Our family loves to play board games. We’ve got a pretty large collection from classic to modern hits. Some games are simply for entertainment, but I really love a game that teaches skills or flexes the brain at the same time. That’s why I was so happy when Blue Orange Games sent me two of their games to try in exchange for my honest opinion… Thumbs Up! and Super Genius flash cards.
Thumbs Up! consists of a colored rings and a variety of cards with numbered items on them. The object is to look at the items on the card, find the number associated with each item, determine the color associated with that number, and then put the rings on your thumb… in the correct order… before your opponents. When I first heard the concept for Thumbs Up! I was worried that it would be a bit dull for the adults to play and definitely geared more toward the young kids, but it turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected. I felt like we were on a much more even level with Xander (five years old) than I expected to be. It’s harder than you’d think to quickly register the order of numbers and colors… especially when they throw in cards with dice! It’s a very easy game to pick up and far more fun than you’d realize.
If your child is learning to read, the Super Genius collection is a great flash card style game that can enforce those lessons. Each set consists of a series of picture cards and a series of word cards. The words used are Dotch words (sight words) that represent the most frequently used words in English. Any two cards will have a match. The idea is to begin making connections between words and pictures. The Super Genius flash cards have not gotten a ton of use yet in our family, because Xander just turned five and the game is for six and up. That being said, we are using them to begin teaching some word recognition. The fact that there are five different games to play with the cards makes it very flexible. The Cooperative game has been great for us, because we can work with Xander to find the connections. As his reading skills grow, we can move on to the more challenging head-to-head style games. They have many sets, so you can cover lots of different common words.
Either of these games… and many, many more from their selection… would make wonderful gifts for children and families. What better gift than something that strengthens basic skills and the family bond?
Pros: Fun-to-play games that teach. Well made cards and game pieces. Easy to learn. Fun for the whole family.
Cons: The games can honestly sound quite boring in the descriptions, but they’re fun in actual play.
Blue Orange Games was founded in 2000 by Julien Mayot and Thierry Denoual in San Francisco, California. As a company, they are driven to spread the timeless pleasure of connecting face to face with family and friends around a great game.
- Thumbs Up! – Race to scoop the loops! The goal is to be the first to stack different colored rings on your thumb, based on the order shown on a challenge card. This is not as easy as you think! The challenge cards will require each player to focus on the order of numbers and match their colors. Different variations of play make this a must have party game that is as fun for little ones as it is for the big ones!
- Super Genius Collection – Say “Goodbye” to dull flash card learning! Super Genius is a new educational collection that brings the power of play to the learning process of reading and math. Designed for kids ages 5 and up, Super Genius is a matching game that was developed hand-in-hand with learning professionals. Match words to their images, addition equations to their sums, and multiplication equations to their products. There is always 1 and only 1 match between any two cards. The challenge of discovering this first keeps kids engaged and having fun while they inadvertently practice problem-solving and linguistic skills.