That's Baloney!™ Game

That's Baloney!™ Game

That’s Baloney!™ is both a trivia game and a review of basic subject area knowledge. There are lots of trivia games, but That’s Baloney!™ caught my eye since it’s relatively inexpensive and very portable in comparison to others.

It comes in a small package that looks like a package of bologna. That package includes the round question cards, a spinner (color-coded to match the categories), brief instructions, and a fold-out answer key.

Bologna-shaped cards each feature questions from five color-coded categories: language arts, math, science, social studies, and “mystery meat.” Mystery meat questions can be from any category.

I would have preferred to have answers on the back of the cards, but some answers are probably too lengthy to fit. Also, putting answers on the backs of the cards would replace the bologna-with-mustard design that reinforces the theme of the game. So we have a large fold-out key that is a little awkward to use; you have to locate the category, then looks up the card number within the category. Someone needs to be the “keeper of the key”—probably an older sibling or parent. In a pinch, players could use it themselves, but there’s always the temptation to look up other answers while the key is in front of you. Of course, some answers are so easy no one will want to check, and an older sibling or adult will often know the answers even if players do not. So the answer key shouldn’t be that big an issue.

There are 100 cards in each game, with five questions per card. Students spin to identify the category for their question. Questions are actually statements that players need to identify as “true” or “baloney.” Questions reflect subject matter that should have been covered by that grade level, although science and social studies questions might range into unfamiliar territory. For example, the third grade level game has questions about the definition of a lunar eclipse and about the role of Cesar Chavez, topics that you might not have covered by third grade. Most science and social studies questions should be answerable for most third graders—questions such as whether plants and animals can live in saltwater or whether or not Washington D.C. is located near the west coast of the U.S. Mystery meat questions sometimes get into trivia like the fact that Smith County in Kansas is the geographic center of the 48 states—these are likely to be the most challenging.

I did spot a few questions for language arts that might be puzzling for even some parents. Those questions refer to KWL charts and T-charts. (KWL charts are graphic organizers first developed in 1986 that are used to help students identify what they already Know, what they Want to know, and then what they Learned. T-charts are simply graphic organizers for comparing or contrasting two things.) While there are a few questions like this, most language arts questions address typical subject matter like proper and common nouns, homographs, punctuation, parts of speech, phonics, syllables, and the parts of a book (i.e., table of contents, index, and glossary).

There are separate games for each grade level for grades two through six. Questions from any grade level are generally good for students a grade or two higher, but younger students would likely have problems with questions above their grade level. Games are inexpensive enough that you could even have two decks for two different levels so that two players at different grade levels could play each other with each answering grade-level appropriate questions.

The keeper of the key should probably also be the scorekeeper. Players win a point for a correct answer. They can score an extra point with a baloney question if they are able to explain why they statement is false. Scoring is simply tallying up points for each player with paper and pencil. If you wanted to, you could keep score by moving pawns on a suitable game board, or by handing out counters of some sort like poker chips. There’s something about seeing which player is ahead or behind that adds to the excitement of a game. In larger groups such as a classroom, students could play in teams.

That’s Baloney!™ has its quirks as do all trivia type games. But I think the low cost and portability make it a practical way to enliven your homeschooling.

Pricing Information

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List Price $14.99 per level

Thats Baloney Games - Grade 5

Thats Baloney Games - Grade 5

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          Thats Baloney Games - Grade 2
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            Instant Key

            • Suitable For: two or more players
            • Audience: grades 2-6
            • Need For Parent/Teacher Instruction: possibly as Keeper of the Key or scorekeepe
            • Prep Time Needed: none
            • Educational Approach: games
            • Religious Perspective: secular

            Publisher's Info

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            Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."