Tag Archives: History

Educational Games Can Be Fun

16 Sep

When I was younger my mother only had to mention the words Education and Play within the same sentence and I’d be rolling my eyes while saying to myself… “whatever!”

So, it doesn’t much surprise me when my own kids do it to me. I used to accidentally on purpose forget to relate the two aspects when offering my children something to play with that was remotely educational. It was only once they were enjoying it that I’d slip it in.

The kids are getting older and wiser and can’t be easily tricked anymore. The good thing is that my eldest child, Little man is now more inclined to give things a chance. Education is much less scary than it used to be! Now little man is in a school that meets his needs his learnt that the two (education and play) can be tied together nicely.

Little man has just started secondary at his independent special school for children on the autism spectrum. His adjusting to a timetable that is split into different lesson slots. Within these slots you’ll find the subject of History and this is one subject his keen to learn more about.

So, when we were contacted to see if we’d be interested in taking a look at a new history game, we were happy to oblige.

Harry Hastings History Heroes is the first in a series of card games developed for both children and families who love to learn.

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One of the games within the series is that of “How well do you know your monarchs?” a brilliant new card game designed to test the whole family’s knowledge of British monarchs from William the Conqueror in 1066 to today’s reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

To some that description may just have them yawning with the thought of it! Others will want to discover more just like little man did.

The game has been created by Harry Hastings and what better person to create an educational game than that of a school teacher from Sussex.

What I loved about this game was how much fun and interaction could be gained through a packet of cards and not much else. There is no board, counters or even that of a dice, yet, children can play in more ways than one! There is 6 ways to play, children can be challenged to identify monarchs either from a series of facts, from a portrait or from the dates of their reign, thereby capturing their opponents cards in the style of Top Trumps.

Admittedly Little man knows quite little on the subject of monarchs and neither do I really! This at first lead to a pretty useless game. We therefore enjoyed discovering each card and as we did we both learnt more along the way. We have since had lots of fun playing with the cards and little man couldn’t wait to take one of the two games we were sent into school so his class could enjoy them with him. He told me that his History teacher was most impressed and even used them in one of his lessons.

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Children and adults alike can have so much fun while learning some interesting facts about the history of our kings and queens.

The illustrations in this game are beautiful. They are by the well-known cartoonist Bill Stott and are really impressive. The actual cards themselves are also really good quality. They are strong and durable and should last the test of time given they are well loved by their owner.

I’d recommend the game to history loving families, those wanting to improve their own or their child’s history knowledge and that of teachers in both the primary and secondary sector.This is a game that would provide teachers with a fabulous teaching resource that children would be much more inclined to engage in. Little man’s teacher is now very much a fan.

History Heroes is the first of a series of similar games created by Harry Hastings, covering famous Battles, Shakespeare, Inventors, Scientists and Explorers.

Harry Hastings History Heroes is priced at £7.99. For stockist details, or to buy direct, email Harry at harry@historyheroes.co.uk.

Check out the site at www.historyheroes.co.uk

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post we were sent the games free of charge in-order to share our honest opinions which we have given in this review. We donated one of the games to the school for all its students to enjoy.

Silent Sunday

2 Sep

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Discover the extreme world

26 Oct

Discover the extreme world

Wow, Little man is completely taken with this book and in all honesty so am I. Many children no longer add books to their Christmas list, but it’s great when they do!

It’s been well documented that children on the autism spectrum enjoy reading reference books and prefer doing so over a story book.

Many children with Aspergers syndrome are reasonably good with facts and process and store such information better than if it was fiction. Many gain a greater enjoyment when learning and discovering new and exciting facts or scientific theories. Little man is no exception, that’s why I jumped at the chance of reviewing this delightful hardback, ‘The extreme world’ in association with the discovery channel. All though this book isn’t centred around his all time “special interest” in buses, trains and other forms of public transport, I knew it would still provide him hours of entertainment (well, not in one go, lets remember his concentration level differs from most).

Little man is a child that like many others on the autism spectrum, he processes information on a much better level when text is combined with visual stimulation in the way of images or illustrations. This book wasn’t short on images, the type that gets ones brain working overtime.

There were a total of six sections within this book, all covering specific areas, all extreme as one another!

Section (1) ‘Active earth’ This section offers a host of fascinating information, such as, the ends of the earth; the mightiest mountains; ultimate volcano’s and more.

Section (2) ‘Awesome animals’ which surprisingly turnout to be one of the Little man’s favourites, talked about; the gross factor; deadly defence; strange babies; wicked assassins and loads more besides.

Section (3) ‘Incredible science’ was Little man’s preferred section overall. Issues here covered, Strange brains; black holes; the birth of the universe (which I loved) and lots more.

Section (4) ‘Ultimate machines’ Here you could read about dramatic dragsters; rocketing away; jet power; the force of water and more.

Section (5) ‘Super humans’ One section I myself very much enjoyed. Topics such as the amazing human body and the things we can do as human; ultimate jobs; brilliant brain waves and more could be found within this section.

Section (6) and the last sections of the book, ‘History Revealed’ A really informative section in the book that shared content on the living dead (mummification) which rose a lot of questions from Little man, hero’s & villains; war and peace; rat-atouille (the black plague) and even crawl killing (documenting the death penalty and the belief and punishment for witch crimes).

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The cover of this book is very appealing and really catches your eye with a 3D effect and metallic colours. From the front to back cover this book offers some pretty amazing content.

What’s great is the fact the text within the book is kept short and sweet, yet extremely interesting and right to the point, just opening the first page makes you want to go on to explore more!

Each and every page is packed with cool images surrounded by interesting and readable text.

When I asked Little man if he liked it (Once he had finally taken his head out the book so to speak) he stated,

“Mum, I really like this book, I’m defiantly taking it to show and tell at school on Friday”

‘Discover the extreme world’ is a look into our awesome planet as you’ve never seen it before! This fantastic hard back is brought to us in association with the ‘Discovery Channel’ and ‘Miles Kelly’ publishing Ltd and has a RRP of £17.99 and can be brought from all good bookstores.

Would I buy it! Defiantly, I wouldn’t have to think twice either!

If myself and Little man could give it more than the top marks of ***** 5 stars then we would.

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