of Interest for Use
with Gifted & Talented
Dixit is a splendidly illustrated game of creative guesswork, where your
imagination unlocks the tale. Every turn, the storyteller will call out
a short phrase or word to match the image on his card. Then each player
will choose the card that most closely matches that phrase, and then
everyone must guess which card the storyteller saw when he invented his
brief tale. Correctly guess the storyteller’s card, and you’ll move
ahead. Convince everyone else that your card is best, and you’ll do even
better. 3-6 players.
Age 8 - Adult.
most board games test your logic, wit, or even dexterity, Dixit tests
your ability to toy with the imagination of your friends."
"...it can’t be overstated that Dixit is not as simple as its rules.
There are all kinds of sinister moments when you’ll be looking at a row
of pictures and you’ll realise that of course Millicent would choose a
card with a cat on to reference happiness!"
from review at 'Shut
up & sit down'
Help the magnetic hiker cross the
river by moving planks to link from tree-stump to stump.
40 graded cards ranging from easy to very hard; suitable for age 7+.
Play an online version of River Crossing - Plank Puzzles
The rules take minutes to learn, while
the play variety is endless. Games average 10-20 minutes,
2-4 players and the wooden board and playing
pieces are nicely constructed. Players create
a maze to impede but not trap their opponent. A good game is a series of
strategically crucial moves, often leading to an exciting race to the
finish. Quoridor was named "Games Magazine's Game of the Year" for 1998.
Seems to bear a striking resemblance to 'Cul-de-sac'
from about 25 years ago. Cost around £25.
Very easy to learn, with interesting strategies developing as the maze
builds up during the game. Age 6+.
Quoridor Kid is a simplified version for age 5+ available
Use the wooden
pieces to build a path for the knight to reach the princess stranded at
the top of a tower. 48 graded challenges.
Beautifully designed puzzle for ages 4-12.
A card game invented
by Robert Abbott that has appeared in many versions. It's appeal for use
with able children is that it is one of the few games to involve using
inductive logic i.e. trying to come up with a theory that fits the
observed facts. It can be played with ordinary packs of cards or this
site has a
downloadable set of simplified cards. One version of the rules can be
here (half way down page) - but you can easily simplify them so that
the game can be played with quite young children (7+). or try
As with Dixit (see above), players are rewarded for setting a
task that is neither too easy or too hard. In this case, where some
players (but not all) find the logic of the pattern within a reasonable
Tip the crates over in the correct
order, so that your man can reach the red crate. 40 increasingly
difficult levels to solve. Age 7+.
Play an online version
Also available in a Spiderman version
Make 'N' Break
structures shown on the cards before your time runs out.
Difficult challenges earn you extra points but really use up your
time. The player with the most points wins the game.
for 2-4 players, of any age.
Break Extreme is also now available
The 24-Game is a card game using puzzle cards. It is available as
either 48 cards in a pack or 96 cards in a sturdy box. The cards are
large and high quality.
The game is very easy to learn
as there is always only one rule: use all 4 numbers with any operation
(add, subtract, multiply, divide) to make 24. There are a wide range of
sets to cater for increasing levels of difficulty:
Single digits then double digits
One of the numbers is a fraction or a decimal
Some or all of the numbers are negative
One of the numbers is shown as an algebraic expression!
Card packs can be purchased from the
Rules for playing a simpler version with a standard pack of cards-here
Play online -
Visionary is a game for 4 players in
two teams. For each pair of players, a "Builder" is chosen who wears a
blindfold. The other player is an "Architect" who has to describe which
wooden shaped blocks are required to create the structure depicted on a
card. The level of difficulty and points varies from card to card and it
is the team that completes its structure first in each round that wins.
Great fun and good for developing the vocabulary of 3D shapes.
Unfortunately, Visionary doesn't seem to be currently available in the
UK - but it's well worth searching for a second-hand copy.
Apples to Apples Junior
Apples is a wild, award-winning card and party game that provides
instant fun and takes only minutes to learn! It's as easy as
'comparing apples to apples'. Just open the box, deal the cards, and
you're ready to play! Each round is filled with outrageous comparisons
from a wide range of people, places, things, and events. The game
promotes vocabulary development, general knowledge, and positive
Junior version is suitable for ages 9+.
See video demo of older version of Apples to Apples
Can you maneuver your way through Rush
Hour and escape the gridlock? This wonderful sliding-block brainteaser
is bumper-to-bumper fun for puzzlers of all ages. Forty challenge cards
range from Beginner to Expert. Cards fit neatly into pull-out tray
beneath the game tray. Ages 8 to adult.
A puzzle that seems to
have a particular fascination for children and allows them to develop
stamina for problem-solving via the graded series of challenge
cards. Also available in a junior version for ages 6+ and numerous other
variations - 2,3,4,Railroad, Safari, Deluxe etc.
simplified online version
Thinkfun (previously Binary Arts)
who have many other games and puzzles of interest.
Available from many toy shops and the
Happy Puzzle Co in the UK.
Wasgij Jig-saw Puzzles
The picture on the box is not the picture on the puzzle pieces but
contains clues to complete the jigsaw. The completed puzzle reveals why
the people in the picture are reacting they way they are!
Available in W.H.Smith, Argos and many toy shops.
Grid Works is a
pattern matching puzzle based on the principles of logical deduction.
The clues are presented as full or partial grid sections which show
where the tokens are placed. For each clue, imagine that someone took a
finished solution, cut away some of the squares, removed some of the
tokens, and replaced some of them with the corresponding shape or color
symbols. You’re left with an accurate but incomplete picture of how the
tokens relate to each other (and in the case of negative clues, how they
don’t relate to each other).
Play an online version
Zome is based on a
version of the 61-zone structural system which includes purely
mathematical models from tilings to hyperspace projections, as well as
molecular models of quasicrystals and fullerenes, and architectural
space frame structures. Zome's balls (nodes) and struts let you build
models within the 61-zone system which lifts the study of these objects
off the flat page and literally puts it into the hands of students.
You don't have to understand any of the above to build great models with
Zome. Available in the UK from
Watch a video here
Board & computer games
Interesting article in 'Nurtureshock'
(December 2009) on research into using the sort of board and computer
games that we have been recommending on this website. Research at UC
Berkely finds surprising improvements in reasoning ability and cognitive
.....more to follow....