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Professor Noggin's Card Games Review by Diane Wheeler

Outset Media

One day, my daughter and I hurried into the local toy store, madly searching for a birthday gift. Even amidst the rush, I found myself pulled toward the shelves of educational games and supplies; you never know when you might find the perfect thing for home schooling, right? Well, this time I hit the jackpot. On the shelf was a box entitled, "Ancient Civilizations." We are studying ancient history next year, so I grabbed the box to take a closer look.

What I found was a whole series of Professor Noggin's Card Games. Each box is a set of thirty cards that includes trivia, true/false, and multiple-choice questions. They are an excellent way to reinforce material that has been studied, in a "fun and games" atmosphere. These card games have received a well-deserved award as Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Product, and I agree with this title. We received our boxes of card games to review during the summer, and we are taking our favorites on our annual 14-hour drive to Oregon. We have also relaxed on the deck in the evenings and the children have played, "Stump Mom and Pop." Oh, I wish I could say that it is difficult to do, but that would not be true. I am learning fast, though. Another fun idea is I have left boxes of cards around the house (by the couch, next to someone's bed, and, yes, in the bathroom) and I have found different children reading through the cards on their own, perhaps preparing for the next game we play together. Why not use down time to read interesting facts? It might be the catalyst for deeper study in plants, animal life, or geography and history.

You can read the cards and quiz each other, or you can follow the rules included in each box. You choose a skill level (there are two levels available on each card) and then roll the dice to choose the question that each person is asked. When the question is answered correctly, the participant gets to keep the card. When all the cards are gone, the one with the most cards wins the game. You can easily play with different skill levels; each participant just chooses the level desired. Even if you follow the rules, a game table is not required, which is a great reason it is a perfect vacation game.

The subjects for Professor Noggin's Card Games are: Ancient Civilizations, First Peoples of North America, Wonders of Science, Famous Inventions, Insects, Birds, Dinosaurs, Outer Space, Countries of the World, Wildlife of North America, Life on the Farm, and Outer Space.

An example from a card in the Outer Space set is the telescope card. Here are the "easy" questions: 1) All the planets in our solar system can be seen without a telescope (T/F), 2) Telescopes that use lenses to condense light are known as reflecting telescopes or refracting telescopes, 3) Why is it difficult to stargaze near a city? The "hard" questions are 1) Because planets are closer to Earth than the stars, planets do not twinkle as much as stars (T/F), 2) Noggins choice (the participants get to choose a card from the player of their choice), 3) Can other galaxies be seen without the use of a telescope? Answers are included on the ends of each card.

This series is designed for ages seven and up, with two to eight players. The cards are very durable (important if used while traveling), and are attractive and colorful.

For more information about ordering Professor Noggin's card games, you may contact Outset Media toll free at (877) 592-7374. You may also see the games on their website, Outset Media has other board games available that can be seen on their website at

I plan on having school in the car on the way to our Oregon vacation, studying Professor Noggin's Ancient Civilizations, Ocean Life, Outer Space and Bird games. Don't tell my children, though. They will think it is just a family game time, and an excellent way to pass the time as we drive. Thanks to Outset Media, I think our drive will go faster than ever this year.

-- Product Review by: Diane Wheeler, Senior Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Publishers' Note: As the publishers we had an opportunity to take a look at Professor Noggin's games and they are truly excellent. What a superb way to make learning fun!