Puzzles and Games

Rosary Rummy

This is a lovely and inexpensive Rummy game that also teaches the mysteries of the rosary. It includes two colorful cards, illustrated with Old Masters paintings, for each 0f the twenty mysteries of the rosary. The Rummy game requires both matching and ordering the mysteries. Instructions are included.

Who's My Baby? Memory Matching

Memory has always been a favorite game in our family; partly because it's easy for even the young non-readers in the family and also because there are so many fun variations on the game.

Now we have a new favorite Memory game for the very youngest members of the family. The game involves matching photos of mother animals with their babies.. The cards are super heavy-duty (of a similar thickness to the original Memory games but more like the size of playing cards) with lovely photographs of each animal.

Trans Europa

Book cover: 'Trans Europa: A Tactical Track-building Game'

Our family enjoys Geography very much (especially my 10 year old son) and so new Geography games are always a welcome addition to our curriculum and/or learning environment.

Trans Europa has a European map gameboard on which you connect major cities (chosen from the card deck) with "train tracks." It can be played on a simple level by younger children (the recommendation is 8 and up) but can involve rather complex strategies as well.

The Scrambled States of America

Book cover: 'The Scrambled States of America: The Whimsical, Mad-Dashing, Geography Game'

The Scrambled States of America is based on a book of the same name by Laurie Keller. It involves making geography fun for young children through a story in which the states get mixed up and need to be put back in order. You don't need to know the story to enjoy the game, however.

Map Puzzles

Book cover: 'Map Puzzles'

We found an old wooden U.S. map puzzle at a garage sale but they're also readily available at Teacher Supply stores and even warehouse stores. I prefer ones that have each state as one puzzle piece, but usually they'll at least group Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut together. When my son was 2 1/2 he really enjoyed playing with it, so we left it out on the coffee table. He'll bring me a few pieces at a time and ask me the name.

The Global Puzzle

Book cover: 'The Global Puzzle'

This inexpensive (approximately $15) jigsaw puzzle provides an easy and fun way to learn World Geography. Pieces are cut along country borders (although larger countries are split into pieces). Colors are simple and continents, oceans, countries and capitals are clearly marked. A few of the smaller countries are joined together in one piece. Canada is broken up into pieces cut along the province borders. The United States is broken up into pieces composed of one or two states each.

Lord of History Card Game

Book cover: 'Lord of History Card Game'

These playing card-sized history supplements portray 24 important figures in Catholic history (the remaining card is a cover card with instructions for games that can be played with the set). There is one card for each of the following people: Alfred the Great, St. Joan of Arc, Prince Henry the Navigator, Christopher Columbus, Mary Queen of Scots, Marco Polo, John Henry Cardinal Newman, Fr. Jacques Marquette, King St. Louis IX, Queen Isabel of Castile, Charlemagne, St. Francis Xavier, Dante Aleghieri, Emperor Constantine the Great, St. Thomas More, G.K. Chesterton, Junipero Serra, St.

Heritage Memo Game

Book cover: 'Heritage Memo Game'

A memory game showing 36 pictures of outstanding sites worldwide.

While looking for something fun to add to this year's curriculum purchases, I discovered this memory game in the Montessori Services catalog. I can't tell you how much fun we've had with it. The whole family down to the 2 1/2 year old have enjoyed rowsing games of memory while learning about important historical, cultural and religious sites from around the world.

The cards are approximately 2 inches square with full color pictures of famous sites. There are a high percentage of Catholic sites:

Catholic Bible Quiz: Elementary Level

Book cover: 'Catholic Bible Quiz: Elementary Level'

This book provides 200 questions and answers - forty each in five different categories - the Law, the Prophets, Wisdom, the Gospel and the Epistles. The book is designed to be used as a quiz game - keeping score (based on the difficulty of the questions - each question is awarded a particular point value) to determine the winner. It could just as easily be used as an informal reinforcement of Bible Study. It is very similar in format to the New Catholic Quiz listed above.

The New Catholic Quiz: Second Grade

Book cover: 'The New Catholic Quiz: Second Grade'

Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. See description above.

Sample questions from this book (page one)
God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are called ________.
(a. the Communion of Saints, b. the Most Holy Trinity, c. the Beatitudes)
The Eucharist helps us to ___________.
(a. dream, b. think. c. love)
Jesus teaches that forgiving others is better than revenge. True or false?
Prayer is more like _________.
(a. running away, b. looking for fun, c. thirsting for water)

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