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I love the looks if their products, but there are SO MANY to choose from!! I am thinking about will be 3rd and 1st graders, and have already (I think:)) decided on Building Thinking Skills 1 and primary for them. Is there anything else you use from them that you could recommend for these age groups? Also, if any of you use their software in place of books, what do you think of it?





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We liked *some* of the Critical Thinking Press books -- usually ones with more variety to them -- as many seem like very expensive "one trick ponies" to us (such as Mindbenders). Of the Critical Thinking Press, we liked:


- Dr. Funster's Think-A-Minutes (gr. 3-6)

- Dr. Funster's Creative Thinking Puzzlers (gr. 3-6)

- Think-A-Grams (gr. 7-12)


The Red Herring books were okay -- though some of the solutions seemed lame to us, and we often (at least to us!) came up with more clever or more plausible answers.


Other critical thinking resources we enjoyed for grades K-3:



- Critical Thinking Activities in Pattern, Image, Logic (gr. 1-3) -- by Seymour

- Logic Safari (book 1 = gr. 2-3; book 2 = gr. 3-4)

- Lollipop Logic (gr. K-2)

- Primarily Logic (gr. 2-4)

- Connections series (by grade level)


puzzle books:

- Gifted and Talented series (K-4 gr.) -- by Amerikander, or others

- Puzzlemania series (gr. 1-5) -- best of Highlights magazine variety of puzzles

- Hidden Picture Puzzle books -- collection of hidden picture puzzles from Highlights



- Logic Journey of the Zoombinis (by grade level)

- Revenge of the Logic Spiders (by grade level)

- Crazy Machines series (gr. 3+)

- The Incredible Machine: Even More Contraptions (gr. 3+)

- Operation: Neptune (gr. 3-6)

- Mission: T.H.I.N.K. (gr. 2-6)



- Set

- Duo

- Secret Door

- Blokus

- Scan (old Parker Brothers game, usually available on ebay)

- Clue


solo logic activities:

- Logix

- Scramble Squares

- Tangrams

- Rush Hour Junior


simple puzzle pages:

- mazes

- word searches

- Where's Waldo

- search and find type of books

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I actually don't like the "variety" books as much, but I use them a lot differently than Lori. I don't buy each kid a book, I copy pages out as needed (you get a copy license for your family). So doing a page a week of each book is plenty of variety, and that's enabled me to focus on the areas I feel they really need work in, as opposed to just random puzzles that are sampled from all the other books. (and once we did the specific books, we'd end up finding some of the exact same pages we had in the sample books).


Editor in Chief and the Detective books are especially good. Cranium Crackers is a fun logic title that does have a lot of variety, but it's thick and not a sampler. We dropped Mind Benders for Grid Perplexors after the stage where the books went from over 30 puzzles to 15. Grid Perplexors has around 50, and it's the same kind of problem.


For most of their titles I prefer the books, but for Building Thinking Skills it was too overwhelming to get through that giant book so there I wish I'd gotten the software.

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