sticker on a game, especially those with gifted children. You can see the 2009 winners and past winners on their website.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pentago

Pentago by Mindtwister USA is becoming one of the most popular 2 player logic/visual-spatial games since its recent appearance in the United States. Originally invented in Sweden in 2003, this quick play, easy to learn game has won the prestigious Mensa Select Award. As a visual game it is very popular with children who do well on nonverbal abilities tests used to identify giftedness. In addition, it has applications in the logical-mathematical domain. Not only will adults appreciate this game due to its chess-like pure strategy elements, but also the game will delight children ages 6+.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Castle Perilous Games and Books

Castle Perilous is another example of a fine retailer whose store is a favorite destination for serious hobby players and comic readers as well as a source of games for families, educators, homeschoolers, and librarians. The owner, Scott Thorne, is a great guy who is also a university professor! Please take the time to check them out online or the next time you are in Carbondale, Illinois.

You’ve Been Sentenced


You’ve Been Sentenced by McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds is an award winning family party game for ages 8+ and 3-10 players where players attempt to score the most points creating sentences. It is also a useful language arts and math game that develops vocabulary, grammar, and addition skills. Click lesson plan for a sample that can be used with grades 6-12 but can also be easily adapted for grades 3rd and up.

What is most unique about the game is that the pentagon shaped cards provides different uses/tenses of words that need to be combined to make a correct and justifiable sentence. For example, the word ‘travel’ is also ‘travels’, ‘traveled’, ‘traveling’, and ‘traveler’. Other cards list conjunctions and proper nouns of people and places.

The more words you use, the more points you score. The player with the most points wins after so many rounds. The rules are very simple and easy to play as you can see with this video:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Manufacturer Spotlight: Rio Grande Games


Rio Grande Games produces some the most popular, award winning, and high quality board/card games such as Carcassonne, Zooloretto, Lost Cities, and Dominion just to name a few from their 100+ library of games.

Whether your family is beginning or avid game players, Rio Grande has titles to meet all interests, age levels, and ability. For example, Viva Topo is an easy to learn math game for ages 4+ for 2-4 players that teaches basic addition and fractions as you race to grab cheese slices with your mice and avoid a hungry cat. Oregon is an intermediate level game for ages 8+ and 2-4 players simulating the social studies theme of westward expansion and settlement in 1846 Oregon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rainy Day Games

There are at least 2000 retailers throughout the country who carry games but less than 300 who are full line game stores with knowledgable staff who can help parents, educators, homeschoolers, and librarians select the best games to meet their needs. Rainy Day Games is one such store in Aloha, Oregon. They are one of our favorite stores. Please take the time to check them out online or the next time you are in Oregon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Useful Videos

We have videos of how to play great games on the Quality Time Resources YouTube channel such as Fish Eat Fish by Out of the Box.