Saturday, July 31, 2021

Battle Sheep Review

You know we love games over here!  I have another one to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Battle Sheep!  Battle Sheep is manufactured by Blue Orange Games and is geared for ages 7 and older or 2nd grade and up.  It's a 2-4 player game that averages ~ 15 minutes per game.

What's included?  This game includes 16 pasture boards, 64 sheep tokens (16 of each color - blue, red, black and white) and an illustrated rules booklet.

Some of the pasture boards.  These feel like a laminated cardboard to me so they are fairly durable.

Some of the sheep tokens.  I love that these tokens are durable and made of thick plastic - they have a nice feel to them 😉.

Game Set Up & How to play?  Each player takes 4 pasture boards.  If you are playing with 2 players then 8 pasture boards will be used for the game board, if you are playing with 3 players then 12 pasture boards will be used and so on.  Players take turns setting up the game board.  So player one lays down a pasture, the next player connects one of their pastures, etc. until all the boards are connected into one playing field.  All boards have to be connected by at least one side.  

Above you can see the board set up for when I played D.

Then, beginning with the youngest player, they place their sheep stack on one of the pastures on the outside perimeter of the playing field.  The rest of the players follow suit.  Next, you begin moving your sheep.  On your turn, you split one of your sheep stack into two stacks (you get to decide how many sheep are in each stack) and move your new stack as far as it can go in a straight line until you either reach another sheep stack or cannot go any farther.  You must leave behind at least one sheep every time you move.  You can also only move in a straight line.  You cannot have more than one sheep stack in the same pasture and you may not jump over other sheep.  If your sheep stack is blocked on all sides by other sheep, then it is trapped and cannot move.  You are out of the game when you cannot move any of your sheep.  When all the players cannot move their sheep, the player who occupies the most pastures wins.  Basically in this strategy game, opposing sheep are battling for the most pastureland.  The player that captures the most pasture space with their sheep wins the game!

You can see that D and I actually tied with 12 pasture spaces a piece.  However, I had the largest herd so I came out on top!

If there is a tie (which we have had several times as noted above), the player with the largest herd of sheep (most occupied pastures connected by at least one side) wins the game.

One of our three person games.

I love that this game helps kids think tactically as they have to plan ahead and not just one move at a time.  Likewise, players should be thinking about strategy and both offensive and defensive moves.  I really appreciate that every game is unique because the game board is ever-changing.  I also feel like this game gets better and better the more you play it.  We are really enjoying it in our home and it's such a great addition to our game resources!

This is currently included in Timberdoodle's 3rd grade curriculum kit and we highly recommend it!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Battle Sheep in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Archery Texas State Games

Last week A participated in the Texas State Games for Archery. She had a blast and came home with some hardware to boot. We are so proud of her 🏹.  I think I might need to get her a medal holder now!
3-D - 2nd place
Field - 2nd place
MOD600 - 2nd place
Clout - 3rd place
Wand - 2nd place
Team relay - 2nd place
Runner Up Over All Senior Bare Bow

Friday, July 30, 2021

Apple Twist Smart Games Review

I have something to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Apple Twist!  It is a single player game manufactured by Smart Games geared for children 5 and up or Kindergarten and beyond.

What's included?  This game includes 1 apple shaped game board that is divided into 5 rotatable segments making it double-sided, 3 bendable caterpillars (yellow, green and blue) and a booklet with 60 challenges and solutions.  The front sections of the apple board have numbers on them (1-5) while the backside of each segment has letters (A-E).

Above you can see how the segments rotate so you can have numerous game board set-ups.

The caterpillars are cute and bend at certain places.
There are a few segments that are fused and they won't bend at those locations (see the red circle above).

There are 4 levels of challenges: Starter, Junior, Expert and Master.  As expected, the increase in difficulty as you go along.  Each challenge has one unique solution and they can all be found at the back of the challenge booklet.

How to play?  Children choose a challenge.  Next, they turn the apple segments as indicated on the challenge card (set up the board).  Now they have to fit the caterpillars in the dimples of the board.  The caterpillar heads need to be placed as shown in each challenge.  That's it!  Basically the caterpillars are competing against each other for the same apple.  Each challenge has only one unique solution, which can be found at the end of the booklet.

Above you can see some of the challenges.
After setting up the board, all parts of the caterpillars must fit inside the dimples of the apple.  A yellow, green or blue head lets you know that the head of that specific caterpillar must be placed there.  A white head indicates that one of the caterpillar heads must be placed there but it doesn't tell you which one.  It is not uncommon for a few of the dimples to be empty once the challenge is complete.

In some of the harder challenges you only get the board set-up and no hints about caterpillar heads.

Above you can see Starter Challenge 1 completed.
G after solving Starter Challenge 2.

F with his finished challenge!

E with her completed Challenge 17 (Junior Level).

It's hard to think that we weren't familiar with Smart Games ~ 3 years ago.  Now we own a plethora of them 😉 (including Asteroid Escape & Walls & Warriors).  Smart Games encourage planning, problem solving, spatial insight and flexible thinking and we 💕 them.  It's so great to have a selection of creative and quality single player games in our home.
Apple Twist is currently included in Timberdoodle's Kindergarten curriculum kit and we highly recommend it!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Apple Twist in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Color Fizzers from Timberdoodle Review

Today I want to share with you a fun product from Timberdoodle, Color Fizzers!  Color Fizzers are manufactured by Steve Spangler Science and are geared for all ages.  They come in a pack of 100 with an assortments of primary colors - red, yellow and blue.  Our Color Fizzers, also known as tub tints, came with an activity guide too.  Although our fizzers are the size of a small candy, each tablet can color up to 1 liter of water.  I appreciate that they are non-toxic and don't stain hands or surfaces.  They will stain fabrics and porous surfaces though so watch out for those!

The tan one is the yellow fizzer, the reddish-gray one in the middle is the red fizzer, and the blue one is the blue fizzer of course.

Getting ready for Activity 1.
The guide gives directions for an activity, which is making all seven of the colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV) using the three primary colors.  It recommended using distilled water so we did.  The younger kids really enjoyed mixing the colors and learning which combinations create the various colors.

G dropped in the tablet to make blue.

E dropped in the tablet to make red.

And F dropped in the tablet to make yellow.

Once the kids had the three primary colors made, we followed the activity guide for the various ratios to make orange, green, indigo and violet.

E added the colors to create orange.

It came out perfect!

F added the colors to make green.

G added the colors to create indigo.

I mixed the colors to create violet.

The kids with our rainbow of colors.

And a close-up of our colors.

The guide explain how our color fizzers work.  They are made with pigments, citric acid, baking soda and a binder.  Since all of these ingredients are water soluble, once in water, the citric acid and baking soda react to release carbon dioxide gas (hence the fizz) and the pigments mix creating vibrant, fun colors.
Our activity guide has a nice vocabulary list to help young scientist improve their knowledge and understanding of scientific terms such as absorb, citric acid, pH indicator, water soluble, etc.  We haven't tried using our fizzers in other liquids yet but I think we will do this next!

Color Fizzers are currently a part of Timberdoodle's PreK Curriculum Kit.  They are certainly a fun way to teach children about the color wheel and color mixing.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Color Fizzers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Young Scientist Earth & Space Science course from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Review

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.

Greg Landry's Homeschool Science

Today, I am sharing about the Young Scientist Earth & Space Science course from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science.  D is currently working her way through this online course this summer.  She is currently halfway done.
This is a self-paced 4th-7th grade one-semester class.  It is geared for upper elementary or junior high students.  I appreciate that the online recordings can be watched at your students convenience and even rewatched if necessary (this can even be run at 1.5/2 times normal speed making it even faster the second time around).
Another cool aspect of this course is that it includes a PDF version of the information/book (~100 pages).  You can see we have access above.  You can use this online or print it out if you desire.  There is also a black and white version for printing if you'd like to save ink.  There are also worksheets and other resources for students to use as they work their way through this course.

Above you can see the Chapter 1 student Worksheet.

There is a nice ~30 minute class introduction for students and parents that help you get a feel for the class set-up and what to expect.  Our Young Scientist Earth & Space Science course has 13 classes and the topics include 
  • Note-Taking, Studying & Test Taking
  • Metric System, Temperature, Precision & Accuracy
  • Scientific Method & Lab Reports
  • Mapping, Latitude & Longitude
  • Time zones, International Dateline & Prime Meridian
  • Unique Landmarks & Other Fun Stuff
  • Ocean Tides
  • Atmosphere, Climate & Weather
  • The Heavens I
  • The Heavens II
  • Rock, Minerals, Ores and Fossils
  • Earthquakes & Volcanoes
  • Landforms
I want to note here that this course is done through a Christian perspective, which I personally love.  Every class begins with a short prayer.

D watching Class #2.
A Probability, Accuracy and Precision worksheet from Lesson 2.

Learning about The Scientific Method and Lab Reports in Class #3

Each class has a video lesson taught by Greg Landry (a homeschool father and former college professor) that average to be 20-30 minutes in length.  Class #2 exceeds this as it is ~ 55 minutes in length and there are a few that are under 20 minutes but for the most part, they hit the 20-30 minute range.

I like that students and parents can ask Professor Landry questions through email using this course.  Because this course is self-paced, there is tons of freedom in completing it quickly or at a slower pace.  And likewise, you can use as much of the material that's presented or less if desired.  This course emphasizes the process of taking notes because students tend to remember much more of what they write over what they hear.  So it is recommended to have some kind of binder or notebook.  D has been using a 1 subject notebook and a box of colored pencils and that's worked great for her.  We also have a 3-ring binder for her worksheets and extra material.

D has been enjoying this course and it has been a really good fit for her to work through it this summer.  I'm thinking about having E do it after her as well as she is going into 4th grade this Fall.  If you are looking for self-paced, online, science courses you will definitely want to check out Greg Landry's Homeschool Science options.

There are other self-paced 4th-7th grade one-semester classes offered including Young Scientist Anatomy & Physiology, Young Scientist Biology, Young Scientist Chemistry and Young Scientist Physics.  There are also self-paced 7th-12th grade half-semester classes (Exercise & Sports Physiology, Biochemistry/Microbiology, Embryology/Endocrinology and Earth & Space Science) as well as virtual, interactive labs.
Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Greg Landry's Homeschool Science.

Online College Prep Science Classes with Greg Landry

You can engage and learn more by heading over to Greg Landry's Homeschool Science.