My cousin reviewed the following and here are her thoughts:
In two weeks, my daughter is going to be out of school for the summer. They’re having a little preschool graduation (so cute, right?) and then she’s all mine for the whole summer until kindergarten starts this fall! So I have been trying to think of some activities I can plan with her to keep her busy. Being a former teacher myself, I am always looking for fun ways to sneak in a math or a reading lesson. My daughter is advanced academically for her age. She is already reading and doing multiplication problems, so keeping her from getting bored at home can be a challenge. So I wanted to get some products from Super Duper Publications that she would enjoy that would stimulate her mind as well. I ordered three different products. The first item we received was Just For Laughs, a deck of 100 joke cards that come in a tin box.
Just For Laughs is designed for ages 8+ or for Grades 3 & Up. I thought that my daughter might be ready for these, since she is advanced, but I was wrong. She really didn’t understand most of the jokes in Just For Laughs; I found myself having to explain each card to her quite a bit, and even then I wasn’t sure that she totally understood. Humor is one of those things that is tricky with young children because they are not able to understand sarcasm and they tend to think very literally. My daughter loved the game though; she thought it was fun to see which player could collect the most smile tokens. Tokens are collected when one player reads a joke and the other player has to explain why the joke is humorous. Many of the cards in the deck deal with words that have a double meaning. For example, “What did one pencil say to the other pencil?” “You’re looking pretty sharp today.” My daughter was not familiar with this alternate meaning of the word sharp. The cards do provide an explanation of each joke. This game would be fabulous for people learning English as a second language who are still struggling with abstract elements of English language such as idiomatic expressions. I definitely think that we will be able to enjoy these a bit more in a couple of years. But I do like that the game triggers conversations about multiple meanings of words that force your child to use familiar words in different contexts.
The second product we received from Super Duper Publications was Which One Doesn’t Belong? Secret Decoder Super Fun Deck. This product is geared toward ages 6& Up, or Grades 1 & Up. This game is also packaged in a sturdy tin, and also contains 100 cards. Which One Doesn’t Belong? comes with a Secret Decoder, which is on a keychain and lights up. Each card is two sided, so there are actually 200 different activities. An answer key is provided. Each question is labeled Level One or Level Two, depending on difficulty level. An example of a Level One question would be “Which one doesn’t belong- see, smell, touch, hear, heart, or taste?” The choice which does not belong is very different from the others making the answer more obvious. But a Level Two question might be “Which one doesn’t belong- scream, yell, talk, whisper, speak, or sneeze?” If your child cannot figure out the answer, they can use their Secret Decoder and shine a light on the card to highlight the correct answer. My daughter was so excited when I showed her the Secret Decoder. I was surprised at some of the higher level questions that my daughter was able to answer. This game really promotes abstract thinking skills. I also found it interesting that my daughter and I would not always come up with the same answer for which item did not belong in the category.
For example, there was a card which listed ‘soda, punch, milk, coffee, juice, and water.’ I had chosen water as the beverage which did not belong in the category because it has no flavor, yet my daughter picked coffee because it was the only hot beverage. Luckily, the deck does come with an answer key in case of disputes. The game includes some different ideas for variations which I really like because you can change it up to keep them from getting bored. We are leaving on a vacation in a couple days, and these two games came at the perfect time. Just For Laughs and Which One Doesn’t Belong Secret Decoder Super Fun Deck will be perfect for traveling since they both come in a convenient tin that won’t take up too much space in our carry on luggage. I’ve been a bit anxious about how I’m going to entertain my daughter on a five hour flight across the country (and a four hour car drive during the trip) but now I feel much better. These games are both perfect for a plane trip because they don’t take up much space and they don’t require a big table to spread out on.
The third product that we received from Super Duper Publications was the one that I was most excited about when ordering. This one caught my eye because it would be perfect for elementary school classrooms. I plan to return to teaching after my son is old enough for preschool, so I’m always bookmarking and saving ideas I come across. This game is great because it actually aligns with national core curriculum objectives. It is intended for Grades K-5. Vocabulary Chipper Chat is a set of thirty placemats that are double sided, for a total of 60. There are 12 different categories, such as Compare & Contrast, Homonyms, Homophones, or Synonyms & Antonyms, and there are five copies of each included in the set. There are corresponding cards that are conveniently organized in a tabbed filing system, which have the prompts which you need to answer the questions. For example, a question for Compare & Contrast might be “How are an apple and an orange alike? How are they different?” An example of a question from the Synonym & Antonym category might be “Mom made a yummy dinner tonight. Replace yummy with a synonym so the sentence will have the same meaning. Replace yummy with an antonym so the sentence will have the opposite meaning.” After your child answers the question, they roll foam die.
The number on the die indicates how many tokens they are able to earn that turn. Next, your child (or student) fills up the spaces on their placemat with the tokens (similar to Bingo) until their entire card is full. At the end of the game, there is a magnetic wand that children can use to pick up all of the tokens off of their game boards. This was definitely my daughter’s favorite part! This game is fantastic because there are so many different variations that you would have to play 12 times before ever repeating a category. The instruction booklet also includes ideas for extension activities. My daughter and I enjoyed playing at home together, and I can also see the value in a classroom for a teacher who wants to organize small group activities, or even for a therapist in a one-on-one setting. I love activities that are educational while the kids feel like they are just playing a game. These will be perfect for me to use over the summer with my daughter to keep her motivated without her feeling like it’s a chore. Superduperinc.com has many other fun, creative educational materials for children of all ages and abilities.
15% off any Super Duper purchase when you use code KSBLOG200
(offer expires June 30, 2013)
Buy It: You can purchase the Vocabulary Chipper Chat for $64.95, Just for Laughs for $24.95 and Which One Doesn't Belong for $34.95.
One Winner will Receive Choice of
Just For Laughs, Ring Bling, Super Duper StoryMaker App (iOS), Vocabulary Chipper Chat, WH Question Cards App (iOS) or Which One Doesn't Belong?
(Open to US and Canada)
Being MVP received one or more of the products mentioned above for free for evaluation purposes. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials In Advertising. Being MVP Disclosure.