As a homeschooling mom, I love activities that are both educational and fun! More than that, though, I love when the kids are having fun while developing important skills like critical thinking. What better way to do so than with critical thinking games?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary products to facilitate my Learning Resources review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family.
Learning Resources offers a variety of hands-on educational products for young children. Finding the right products for your children is easy because they offer a simple way to find everything: by Age, Grade, Category, Brand, Teacher Resources, and more. Plus as a mom of special needs children I can really appreciate their detailed Special Needs section!
For our review, we received Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run and Create-a-Maze™. Both games help develop critical thinking skills and are recommended for ages 5+. We have been using them with all three of our children – ages 9, 7, and 5.
What I love about encouraging critical thinking is that it goes beyond just academic basics to a much needed life skill. In fact, I believe academics improve when critical thinking improves! I find when we challenge our kids’ minds they start to excel in our homeschool subjects as well. Needless to say, I was excited to check out these critical thinking games!
Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run
Tumble Trax encourages critical thinking with a fun and unique marble run. The marble run pieces are magnetic, so you can use them on the refrigerator like we have been or also on a magnetic white board for a wider track – or whatever magnetic object works for your family! There is so much flexibility with it!
Once the track is set up, you drop the marble at the highest point and watch it travel down the track. It should eventually reach the piece that holds the marble. What we’ve discovered, though, is that even if your design looks just like the one on the provided cards, it doesn’t always work as it should.
This is where critical thinking and problem solving come in – how can they adjust the track to make sure it does end up in the end piece? Was it going too fast or too slow? Do the pieces need to be closer together? They get to think of why it didn’t work and adjust the track as they see necessary to get it just right.
I have loved watching them problem solve and even work together as a team to continue to build not only the tracks on the provided cards but use their own ideas as well! Tumble Trax includes 14 magnetic foam pieces, 4 marbles and 10 activity cards.
Create-a-Maze is another critical thinking game that includes cards for suggested mazes or, of course, they are free to design their own. Our kids have been sticking with the suggested designs. In Create-a-Maze you place the colorful pieces along the board according to the design. When finished you guide the ball around by tilting the board in different directions.
What I love about Create-a-Maze is not only are they using critical thinking, but they’re using eye-hand coordination as well. This is something that can be challenging for our kids due to their special needs, so Create-a-Maze has been a great way to help them practice more eye-hand coordination as well.
Again, they must use critical thinking to guide the ball to the goal. How do you get around the obstacles. They often work together on Create-a-Maze as well and even challenge each other. Create-a-Maze includes the maze board and base, 17 Maze pieces, 4 Balls (2 blue, 2 red), and 10 activity cards.
Overall, we have been loving the critical thinking games from Learning Resources. Our kids love to be challenged and have so much fun as well. I have loved watching them develop the skills needed to complete the designs on both games as well as watching them work together and challenging each other.