Archive for Games


Let the Games Begin!

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According to their website, Griddly Games is committed to “bringing innovative and engaging games to people ‘across the grid.”  They’ve consistently gained recognition for their ingenuity and creativity in designing games that are fun and educational.  Many of their games have won the Teacher’s Choice Award for the Classroom and the Dr. Toy Winner award, among others.

We like board games at our house.  I buy them new and second-hand.  Some have been given to us as gifts and some as hand-me-downs from children or families that out grew them.  We’ve even been known to create a few of our own over the years.  I have boxes with the games intact and then I have boxes or bags of pieces, to replace pieces that inevitably get lost.  The family that plays together gets to know one another better!  Chess, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry, games of memory and concentration, Wits & Wagers, card games like War, Go! Fish and Golf, Yahtzee!, Boggle, Chutes and Ladders and Pictionary come to mind with ease.  Several have been played by all eleven of our children, at one time or another, while others are special editions or upgrades.  Griddly Games are new to our house, but Wise Alec has become a fast favorite.

Wise Alec is an educational trivia game “covering topics in History, Science and Spelling.”  Nature Nuts is a stand alone, nature trivia, travel game, and a Wise Alec expansion set.



The box has a magnetic lip on the lid that is excellent!  This is a no game board = play anywhere kind of game.  Slips into the beach bag.  Travels well to doctor’s and dentist’s offices.  Rides well on long car trips and suffers no ill effects when played sitting Indian-style on the bed.



Designed for 2 – 6 players, ages 8 and up.  In my opinion, it easily accommodates more players because in it’s simplest game the die is rolled, questions are asked & answered and points are tallied.  Plenty of questions for everyone!  Each card, Animal, Plant, and Earth has two levels of questions, novice and expert.  (The cards are a little thin and gloss-coated on the graphic side only; so, not quite as durable as I like.)  The Wise Alec cards pose challenges that may cost the player points or add bonus points.



  • Brain Teaser ~ Name 3 mammals  + 3 points
  • Action! ~ Make your best fish face  + 3 points
  • Yoga Time! ~ Do the tree pose.  Hold your arms above your head with palms pressed together.  Lift one leg off the ground so that your foot rests by your other knee.  Hold for 30 seconds.  + 7 points
  • Tongue Twister ~ Real rock wall.  Repeat 5 times.  + 5 points
  • Yes! ~ You do your 3 r’s:  you recycle, reuse and reduce!  + 2 points
  • Study Break! ~ Hop from side to side 15 times.  +3 points
  • Oops! ~ You put old cheese into the composting bin!  – 2 points  (We threw out one Oops! card ~ Your horse passed gas!  – 2 points –  It seemed like unnecessary coarse jesting and we didn’t want to encourage it.)
  • plus, Double Chance!, Roll Again!, and Still My Turn! cards.


We’ve learned something new every time we’ve played this game!  You’ll find the Wise Alec Family Trivia GameWise Alec:  Nature Nuts, retailing for $14.99,  Wise Alec:  Civilize This and Wise Alec:  Sports Buffs, along with other Griddly Games, at your local toy/game stores and at various online retailers.  Discover the fun at!




This graphic is from Kidz Zone.  A place for kids to play interactive online games and print coloring sheets!  A Griddly FREEBIE!



Griddly Games, Inc.

633 – 5960 No. 6 Road

Richmond, BC V6V 1Z1




This little cutie is the profile pic for Griddly Games facebook page.

Stop by and tell them Knee Deep In Grace sent you!


The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew, my mates, have points of view to share with you.

Check ’em out and let the games begin!




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.



*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


Thank you for your time and your comments.  I appreciate you!  PK


Hog Wild!

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Several years ago, my nearly-city-born husband worked on a pig farm.  What an experience!  The smell permeated everything – your hair, your skin, clothing, the dog and the car.  But, being the positive force that he is, each time we pulled into the driveway he would say, “Ah, smells like money!”  Nothing else needed said, because we were quickly reminded that this was how our bills were being paid and groceries were bought.  I can say that we learned a lot about pigs and I’m extremely thankful that it was just for a season.   


Pig Pen – an enclosure where pigs are kept.

Pig-headed – stubborn or obstinate.

Piglet – a young pig.  Little pink friend of “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

image by Disney

Pig Lard – the rendered fat from a pig.

Pig Latin – a version of language formed from English by transferring the initial consonant of each word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable, usually /a/; so, Penny becomes ennyPay.

~ And our newest favorite ~

Pig Pile – “The Hog Wild Card Game” by R & R Games

This card game is designed for children ages 7 and up, but it was fun for the whole family.  The game box is thick and sturdy, the cards are high-gloss and my youngest daughter says, “The 40 plastic pigs are fun all by themselves!  Especially if we build Lego pens and fences.”  Created for 3 – 6 players, but adaptable to more, by adding another set of number cards and a Hog Wild card for each player after the sixth.  It takes a few rounds of play to accumulate the most pigs and win the game!  Along the way, the young players are reinforcing their number value; less than/greater than.

Pig Pile retails for $15.95 and is one of many great games by R & R Games.  You’ll want to check out:

Pants on Fire, where “Stretchin’ the Truth can be Hot Stuff!” for ages 13 and up.

And, new this year, Ticked Off.  “The game that gives you the opportunity to crush (and impress) your friends with your vast knowledge.  Beat the clock and beat your friends!”

Card Games

Family Games

Party Games

Kids Games

Strategy Games

and more.

You can find other reviews on Pig Pile


Flea Circus, a crazy game of cats & dogs, for ages 6 and up,

when you visit The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew BlogR & R Games is offering a 20% discount to anyone purchasing Pig Pile or Flea Circus after reading a TOS Crew review.  Use coupon code CREW20 at checkout, now through December 31, 2011.

Find family fun and entertainment at

Send comments, questions or ideas to:

Write to –

R & R Games, Inc.

P.O. Box 130195

Tampa, FL  33681

or Call –




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.




*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


Thank you, much.


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Learning is Fun!

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The truth is – if you want to find an online game, there are many out there to choose from.  But, there are few that will take your child to an online learning world of brain-boosting games.

Go Go Kabongo believes that kids learn best by learning to think.  Along the same lines that instead of just feeding the hungry – teach him to fish or plant and harvest.  Go Go Kabongo gets kids playing, thinking AND reading , because each game addresses a cognitive proficiency and then adapts to the child’s level.


Building cognitive skills ( the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn) are essential to reading and reading well.  Children, generally ages 4 – 7, use critical thinking and problem solving strategies to play in the Go Go Kabongo habitats.  Along the way they build and strengthen their natural abilities:

  • Attention and Focus
  • Memory
  • Successive and Simultaneous Processing
  • Visualization
  • Letter and Pattern Recognition
  • Planning
  • Phonics
  • Comprehension
  • Verbal Rehearsal
  • Spatial Awareness


Go Go Kabongo is a splendiferous world of surprises and zany new friends!  There are three habitats: 

Each habitat has three educational games with multiple levels.  You can try Laughter Lake, today, FREE.  Following an app-style fee format: there’s a one-time payment of $4.95 per learning habitat.  No subscription fee! And for a limited time, if you sign up for Twister Top – you’ll get Galaxy Gardens for FREE.

Kabongo tracks your child’s progress and reports to you each week!

Other resources available –

Activity Time “provides fun activities to extend the skills practiced in the online learning games.”

  1. Brain Play > Steps of a recipe
  2. Learning Crafts > Making a story
  3. Reading Time > Word up

Featured Articles “provide information and resources to help parents develop their children’s cognitive development and reading skills.”

  1. The Power of Play
  2. Is It a Reading Disorder or a Developmental Lag?
  3. Parent Proven Tips & More

Kabongo Blog – “News and promotions!  Find out more about cognitive development and get expert insights from the minds behind it all.”


The mission of the Go Go Kabongo developers is “to challenge kids to become better thinkers, inspiring self-confidence through the joy of play.”  Mission Accomplished with my young ones!  My kids say, “Learning is Fun! with Kabongo.”  It is worth noting that this program is still a “beta” program, meaning that occasionally there were technical wrinkles that Kabongo’s prompt support team worked to iron out.


Kabongo, Inc.

5801 Christie Ave., Suite 470

Emeryville, CA  94115



Click graphic for facebook


Many of my crew mates had a chance to use and review Go Go Kabongo, too.  You can read their opinions by clicking on the TOS banner below…



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I truly appreciate your comments.  Thank you.

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Creating an Eager Reader

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*Reluctant – not eager; unwilling; disinclined

*Reader – one that reads

*Solution – the answer to or disposition of a problem

There are nearly 400,000 books published each year in the United States and the United Kingdom, combined.  I love to read.  I want my children to want to read.  I want them to wonder what is written between the covers of some of those books; I want them to pick one up themselves and discover, on their own, whether or not it is something they’re interested in reading.  Kid Scoop is the answer for the disinclined, less than eager and occasionally, downright unwilling reader.

Kid Scoop:  Reluctant Reader Solution is designed to “spark your child’s own interest in reading.”  There are two parts to the Solution:

  1. 12 full-color issues of Kid Scoop News online magazine and
  2. 365 PDF formatted worksheets

Online correlates with the printed pages and keeps the child interested.  Simply, the more a child practices reading, the better they get at it and the more they want to do it.  Vicki Whiting, the creator of Kid Scoop has put together text and activities that have kid-appeal!

Each issue of Kid Scoop News has:

  • games
  • puzzles
  • experiments
  • pictures
  • news-worthy kid profiles
  • relating to –
  • current events
  • the natural world and
  • holiday observances

Then, print a page-a-day, every-day, worksheet that corresponds and reinforces the content.  Topics include:

  • Valentine Fitness
  • Bigfoot
  • Easter
  • Wangari Maathai
  • Orcas
  • Memorial Day
  • Constitution Day
  • Bubble Gum
  • Kitchen Creativity and
  • Clay Play

These were great car activities.  I knew we were still on task, and they just enjoyed having something fun to occupy their time.

Reluctant Reader Solution is “guaranteed to improve your child’s reading ability.”  It has been proven time and again and Kid Scoop stands behind it with a risk-free, 365-day Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee. Less than 40 cents a day.  $97 for one year.

Kid Scoop also has an engaging website for kids and an email newsletter for parents.   Sign up for the newsletter and in the first 30 days you’ll get 30 whiz-bang exercises and ideas to make reading and learning a blast!

[1 of 30 Days] Pack Up For Adventure

Pretend you have been asked to go on an adventure.  Your mission is to explore a new place and you will be away for a month.  Look through the newspaper for things you would like to take with you.  Make a list of the things you will pack – they must all be found in the newspaper!

Check in with my TOS Crew Mates for additional reviews of Kid Scoop:  Reluctant Reader Solution.

Contact Kid Scoop~


telephone:  707.996.6077

Kid Scoop

P.O. Box 1802

Sonoma, CA  95476

Facebook Page

I was given Reluctant Reader Solution to use and review.  In a short time, my child has gone from reluctant reader to eager reader, and I’m betting we’ll reach enthusiastic before the year is over!


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I value the gift of your comment.  Thank you.

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An online math program that can stand alone or supplement your child’s curriculum.

Ten Marks offers lessons and personalized programs that cover all the core math skills and concepts your child will need…”

Ten Marks offers a free assessment for your child and will build a personalized curriculum for them, based on the results.  It services grades 3-10, but I think it has a bit of flexibility.

The creators say that this program is based on 3 simple principles:

  1. Personalized Learning Makes All The Difference.
  2. On-Demand Instruction Provides Help When You Need It.
  3. Practice Builds Confidence And Improves Achievement.

As the parent, you sign-up your child and he/she is given assignments according to grade level.  You can actually choose the number of worksheets given each week.  The default is 4, which works well for my two that are using this program.  You can choose as few as 3 to as many as 7, according to ease and progress.  Remember, these are tailored to each individual.

Video lessons



are available to help complete each worksheet.

There are practice pages and tests.  A current report card can be viewed by you or your child and there are printable certificates of mastery awarded when a skill is completed.  A unique system of reward is built into Ten Marks.  As a number of worksheets are done, games are unlocked.  My children have a set time to work on assignments and when they unlock a game they get additional time to play.

“Drive the taxi using the maximum possible speed.  Press the arrow keys to dodge other cars, accelerate and decelerate, and press the space bar to jump over them.”

You can also customize a reward for each child, e.g., 20 completed worksheets = 20 minutes on the Wii, or 30 completed worksheets = a Sonic milkshake; it is posted on their page as an ever present motivation toward a goal.

HERE is a video of “how it works,” by Ten Marks.

You can use the entire system for free AND there is a money back guarantee, if you are not satisfied after purchase.  I think they can offer a money back guarantee because they are confident in your satisfaction.  Ten Marks has excellent customer service and it is their desire to see your child achieve the highest marks they can in math.

China shouldn’t test higher than our children in mathematics!  10/10 can be achieved with Ten Marks.

Pricing is per child:

  • $10 a month
  • $49 for six months
  • $89 for 12 months

Contact ~


38 Glen Avenue

Newton, MA 02459



The TOS banner below will take you to more reviews of this program.

Encouragement and Blessings,

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Categories : Computers, Games, math, reviews, TOS
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Let’s play Wits & Wagers!

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How many words are in this post?

If  you’ve been to our house in the past few weeks, you’ve probably been asked if you want to play Wits & Wagers.  We actually have Wits & Wagers Family, the family friendly version of the original game.  It was given to me, and several of my mates, by North Star Games, to review as part of The Old Schoolhouse (R) Homeschool crew.

Participation is suggested for ages 8+, with 3-10 players, singles or up to 5 teams.  Our current daily household is 9 and our youngest regular player is 6 years old.  We play teams and the 6 year old, with an older team mate, has just as much fun as the rest of us!  To win a game, which takes roughly 20-30 minutes, you have to be the first to get 15 points.  In case of a tie, the team with the youngest player wins.  One of the reasons our 6 y.o. thinks this is “the best game ever!”

This is a question and answer game, but…you don’t have to know the answer.  Another reason my 6 y.o. and I think this is “the best game ever!”  The game comes with 300 questions, 5 dry erase (answer) boards and 5 dry erase pens, 1 dry erase score board; 5 large and 5 small Meeples (wooden markers).

We are actually considering customizing our Meeples.

Basically, play goes like this:

  • A question is asked
  • Answers are known or guessed and written on an answer board
  • All answer boards are put in the center of the table
  • Meeples are used to mark which answer you think is correct or closest to the correct answer
  • Points are scored – 1 pt. for writing the winning guess – 1 pt. for placing a small Meeple on the winning answer board – 2 pts. for placing a large Meeple on the winning answer board
  • First person or team to accumulate 15 pts. wins the game!

Questions vary, but every answer is a number.  You might get, “How many different colors of Froot Loops are there?” or “In feet, how tall is the world’s largest IMAX movie screen?”  I happen to know there are 6 Froot Loop colors, but the IMAX  answer would be a total guess. I might not know the answers, but I can still win, if I choose the right answer or the one closest to it, without going over it.

Wits & Wagers Family game is $19.95, available from North Star Games, at, and other retail locations where board games are sold.

I have yet another reason why this is “the best game ever!”  It’s adaptability to our homeschool.  I can make up questions, with number answers, to correlate and reinforce any subject we are studying.

Learning is fun! and this game proves it.  Even if, I only use the 300 questions that come with Wits & Wagers Family it is impossible to not learn something every time we play.


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

511 words in this post.

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Categories : Games, math, Reading, reviews, TOS
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