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In the heat of the summer, my kids and I like to spend a little time inside each day.  Usually my two-year-old takes a nap and my older kids and I play games or do crafts.  We recently added two new games to our summer repertoire–Juxtabo and Spectracube by Funnybone Toys.  Funnybone Toys began in 2011 as a way to meld form, function and design into unique games.  These colorful games have been winning awards ever since and these two games are no exception.


Both Spectracube and Juxtabo won the 2015 Brain Toy Award in recognition of their mind-building excellence.  Both of these games use strategy as well as luck to teach higher order thinking.  If I can find a game that is both fun and brain-boosting, I consider it a win.  Both games also won the Seal of Approval by the National Parenting Center which is based on evaluations by parents and their children–so this award is basically like a peer recommendation.  Lastly, both Spectracube and Juxtabo won the Tilywig’s Spring 2015 “Best Family Fun” game.  This award rates many areas, one of which includes “replay value”.  This is a big one for me.  If I’m going to buy a game, I want it to be fun to play over and over again!

2My kids and I tested out Spectracube the day it came.  It was a gray and rainy afternoon and we were excited to have something new to do.  The first thing I noticed (and one of my favorite things about the game) is that there are so many different ways to play.  Because of this, you can play quick games, challenging games or risky games.  I loved being able to start with “Spectacular Shuffle” which was a quick game and fairly simple to learn.  When my youngest woke up from his nap, my 7 and 9-year-olds wanted to keep playing–definitely a good sign!  And they’ve asked to play a few more times since our first try.

3Juxtabo requires a bit more strategy than Spectracube and proved more challenging to learn, but like Spectracube, Juxtabo has different levels of play.  Once we realized what seemed a bit too challenging for our kids, we were able to take out certain cards and organize the game in a way that worked best for us.  I love being able to make accommodations like this so that everyone can play!  And Funnybone Toys is great about explaining ways to make the game easier or more challenging, so you can use a bit of trial and error and see what works best for your family.

Both Juxtabo and Spectracube are meant for ages 6 to 99 and I’ve found they really are fun for kids and adults alike!