ThinkFun: Educational Games for Families
So, because I love you guys and I love games, this last day of my 5-day game series is going to be jam-packed with games from one of my most favorite game companies: ThinkFun.
Here are our family’s favorite ThinkFun games and activities:
I feel like Robot Turtles and Code Master are siblings. My entire family can play Robot Turtles, and even the youngest kids are learning computer programming concepts, but Leo and T have graduated to Code Master, too. Both games offer coding fun, but in two different ways. With Robot Turtles, you get to act goofy and make kooky Turtle sound-effects, resulting in belly laughter and fun. Code Master offers a similar challenge for an older audience. Robot Turtles is like the goofy little sibling and Code Master the cool older sibling!
This is a challenging one-player logic game that incorporates a marble run. The player must construct a marble run that meets the criteria on each challenge card. Challenge cards increase in complexity, providing endless fun. We have gushed about this game before both here and here.
In this one-player game, players must use logic and planning abilities, in combination with lights and mirrors, to get the laser from point A to point B, according to each challenge card. Like Gravity Maze, cards increase in difficulty so your family won’t outgrow this game any time soon! We’ve gushed about it here and here.
Just as in Laser Maze and Gravity Maze, Circuit Maze is a one-player logic game designed for ages 8 and up. The game is played on a grid and includes 60 challenge cards of increasing difficulty. Challenges are outlined on one side and the reverse side has the answers. The goal is to place tokens on the grid, according to challenge card criteria and create a working circuit. When you complete the challenge correctly, the tokens light up.
In this one-player logic game, the player must free his car from gridlock traffic. The challenges include four levels of play, from easy to expert. Extension packs are available for the Rush Hour obsessed (like us), and a junior version for your littlest gamers. We have gushed about Rush Hour here, here,here, and here. It’s one of our most favorite games!
Just when you thought Rush Hour couldn’t get any better, it did. Rush Hour Shift is the two player version of Rush Hour, with playing cards added for luck and a shifting grid to provide additional challenge. I’m sure it will become an instant classic in your home, as it did in ours. We’ve gushed about it here and here.
IQ Twist is a fun one-player logic game, recommended for ages 6 and up. It comes in a compact case so it can be easily stored and is perfect for travel. The challenges start off easy and get quite difficult. Leo loves this game, folks! Bonus: it keeps him quiet in waiting rooms and restaurants!
This is such a fun little kit for the puzzle lovers in your life. Meant to be used as a classroom center activity, I use it at home all the time. I simply spread it out on our kitchen island and let the kids have at it! It’s a great way to start the day, add a little quiet time, regroup, or just have fun together.
This is another one of our favorite math games, like Sumoku andCountdown. I love this game because you can modify it for younger players. So, for Seuss (4 years), we roll the dice and let him count the dots to get the total. For T (soon to be 6-years), we roll several dice and have her add or subtract the numbers. For Leo, we roll the target dice and then he attempts to reach a target number with the other dice. So many variations in an easy-to-travel pouch!
This is such a fun game, folks! You are given a card with a cartoon character on it. Study it for 30 seconds and then do your best to recreate it!
This is a brightly colored and super fun transparent card game that requires you to think fast and use spatial reasoning. These cards are super-durable and travel well. We’ve gushed about it here. I often say I wish this game had been around back in my swim team days. It would have been perfect for those long meets, wet hands, and wet surfaces!
PathWords is so addicting! It is like a word search with a puzzle element. Using increasingly difficult challenge cards, you must use the colored geometric pieces to highlight words so that, in the end, you solve the puzzle with no pieces remaining. We gushed about it here.
Zingo! is a fun twist on traditional Bingo for your little gamers. Players must be the first to get three in a row (or, if you’re in our family- fill your card!) so that they can shout, “Zingo!” and win the game. The game involves matching tiles to the words, numbers, or pictures on your card. Several variations of Zingo are available, including a Sight Word Zingo that our family loves and a numeric version. We’ve gushed about it here.
Word A Round is a fast and fun word searching game that can be played a couple different ways. The goal is to find a hidden word on each card. There are three rings per card and there is a hidden word in each ring. We will often play this game as a one–player game, too. 2 or more players, recommended for ages 10 and up.
ThinkFun’s Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer Manor is an interactive party game, perfect for gatherings , holidays, or a family game night. Escape the Room is a new twist on the digital and in-person Escape the Room games… but you can play it in the comfort of your own home! It is is recommended for two or more players, ages 10 and up.
Back Spin is a double-sided interactive puzzle for ages 8 and up that will keep kids engaged for long periods of time. Winner of the Oppenheim Award, Back Spin is a double-sided disc filled with multi-colored balls. The goal is to get the balls to their appropriate color-coded slots. In order to do so, players must pay attention to what is happening on both sides of the disc.
This game is designed for ages 5 and up and is ideal for 2 or more players. The game includes a spinner and playing cards in red, green, white, and blue. To play, players sit in a circle and players take turns using the spinner and selecting cards of the appropriate color. Each card contains a yoga pose and the player must hold that pose for 10 seconds in order to keep the card. White cards are cooperative cards and require two players to work together on a particular pose. The first player to obtain one card of each color wins the game.
This is a three-dimensional twist on the traditional four-in-a-row game. This two-player game is recommended for ages 8 and up. The goal of the game is to be the first player to connect four spheres in a row, in any direction.
But wait… there’s more! Check out these ThinkFun related posts:
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I rely heavily on educational games in our homeschool. Read more here:
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This post is part of my 5-day Gift-Worthy Games series ***with a ThinkFun-related giveaway***. Be sure to check back every day this week to find out more of our favorites!
If you are a game lover, be sure to check out our post on the ways we use board games in our homeschool:
If you are enjoying this series, be sure to click the link below to check out other iHomeschool Network holiday hopscotches!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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