Discovery Bay Games offers a variety of fun and often educational games for families to share. Their mission is simple: bring friends and family together to play, interact, and laugh! This mom believes they have won victories on all counts. As a homeschooling mother of four with a background in educational psychology, I appreciate games that spark imagination while reinforcing lessons learned during school. It is my pleasure to introduce you to three games that your family will beg to play over and over again.
Ages: 7 and up
Basic Description: Five word cards are placed for all players to view. The challenge is for the players to write a story in one minute usin the words correctly. Bonebucks are earned for word usage and creativity. The one who earns the most Bonebucks wins.
Educational Value: The game encourages creativity, quick thinking, and the proper use of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
Thoughts from my family: I played this game with my 12, 10 and 4-year-old. The game is not for children under 7 because it requires reading, writing and a basic sense of sentence structure and grammar. Being a homeschooling mom, I have learned to tweek things to allow all ages to participate and have fun. My four year-old loved the game! I allowed her to tell me her sentences and practice writing some of the words on the cards. I also gave her plenty of Bonebucks to keep her imagination flowing. With my older children, they played the game as described in the instructions and had a wonderful time. My kids have had assignments before that included a wordbox and using those words to form sentences. My son always hated that assignment and claimed it was too hard. Maybe it was the one minute timer or the competition but he mastered the most creative and well structured sentences he’d written all year. My daughter loved the challenge of using all five words in one sentence. She was the queen of mastering that skill and earning double Bonebucks. We all had a wonderful time and laughed through most of the game. It was a nice break from worksheets. The game encourages proper use of grammar, sentence structure, word choice and sparks imagination.
Ages: 12 and up
Basic Description: Players try to spell as many words as possible to earn Beez tokens to complete their honeycomb.
Educational Value: The game primarily encourages spelling. However, vocabulary and language concepts are reinforced.
Thoughts from the family: The test subjects were my children again. We found the game to be very challenging. The game is divided into levels of difficulty for a word. The level is chosen by a roll of the die. This only enhanced the game’s fun. The kids had a good time learning new words. They even loved the challenge of trying to spell very difficult words. This game was fun for the kids and the adults. For those who love to watch spelling bees and try to spell the words this game is for you. For those who just want some fun and a challenge this game is for you. I was surprised how much my kids enjoyed playing even while getting many of the words wrong. The challenge is the fun. I let my 4 year-old in on the act by giving her easy words to like her name, mom, dad, cat, dog, etc. to play along also. If you are creative you can add in all your family members. For homeschoolers…you can use the misspelled words for your spelling tests. Or for an added twist replace the words provided with spelling lists you have used all year long for a spelling bee of your own. It’s great fun!
Spooky Tales the Interactive Story Telling Game
Ages: 8 and up.
Basic Description: Players compete by weaving the most creepy tale of the group. Players are given cards with prompts for the beginning of the story, cards to enhance the story and cards with story endings. This game also features a party game called Vampires Rise where players have to figure out who are the vampires and who are the villagers.
Educational Value: Players are using their imaginations to come up with stories from prompts. The game is mostly entertainment and great for sleepovers. Although the game does not hold you to grammar or proper word usage, it does promote the skill of story telling which had its own reward. I feel children need time to think without boundaries and let their imaginations flow. If you want to add on to this game, as a homeschooler or teacher, you may have children write down the stories once the game is finished. At that point you can reinforce language skills for complete writing lesson.
Thoughts from the family: This set comes with a very cool flashlight. By the press of a button you can make the flashlight emit scream sounds, wolf howling, creepy laughing and thunder. My kids loved this part the best! This is perfect for sleepover parties!
My kids are not exposed to horror movies or scary shows, therefore, some of the images on the cards were a bit scary for them. My daughter, at 12, thought the game was too scary for 8 year-olds and maybe even for her. However, once you begin to play the “scary” was of the fun and laughing variety. My daughter ended up enjoying the game and has requested to play it several times since. Keep in mind, the images on the cards can consist of scary things yet it would not be considered graphic nor is it in color. The cards show sketch drawings of a cheerleader with a knife behind her back, an insane asylum, a butcher knife, a grinder or things of that creepy nature. There is one card called “Make Out” with an image of a car parked. So, if you are concerned remove that one before playing. Personally, I feel this game is too mature for an 8 year-old but loads of fun for 12 and up. I did not allow my four year-old to play this game nor go through the cards. I did allow her to play with the flashlight which is a family favorite.
I think it is always nice when family game night can include reinforcing lessons learned in a fun way. Free learning and time to express yourself without boundaries helps keep the imagination and creative juices flowing.