Games for Kids
Name of Game: Bunco

Origination date: 1855

Number of Players: 2-12

Length of Play: 30-45 minutes

Level of Intellectual Difficulty: Low

Bloom’s New Taxonomy Level: Understanding, Applying

Costa: Level I

Schank’s Cognitive Process: Experimentation

Dr. Kid Brain Rating (1-5): 2 Stars ★★

Description: This is another game which simply refuses to fade away into the sunset. (I remember playing Bunco when I was a middle school kid.) The purpose of the game is to be the first player to collect 21 points using only three dice. The best games of Bunco are going to occur with as many as twelve players, because Bunco is primarily a social game, requiring hardly any level of advanced thinking. Players win or lose based on the roll of the dice—there really is no strategy involved. Still, this is a fast game best played among middle school friends who are looking more for social stimulation than intellectual stimulation.

Name of Game: Math Dice

Origination date: 2003

Number of Players: 2-6

Length of Play: 5-15 minutes

Level of Intellectual Difficulty: Moderate to High

Bloom’s New Taxonomy Level: Analyzing, Evaluating

Costa: Level II and III

Schank’s Cognitive Process: Prediction, Evaluation

Dr. Kid Brain Rating (1-5): 5 Stars ★★★★★

Description: Math Dice is one of the best—and cheapest—games middle school kids can play to help sharpen their skills in the use of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and even problems involving the use of powers. To play the game, several dice are first rolled and the product of the two numbers is identified. For example, if the numbers six and five are rolled, then 30 becomes the target number. Another three dice are rolled and the kid must use those three numbers—and only those three numbers—to arrive at the number 30, or the closest number to 30 they can get. Now here is where the real thinking starts. The kid will be able to use any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and/or powers to arrive at the answer. This is a great game which is more difficult than it looks at first glance. There are endless variations that can played with this game, such as using only certain combinations of math processes or getting as close as possible to the target number using only subtraction and powers. Think of Math Dice as number reasoning exercises for the brain.

Name of Game: Yahtzee

Origination date: 1956

Number of Players: 2-8

Length of Play: 30 minutes

Level of Intellectual Difficulty: Low

Bloom’s New Taxonomy Level: Understanding, Applying

Costa: Level I and II

Schank’s Cognitive Process: Planning

Dr. Kid Brain Rating (1-5): 3 Stars ★★★

Description: Yahtzee is the type of game in which adults are always trying to talk their middle school child into playing—especially when grandpa and grandma are in town. And there’s nothing wrong that that. The game is fast to play and easy to learn. Fundamentally, Yahtzee is a dice game of chance and probability. The object of the game is to acquire the highest point total according to a predetermined scoring system. The best parts of this game occurs when middle school kids offer suggestions back and forth as to what any given player should do with their roll of the dice. Fun but simple is the formula for Yahtzee. Lots of different versions of Yahtzee are available for purchase.

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