Bananagrams is a lot like Scrabble, except each player gets to design her own game. There's no board; everyone just gets a pile of tiles. Work alone to make intersecting words out of your tiles, and the person who has used the most tiles at the end wins. This game is great for vocabulary and spelling, and is recommended for ages 7 and up. The handy banana tile holder is small and portable, making this a great game to take on a trip or to a party.
This may not be your favorite game to play, but your kids are going to love it. Kids have a fascination with all things gross, and Totally Gross certainly delivers. Answer questions and learn fun facts about the less than beautiful side of life – things like snot, bugs, vomit and saliva. If you answer wrong or land on certain tiles, you have to do something gross, such as inspect someone else for toe jam. Each player has a pile of slime, which gets stretched with every correct answer. Be the first to stretch your slime to the goal and you win. This game gets kids thinking about things they never would otherwise, such as the purpose of mucus and why certain creatures are slimy. Since they find the format fascinating, they'll pay attention and actually absorb the information. The best part is, they'll have a blast doing it.
Get your kids thinking about math with this fun card game. The rules are pretty simple: Everyone gets dealt the same number of cards, with each card bearing a number 1 through 10 (with duplicate cards). Each player takes a turn trying to use the numbers on her card to add, subtract, multiply and divide to every number, starting with one. Basically, each player tries to get to one, using the cards she has. She can use just one or two cards, or she can use all of them. Use simple math, such as 5 - 4 = 1, or something more complicated if you have to, such as 3 x 3 - 8 = 1. After everyone has gotten to one, start with two. The player who combines her cards to get the highest number wins. Albert's Insomnia is fun, fast-paced and pretty tricky at times. The kids will have a lot of fun with it -- and you may just get beat a few times.
Wit's End Junior Edition addresses a variety of subjects in a fun quiz format. It's recommended for ages 8 through 12; each card has questions suited for several different age ranges, so older and younger siblings can play together for once. The tasks are fun but informative, and the game is fast-paced enough to keep your kids interested. The riddles, teasers and sequence are so much fun that the kids probably won't even know they're learning.
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