As a long-distance grandma, I’m always searching for creative ways to stay connected to my granddaughters between visits. Recently, a friend introduced me to Ohanarama, a safe place for grandparents and family members to play family games online.
Ohana means “family” in Hawaiian and the goal is to engage extended family members by tapping into their social and competitive spirit through quizzes, contests, and games.
I must confess this was my first foray into the online gaming world and I was all thumbs—and I don’t mean that in a good way! Ohanarama educational games are designed for children ages 5–12 and once you sign in, the games are tailored to the user’s age. Each game has an identified educational category and skill, by grade. The site allows you to play for free and you can join through Facebook or Ohanarama.
The first time I tried Pizza Party Animals, which is modeled after Café World, a popular Facebook game, I laughed hysterically at how inept I was. After three attempts, I finally figured out the goal and how to move pizza ingredients onto the pizza. Then I was hooked.
I showed my granddaughters, ages 8 and 4, and they jumped right in. They also liked Max Damage, which has Max shooting cannon balls at refrigerators trying to knock them down. They thought that game was hilarious. Another game, Coin Confusion, had us all trying to keep our eyes on a coin that was under the moving cups and then trying to guess where it was.
You can use Ohanarama on any PC or Mac computer with Internet access and Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers. The site offers both single player and multiplayer games. You can play the multiplayer games at the same time or take turns when you can’t be online at the same time.
You can challenge your family members to score higher than you on Max Damage, for example, and see your name on the leader board. Families can also team up to play games in a Family Contest where they compete against other families.
Families can win rewards and gifts. Ohanarama has two different currencies, Tokens and Neuros. Tokens, the Ohanarama virtual currency, are earned by everyone who plays at Ohanarama. Tokens are used to purchase virtual items and gifts you use inside Ohanarama.
Neuros, the Ohanarama cash value currency, may be earned by children when they play Ohanarama educational games. Neuros can be used to purchase real world items from their rewards gallery.
I’m looking forward to trying more of the games and challenging my own brain to get a higher score! Then maybe I’ll take on my granddaughters.