Tuesday, September 29, 2015

USAopoly Games Review

Family game nights are a great way to spend time together as a family.  We love to play together as a family.  Board games are so much different than playing video games and they bring families together laughing and talking to each other.  We recently had the opportunity to review two games from the USAopoly game line.  What a great time we have had.  We had the opportunity to try Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone.

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game ($19.95) was created for ages 8 and up.  For play with 2 or more players, this 2015 Best Family Game Fun Winner can be played fast paced or slow and steady depending on who you are playing with.   The goal of this game is to build a tower that remains standing with the odd-shaped blocks.  The playing cards you are dealt makes this a real game of chance, will you have to balance a large block on top of a small block.  You can throw off your partner with a Reverse, Pass or Draw card.  The first person to get rid of all your cards without toppling over the tower wins.

Each Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game includes 9 colorful wooden blocks, deck of command cards and a cloth carrying case.

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game has been very easy for us to learn how to play.  Even Caty who cannot read yet has easily been able to catch on to playing.  We love to pull this out while watching TV together in the evening.  It also has been great to use about half-way through our schoolwork when attention spans are getting very low.  Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game is a great refresher, let's wake up and laugh game.  The games usually last very few minutes, so we can get through a couple games and then get back on track.

The other Award-winning game from USAopoly that we had the opportunity to review was Tapple:Fast Word Fun for Everyone.

Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone ($19.95) is a fast paced word game for ages 8 and up.  You can play with 2 to 8 players.  No spelling is required to play.  Players pick a category from the cards provided.  Tap the timer and say a word that fits with the category and tap the first letter of the word you say.  You have 10 seconds to do this in or you are out of the game.  Once you say your word, pass the Tapple game to the next person and keep playing until someone passes.

Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone has provided a lot of laughs as we try to force our brains to work.  This has been a great way to start off a few school days.  The trouble is we never really want to stop.

One of my favorite things about Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone is the easy storage.

Instead of me worrying about the category cards falling out of the box if it opens on the shelf, there is a small compartment on the bottom of the game board.  There is also an off/on switch so that the batteries are not worn down if the timer button is accidentally pushed while being stored.

Category cards are also written on two different levels.  So there are cards that are easier than others.  Yes that's right people....this game is for more than just kids.  You can play Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone if you ever get to have other adult friends over!!!  I know your friends are probably tired of playing kids games like we are.

Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone has been such a fun game, that I have found Lydia playing it by herself trying to beat her previous time.  She said she was practicing to take everyone one.  You can see her in the picture above with her tablet.  She was doing research so she was better prepared to race.  You could easily make your own cards to go along with a unit study, such as a topic of Explorers or other History studies.  Tapple could easily be adapted into your classroom to make studies even more fun.

USAopoly offers a wide variety of games and puzzles for all ages.  The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to try out both these games.  You can see how they used both  Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone and Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game in their homes by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog link below.

 USAopoly Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 17 - Carousels, Drawing, Bird Bones and Campfires

This was a crazy week, but they all seem to be in some way.  I have been suffering majorly from brain fog and severe back and head aches.  It's been a long week.  It started out with me barely able to walk.  I was afraid to try and drive to our first Scout meeting of the year because I was limping so much.  Plus there was a hike scheduled, so I was duly freaked out.  So we had to miss that.  I even skipped gymnastics that night, it was a much closer drive, but still didn't want to chance my legs having more problems while driving.  We made it through and did schoolwork.  We enjoyed a few activities from the International Homeschool Spirit Week

Monday was crazy hair day.

Tuesday was International Day.  Since we have been learning about Vikings, we made a Scandinavian meals of Swedish meatballs and Lydia followed a recipe all by herself to make oven pancake.

After that we got a little lazy with the events on the site.  We did do a PJ day, which we do every week.  But since I wasn't feeling well at all, I didn't add any extra stress than I was already having.

This week Caty finished up another short unit study on birds.  Our last experiment was on bird bones.  The challenge was to see how strong bird bones are since they are hollow.  She thought she could collapse the paper tubes with the whole bin of change.  She didn't!!  Bird bones are extremely strong, even though they are hollow.

She also did a bird painting.

She is loving art all over again.  She also watched this fun video on birds.

We love this series.

Joey started his US Government course this week.  He's starting a few high school level classes that he can handle.  He was excited about this.

I caught Brayden reading.  It's an illusive sight at times....lol.  I am trying to push Brayden a little harder, he started an independent Ohio History program that I am working around for him this week.  It's something that is part of a typical middle school program in Ohio.

This is not an illusive sight....Caty sleeping in again.

Lydia worked on Fractions this week.  We played our pizza fraction game.

Lydia worked on some word scramble games to see how many words she could find in "Scarecrow".  She really enjoyed this, so we played Boggle a few times too.

She also played the Code Spark app to learn more about coding.  She didn't want to put this game down.

One afternoon without warning, we lost power for a couple hours.  The kids didn't know how to act.  Fortunately lunch was almost done and in the oven, so didn't have to worry about that.  The kids got out board games and played them.

In science, we continued studying the parts of atoms.  We are using Christian Science Kids.  One of the projects was to make Carbon Atom cookies.  So they made sugar cookies.

And used M&Ms and Starburst minis to make atom cookies.  (Joey is allergic to M&Ms so he used Starburst.  They turned out nice.

The kids enjoyed this yummy treat.  And they all cooked, which they love also.

This week in Geography we learned about Rhode Island.  Our project for Rhode Island was learning about the carousel.  The Carousel is the State Folk Art symbol for Rhode Island.  They took turns building a carousel with Tinker Toys.

Brayden said it spun, so it counted.

State food was Johnny Cakes.  Lydia made these, and did a wonderful job.

They ate them with their homemade blueberry jam from Cooking Club.

Caty had a cooking project on Wednesday.  The first day of fall and she made pumpkin custard.

I made myself sweet potato custard and ate it with goat cheese.  It was yummy.

For Art this week, we worked on using simple lines to create faces.  They did silly faces this week.  I managed to get the boys to participate even.

We were using the Usborne Art book from last week, but I also pulled out these wonderful cards.  They had fun using them.

Grandpa was on vacation this week, so we had a couple unplanned cookouts with them over the campfire.  One night was smores and he showed them the proper way to roast marshmallows and chocolate over the flame.

The next night was a chili and cornbread cookout.  The kids thought this was great!

On Thursday I declared it...Field trip day.  We road tripped up to Sandusky, Ohio.  We visited the Carousel Museum.

The Birthplace of Thomas Edison in Milan, Ohio.

And finished the day off at the Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Marblehead, Ohio.

I was exhausted, but we had a lot of fun.  Going to try and do this again soon.  Found our next destinations.  Just need to schedule it now.

In Cooking Club this week, the kids made Pumpkin Rolls.  I think they all loved learning how to make these.  They smelled amazing and Joe said they tasted wonderful!!

Lydia had archery of course, and then after archery we headed to pick apples.  We have been doing this fall tradition since Joey was 3 years old.  We all look forward to it every year.  Last year Brayden refused to get out of the van, but this year I thought I may have to get him out of the tree.  He loved it.

He even got into see the giant pumpkin.

And the petting zoo.  He was telling the sheep to look at me so I could take his picture.

On Saturday, the girls had a riding competition at the horse stable they attend.  This is their 2nd Fall Show and it was fun as always.

Caty didn't ride immediately, so she played with kittens.

 Lydia earned a 1st in Barrel Trot, and a 3rd in Pattern Trot.  She had a little trouble with the horse in the pattern.  Sugar was tired and didn't want to stop when she got to the barrel.  But she was very proud of her first time competing in that.

Caty earned two 1st place in Pleasure Assist and Trail Assist.  She was all smiles!

 Then we had a memorial service for a friend who passed away.  And then a trip to Costco where Caty fell in love with this Rainbow Dash dress.  It was so cute, but not in her size :(

But we did find the original Duck Tales volume 1 and got it.  I had homemade chicken soup in the crockpot all day, so it was Duck Tales and soup that night together.  I think they all enjoyed it.

It was a busy week.  And we keep chugging along.  We are looking forward to some downtime this upcoming week and probably next weekend.

Hope everyone had a great week!!

Linking up with other moms at....

Weekly Wrap-Up