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How to Fight Off Post-Holiday School Slump

Are you kids suffering from a post-holiday slump now that they're back in school? Here are some games to freshen up some of those school skills with fun games for family time.

Here are a few fun ways to connect:

PlayMonster Qwitch

Playmonster $12

An updated version of a popular card game that calls for quick thinking with both numbers and alphabet. Players race to be the first to play a matching card or a letter or number that is more or less that the one on the top of the pile with letters and numbers. The plus, minus, and equal card on the other pile indicates which way the play has to go. It’s a race to the finish as players try to be first to get rid of all their cards. Comes in a sturdy tin and with directions in English and Spanish. 7 & up.

Ages: Early School

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017

Ideal 4 Way Spelldown

(Ideal/Alex $23.99)

A new/old twist on a classic game. You probably played this game years ago with wooden flip down letters on all four sides of the playing board. Now, there’s a pop-a-matic style popper in the middle of the board that shows two letters that you have to use with extra letters you flip to make a word. Players must announce the word and spell it before they flip the levers. Winner is the first to flip all the letter levers on their side of the board. This is a fun game for solo or 2, 3, or 4 players. Older players will be challenged to create four, five and six letter words. The box says ages 6 and up, we think this is a better bet for 7 and up, up, up.

Ages: Early school, Tweens

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2017

Simply Fun Sumology, The Game of Equations

(Simply Fun $40.00)

Want to get those math skills up and running? We gave this a Platinum Award in 2012 and it's still among the best. Sumology is an entertaining game played with wooden tiles that might be called, Scrabble meets Math. Players begin by drawing 8 tiles. Instead of creating words with your tiles, the object is to build equations in a crossword style, horizontally or vertically. You need to connect your new equation to the other tiles on the table and then you can add up the digits in your equations to get your score. The game uses all four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Choose the math operation skill level for your child's level. This is a game that can be adapted to use with kids in early grades and through the tween years.We recently discovered that Simply Fun gives ways to extend the ways to use their games on their website.

SNAP: Simply Fun's website suggests: "Eliminate the multiply and divide operation for children who have cognitive delays until they have mastered the addition and subtraction. Lower functioning children can practice counting by finding the number tiles and placing them in a sequence, one after the other. The adult can help the child use the visual cues provided by the tiles to show them how to count by 2's, 5's, and 10's. " Keep in mind, their website offers tips for using other games in their line — a terrific resource.

Ages: Early School, Tweens

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Seal Award 2012

Blue Orange Dice Stack

(Blue Orange $10.99)

What a fun way to reinforce addition and multiplication! Six oddly shaped tilted dice are tossed on each player’s turn. Then the dice must be carefully stacked in numerical order, adding the dots on the top of each one as it gets stacked. Player can stop at any point and take the points stacked so far. But watch out! If one falls the player gets no points. Want to double your points? Easy, just roll the gold die and place it on top of the stack with the side up that it landed on. If you can top your stack with gold you double your points…BUT, if any fall you get no points for that round. Now it’s the next player’s turn. You'll need a pencil and paper to eep score as each player has a turn. Winner is the first on to stack up 100 points ( or set a lower goal for winning). A good choice for 1-6 players. An inexpensive game to help sharpen visual perception, simple addition, fine motor skills, and problem solving. A good travel game that comes with a small net drawstring bag. 7 & up.

Ages: Early School, Young Tweens

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017


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