Tag Archives: spatial

Gifts for the Gifted 2016 – Swish

A few years ago, I thought I would help out the parents of my gifted and talented students by writing about some games, toys, or books that I thought might make good purchases during the holiday season.  I called the series of posts, “Gifts for the Gifted,” and I have continued to do it annually on every Friday in November and December.  These gifts are suggestions for any child – not just those who qualify for a GT program. Sometimes I receive a free product for review, but I am not paid for these posts, and I never recommend a product that I wouldn’t buy for my own child.  For past “Gifts for the Gifted” posts, you can visit this page.

gifts

When ThinkFun sent me the game Swish to review, I knew right away that it would be a challenge for me.  I have a hard time with spatial reasoning – which is why my students can easily leave me in the dust when we play another spatial reasoning game, Set.

There are several differences between Swish and Set, however.  First of all, Swish is the second game in my “Gifts for the Gifted” series this year that has transparent cards. (See “Anaxi” for the first.)  Although both Set and Swish require you to look closely at the attributes of shapes on the cards and to collect sets that fit certain criteria, the Swish cards’ transparency is strategic because they must be stackable to create winning sets.  You must “swish” all of the ball shapes into matching colored hoop shapes on the cards.  A swish could consist of two cards, but you may be able to combine even more. (Apparently, you can make a swish of up to 12 cards!)

When our family played the game, my daughter had about 5 pairs of swishes before my husband and I could even get our eyes to focus on the cards.  It wasn’t long before she was collecting swishes with 3 or 4 cards stacked on top of each other.  Apparently, she is some kind of 14-year-old Swish Savant who isn’t bothered one bit by humiliatingly crushing the parents who brought her into this world;)  Fortunately, the creators of the game built in a cunning solution to this, which is that you can differentiate for the ability levels of the players.  Foundational players may only need to look for two stackable cards while advanced players can be required to find swishes that contain at least 3 or 4 (or 12!) cards.

Swish is for 2 or more players, ages 8 and up.  Younger players may want to begin with Swish, Jr.  Swish has won numerous toy awards, and is great for home or the classroom.  You can see reviews of more ThinkFun games and others on my Pinterest Board here.

Swish from ThinkFun
Swish from ThinkFun

Shadow Move

Shadow Move is a free app that I hate.  I should probably confess that the apps that I hate are usually the ones that challenge me the most – quite often demanding some kind of spatial acuity that I seem to lack.  Also in this category are the apps that become addictive, that I stay up late at night trying to problem solve my way through to the end.  I have not stayed up late, yet, to work my way through Shadow Move.  But the weekend is quickly approaching, and I foresee an evening spent trying to wrestle some shadows into submission.

The concept of Shadow Move is simple.  Turn the object in the center until you can replicate the shadow pattern in the top left of the screen.  Initially, many of the challenges seem impossible when one first views the object to be turned.  But, rotating it slowly can usually help you to get an idea of what direction is optimal.

I was playing this app on my iPad at my daughter’s dance studio, and had three 10-year-old children watching over my shoulder, giving me advice on which way to turn the object.  They asked me the name of the app several times so they could download it on their own devices when they went home.

Shadow Move is a great app for developing spatial and problem-solving skills, as well as perseverance.  It reminds me a bit of Pictorial, another fun, spatial reasoning app.  For other apps that I have recommended, you can click here for an archive of my posts on apps, or you can also visit my Pinterest boards.

Look Look

photo credit: http://www.mindware.com
Today’s post is a bit frivolous, but sometimes that can be good, too!  I wanted to share with you a game that my students, K-5, have given enthusiastic thumbs up to during the last couple of weeks.  “Look Look” is a game from Mindware that is for 2-6 players.  If your students like “I Spy” or similar activities, then they will enjoy this.  It is a bit more challenging, and sometimes requires basic addition and subtraction skills.  Personally, as someone who has no visual/spatial skills, I find this game difficult sometimes.  But I’ve noticed that my perception skills have improved as I have played it more.
“Look Look” is a good game for those last couple of weeks before summer vacation as a reward, for indoor recess, or to use in a center to work on basic math facts (by taking out the other cards, you can target those skills.)  You could even have higher level students make some multiplication cards, or invent some other fun ways to use the game.