Elenco Electronic Snap Circuits SC-300

Review:

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This was a Christmas gift for my 7 year old daughter from my brother-in-law, a physicist. It was one of his favorite toys growing up and according to his mother, he got quite creative with it!

So far, we have mainly followed the included directions (though with occasional “what would happen if we put this here instead?” experimentation) and have found almost all of them clear and straightforward enough for her to follow on her own without adult assistance. Replacing wires with snaps was a brilliant idea- the snaps make the process of building and dismantling circuits extremely simple and easy, which helps reduce frustration (especially for young beginners like my daughter) without dumbing down the circuits themselves. (Some should be plenty sophisticated enough to keep a high schooler’s interest.) So far, her favorite of the 300 different circuits included in the instructions is one that launches a plastic fan into the air like a flying saucer, and mine is the AM radio (yes, it really works!)

I highly recommend this kit for children who enjoy building projects or have an interest in science.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

King of Math App Review

King of Math (AppStore Link) King of Math
Developer: Oddrobo Software AB
Rated: 9+
Price: Free Download from the App Store

Review:

This is a fun and challenging math app where you start out a peasant and become a king by completing each chapter in different “books” of problems. You only get full stars for completing each chapter if you are both quick and accurate.

My favorite aspect of this math game is that they vary the format of the questions with each chapter. For example, one chapter might give simple 4+5=? style questions, while another will show pictures of dice and have you add the dots, and a third will show you four addition problems and ask you to select the one that has the largest sum. This helps keep you on your toes as you progress through the books and stops your brain from falling into a rut.

This version of the game is best for teens and adults. For elementary school kids, I recommend King of Math Junior instead.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Mille Bornes

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Review:

A family favorite card game involving an auto race. Players play in teams and have to try to thwart the other team or teams as well as moving their own car along the road. Lots of fun!

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Set Card Game

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Review:

My sister was the family Set-meister when I was growing up, and anybody else was just a distant second. In fact, she usually managed to beat the rest of us put together! Despite routinely getting my butt whipped, however, I still enjoy this game. It’s not only fun, it’s great for building visual perception skills.

Set is also fairly flexible. We play standard rules with older kids, teens, and adults, and simplified rules with younger kids, such as having to match only one of the four different factors (number, color, shape, and shading). It can also be played solo.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Five Crowns

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Review:

Our go-to family card game. Similar to rummy and simple enough to be playable by kids, complex enough to be fun for adults. My parents are on their third deck by now!

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)