Game On! Educational Picks for Middle Schoolers (page 2)

Game On! Educational Picks for Middle Schoolers

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based on 17 ratings
Updated on Jan 28, 2008

* * * (Gamewright, $9.99)


Taboo (Ages 10 to adult, 4 or more players)

Everyone knows what a birthday party is. But can everyone explain it without using the words “celebration,” “presents,” “balloons,” and “cake”? In Taboo, players must explain something without using the accompanying “taboo” words. Creative thinking, as well as knowing your teammates, go far in this verbal sprint, and players of all ages will take their descriptive skills to new heights.

* * * (Hasbro, $24.99)


Math Dice (Ages 8 to adult, 2 or more players)

In this simple game of mental math, players set their minds racing to creatively calculate a target number. The product of two “target dice” makes the “target number.” Then, after rolling three “scoring dice,” players must add, divide, square, and subtract to come closest to the target number in the end. When billed as a game, kids may balk at taking up the challenge, but when played as a fun break from practice sheets and textbooks, Math Dice does the trick.

* * * (Thinkfun, $5.00)


Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (Ages 8 to adult, 2-4 players)

Which animal has the largest brain? Who wrote Gulliver's Travels? What are the rules of kickball? Modeled after the popular trivia show, this game tests players' knowledge of fifth grade curriculum, from such subjects as Math, Social Studies, and English, to Music, Physical Education, and Games. While the game presents ample opportunity to learn, the task of keeping game pieces, cards, and money tokens straight takes away from the. fun. A word to the wise: while some might find the questions far too easy, others may struggle, so make sure that all players are of similar skill levels.

* * (Hasbro, $19.99)


Monopoly Here and Now (Ages 8 to adult, 2-8 players)

If your old Monopoly board has fallen to bits, and you're looking for an update to the faded original, look no further. The creators of Monopoly Here and Now have assembled America's top real estate properties by vote, and the results are sometimes unexpected. Instead of Marvin Gardens or Baltic Avenue, players can purchase Fenway Park or Disneyland – and don't expect inflation-control! Bills range from ten thousand to five million dollars apiece, so players have a realistic chance to buy multi-million dollar properties – realistic, that is, if everyone at the table is a bonafide high-roller. With playing pieces such as a Starbucks mug and McDonald's fries, as well as the classic car and shoe, Monopoly Here and Now mixes old and new to update a classic. But while learning to calculate thousands of dollars in change is an exercise in millionaire math, the overall experience is less educational and more of a sobering look at America “here” and “now” -- Starbucks and all.

* * (Parker Brothers, $19.99)


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