Review: Games by Super Duper Publications
With holiday shopping on everyone’s mind, we were pleased to get some great children’s games to review from Super Duper Publications. We all want to give our children gifts that they will enjoy, but if they can learn something at the same time, then that’s an added bonus for sure! We (Christina and MaryAnn) reviewed 4 different games and we hope you enjoy hearing about them as much as we enjoyed playing with them.
Story Prediction Fun Deck
This “game” comes in a sturdy metal tin and contains 56 story cards, all with a missing ending and three choices for what would most logically happen next. While that may not sound like something a kid would do for fun, but the genius behind it is the super duper secret decoder, because with a name like that, you know it has to be cool! After reading the card and selecting the answer the child thinks fits best, he shines the little decoder (a flashlight with a black light) at the three answers and the answer bubble for the correct choice turns red!
My older son was so excited about the cards and the flashlight that he even took them in the car with us and took turns reading them to himself and his younger brother (because everyone wanted to use the cool flashlight). My 7 year old got the majority of the answers easily, so I think that of the advertised age range (grades 1-8), I would stick toward the younger end. There is an answer key included with the set, and some suggestions for how to use the cards in multi-player games. All together I thought it was a creative way to make practicing an important skill fun and engaging.
Go for the Dough
In this board game, children try to collect the most money while they drive around the board, picking up pizzas and delivering them to Grandma. We tried playing that you only got to collect money when you landed on Grandma’s house, but we thought it was too hard so we changed it to collecting money whenever you pass Grandma’s house. But the key to moving around the board is answering a question correctly before rolling the dice! I appreciate that it comes with a sturdy box and has the instructions printed inside the lid.
There are 6 different types of cards that come with the game (definitions, synonyms, rhyming words, categories, opposites, and multiple meanings). If you’re playing with the opposites deck, the child reads the word on the card (there’s a picture to help) and then says a word that means the opposite. This is probably the easiest deck. The multiple meanings deck is better for older kids, where they might read the word bark with a picture of a three, and have to explain that bark can also be the sound a dog made. While some of the categories were too hard for my 5 year old, my 7 year old understood them all. But best of all, both boys enjoyed playing the game and didn’t even seem to realize it was “educational”. Win for everyone!
We also got an electronic “spinner” which has lights that flash around the numbers 1-6 after you press the button. I thought it was a good idea because we have a couple games with broken spinners, and then there’s always the “that didn’t count because it wasn’t a good enough spin” argument, and the “it’s on the line so I’m just going to choose the number that best for me” argument, both of which come along with regular spinners. It does effectively solve both of those problems, but it has an option to turn on a beeping noise, which I found to be a little irritating. So, I’m not sure how much we’ll be using it at least when Mommy is involved in the game playing!
This game is all about learning the sounds of P, B, T, D, K, G, and F. And since my guy is a pre-reader, I thought that it would be a perfect match for him. The game has sets of cards for each letter. And then, within each letter set, there are cards for initial sound, medial sound, and final sound. So using the letter “G” as an example, you could be dealing with the word “goalie”, “bigger”, and “egg”. Again, since we are just starting our reading journey, I focused on one letter (K) and one position (initial). Being able to limit how much we wanted to address was a great feature in this game. I can definitely see how this game can grow with us. So the idea behind the game is that a card is drawn and read to the other player. That player then has to correctly guess the word that it is describing. If you get it right, you get to hop (via a flicking tab) your frog from the game board onto your lily pads. The frogs were a little difficult at times for Sebastian to hop, but that didn’t seem to bother him. He just picked them up and hopped them that way. By the end of the game, Sebastian was catching on as to how all the words sounded similar and was able to get most of the answers quickly. I did do a little sifting through because he was just not familiar with some of the words. All in all, I really liked this game and I could definitely see us continuing to play with it.
MagneTalk Telling Time
This is not so much a game as it is a teaching tool for learning about reading clocks and telling time. It comes with a magnetic board and lots of magnets for filling in both a digital and analog clock as well as building sentences about the time. We started basic with this, too, and focused on just being able to get the hour for both the digital and analog clocks. Sebastian was able to manipulate the magnets just fine and was really picking up the concept by the end of our little session. He really wanted to move the blue hand (the minute hand), so I foresee another session in our near future. My only complaint with this was the lack of storage of the unused magnetic pieces. Before use, the magnets were stored all over the clock faces, but when you want to use it, you can’t keep it there. I ended up using the back, but even that ran out of space. But for a minor inconvenience of having to get a plastic baggy, I thought this was a great tool.
If any of these games sound interesting to you, or if you’ve like to check out some of the other great options at Super Duper Publications you can get 15% off your order with the code DTASDRUN through December 20th 2013, and orders over $20 ship free. Happy Shopping and Happy Learning!