Friday, October 7, 2016

Product Review: EQtainment Products

EQtainment products are designed to teach emotional intelligence concepts (often called EQ) to preschoolers.

Q's Race to the Top Boardgame:
This game is definitely more fun than most preschooler games. And it teaches concepts that other games usually skip over. The game is super simple: roll the dice, move the piece, draw a card of the corresponding color and do what the card says. Cards may have to answer a question or do a quick action. There are also a couple of short cuts and move backward spaces to keep the game more interesting. When I played with my girls (ages 3 and 4), we had great discussions with our kids while answering the questions and learning about some social skills and emotional regulation skills. The questions are the essence of the game. The board game part (rolling the dice to move up the path to the top of the tree) is simple a means to talk about the questions. But it works really well. I can't imagine the cards being super entertaining without the game part to "trick" kids into learning. Overall, it is a great game for preschoolers.

 Q's Race On the Go Pack:
A cheaper way to get the board game concepts without the game part; just the questions. I like that it is small enough to fit in a diaper bag or purse. I wish it had new questions (rather than 90 of the 150  questions from the game). And I wonder how interested kids will be in talking about the questions without the board game to distract them from the fact that they are learning.

Q-Time Buddy:
My four year old liked it. The concept is great. But just about any stuffed animal would work.

Q's Coloring and Activity Book:
Cute way to keep the character alive for the kids and teach concepts through coloring.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stories From My Children

My kids are starting to come up with their own stories to tell.

Caroline:

Chapter 3: The hidden garden of Jesus adventures.
One day Jesus found a garden. It was a magical garden and he thought it was his. It was really somebody else's. And it was really his, so he went inside and if you touch the flowers you will get shocked. He touched a flower and got shocked. and he found something in it. It was something to get out. So he went out and inside was another garden with beautiful rainbow flowers. And he got in another door to another garden. And what did he see? More shock flowers. He ran out the regular door and went straight home.

Chapter 4: The hanging magical garden
So one day Jesus found a magical garden in a tree. It was a treehouse. He went inside and what did he see? Somebody used to live in it. He didn't know what to do. But guess what? They found a new place to live so Jesus moved in. But Jesus didn't like it because it didn't have a bathtub. And then he really really didn't want to live there so he went home. The end.

*Side note: These are, according to Caroline, stories that her pink blankie wrote into a book and she was just reading the book to us.

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Daisy:

One day there was a smiley face walking on the lines. And then he saw the other guy had a baby in the crib. And then the voice singing there. Yes. And he says Thank you. Then in it that toy the pirate. Then them says nnnnooooo. Them says yes. Those slides are broken. The end.


So one day a smiley come to the smiley face home and he said yes. Must be lost. He was walking through the woods. The smiley face opened the door and he didn't say no again. He go in the woods. He go in them and knock on the door and go in the warm bed. Then the end.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Game Reviews

Turtle Flip: Each player has a card and a chip. On your turn you take another chip and decide which chip you want to play (pass right, pass left, or flip). Then you do with your cards what the chip says. The goal is to get the highest card before the cards are flipped (but you can only see the card that is currently yours). If, when the "flip" chip is played, you have the highest card, you win the flip chip. Once you have 3 flip chips, you win.

Things I liked:
-The cards were almost plastic-like
-The pictures are adorable
-It's fast (easy to do best out of 5 games, etc)
-Requires skill and luck
-It was the favorite game of the kids that played
-Easy and fast to learn how to play

Things I didn't like:
-The box is HUGE compared to what is in it. I will be putting the cards and chips and instructions in a zipper pouch to save room on our game shelf.
-The rules say that once chips have been played, they are not used the rest of the game, but then there aren't many chips left near the end. We would remix the chips after a flip chip was won.

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PongCano: Each person has equal number of chips. Players take turns trying to bounce the ball into the volcano. If they miss, one of their chips goes into the volcano. If they succeed, they win all the chips in the volcano. Players are not out even if they have no chips. First player to win all the chips, wins the game.

Things I like:
-The ball is a regular ping pong ball which is easily replaced when your 4 year old looses it.
-I thought it was going to be boring and we'd always get the ball in the volcano and the game would never end. But this was not the case. It was a lot harder than we thought it would be. (But not too hard). And if we end up getting really good at it, there are obstacles you can place in the way to make bouncing the ball into the volcano harder.
-It's like "beer pong" for kids.
-Costs the least

Things I dislike:
-It's like "beer pong" for kids. (I can't decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing.)
-The tag-line is "the game of sacrifice" but that doesn't make sense. Sacrifice means giving up something good in exchange for something better (like a new mom giving up sleep for her newborn that needs to eat). When you "sacrifice" a chip in the game, there is no benefit.

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Monkey's Up: Monkeys are in the middle. Each monkey has a number underneath it. Each person picks three random monkeys. (Players can see their own monkeys). Players take turns rolling the dice and following what it says. "Switch" means to trade 1 of your monkeys for any other monkey. "Steal" means to take any monkey. "Flip" means you flip over one monkey to reveal to all the number on it's bottom (and then it stays flipped). "Reverse" means the die goes in the opposite direction. Once one player has 3 of their monkeys flipped, the game is over and the rest of the players flip monkeys in front of them to have 3 flipped monkeys. The player with the highest score when their monkeys are added up wins the game.

Things I like:
-The monkeys are cute
-It was my personal favorite of the three
-I like the combination of skill and luck

Things I dislike:
-Hardest of the three to learn (not really a bad thing since it was still easy to learn)
-The box was too big for the pieces included. (But not nearly as bad of a ratio as Turtle Flip.)