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Category: Games

Satori has discovered the iPad/iPhone game Pocket Frogs that she started playing yesterday. It’s free and I like that it has goals that she has to work to reach. She budgets her money to save for things she really wants without blowing all her coins as soon as she gets them. Satori wanted to share with you her new game and typed it out on her blog. Below is entirely unedited by Mom except for the insertion of a few photos.



Posted by Satori, age 6

I want to talk about Pocket Frogs.

“At the Pond”

You level up, and earn more interesting frog kinds. Sometimes you win awards, new frogs, and prizes! You can earn money, breed, buy stuff, and unlock frogs as you level! Potions are very good.

Frogs must be in nursury or other habitats.

I’m almost at level 4!

You can also do puzzles and races!

Just when I think I have a few 300 piece puzzles to keep Satori busy, she moves on to 500 piece puzzles. She even helps me with my 1000 piece ones, I think she worked more on my last one than I did. But hopefully, 500 piece puzzles will be a good size to stick with for a few more years.

Satori shouts out HI to Gramy and Grampy! (I wanted to add some some of personal post with photos of their granddaughter to offset all the boring curriculum reviews I do.)

Those pictures were taken late last night. This afternoon she started working on it again after we got back from the movies.

I think she’ll have this puzzle finished this weekend already. I was kinda hoping it would last a week or so. We went to the toystore today and there are no whimsical 500-piece puzzles with fairies or at least appealing, colorful images for young children. I did find a Ravensburger Curious Kitties one on Amazon that will arrive next week.

I also can’t keep up with enough writing journals and bare books for her! She freaked out this past week until our latest Rainbow Resource shipment arrived this afternoon with 20 more blank books. She had a list of a dozen stories she wanted to get down on paper.


Last month I was specifically looking for state geography iPad app games, and I found Stack the States, recently released for iPad. This game rocks! It is only $0.99 and so very worth it. It’s cute, colorful, fun and extremely educational.

It quizzes you on capitals, states, nicknames, abbreviations, bordering states, and more. You select the state answer and then you position your state to fall and stack up below the b&w line.

The states will tumble, bounce, and finally settle, hopefully on the platform. If you’re not careful, a state will fall right off. What’s cool is that you can plan how your state will fall so it will best stick. Even better, is you see the relative sizes of the states. I happen to have a lot of big states here, but the sizes are very apparent when you have some of the smaller northeastern states paired up with a state like Alaska and Texas. It’s so funny as the states look at each other with their huge eyes.

Once your stack of states goes over the line, you win that session. You then earn a new state to add to your map.

After you earn a certain amount of states, you are able to play more games. Here’s the bonus Puzzler Game. The states bounce off each other if you hit them, so you have to keep that in mind and carefully position each state in place.

A week later, Stack the Countries was released on 2/24/2011!  This is $1.99, but of course, you’re learning the entire world, so very worth it. A game on the world world can be daunting, especially for a 6 year old, so you can start out on “Learn” mode for a continent.

Clicking on a country brings up the basics, you’ll see the country shape, name, flag, and capital.

Click View Flash Card to learn even more.

When you’re ready to play, you can control which types of questions are presented…

Now you’re set to play!

Just like in Stack the States, you earn countries to unlock more bonus games. It reinforces the position of a country, as well as making the game totally addicting.

Check out this YouTube to experience Stack the Countries:

These two iPad apps are our absolute favorites and by far the best value. Our entire family plays these games, and we also literally have a “blast” with Rocket Math, another great educational app by the same person who made Stack the States. I’ll blog about that in another post.

I promised I would review some of our favorite games and I realized I haven’t done any yet, so here is out first one – Rush Hour Jr. This Junior version is designed for ages 6-8, but we are just fine at age 5, perhaps even younger kids would enjoy this. I consider these types of games to be great fun as well as excellent ways to get the brain challenged.

The object is to get the ice cream truck out of the traffic grid. Cars can only move back and forth.

The one disadvantage is that these vehicles are very light plastic and can easily pop off their tracks. But once we paid heed to this and were careful, they stayed on their tracks better.

Daddy and Satori had a great time playing the game. I think the normal version of Rush Hour (get the Standard, not Deluxe version) will find its way into our house very soon!

And in the photo below – pop! The Ice Cream Truck sails away free!

Since we’re starting our history lessons and the first parts of the world we’re learning about is the Fertile Crescent and Egypt, I picked up this Africa & The Middle East GeoPuzzle. Wow, this is one cool puzzle! At first glance it looks like it might be too hard for a kindergartner, but then I saw it was only 65 pieces and it was meant for ages 4-104.

Sure enough, it was perfect for Satori! And mom and dad too! We all loved putting this puzzle together. I was not allowed to touch the puzzle (Satori’s orders), but we talked our way through it.

For our first time putting the puzzle together, the puzzle cover came in handy. After Satori finished the edges and the water areas, it was time to tackle the countries. Each piece is shaped like that individual country, colored brightly and most are sized generously (very tiny countries were grouped with another country). So it was easy to  start with one big country and work our way around the continent. All I would do was call out the name of the next country and Satori would zero in on it, repeating the country name after me. Great initial exposure to the country names!

Here’s Satori putting in the very last piece of the puzzle. This is a puzzle we’ll do dozens of times for sure, learning more each time.

This was such a hit, I’ll get the rest of the series as we get to those parts of the world in our  history program: GeoPuzzles U.S. and Canada, Europe, Asia (covers Australia), and Latin America.

Right before Christmas I realized we need more challenging puzzles, so now Satori has some 84 and 100 piece puzzles. Last week, a local mom sold me this cool table and chairs (with bins underneath) for just $25, it makes a great puzzle table!

It’s just the perfect size for puzzles and games for  Satori.

If you know me, I get obsessed about certain things and go all out researching and gathering… Well one of my latest obsessions is games! Before Christmas the only games we had were like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Ho-hum… Needless to say, we never played the boring games. A thread on the WTM got me excited about building our game library!

I scoured homeschooling forums and of course Amazon, and came up with some that I think Satori will enjoy. I looked for challenging games for ages 5-7 that were creative and fun. Probably equally important, ones that her mom and dad would enjoy playing with her! For more game options visit

Cleaning out our hall closet was a project that took me almost two weeks, but finally it is cleared out and our new games and puzzles moved in. Even Daddy and Mama got a few – our favorite is now Pandemic, a cooperative game that is sooo much fun! We look forward to playing Ticket to Ride Europe this weekend. David chose that game, there is also Ticket to Ride based in North America. There’s a whole world of games like this that we can’t wait to play. These are over Satori’s level, but in a few years she’ll be able to join us.

I hope to review some of the games that Satori and our family enjoy. Right now we’re digging Chicken Cha Cha Cha and Kids of Carcassonne. I’ll talk more about them in-depth in another post.

I had been eyeing this Bananagrams Game which looks like a fast-paced Scrabble in a fun and compact (of course banana) package. My family (from Great-Grandma to Grandparents to David and I) love to play Scrabble, so anyway I could get my 5 year old more interested in such word games is a bonus.  Up pops Pairs in Pears while surfing Amazon, which is meant for the younger kids (5+), so it was a no-brainer purchase.

It arrived yesterday afternoon so last night our small family set out to play! Skimming the directions, I see that it has some very simple versions that I bet homeschoolers from age 3-4ish could even play, such as rhyming, letters in order, consonants/vowels, names, and such. But knowing my little speller girl, I knew she’d want to go straight to forming the words!

The game is simple. 4 alphabet sets come in a cute little  zippered pear pouch.  There’s also a little gadget that you can write words on, but we didn’t use that much, nor did the instructions mention it. We divided the letters up equally between the 3 of us, each got about 34 letters. After I spelled a sample word “bug” for Satori, she set out spelling all kinds of words. I didn’t even have time to read the directions and follow one of the suggested games.

To my surprise, Satori didn’t stick to the simple CVC type words like “cat”. She went ahead and experimented with words that we have gone over in All About Spelling – such as beginning and end blends, double letter endings, “-ck” words, and more. She got almost all of them right on the first try. Every time we looked over, Satori had a new word which both David and I thought was above a newly-turned 5 year old ability!

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for their gift this Christmas of this art table that we used for the game! The art table has a white-board top, a spot to put drawing supplies, and a roll of drawing paper underneath that can easily be torn off once a picture is drawn. But it also makes a perfect small gaming table! We had a spot to use a dry erase marker to tally up our word count (good math practice for Satori).

Pairs in Pears was a good investment for our family, it will get Satori even better at reading and spelling. I imagine Bananagrams might be a good idea next Christmas and soon after that, the real deal – Scrabble!