We have a closet full of fun board games in our house. My kids love family game nights! But what’s better than playing a family game together? Playing an educational family game together! Well, at least I think so… My son isn’t always as excited about educational games as I am. <grins>
Shape Whiz is a geometry based game of speed. It’s geared towards ages 10 and up and can be played with as few as two players or as many as four. A round of Shape Whiz takes about 10-15 minutes to play. It took us a little while longer when we first started out but it got faster as we got the hang of it.
There are two different sets of cards – shape cards and whiz cards. Half of the shape cards are blue and the other half are green. For a standard round of play, use both colors. However, if you want an easier version, use just the blue cards. When we started out, we used just the blue cards. I love that this games has options!
Playing the game is fairly simple, although the instructions were somewhat confusing at first. Each player has a stack of shape cards. They lay three of their cards face up in front of them. A whiz card is placed in the center of the playing area. Each player has to try to match one of his three shape cards to the whiz card that was played. The goal is to be the first player to match one of your shape cards to the whiz card. The first person to empty their stack of shape cards before their opponents do, wins!
Each of the shape cards have answers, or shape properties, on the back. This feature is great for learning about geometry and for avoiding any disagreements that may arise. <wink> Once a shape card is played, opponents can review the shape card and make sure the shape fits the whiz card. If anyone is unsure, the answers (shape properties) are on the back.
Usage and Thoughts
Geometry is new to my son. His math curriculum really hasn’t touched on geometry much at all so we started this game out slowly and used it as a learning tool at first. Since we started this game my son has learned about angles, parallel lines, perimeters, areas, and lines of symmetry. That’s quite a lot of learning from a little card game! We adapted the game a little bit in the beginning by using four cards instead of three. It just made it a little easier for us to get started.
The way the game works is that each player has a stack of cards with shapes on them and they flip over the first three (or four) cards from their stacks. A Whiz Card is played in the middle of the playing area with a specific geometry requirement (e.g., area smaller than 5). The first person who finds a Shape Card that matches the Whiz Card requirement plays the card on the Whiz Card. If everyone agrees that it is a correct match, the successful player flips over another Shape Card from his or her pile and play continues with a new Whiz Card.
As we played the game more, my son got better and better at the game and we were able to move along more quickly and enjoy the speed part of the game.
Shape Whiz really is a simple and fun geometry game. I don’t think my son even minds too much that it’s educational! I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a fun way for kids to learn and practice their geometry.