A Puzzle for the Senses


When you visit your favorite restaurant can you smell the food even before walking inside? Can you feel the difference between the soft fur of a puppy and the cold wet nose? If a bright red bird swoops by, can you identify what kind of bird it is just by color? Should you pay to use your senses?

That is the premise for A Case of Sense; a new book by author Songju Ma Daemicke illustrated by Shennen Bersani. The book opens with a young boy playing outside, and greedy Fu Wang has cooked wonderful Chinese dishes with the smells wafting throughout town. He announces that the townspeople must pay for the smells and when they don’t he takes everyone to court! The judge has a clever way to deal with the case and readers might use a little logical reasoning to figure out the puzzle.

Saturday, Songju will be signing at the ISLMA conference in Tinley Park, IL from 2pm-4pm. In celebration, we have a fun little puzzle in logic and sight that might keep kids coloring for a little while!


Get out the markers or the crayons and color in the missing spaces. Remember that all the colors will be rows, columns, and squares of 9 without repeating!

Download the printable PDF version! 

Download the answers here!


Animal Bingo

Are you an animal expert? Do you think that you can figure out which animal is which and get five animals in a row to win BINGO? This Animal Bingo game is especially designed to test how well you know your animals. Print out a bingo card for each player, fill out your card from the list of animals below, and listen as someone calls out a clue for each animal. The first player to get five correct animals in a row wins!

Bingo ScreenshotClick to Download

Choose from this list of animals:

Sea Turtle Dolphin Giraffe Owl
Parrot Skink Bear Great Blue Heron
Wolf Moose Osprey Dog
Bat Panda Sea Lion Tiger
Polar Bear Frog Fish Gopher
Penguin Fox Shark Butterfly
Whale Opossum Monkey Lion
Elephant Hippopotamus Rhinoceros Pig
Horse Snake Deer Rabbit


Your next step is to print out the animal cards below:

Sheet 1

Sheet 2

Sheet 3

Sheet 4

Cut each card out and read each animal clue off. Once Bingo players have figured out the animal, they can mark it off on their Bingo sheet! First player to get five animals in a row wins!

Halloween Games for Kids!

Nervous about how to deal with the increased levels of sugar intake your children will be getting this time of year? Well, here are some ways to help them stay active and burn the energy off.

The Monster Mash, as we all know, is a classic Halloween tune.  As it has been around since 1962, what would be better than to keep it alive and kicking?  You can turn this song into your own Halloween version of freeze tag.  We’ll call it Monster Mash Freeze Dance.  Kids can dance while the song is being played, but when the music is stopped at random intervals, participants must freeze in place or be out.  The last one standing is the winner!

How about Pumpkin bowling?  This is one of those games that will keep children on their feet.  You can use standard plastic bowling pins and a mini pumpkin as the ball.  Kids compete to see who can knock down the most pins.  This game can even be incorporated into your very own obstacle course

Do you remember the egg and spoon race?  Turn it into the eyeball and spoon race!  You can use an egg, or if you’re looking for less mess, a ping pong ball.  Paint it to look like an eyeball and have kids race to the finish line without dropping the eye.  To make it more fun and creative, kids canpaint their own eye before competing in the race. 

Conduct your very own Skeleton Scavenger Hunt!  You can cut different bone shapes from paper or even buy plastic ones from a toy store or craft shop.  Have the kids roam around in search of these different parts.  You can even see if the little party guests can reassemble their bony treasures into a complete skeleton set.

Play Musical Pumpkins!  You can set up an arrangement of differently painted or carved pumpkins and have kids move between them while music plays…just like in musical chairs.  A pumpkin is removed after each round.  By the end of the game, kids are running around trying to squeeze into one spot.  For variety, you can used spider webs, tombstones, or even witchy cauldrons as your targets. 

I bet you haven’t heard of this one: The Witch’s Stew game. Cut ten Halloween shapes, such as ghosts, bats, and pumpkins from construction paper.  Each shape should be about the size of a silver dollar.  Using a straw as a vacuum, each contestant can try to pick up a shape and place it in the bowl to create Witch’s Stew.  You can time the players to see who gets all ten of the shapes into the bowl the fastest.  Even cut out several sets of shape and set up differentcauldrons.  This way kids can have some fun with head to head races.

And lastly…play Wrap the Mummy.  It’s always a hit. Divide the children into groups of three to five kids. Select one child in each group to be a mummy. Then give the other children a roll of toilet paper or crepe paper. Instruct them to wrap the mummy with the paper, leaving the eyes, nose and mouth uncovered. The first group to be done with their roll of paper,wins!