Tag Archives: games

Game Night Became Even More Fun

This post is part of a KIdzVuz campaign, but all opinions are my own.

Game Night

 

 

We had been looking for new games for our Saturday night game night and my son was so excited to see we had two new options to play with. The games are not only educational, they are a lot of fun and are designed in a way to make kids think and develop skills while setting strategies to continue to play.

The games  are from School Specialty:

Grasping Grammar

Hone students’ grammar skills with this cross curricular board game! Play builds competence in identifying all eight parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections’ and reinforces science and geography facts. For 2-4 players. Grades 4 & up. Includes: 50 sentence cards Reference cards 36 Chips 4 Pawns Answer keys 2 assessment masters Category: Language Arts / Spelling – Grammar Sold as a Single Unit Short name: Game Grasping Grammer Grade levels.

Grammar Game

For more information, check it out at: https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?minisite=10206&item=2325100

Jumpin’ Chips

jumpin chips

Choose from 5 different games to practice and master subtraction facts through 24 – 12. Plan a strategy to jump over the most chips, solve the subtraction equations, and win the game! Ages 7+.

More information on: https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?minisite=10206&item=2926867

5 Reasons Why Computer Games Improved My Son’s Spelling

Spelling Pic

I know what you are thinking! Computer and we limit the children’s time on it, trust me, I’ve been there, I still AM! But my son was reading very complicated books and was really great at understanding and reading them, but when it was time to write answers, to spell, oh no! Even words he had just read, simple day to day words would come out like some foreign language and trust me, they were not in any known dictionary!

Well, Minecraft and Clash of Clans came along and he needed to chat, sometimes, unusual words were involved in the game! He started observing other players and started mastering the most common words and also the harder ones. Let me share a secret – 7, 8 even 9 year olds don’t chat with acronyms or abbreviations, they write things down, full words as a way to communicate with each other. It’s their brain trying to make sense of thinking and typing at the same time, fast enough to ask for resources, for donations, for troops and for their buddy who is playing with them to follow them and attack.

So after my frustration with my son’s literature answers, and observing his progress and maturity in the written language and how it had developed in parallel with his game skills, I have reached the conclusion that games can have a positive impact on your child’s education, as long as they are playing games  that reach and use those skills.

As a linguist, these are my findings, comparing my observation and the data on my son’s homework:

  1.  Games can improve spelling if your child uses chat mode, because the speed and level of concentration will require that they master their spelling to write while they play.
  2. At age 6-8, children are trying to make sense of building sentences, without proper punctuation and connectors, so words need to have full meaning, because most times, two words will convey the meaning of a full 10 word sentence. Well, no better place then games, where speed will require precision and concision, above all.
  3. Children don’t want to sound “not cool”, so sometimes my son would shout across the room, mom, how do you spell? Spelling becomes a must have skill, so the cool older kids playing don’t make fun of you!
  4. My son’s communication skills also were enhanced while playing Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Terraria since he had to master Skype, research mods, glitches and tricks on You Tube, which brought extra hours of reading and learning, prior to playing the game.
  5. His typing skills were also developed, because with no formal typing lessons, he suddenly became a very fast keyboarder.  There is a chat section on Minecraft which has motivated him to learn to type faster and more accurately and sometimes communicate with several players at the same time. 

So more specifically about Minecraft, my favorite, way beyond spelling, when you spawn in Minecraft you are in the middle of nowhere with trees, caves and animals around.  If you are playing in survival mode, you will also see creepers, skeletons, zombies, spiders or endermen that will attack you starting at sundown.  You need to try to survive by cutting down trees and building some type of shelter to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night.  You also have  hunger bars and if you don’t find food, you will die.

Sounds easy, but trust me it’s not.  You must come up with a strategy for surviving that first night and be quick about it lest you die at the hands of the monsters in the dark or a hungry belly.  I have seen the kids come up with elaborate plans for surviving that first night.  They’ve learned to hunt for food, build shelter, mine coal for torches and make tools from natural resources all within the span of a 10 minute Minecraft “day”. Tough, huh?

I’m impressed so much I have even recommended some parents to use games to help my foreign language students enhance their reading and spelling skills. Check it out on my post on favorite apps!

Just remember, the best way to help your child excel at any subject is to make it fun and help him feel successful. Nothing is more fun then playing video games!

When you wish upon a star….my son’s wish

This review of Nintendo 3DS XL and Two Pokemon Games was made possible thanks to Kidzvuz and Nintendo but all opinions are our own.

Well, my son had written a letter to Santa, only 6 items on the list, two of them were a Nintendo 3DS XL and games to go with it, since it was the second year he had asked for that, he looked at me while writing and said: Mom, do you think Santa will bring it?
I answered, you need to wish, really hard! You wish and it will come true!
Needless to say I had plans to go buy the game for Christmas, I even shared that with all my blogger friends!
I received an email last Monday, from Kidzvuz,an amazing website where children upload their own videos about things they like or products they received for review and share their honest opinion! They invited my son to review nothing less than the Nintendo 3DS XL and 2 Pokemon games! I was so excited to be “working” with him and on a video to share about a great product and about something he had asked for so long!

Nintendo 3 DS

We received the Nintendo 3DS XL and the games to be downloaded and he hasn’t put it down since! I had a hard time asking him to put away today and save it for Christmas! We recorded a non scripted video with his opinions and after we finished recording it, he looked at me, sitting by the tree and said: Mom, you were right, when you wish, when you really wish, it happens! I had no idea Santa would find a way of sending the game with your work! But I’m happy he did!

The Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL systems open up a whole new world of eye-popping gameplay possibilities. The stereoscopic 3D display of the upper screen gives objects within the game world a feeling of space and depth that extends far into the back of the screen. It becomes easier to see the position of characters and obstacles in the world, making many game experiences even more intuitive for all types of players.

pokemon x:y

 

In Pokemon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, trainers embark on amazing new adventure through the gorgeous Kalos region, where they will find new Pokemon and classic favorites, experience dynamic battles and enjoy new game-play features that enhance their journey through this exciting new world. 

Mega Evolution, Fairy-type Pokemon, PSS (player search system) are among many new features. 

For more information on the games and challenges, please click here.

For a complete review, watch my son’s thoughts and information on details on the Nintendo 3DS XL and the Pokemon X and Y Games. 

Here is my son’s video:

So what are you waiting? If you had any doubts, doubt no more, this is the perfect Holiday Gift!

Holiday Gift Guide Game Edition

BB Game Guide 1

 

I know, I know, Holidays call for games!

So we have decided to highlight some of our favorite new releases and share special reviews on some of our favorites!

For this special Edition, we will be giving away a Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack for your console of choice, courtesy of Activision!

skylanders

 

Skylanders is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding an all-new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a compelling play pattern – – swapability — that lets gamers transform 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now, Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves and experience an unprecedented level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders® game. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of 100+ characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants®.
Skylanders SWAP Force features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new core characters, eight new LightCore® characters and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game like never before. For the entire review click here.

Skylanders fans can now become the ultimate Portal Master with the new Skylanders Collection Vault app on iOS. The free app allows fans of the franchise to discover new Skylander characters and learn more about their backstories all in one place. In addition, Activision will be kicking off a Holliday Wish List Sweepstakes around the app to help fans complete their collections. Five lucky individuals can win their wish list collection of up to 25 Skylanders SWAP ForceTM toys available in retail.We will be reviewing each game starting tomorrow, stay tuned for Nintendo 3DS XL Review! One of our favorites!

Please don’t forget to enter our giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Bucket List – Before My Son Is Too Old!

BB1 bucket

My son and I had a big talk tonight; he was telling me he was homesick at his first sleepover and I assured him it was normal! I confessed I missed him a lot too, but even though it was OK to feel that way, I wanted him to do more of that, since he is an only child and needs to have friends, do play dates and have fun while doing it! He said he did enjoy it, so I told him that was what he should remember about his first sleepover!

Well, our conversation made me realize he is growing up and there is no holding him back! My little boy is becoming a smart, very inquisitive young man and I’d better do some things I’ve been wanting to do with him, before he is way too old for them!

So I created a Bucket List, 10 things I want to do with him this Christmas to make sure they stay in his memory for years to come! Here is my list:

Take him to see Lion King or Radio City Christmas Show

Buy some Brazilian Classics and read to him with a hot cup of cocoa, explaining the history of each story!

Buy gifts, wrap them together and give to a child in need! Would love to bring a foster child for Christmas!

Take a cooking class together, after seeing how much he loved the pie making class.

He loves art, loves drawing, so I want to take him to visit and tour a couple art schools and  give him a month of art classes!

Get him some special Portuguese time with my friend’s mother, once a week, who will not only be teaching him Portuguese but also bringing some grammy warmness to him, since he hasn’t seen my mom in three years!

Give him a new laptop, he’s always owned hand me down ones and complains about how leggy they are!

 Take him to ice skate at the Rockfeller Center, visit the Nintendo and Lego Stores and have dinner at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square! After all, he loves NY City!!

He loves recording videos and talking about his favorite video games, but his laptop features are not where they should be, so we will be equipping the new laptop with a nice video program, to allow him to record his video tips!

He loves Brazilian Barbecue but we haven’t been to one of those restaurants since May, I want to surprise him on his Christmas break and take him to have lunch at Rodizio Grill or Fogo de Chao!

Tell me, if you made a list, what would you add to it? Can’t wait to hear from you!

Let’s Get the Party Started With Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders SWAP Force Logo LoRes

I have received the Game and additional characters, but all opinions are my own.

Skylanders is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding an all-new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a compelling play pattern – – swapability — that lets gamers transform 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now, Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves and experience an unprecedented level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders® game. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of 100+ characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants®.
Skylanders SWAP Force features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new core characters, eight new LightCore® characters and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game like never before.
The game features:
All-New Characters – More than 50 collectible characters including 32 never-before-seen Skylanders heroes each with unique powers and personalities:
• 16 new SWAP Force characters
• 16 new Core Skylanders characters
• 8 LightCore® Skylanders characters
• 16 new versions of fan-favorite Skylanders from the previous games, each featuring an all new “Wow Pow” upgrade power
o Exciting Adventure – Portal Masters will embark on a brand new adventure, encountering never-before- seen enemies and challenges, as well as meeting memorable non-playable characters who can help the Skylanders defeat Kaos and his minions in the Cloudbreak Islands.
o Unique SWAP Force Zones – Skylanders SWAP Force characters feature new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – each of which can be explored in new areas of Skylands.
o Assortment of Gameplay Modes, Solo Survival Mode, Team Survival Mode, Rival Mode, Battle Arena Mode, Ring Out Mode

The game is offered for:  (Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4) Beenox (Wii)
n-Space (3DS), Nintendo Wii®, Wii U®, 3DS®

So what better way to share an amazing new game? Invite friends to play with you! We invited some friends and their children to come to a Swap Party! Children tried the game, taking turns!

SKY 1

boys 1f

Moms could relax downstairs and enjoy a nice chat, guess what was on our mind? Holiday Gifts and the game was our first choice, which we were sure Santa would approve!

Momsf

My son was so excited with all the options on the characters we received, it was hard to have him share his game controller!

boys2f

SSF_Photo_Toy_StealthElf_FINAL_HiResSSF_Photo_Toy_WashBuckler_FINAL_HiResSSF_Photo_Toy_BlastZone_HiRes

SSF_Photo_Toy_LC_Grim Creeper_FINAL_HiRes

 

No better recipe for a successful party than happy children, enjoying an amazing game! We wanted to thank Skylanders for allowing us to try the game which was launched Oct 13th and is currently available in stores!