Every Sunday night, my family used to gather around the radio in the kitchen and listen to the new episode of Adventures in Odyssey. We followed Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the kids, while learning about helping others, faith, dealing with bullies, and everything in between. We went on trips where we met Moses, saw the walls of Jericho fall, and joined the shepherds to visit Baby Jesus. There were adventures to go on, mysteries to solve, and real world problems to overcome.
The series was originally created for ages 8 to 12, but the stories and lessons are great for all ages. The CDs are wonderful for long car rides or for a fun after-dinner activity. Each episode builds off the previous ones, so your kids won’t be able to wait to hear the next one!
If you’ve never listened to the series before, I would start at the very beginning with Volume 1: The Adventure Begins. With 57 sets and counting, you and your children can grow with the Odyssey crew. Each set features 12 different episodes, and each episode lasts 30 minutes.
For the budding architect or engineer, Equilibrio provides the ultimate challenge of building 60 structures with blocks, using graduated skill-level instructions. For younger students, the activity exposes them to various geometric shapes and encourages them to follow directions and hone their problem-solving skills. For older students, the process will test their reasoning skills and dexterity.
The book indicates which 3-D blocks will be necessary to complete a particular structure, but the image of the structure itself is 2-D, requiring the student to figure out exactly which shape will work best in each position to provide the ultimate balance. Although listed as a single player game, we have used it with multiple players, as each student builds ever more intricate structures. We have also used the blocks in free play, trying to build the tallest or most complex structures or experimenting on uneven or multilevel surfaces. Despite varying interests among our boys, Equilibrio has been a great learning tool for the whole family. Includes 18 blocks and booklet with rules, models, and solutions. Ages 5 and up.
--Cherrié, Spring 2014
As a family we love to play games! We own several of the card games by SET Enterprises and enjoy them all. One of our all-time favorites is Five Crowns. In this game, you play 11 successive hands, starting with 3 cards and working your way up to 13. You have a wild card in each hand, but it changes according to the number of cards in the hand. This makes for a very interesting game, as you try to build sets and remember which card is the wild one. Since the object of the game is to get the fewest points and the potential to be left holding points gets greater as the game progresses, you really don't know who's going to win right up to the end.
Another favorite is Quiddler. It introduces questions like what are you doing when you yot or yote? Our whole family learned the answer to this and more, when someone had to defend their use of the word while playing this game. We encourage dictionary usage so you can share the definition of your words with your fellow players. With some help, even the very young can play . . . and win!
—Cherrié, Winter 2014