Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Laser Chess Review {Timberdoodle's Customized Curriculum Kit}

I want to share with you today one of the fun thinking skills components included in D's customized Timberdoodle kit, Laser Chess.  Laser Chess is manufactured by ThinkFun Games and is recommended for kids 8 and older or 3rd grade and up.  Similar to standard Chess it is a 2 player game.

What's included in our game?  Our game includes one game board, 26 playing pieces, and instructions.  The 26 pieces consist of 2 lasers, 2 kings, 4 switches, 14 deflectors, and 4 defenders.  Instead of the standard black and white colors in normal chess, the two teams consist of gray/red pieces and blue/white pieces.

I love how easily the pieces fit inside our box.

Above you can see what the pieces look like.  I appreciate that they are durable.

How do you play?

Determine which player will be gray/red and which player will be blue/white.  Select one of the 5 board set ups to begin the game (choices include in increasing difficulty Ace, Curiosity, Grail, Mercury and Sophie).  

Above you can see the board set up options as well as the board set up in Ace format.

The blue/white team goes first.  Player 1 chooses one of the following actions:  move one of their own pieces in any direction, rotate one of their pieces 90 degrees without moving spaces, or rotate their own laser.  Afterwards, the player must then fire their laser by pressing the button on the top.  If the laser lands on pieces (opponents or even their own), they are removed from the board (essentially killed).  Then Player 2 takes their turn in the same way.  The first player to strike their opponents king with a laser wins!  I say a laser because it is totally possible to strike your own king and sabbotage yourself inadvertently.

C and F playing, you can see F's laser is hitting C's wrist
Above C has won by taking out his opponents king.

Laser Chess is quick and you learn a lot every time you play it!  Like many strategy games, I feel like there is so much learned from trial and error and after playing a few times you really start developing your strategies and get the feel for how to use your laser and pieces.  Laser Chess is great for logic and problem solving, visual perception and helps develop reasoning skills.

Check out the video below to see more about Laser Chess.

I also want to note that while there are 5 starting board set ups presented in the instructions you can also make up your own so the possibilities are really endless.  Laser Chess is a really fun take on Chess and the kids enjoy having it.  I think my boys appreciate it the most and it is a great resource to have within our homeschool!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I will be refunded the purchase price of our curriculum kit in exchange for my honest reviews of our kit.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

F's 9th Birthday {Lego Party}

We finally celebrated F turning 9 with family and friends over the weekend!  He had a fun LEGO themed party and David made him a green LEGO cake at his request.  Unfortunately I did not get many pictures but a great time was had by all.

One side of F's cake had his name.
Another had his age

And here's a good view of the top of the cake!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

D's Meet Season (Level 6 Gymnastics)

We are so beyond thrilled for D.  After overcoming 2 elbow surgeries in the same year (January 2021 for one elbow and November 2021 for the other) for OCD, Osteochondritis dissecans, she is finally able to compete a meet season!  It's hard missing several in a row.  We are so proud of her dedication and all the work she put in and I truly believe she is stronger because of it.  It is a blast seeing her compete again.

At her 1st Meet (Texas Shootout) she received 1st for Bars, Beam, Vault and All Around, and 3rd on floor!  Check it out below.

At her 2nd Meet (Houston National Invitational or HNI) she received 1st for Bars, Beam, All Around, 3rd on Vault and 5th on floor (and her All Around score was higher than the 1st meet).

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Region Band

B and C both tried out for Region Band this year and made it!  They both made 6th chair, which I thought was funny.  Their concert was over the weekend in Houston and David was able to take them.  Thankfully, he took videos so I was able to watch their performance afterwards.  They did so great and I'm so proud of them!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Happy 9th Birthday F!

F turned 9 yesterday!  We didn't get to do everything that we had planned because he wasn't feeling 100%.  Thankfully he seems to be gearing to go today.  We should be having a party to celebrate him in a few weeks.

F is currently in the middle of building his big Christmas present from us, a giant LEGO Tree House.  I cannot wait to see it finished.  Happy 9th F - you are a truly amazing kid!