Learning with Games: Blokus

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Learning with games

Today’s Blog Hop is all about educational Toys, Games and Puzzles. We LOVE learning while we play, so I had a really hard time choosing which game I wanted to share with you. I let Bug make the final call, and he chose his favorite game, Blokus Junior.

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Luckily for me, this game is also one of my favorites to play with the kids. It’s simple enough for them to play correctly, without needing reminded of the rules. No reading is required, so Mr. Man can get in on the fun. It teaches the idea of having a strategy without making it obvious that it is really teaching anything. Play moves quickly, so no one gets bored, and the game can be done in about 10 minutes, which means I don’t have to say “no” when the kids ask to play “ONE last time before bed??”.

Even better, it’s a game adults enjoy too. I’ve pulled it out to play with Hubby, and friends when they are over. Not many “Junior” games are that versatile!

Here’s how it works:

step1

The game board is made of plastic, with a grooved grid. Each player has a pile of tiles, in various geometric shapes and sizes. One player gets red, and the other gets green. In our house, the youngest player gets to go first, and places their first tile on one of the two squares that is marked with a small circle. This is the starting square. (the picture above is after each player takes their first move)

step2

Each player then takes turns placing their tiles. Tiles have to touch the corner of their own color (green to green or red to red) but cannot touch along a side. (see in the picture above?)

step3

This is where the strategy comes in. A player CAN place their tile along the side of the opposite color, as long as it is still touching the corner of the same color. You can block the other player from being able to place a tile this way. (like Bug did to me in the above example, blocking is his favorite move!)

step4    But, you have to be careful with blocking, and also plan ahead! The board fills up fast, and each player has a large variety of different shapes. Soon, you run out of places to put the blocks, and the game is over. The end of the game takes the longest, because Bug and I take our sweet time staring at the pattern trying to find places to stick our remaining blocks. The person with the least left over blocks, wins.

This simple, inexpensive game gets so much playtime at our house. They also make a 4 player version (Blokus Classics Game) that is on my wishlist.

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Before you head over to check out the other fantastic Homeschool Bloggers participating in today’s Blog Hop, take a moment to enter this amazing Teaching Creatively Giveaway! It’s only open this week, and entering is easy!

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