ThinkFun Logic Games for Kids
For more than 30 years ThinkFun has been turning cutting-edge STEM concepts into fun logic games for kids. They teach kids about math and spelling but also computing and logic in fun ways. The kids don’t even realize that they are learning while playing! Super fun, these game teach concepts that can’t always be fit into the standard school schedules these days. ThinkFun has a number a fun new games for 2018!
Just a small sampling of ThinkFun’s many game choices!
Like regular chess, Laser Chess by ThinkFun is a two-player strategy game. Since receiving this game I’ve been trying to play at least one game every day with my oldest son. He just turned 8 so he is in the perfect age range for this game. As an adult, I love this game! It is much easier to learn than regular chess, but it still requires the forethought to plan your strategy for winning. After just a few games I could already see an improvement in my son’s skills. He is more observant and thinks ahead more. Each piece can move the same way, just one space in any direction, so moves are easy to plan out. You can also choose to rotate a piece one turn instead of moving it. Bounce the laser around the board until it hits your opponent’s king! But be careful that you don’t hit your own piece or it will be eliminated. My son loves playing this with me, especially because he has beaten me a couple of times! It’s also a mini science lesson learning about how lasers work and move.
Tail Spin is less of a game and more of a fidget spinner. Hold the handle and flick the device up, out or forward and the gears unfurl, twist, and spin. All three of my kids love this though it is recommended for ages 8 and up. It takes just the right amount of movement to get it to spin, so it’s fun to get it to work without wildly waving it about. It teaches patience and control while entertaining the kids!
Many of the logic games from ThinkFun are for only one player. Kaleidoscope is a single-player game that focuses on visual perception and reasoning. Pick a challenge card and stack the tiles to perfectly match what is on the card. There are four different levels of challenges from beginner to expert. You have to line up the cards just right and sometimes overlap the colors to get the correct layout and color configuration. Though I help him with it, my 4-year-old loves this one. He is all about colors and this has been teaching him not only reasoning skills but color mixing!
Word A Round 2
Word a Round 2 is the sequel to their very popular Word a Round game. Designed for older kids (and adults young at heart) the goal is to figure out where the word in the ring starts and be the first to say it out loud. Be the first and you win that card. When you take it, you flip it over to reveal the color of the next ring you are to look at and read. My younger kids love reading off the letters, but cannot read yet. My oldest loves reading, but this proves to be a unique challenge. He loves to go-go-go non-stop. So he gets a little frustrated with the time it takes to figure out where the word starts, but it is also teaching valuable skills. For him, namely, patience. It helps him to better visualize the word and take his time finding it. There are 100 cards with 300 words to find! It can also be combined with the original for an even bigger game!
Cat Crimes is ThinkFun’s version of classic word logic puzzles. It is also a one player game, but I can read the cards out loud to my younger son and help him play it. There are four levels of challenge cards from beginner to expert that provide clues as to which cat committed the stated crime. The cats are placed around the table to visualize who was sitting where and finally deduce who the guilty party is. The final layout must meet all the criteria set in the clues and each card has only one solution. I personally spent over an hour playing this on all levels. I actually found the advanced cards a bit more challenging than the expert cards! My younger son loves to play the beginner cards and we talk through who is “upstairs sleeping” and who is sitting where at the table. My kids love picking which crime to solve, whether it’s who ate the bird or who unraveled all the yarn.
A new take on their fun folding games, Color Fold used a silky soft cloth with various boxed colors. Again, there are different levels of challenge cards and you must fold the cloth so that it matches the layout on the card. No other piece of the cloth can be showing. The cloth is very thin, so folding it multiple times is very easy. The cards can be quite challenging though! Some even call for diagonal folds to match the cards.
These games bring me back to 4th grade and my “special” advanced math class. I do not remember doing any math but we played LOTS of fun games like these. It’s difficult to find the same logic games I played, and I lamented the fact I didn’t know how to teach my kids these skills because they are not really taught in schools anymore. These games from ThinkFun more than compensate though. I love them and thoroughly enjoy playing them myself. They are geared towards older kids, but I am already helping my younger kids start to understand and play them.
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