Friday, December 17, 2010

Tiny Planets

Tiny Planets is an educational website designed for children ages 4-12.  Isabel has spent the past few weeks reviewing this for the Homeschool Crew.  

Once your child has chosen a cadet name (from  computer generated options) they can go to Tiny Planets home, which is the central location to get to all of the Tiny Planets' regions.

  • My Tiny Planets - Here the kids can create their own planet, choosing it's atmosphere, surface and terrain.  They can also grow plants in their biodome.  You can also play mini-games, recycle, collect rainwater and help keep other planets clean. 
  •  Tiny Planets Labs -This sub site is where kids can go to test out future games for Tiny Planets.
  • Tiny Planets Books - This is a collection of story adventures of Tiny Planet's Characters Bing and Bob.  It would be a fun place to read to little ones or let beginning readers go through themselves.
  • Tiny Planets Fun - This region is packed with educational games and puzzles.
  • Tiny Planets Learning - Here you will find lesson plans to help little ones learn their letters and numbers. 
  • Tiny Planets Blog - Here are updates to the Tiny Planets' sites plus great articles for parents and cadets alike.

 This is a free website, but some of the games, books and activities require keys, although not a lot of them.  Keys can be purchased for $1.95 for 10 keys.

Isabel enjoyed this, but said she would recommend it more for children a little bit younger than her (11 years). 

 *Disclaimer* I received this free of charge from the vendor in exchange for my review.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wits & Wagers Family

 We have reinstated our Family Game Night, thanks to Wits & Wagers Family, by North Star GamesWe are a game loving family!  We had Family Game Night every Wednesdays for years, but would get side tracked and let life get in the way.  So, once Wits & Wagers Family arrived, we decided it was time to return to our forgotten weekly event.

Wits & Wagers Family is a very simple, easy to use game that is packed with fun!   You have trivia questions that are asked of all players.The answer is always a number.  Each player has a small dry erase board they write their guess on.  Then all the boards are placed in the middle, in numerical order, and each person 'wagers' on what answer they think is correct.  To wager, each player uses two different sized Meeples (little wooden human(ish) characters).  You have one large (worth 2 points) and one small (worth 1 point) Meeple to wager on either one or two answers.  Whichever number is closest without going over wins that hand.

We have played it again and again in the few weeks we have had it.  The questions are fun enough for the whole family, but the simplicity of the game is such that the kids can play by themselves with no adults.  As a family, we highly recommend this game!!  It states the game is for ages 8 and up, but I think younger children could definitely play with a bit of help! 

This game retails for $19.99 and as of this morning was sold out through their website. You can check back to their website to see if it is available or check your local or online retailers.  Other games by North Star Games include: Wits & Wagers, Say Anything and coming soon, Say Anything Family.

*Disclaimer* I received this product free of charge in order to do this review.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Master Ruler

We received several products from Master Innovations for our family to review.  In our package was The Master Ruler (standard), The Master Ruler (Metric), The Master Ruler workbook, and a Marvels of Measurement poster.

The prices for these products are as follows:
  • The Master Ruler (both Standard and Metric) - $9.95
  • The Master Ruler Workbook - $15.95
  • Marvels of Measurement Poster - $10.00

The Master Rulers are so cool. They are a multi-overlay ruler with each overlay having either 1", 1/2", 1/4", 1/8", and 1/16".  The kids had a lot of fun 'playing' around with them. Not only can you use these rulers to learn to measure, they are a great tool when working on fractions.  With the use of the overlays, you can clearly see equivalent fractions.

The Master Ruler Workbook is worth the cost and I would recommend it.  It works on basic measurement, fractions (equivalent and reducing, adding and subtracting), and area and perimeter. Plus, it is filled with ideas of how to incorporate measuring into your homeschool day.

The Marvels of Measurement Poster is a fun, graphic, educational poster that helps kids make the connection between length, capacity and weight.

I really thought these tools were a lot of fun and very useful in our homeschool. Plus the cost is great. They can be used for kids of all ages to both learn and see a concept they already know, demonstrated in a different way.

Other products by Master Innovations include: The Master Clock, The Master Fractions, The Master Angles.  The site is also full of helpful videos of the products as well as testimonials from teachers.

Please head over to the Homeschool Crew Blog to see what my fellow crewmembers had to say about the Master Innovations products!

*Disclaimer* This product was given to me free of charge, for the purpose of this review.

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