Toy Blog - Toys, Parenting, and Kids

New ThinkFun Educational Toys for the Holiday Travel

Zingo! 1-2-3 Zingo! 1-2-3 - What better way to build a child’s reading and counting skills than with Zingo! 1-2-3, the newest game in the award-winning Zingo! product line. With Zingo! 1-2-3, players must match their numbered tiles to their corresponding challenge card. The first player with a full card wins the game by yelling “Zingo!” Two levels of play focus on counting and addition. WINNER! 2010 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award; 2010 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval! Buy Now

Zingo! To Go Zingo! To Go - Now you can take Zingo! zaniness on the go! Everything you love about original Zingo!, now in a fun, portable package. Just shake the Zingo! Zoomer car to expose the two dice. Got a match? Turn over the corresponding stop light on your game board. The first player that turns over a completed Traffic Light wins! With no loose pieces and a snap-together game board, this Zingo! is designed for family fun on the go! For ages 4 and up and 2 to 9 players. Learning Skills: Reading and Spelling, Memorization, Matching Skills. Buy Now

Solitaire Chess Solitaire ChessIf you like Rush Hour, you will LOVE Solitaire Chess. Solitaire Chess is a single-player logic puzzle that uses traditional chess moves on a 4×4 game board. Players exercise sequential reasoning skills as they plan ahead to eliminate all but one piece. Buy Now

Zig-Zag Knot Zig-Zag KnotThis “cousin” of Gordian’s Knot is elegant but cunning. Untangling Zig-Zag Knot is not as easy as it looks! Slide each piece in the correct sequence of 37 moves to take Zig-Zag Knot apart. With every move you make, one or more pieces will move easily —but there’s only one right answer. It’s up to you to determine which move is the right one! Included solution guide shows complete solution as well as full instructions for putting Zig-Zag Knot back to its original form. Brainteasers can help boost intellectual skills that can bolster the mind in the same way that physical exercise protects and strengthens the body. Buy Now

Visual Brainstorms Visual BrainstormsAt home or on the go, this whimsical stack of cards keeps minds of all ages thinking “fun.” More than 100 zany visual puzzles, logic problems, mazes, math challenges, encoded messages, and more will test and amuse players for hours. Great for solitary or competitive group play. Visual Brainstorms offers solutions to each problem—plus Bonus Questions on every card for twice the fun and challenge. Learning Skills: Abstract Thinking, Problem Solving. Buy Now

TipOver TipOverNominated for Specialty Toy of the Year in 2006, the sky is the limit with this game. Players set up their game board to match the challenge card and then must create a path to the red crate by using the red tipper man to tip over the blue, yellow, and green crates. All without allowing the Red Tipper Man to jump over any crate – or touch the game board. Players must choose each move carefully, because every action influences the next. Learning Skills: Spatial Reasoning, Problem Solving, Strategy Development. Buy Now

Rush Hour – We Like It!

A few weeks ago, our family took a little weekend trip to the coast.  And, as I packed the bags for my children, I halfway listened to the weather reports.  There was a storm headed our way, and it appeared that a good portion of our vacation would be affected by this.  A mild form of panic started to set in as I realized I was totally unprepared to handle two children in a 500 square foot cabin with less than favorable weather conditions.  I packed a small bag of “essentials from the playroom” as we loaded the trunk and headed out of town.

And, amazingly enough, the weatherman was MORE than right.

We had a deluge of a storm, almost flooding our cabin.  Yet, though it all, I had managed to pack a little gem of a toy for my 8 year old that kept our sanity in check – Rush Hour Junior.  Not only was my older son occupied for the entire morning, creating and solving puzzles with those automobiles and cards, but my younger son found the “extras” (the ones Brother didn’t use from puzzle to puzzle) to be fun to play with as well.  The toy itself is incredible; it focuses on critical thinking and alternative ways of solving prblems.   And, the suggested challenge cards are leveled to provide a challenge at pretty much any level of “expertise”.  Plus, everything is kept in a handy drawstring bag, and the pieces fit snugly on the board, making it a great “car toy” as well.

And now I’m upgrading to Rush Hour and all the little accessories.  Not just because my older son is ready for a bigger challenge, but we could really use an additional set to keep both boys occupied!

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