My kids absolutely LOVE playing these Professor Noggin games during dinner. My 8 year old in particular will pretty much beg and is super bummed if we’re not able to for some reason. However, all four of my kids (ages 2, 4, 6, and 8) really enjoy playing these games and are learning a ton. Somehow it makes dinner go so much more smoothly.
Product: Professor Noggin Games
Company: Professor Noggin
Recommended Age Range: 7+
Price Range: ~$15
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Comments: So far my family has played the following editions of these Professor Noggin card games: Life in the Ocean, Rainforests of the World, The American Revolution, Outer Space, Earth Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Wildlife Safari. The games can be played more than once. We’ve played a few of these games twice and the odds are small that the same questions come up. However, even when they do, it gives the kids a chance to show what they have learned.
The way these games work is that the players take turns rolling a dice that will tell them which question they should answer (1, 2, or 3). In our family, I am the official reader-of-the-cards (unless it is my turn to answer, in which case either my 8 year old or hubby will read it). There are 6 questions on each card: 3 easy ones and 3 hard ones. In our family, the kids answer from the easy section and the grown-ups answer from the hard section.
If you answer the question correctly, you get to keep the card. If you answer incorrectly, it goes back to the bottom of the deck. We play until all the cards have been distributed and then count to see who has the most cards. This usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the difficulty of the deck. We’ve found the animal decks to be easier than the history decks, at least for us.
There a couple modifications we do to make the game go faster. For one, if the question seems like it will be impossible for the child, I will make it into a multiple choice question. For example, one question asked where a kangaroo carries its baby. My 4 year old didn’t know, so I said, “On its back, in a pouch, or on its head.” Another modification we do is that if someone answers the question incorrectly and there are more than two possible choices (so not a True/False question), I will give other people the chance to “steal” the card. The first opportunity goes to the person with the fewest cards. If there is more than one person with that number of cards, the younger player goes first.
One funny thing that I’ve noticed is that my 2 year old always just repeats the last choice. So if it’s a multiple choice he’ll give the last answer. If I say, “true or false?” he’ll say false, so sometimes, I say, “false or true?” to get him to say true. I’m sure this won’t last forever, but at the moment, my older kids are all amazed by his brilliance. Our baby knows everything!
Another thing I love about this game is that it gives my kids almost daily practice at not being sore losers. Sportsmanship is very important to me. It’s a process, but I can tell at least with this game, my kids are getting better at not throwing a fit when they lose.
Lastly, probably the best thing about these games is that they are educational and my kids don’t even notice!
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