Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nature Nuts

We are in Week 2 of our school year, and we are slowly ramping up to speed.

One of my goals this year has been to make school more fun. My son has/had developed a mindset of hating school, and I don't want it to be that way. I had been thinking about how I could change what I was doing to help my son enjoy the process. And then I was given the opportunity to try out an educational game called Nature Nuts. Initially I had some doubts about if the game would be "too young" for us, since it was marked for ages 8+, but I now know it is probably way over my head. Read on to learn more.

Let's just say my son is wise to my scheme, and he greeted the new game with less than enthusiasm, but grudgingly played a game with me once I informed him that I required it of him. The game started off a bit rocky, with each of us missing the answer to question after question, but by the end of the game my son was enjoying the fact that he was getting a significant number of answers correct, and I was not. He won the game.

I won't whine long about how the game conspired against me. Some questions wording threw me: "Since snakes have no teeth, how do they eat?" I answered, "They unhinge their jaws." My son snickered and read, "They swallow their prey whole." Then there was the question that came up that I got wrong, that two turns later repeated itself in the deck for my son, who now knew the answer and joyfully added points to his score.

Anyway, I am really enjoying supplementing our science course by playing this game throughout the week. And my so is, too, although he might not admit it if you ask him.

Nature Nuts was created by a company called Griddley Games, and is part of a series of games called Wise Alec Family Trivia Game. Nature Nuts can be used as an expansion to the Wise Alec game, or it can be used alone as a trivia game.

It contains a die with colored dots on the six faces, and four stacks of trivia cards. The person whose turn it is rolls the die, and is then asked a question from one of three categories. The question category is determined by the color rolled on the die. There are questions for red, green and yellow (animals, plants and earth, respectively). If you roll blue, you can pick which category. If you roll orange, your opponent can pick which category, but your score is double if you answer correctly. If you select purple, you pick a "Wise Alec" card which might ask you to do something totally unique. My son had to stand with his palms together over his head, with one foot resting against his other leg, and balance that way for 30 seconds to get 7 points. He succeeded. Fortunately I wasn't asked to do that! :)

You can choose to play the game to a certain point ceiling (we played til someone had 50 points), or set a timer and play for a certain amount of time, like 30 minutes. If you play as an expansion of the Wise Alec game, you have a game board that you move around with game pieces; otherwise you play just by rolling the die and having questions asked. On each turn you can pick a 3 point question (easier) or a 7 point question (harder). I wasn't very good at either, but I look forward to increasing my knowledge of nature trivia as we continue to play the game.

I am enjoying this game and I highly recommend it as a supplement to your school program. It is highly educational. Or you can use it as a supplement to your game collection, if you prefer to think of it that way. I received my set of cards for free in exchange for an honest review. Please visit the Homeschool Crew Blog to see reviews by other members of the Homeschool Crew.

Griddley Games also makes the basic Wise Alec game, as I mentioned above, as well as Civilize This! and Wise Alec: Sports Buffs. In addition to trivia games, Griddley Games makes sports trivia games (Griddly Headz Strategy Games), Chronicles of the Mind, and Words of the Wise. All of these games look like fun ways to help the entire family learn trivia and vocabulary while having fun. Also, their website is chock-full of videos explaining all the different games, making the rules and the play easy to understand.

I recommend you give this company a good look. They have a lot to offer to supplement your educational program. Nature Nuts is not available locally in all areas (not available in MY area), but is available online, and costs $14.99.

1 comment :

  1. I love your review, it sounds like you're really enjoying the game, thanks for sharing!