Thursday, September 24, 2009

Brain Quest®

When we were going away for the summer, I had meticulously packed a whole Trunki full of activity books, stickers, simple games, snacks, puzzles, coloring pens, crayons… well, basically anything that I thought would make the long-haul trip more fun (for the kids) and bearable (for us!).

Included in the stash was a set of Brain Quest® cards that I had bought. I was actually very pleased with myself for finding that at Dymocks, knowing that this alone would keep both Josh and Zoë occupied for at the very least 30 minutes or more.

BQ-Decks_horiz Image: Brain Quest®

I never really got to test it on the plane, because we forgot the entire Trunki in our mad rush to the airport.

BUT, I finally opened the Trunki last week and dug out the little treasures stashed in there. It was a lazy afternoon and I decided to give Brain Quest® a try with both Josh and Zoë. See, I had bought the Ages 3-4 one, because I thought the Ages 2-3 one would be a bit too easy for Zoë. I was right, as Zoë was able to answer about 90% of the questions asked in the cards that I’d shown her so far –and she’s not even 2-1/2 yet (just had to mention that)! Josh, of course, zoomed through pretty much all of them. Okay, bragging moment over.

What I really liked about these cards, though, is how much fun we all had while going through them. The cards are colorful, of high quality, AND are all attached together at the bottom with a grommet so that you’ll never have to worry about misplacing any one of them. We had moments of intense concentration (from Zoë), giggles and squeals as they try to beat each other to giving the right answer. While you can just read the questions straight out and move on to the next as soon as it’s answered, you can also ask follow-up questions to the original questions and engage your children in a mini-discussion.

The questions in the Ages 3-4 pack cover a range of topics, from letter recognition to math concepts to general knowledge –all designed in a fun, age-appropriate manner, with colorful illustrations.

I am off to get the next pack –Ages 5-6, –for Josh.

You can get them here in Hong Kong at Dymocks for HK$110.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Time’s Up!


I don’t know how I am going to get through the day without this. This timer here is the voice of authority around here. When it buzzes, my children know that it is time. Time to turn off the TV. Time to stop playing and (get dressed, eat dinner, etc.).

It’s amazing how a little inexpensive digital timer like this can help so much with setting limits. I can tell Josh and Zoë to stop doing something, but sometimes they’d negotiate or whine. But when I set the timer and tell them that they have stop whatever it is that they’re doing when the timer buzzes, they stop. With nary a whine or “but, Mommy…”

What does a timer have that I don’t?! Hmmph.