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The new HABA “Fex Effect” games

Fex - Fit for learning - Fostering executive functions

Many children think that playing is fun and learning isn't. But the new HABA “Fex Effect” games show that playing and learning are the perfect partners and that children can acquire essential skills for their individual learning success through play. The games have been developed in cooperation with the Transfer Center for Neuroscience and Learning (TransferZentrum für Neurowissenschaften und Lernen (ZNL)) at the University of Ulm. The ZNL transfers neuroscientific knowledge about learning from theory into practice. The result was the new play and learning programme for supporting executive functions or “Fex” for short.

Specialists describe central brain functions that influence children’s learning performance as well as their social and emotional development as “executive functions”. Executive functions control thought and behaviour and are therefore an important prerequisite for successful learning and the ability to manage one’s own emotions. In other words - Training these brain functions makes children fit to learn.

The new HABA “Fex Effect” games support three essential foundations for learning success:

  1. Control of feelings and impulses
  2. Practising retentiveness
  3. Training concentration and flexibility

The “Fex Effect” of the games consists of the rules having several variations that change the sequence of the game and sometimes require the opposite actions. Before each game, players should decide which rules apply. This means that children have to keep memorising and following these different rules to be able to win. They are always adapting to different conditions and therefore training the executive functions.

We know that children enjoy learning and learn best when they are having fun. That is why we have developed games that are fun, but at the same time are based on the latest insights from learning and brain research. More information on cooperation with ZNL and the Fex Project can be found on the Fex pages of the ZNL.

HABA “Fex Effect” games

Grub’s up, who’s grumbling

Think before you act! Players who react too quickly at the great beast feast will get nothing but grumbles. The lion has sent out invitations for a big banquet where all the guests are to be served their favourite dish. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, because each animal has a different favourite dish and the guests will start to grumble if they get served the wrong meal. Whoever is quickest to recognise which animal prefers the titbit that appears on the die is rewarded with a precious gold coin by the lion.

A beastly reaction game for 2 to 4 players aged from 4 to 99 years.

The Fex Effect

In this game, the Fex Effect consists of a special rule, which is shown on the back of the gold coin. The rule says that the food, the animal or the size of the meal are swapped. As a result the players' actions also have to change. So a player that rolls a banana may no longer pick the animal that prefers bananas, but the animal that prefers fish.

Clumsy witch

To begin with, everything is fairly simple in the witches’ wood, but throw by throw the game soon turns into a real challenge for brain boxes!

It’s midnight in the witches’ wood and the clumsy witch is brewing her notorious magic potion. But it's trickier than it sounds, because the scatty witch often forgets which ingredients she has already thrown into her cauldron and which ones she still needs. The players have to help the forgetful witch to find the missing ingredients. But only the quickest player gets a magic potion as a reward.

A bewitched look-closely game for 2 to 4 players aged from 5 to 99.

The Fex Effect

To begin with, children only have to pay attention to the witch. But the Fex character comes into play later and children have to see whose turn it is to move depending on what the dice shows. Each counter can move differently (forwards or backwards) and look for the missing or double potion ingredients in different ways (in the magic potion or behind the character).

Fex turns different rules upside down in just one throw.

Dragon Gold Castle

Players really have to think on their feet here! Because King Fex simply changes the rules whenever he feels like it. Oh dear! Princess Bella has been kidnapped and is imprisoned in Dragon Gold Castle.

So the bravest knights in the land are on their way to free the princess. But courage alone is not enough! The rescue also calls for skill and intelligence. Because only the player who catapults the knights safely into the castle and is the quickest to solve a tricky task will rescue the princess and conquer her heart.

A fire-breathing action game for 2 to 4 players aged from 6 to 99.

The Fex Effect

In this game, Fex is the king with the power to change the rules. Depending on which action card symbol King Fex is standing, the letters, numbers or movement symbols that are catapulted into the castle become meaningless. Then the players are no longer allowed to perform an action and can only respectfully call out “long live King Fex!”