Thursday, July 23, 2015

A TOS Review: Shape Whiz


We have an enormous number of board games at our house. Through the years they have not only provided hours of great entertainment, but I’ve discovered that games are one of the best ways for my son to learn.  Games are simply fabulous teaching tools.

It’s always a good day when I can add another clever little game to my arsenal. This time around one has come in the form of a review. I received Shape Whiz by SimplyFun.

Shape Whiz is all about geometry. It is intended for ages 10 and up.  I am not sure how much a typical round would be to play. Josiah and I played together and it took us a bit longer because Josiah hasn’t had much geometry. However, Shape Whiz has proven to be a great introduction.

So how does one play this Shape Whiz?

Basically, there are two different sets of cards. One set are Shape Cards. Half of the Shape Cards are blue and the other half are green. The green cards are just a bit more complicated. We started off with the blue cards (cause that’s just the way we roll).


The other set of cards are Whiz Cards. These cards describe a certain aspect of a shape. 

For example,  this card will want the players to find a shape amongst their cards that has two different lengths of sides.

Some Whiz Cards ask for simple attributes. Others require a little more thought. Don't worry about being an 'on-the-spot' geometry genius. More on that in a minute.

To start with each player receives a stack of Shape Cards. Three of their cards need to lie face up in front of them. A Whiz Card is then placed in the center of the players. Now for this round of Shape Whiz we used our coffee table. It didn’t have as much space so I placed the Whiz Card to the side. We then had to try and match one of our Shape Card to the Whiz Card. The game is all about speed. The goal is to see who can match the Whiz Card first. The first person to go through their entire stack of Shape Cards wins the game.

Something that helped us tremendously was that the each of the Shape Cards has the shape properties on the back. Josiah has struggled with math (he has dyscalculia). Geometry hasn’t actually been high on my “to learn” list and those properties on the back of the card were simple to follow and understand.  

Each time a card was played we could review the shape card and see if it fit the Whiz Card.  You can see that the Shape Properties are easy to read and give the player exactly the information they need to determine whether or not that particular shape fits.


I mentioned before that games have been a vital part of my son’s educational process. He just learns better by doing and playing. It still isn’t a perfect process. If you are in the same boat I recommend to take it slow. We did a lot less competitive play and more exploration. We primarily used the blue cards and talked about what properties we needed to look for.

I am sure that in time this little game will do its job. Josiah is already becoming more familiar with geometry terms and shape properties that simply would have passed him by via textbook.

Of course, this game is not just for homeschoolers. Shape Whiz would benefit anybody with their geometry skills.

Shape Whiz is a wonderful addition to our game collection.  I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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