THE Math game for the family

003So, I started to write a post about going to a homeschool convention, but realized I didn’t have anything super helpful to say, and it was mainly going to be lots of hints of things to come.  I didn’t want to write that.

So (seriously I use that too much), Instead, I’ll just jump write in. 

001Here’s the premise, you’re going around the board in either direction to whatever square you want.  You get there by building equations from the tiles you have.  Your numbers can be positive, negative, or exponents (we took out the exponents), and you get operation tiles as well.

I spent a good hour or so talking to the guy there because I didn’t believe him that my 5 year old could play this.  He convinced me, and I bought it.

He was right.

She’s not a huge fan, but she doesn’t like games in general.  The boys who are fans.  LOVE it!

Your goal is to earn money by either landing on squares that give you money or by landing on a workout square where you do math problems (more on that in a second).  Princess worked her way around the board going in a negative direction almost the entire time.  The boys went positive, negative, all over.


When you land on a workout square you grab a card based on your ability.  My kids are all white belts.  That’s first/second grade math.  It goes all the way up through early high school with Algebra 1 and 2.

Our first game took about an hour to play, but this was also my kids first exposure to negative numbers, and they grasped the concept fairly quickly and were making up math problems like aces.

It’s on sale right now for $50 (yes that is a lot, but I think it’s totally worth it).  Considering most of the strategy games we buy cost about the same, and I’m seeing years worth of math practice in this game.  It’s worth it to me.

I LOVE this game (and I’ll have a post up about some of the other games I bought later).  I wanted to talk about this one first because I’m going to have a giveaway coming up soon for their computer game.
Go, look at it, try the online version of it (there’s an online version of the board game), and then discover how cool it is.

PS: I was not paid for this, I did not get a free copy, I bought it and loved it, so that tells you how much I like it.

Fun in the Summer Fun: Stayin’ Cool!

Welcome to the 1st of our Fun in the Summer Fun event! Each Monday until September 7th Mama to 4 Blessings along with Adventures of Mommydom, Sweet Diva, Harvest Moon By Hand, and Sweet Phenomena will be hosting Fun in the Summer Fun link up events.
Here’s the line up:
The 1st Monday of each month: link up your “Kid friendly summer activities”
The 2nd Monday of each month: link up your “Kid friendly summer crafts”
The 3rd Monday of each month: link up your “Kid friendly summer receipes”
The 4th Monday of each month: link up your “How to stay cool in the summer heat”

I’m sure this will totally shock you, but it’s hot here.  No really, it was over 100 at the beginning of this week.
I was all set to show you my favorite game from VBS that we do every year for water day, and then this was what happened to the games:
Yes, that is wild pandemonium as 200 kids all throw as much water as they can at each other.  Time ran short to play the games, so instead they just opted for the always popular throw water at each other…….
I was hoping I had pictures from earlier years, but I don’t……
So, here’s the two games, hopefully I explain it well enough you understand.

Drip, Drip, Drop

This is essentially duck, duck, goose with water.  The “ducker” walks around with a cup of water.  As they get to each kid they say, “drip,” and drip a little bit of water on the kid.  The person who is chosen to be it, you say, “drop” and dump the entire cup of water on them.  If you get tagged you sit in the “mush pot,” which is usually a baby pool full of water.

I’m sure you can see people don’t really run all that fast, and are eager to get tagged.
Relay race
Supplies: 2 clear two litter bottles, cups, buckets of water
Divide the kids into two teams.  Have them line up a good ways from the end point with a bucket of water, and each team has a cup.

At the other end one of the teens leading the club would be laying down with a two liter bottle on their head.  The kids run up and try to fill the bottle before the other team.  Ideally, they don’t pour too much on the teen.  Yeah, the “poor” teen gets soaked.  I mean completely and 100 percent soaked.

The horrors.

Hopefully these explanations make sense.  Maybe I’ll have my kids reenact the games………

And because I know you were dying to see how water day was at my club in video form, and a quick shot of me serving food (stay tuned tomorrow for an actual write up of clubs).

I can’t wait to see how ya’ll stay cool.  I have some fun ideas coming up, one that I’ll have to warn Jeff about……..

Bible Alive: Manna from heaven!


Our Sunday school class has been very slowly moving through Exodus.  I know, you’re thinking Exodus, 50 chapters about how to build the tabernacle……  Ugh, but the first half is really fun, and I’m going to condense down the last half into a swallowable lesson for them (silly computer doesn’t think swallowable is a word).


No, really.  Or, that’s my plan……


Well, Sunday’s lesson was about the Israelites and how whiny they are about little things like drinking and eating.  God’ answer was to give them manna from heaven.  Now, I’m sure the Israelites after gathering enough to eat thought to themselves, “Well, we’ve got all of this leftover manna, and I know, we’ll play games with it.”


Supplies: large numbers of pom-poms. spoon, chopsticks, or other challenging items to carry stuff, cups



GOAL: to be the first team to fill all of their cups with “manna”


RULES:  You cannot touch the pom-poms (manna) with your hands.  You can use the spoon, chopsticks or what have you to take it over to the cups.


VERDICT: the kids loved this!  We discovered that the spoons were much harder than the chopsticks, but it was really popular.


Okay, so it’s not all that spiritual, but it did drill in how manna fell from heaven (when we threw it in the air), and how you could only gather so much before you had a problem……….


All right, I’m stretching there, but it was fun.

Look what Batman designed

This needs a BIG picture!

004I am so proud of him.  Back at Christmas time we went out to buy their presents for their Dad, and Batman was insistent that he wanted to get Jeff a game, and a game he could play with Jeff.  But, he didn’t like any of the games at the game store that he could play with Jeff.  Finally he saw a bag of skeletons, and decided he was going to make a game for his Daddy.

003The skeletons were going to be the bad guys, and of course we needed good guys for us to be.  He searched throughout the store and found the pewter figures, at first he tried to convince me we needed to get the Heroclix Iron Man figures……  But, eventually he ended up with getting two archers (one for Batman, and one for Superman), and a unicorn for Princess.  I convinced him that Jeff and I already had figures (which we do, Princess gave him a dragon for Christmas, and Sam had given Jeff and I hand-painted figures the year before he and Tara got married).

We got home and we disappeared into my room and wrote up the rules.  He created cards for each type of figure listing their movement, what their powers are, how much damage they do.  He explained what the goal of the game is, and how it is played.  Each of our figures has a special ability.  Princess’ unicorn can shoot form its horn and do a lot of damage.

Then he absconded with one of my pieces of foam core board I’ve had earmarked to make a puppet stage.  Now, I’ll have to wait for the next round of sales on those.  He drew a game board, and quite happily came back in and explained to me what all of the different pieces meant and then we wrapped it up.

049Game play, actually had very little to do with the rules he created.  Instead, it was more of declarations, “I shoot this bad guy,” and then the bad guy would be dead, and lots of rules added in.  But, it’s been fun to play with them, and has given Jeff and I many laughs as we’ve seen the different rules they’ve come up with as we play.

Isn’t that a cool board to make up?

stART: Grouchy Ladybug, or “If you read a homeschooler a book”

Oh, wait that’s a silly title.  Oh well, I’m sure this will crack you up.


008 Before I start the “directions” here’s the supplies:


file folder, construction paper, index cards, 1.5” square punch (optional, but makes life easier), paper cutter (again optional, but makes cutting easier).


If you read “The Grouchy Ladybug” to your kids, they might decide they want to play the ladybug game.


When they go to find it they’ll discover it’s no longer where it was, because a mean Mommy gave it to Goodwill because they kids weren’t playing with it (cough cough, no idea who this mean Mommy is).



So, they’ll start to make their own.  First they’ll draw their figures.




Than they’ll draw the aphids for the ladybugs to eat.  That’ll remind them that they’re hungry.





So, while they cut their papers they’ll sit there and talk about how hungry they are, and “Mommy I know I just finished breakfast, but can I have more food?”




But maybe the ladybugs are even more hungry than they are, so they start to count the aphids.





How to play: start at the purple square, roll the die and move that many spaces.  After you have moved get a question card (sneaky Mommy throwing review questions in there).  If you answered the question right you get an aphid.  If you land on a NO space then move back 2.


And chances are if you make a Ladybug game they’re going to want to read the book again………


Head on over to A Mommy’s Adventures for more art and book projects.

Preschool Corner: Quick game

Remember last week when I said I was going to go back and buy a second set of the flash cards?  Well, I did, and here’s what I did.


Supplies needed: two sets of the same flash card game; scissors or a large punch (mine is 1 3/8”), plastic bag or pencil pouch to put completed game in


Punch out squares from your second set of cards.  Since my kids are slightly older I tried to make the placement a little harder.  This meant I was able to get about 5-6 squares per card.

Side note: I also made an easy version where I punched out one piece from each card and then left the card in there to find the missing piece.

What the cards looked like after I was done, and what my floor looked like after making four of these games.  And boy was my wrist sore!


Completed game in a bag, it barely fits in a sandwich bag if you’re stubborn.


Rules for play (as we did it):  Pass out six cards to each person (I picked this as a handy number that means you’re likely to get matches often).  Obviously, this is the second uncut set of cards.

Pass the bag of squares around.  When it comes to you take a square out and see if it matches any of your cards.  If it does you keep it, if not it goes into the middle discard pile.

Each person also got a card with a hole punched in it; they are trying to find the missing piece for that card.

It was a lot of fun to play, and the kids had a blast being able to make an actual game out of their beloved flashcards (at first they weren’t convinced about my cutting up the second set, but now they’re okay with it).

For more great preschool ideas head over to Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations.

Favorite family board games


I’ve mentioned once before that I like games.  Sadly we haven’t gotten to play as many as I’d like.  If you ask my kids, here are their favorite games:

1.  Monopoly Junior Toy Story edition- ummmm, how is it that they can’t add and we have to show them how to make change every time, but they still win every time?  We’ve devised a couple of house rules:  Whoever is Buzz doesn’t get to be blue also; and Princess plays with Mommy (because she doesn’t have the patience to sit for the whole game).

2.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar game-  I don’t mind this one as much, probably because while it still relies on luck, I don’t sit there for 15 turns aware I’m going to lose and having to wait an eternity for the kids to win (can you tell I’ve been forced to play Monopoly Junior one too many times recently?).

3.  Superman (I think) got this for Christmas, actually I think it was Batman that got it from Superman.  Either way, this is a Scooby-Doo board game, and it’s surprisingly fun.  When you spin and get a ghost you have to push the ghost at the top down and when you do different things happen to the board that might send you back to start.  It’s really fun.  I just have to be careful they don’t lose the figures in playing with them.  Sorry Fred, I think you got caught by the ghost at some point.

Now if you left it to me, here’s what I’d want to play:

Carcassonne-  It’s a fun tile laying game where you are trying to get the most points by building the biggest cities, farms, roads, etc.  There’s a lot of expansion and each one adds in something different.  We’ve got about 5 of the expansions, and some of the mini ones.  Actually I talked about it back at my New Year’s post about my favorite board games.

And now I just need to remember to link this over to Kylie at  Our World Wide Classroom.