SimplyFun Review: Top Homeschool & Classroom Award Winner!

 Simplyfun_award2
Educents is proud to announce SimplyFun as a winner of the Educents Top Classroom and Homeschool Award! A huge thanks to Sarah from Growing for Christ for using and reviewing the SimplyFun educational games!

SimplyFun Review: Perspectives and Letter Slide games

 

About the Perspectives Game:

Move the brightly colored Game Tiles around on the board to create one or more patterns from your “Perspective”. Solve your Pattern Cards even when it is not your turn but pay close attention and be quick so you do not miss out on a winning opportunity!

You can find more information about the game and how to purchase by visiting SimplyFun – there is also a video you can watch about the game as well.  Perspective sells for $28.00.

 

My Opinion:

We enjoy playing games in our house and if they are educational, so much the better, and that is what we got with Perspectives!  It’s a fun game of using logic and movement to come up with the patterns on the cards, geared for ages 8 and up I could and did include all three children in on this game.  Set-up is easy and fast, separate out the pattern cards according to point value (there are 63 pattern cards in 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 point value increments) then randomly place the 15 game tiles on the game board and then put the lock pawn on any one of the tiles.  We chose to only use the 3, 4, and 5 point value pattern cards as my son was not having a good day and it was easier on him, if it had been just my oldest and I or even my husband it would have been fun to include the more advanced patterns and add in the 6 and 7 points.  Each player then selects 1 card from each of the pattern cards – 3, 4, and 5 and 6 is left to draw from on the players turn if so desired – every player must have a maximum of 4 pattern cards at a time, and best of all the youngest player goes first.

The key to the game is that all tiles must be touching in some form through out the game – not by their corners but by their edges so this makes it tricky to plan your move and takes a lot of concentration in order to find and make your patterns.  The fun part is making sure the other players don’t move the tiles that you need to make your pattern!  Players can also find patterns at any time, during any other players turn so player A, B and C could all find a pattern during player A’s turn.  Once the pattern is found put the card to the side so points can be calculated at the end.  The game is finished when 3 draw decks run out AND one player matches the last card in their hand.  After that is done then points are calculated and any remaining pattern card points left in hand are deducted and the winner declared.  From start to finish the box says the game should last about half an hour, it took us a little longer as not everyone could get along during the game.

All of us really enjoyed playing this game after school one day – it was a nice break, when it was much too hot to go outside and play and it got the T.V. and video games off.  I like that you have to really think things through and be quick in regards to finding patterns on your cards.  With easy directions, fast set-up and also a couple game variations available this game makes a great one for the entire family – with all that said it makes me want to take it to our next family gathering and get a little competition going.  This is a game that will be played for a long time in our house and I can even take it along to share with friends when we visit as the box is compact and lightweight, perfect for travel.  The cards and board are sturdy and the wooden blocks are painted vibrant colors that will hold up and appeal to young and old alike

About Letter Slide:

Don’t “slide” by the letter tiles that you need. Spell as many words as you can based on the card that has been turned over. Hurry before the timer runs out!

 

You can find more information about the game as well as purchasing information and a video about the game at SimplyFun.  Letter Slide sells for $34.00.

My Opinion:

The second game I was sent from SimplyFun through Educents was Letter Slide, which is a fun game geared towards ages 7 and up to make as many 4 letter words as you can before the timer runs out.  The game features spelling, vocabulary, consonants and vowels – great for a beginning reader or up the ante for an older reader.  The game contains four slide boards (Beary, Bubbles, Pickles and Tibbar – all very cute), 1-minute sand timer, 200 double-sided letter tiles (red are vowels, black are consonants), 87 word cards broken down into 47 first two letters and 40 last two letters, and a handy storage bag for the letter tiles.  Like the other game, this one is simple to set up and start playing quickly, which is great for children who have short attention spans and don’t want to wait while the game is set up.  Two to four players can play this game, we have five in our family so one of us helped our non-reader to make his words while the other four played and it says it takes about 20 minutes to complete one game – again, it took us a little longer.

So to begin with you make a letter lagoon with all the letter tiles in the center and in the center of them place the sand timer with the boards around the outside as well as the word cards.  There is no 1st player or 2nd player as everyone plays at the same time – a player flips a word card then the sand timer is flipped this is when the players start finding letters they need in the lagoon.  If the BA card is drawn then players start making, correct, four letter words finding the last two letters such as CK, KE, LL, GS and so until the timer runs out.  For each correct word that is made, my son tried to get some ‘fake’ words past me, the player chooses one of the two letter tiles to cover a letter space that matches on their board.  The letters not used (so if I used C, K, L, and G – I would return K, E, L and S) are returned to the lagoon in the center of the table.  The player with the most correct words at the end of that round can flip over the next word card, show it to all players and flip the timer to begin again.  The winner is the first to have all their letter spaces filled on their board.

I really liked this game, although I must admit I was at a bit of an advantage since I have a bigger vocabulary than at least two of my children.  We all enjoyed it though, and the cute illustrations on the slide boards made it delightful – reminded me of going to the water park on a hot summer day and relaxing in the lazy river.  There are two variations given for younger players (to me that means those who aren’t reading yet) – the first is to not play with the timer so they don’t feel rushed while the second variation is to sort the word cards based on whether they have the beginning or end letters and decide which set is best used for the players.  Since my son is still struggling to read this was a bit of a challenge so next time I’ll be incorporating both variations – leaving out the timer and only using the cards with the beginning letters.  I like knowing that we can have fun as a family while my son learns without realizing he is learning to read.

About the reviewer:

Sarah has been homeschooling since 2008 and currently has grades 3rd, 5th and 8/9th with a wonderfully, supportive husband.  Her blog Growing for Christ has posts about homeschooling, faith, family and reviews.  Sarah has been reviewing since 2008 as a way to help other homeschoolers and parents learn about quality products and books for their homes.