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Normally I’m anti-workbook, but…

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I just ordered another round of Critical Thinking Company books through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

This one is really fun.

This one is really fun.

These books are hard to recreate through hands-on activities. I’ve tried, but it’s a lot of work. Here’s an example of the skills covered:

One of these things can't fly.

One of these things can’t fly.

So yes, I’ve opted to go for the workbooks. A couple of pages a week while waiting for a sibling to do [fill in the blank]: guitar, ballet, swimming lessons, Cub Scouts, etc., can’t hurt. I keep the books in the car and use them to fill dead time with something meaningful.

This time for Jenna(4.5) I ordered the following:

Mind Benders Verbal Item # 01302BBP $9.99 1 $9.99
Mind Benders Book 2 Item # 01330BBP $9.99 1 $9.99
Math Analogies Beginning Item # 08501BBP $11.99 1 $11.99

Those should last Jenna the rest of the year. Hopefully they’ll also provide some practice for when she takes the CogAT in winter, a test our district uses to screen for the Highly Capable program.

But if workbooks aren’t your thing, you can always be creative! Here’s another one, just for fun:

Three of these things are symbols of weather.  One isn't.

Three of these things are symbols of weather. One isn’t.

SET, my new favorite card game!

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My sorority sister was visiting a few weekends ago, and she brought us the card game SET.  Having never played SET before, boy did she kick my butt!  But I’ve been practicing a lot since then, and I’m getting better.  This is one card game that’s challenging and addictive.

The goal of the game is to find three cards that are the same in their sameness, or the same in their differences.  There are four categories:

  1. Number
  2. Color
  3. Shape
  4. Pattern

Here are some examples of SETs:

All have different colors, different shapes, same number, and same pattern

All have different colors, different shapes, same number, and same pattern

All have different colors, different shapes, different patterns, and different number

All have different colors, different shapes, different patterns, and different numbers

All have same color, same pattern, same number, and different shape

All have same color, same pattern, same number, and different shapes

All have different number, different shape, different color and different pattern

All have different numbers, different shapes, different colors and different patterns

I brought SET into the 2nd grade classroom where I volunteer yesterday, and the kids went nuts. They had all played SET before with a previous volunteer. So, wow, it was pretty crazy.  I thought it was going to be a pretty tame card game, but we got so loud that I was worried a teacher would come shush us.  Suffice to say, the kids loved it just as much as I do!

A New Way to Play with the Memory Game

A New Way to Play with the Memory Game

A New Way to Play with the Memory Game

Do you have the Memory Game floating around your kid’s closet (or floor)  right now?  Great!  Here’s a way to use those cards to teach logic.

Set them out in groups of four where one picture doesn’t belong in the same category as the rest.  It’s like that old game from Sesame Street “Which of these things is not like the other?”

One of these things can't fly.

One of these things can’t fly.

Depending on the age of your child, you can make this game as easy or as hard as necessary.

Three of these things are symbols of weather.  One isn't.

Three of these things are symbols of weather. One isn’t.

If you’d like a book with premade activities like these, check out Can You Find Me.

Jenna(3.5) and I have been playing this book together while big brother Bruce takes guitar lessons.  I would describe it as meaningful busy work!

Logic Cards for Older Kids

My son Bruce(7) asked me to make some logic cards for him.  (Previously I had made a preschool set.)  Here’s what I came up with that’s more of a challenge.

Which one is different on each card?

I made all of these cards using are stamp art set.  It was way easier than drawing things by hand, but you could do that too.