Category: Learning

Memory Yoga, Cards and Spinner – All from Thinkfun gets some exercise, as we review the latest games from Thinkfun.

Thinkfun Yoga 1The staff had to get up off their chairs this week, as we tackled three new Yoga related games from Thinkfun. First of all, each of the games asks the participants to move around and loosen up a bit before beginning play. In fact, the rules provide a link to a specially designed Thinkfun site, where warm up suggestions are fully explained and illustrated.

We decided to start with “Memory Yoga,” a game for 2-4 players, ages 3 years old and up. The game includes 36 Yoga pose tiles (18 different pairs), with each of the sturdy tiles measuring just over 2″ square. The beginner game is very simple to play, as the tiles are shuffled and placed face down in a 6 x 6 grid. Players then alternate turns by turning over one tile and trying to find its matching tile. If there is a match, the player keeps the tiles. If not, the tiles are turned back over face down. Play continues until all matches are made. The player with the most tiles is declared the winner. But wait, why did we have to warm up for that? Well, there is an advanced set of rules for ages 6 years old and up, and it is still the basic match game, as just described, but in order to claim any two matched tiles, the player must first perform the illustrated yoga move and hold the position for 10 seconds. The poses may seem fairly simple, but we were still huffing and puffing after trying to stay in one place for 10 seconds. But, after playing numerous times, we had to admit it was a fun physical test for sure. “Memory Yoga” retails for $9.99. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Games, Learning

Key to the Front Door – Educational and Fun too

Key to the Front Door looks at a new board game from Debra Avara.

While wandering the aisles at the recent New York Toy Fair, we met Debra Avara, an Assistant Professor at Amarillo College where she teaches Sociology. She was promoting a new game she had designed to teach kids all about how to cope with living like an adult. Since it is highly probable that many of today’s teens might find themselves out on their own after high school graduation, Debra felt there was a real need to explain the realities facing young adults starting out with a new job, an unfurnished apartment and lots of bills. She had already successfully presented her ideas in numerous books and seminars, and the thought of learning from a board game seemed like the next logical step. So, she created “Key to the Front Door,” which is kind of a hi-octane version of the board games “Life,” and “Monopoly.” { READ MORE...}

Posted in Board Games, Learning

Smart Anatomy – Kids Learn About the Human Body

Smart Anatomy looks at new educational experience from Oregon Scientific.

Oregon Scientific may not be known as a company that manufactures or markets toys, but that is definitely changing, especially with the introduction of “Smart Anatomy,” a most creative way to introduce children to the wonders of the human body. “Smart Anatomy” features a clear view of the front and rear of the typical human anatomy. The body stands approximately 15″ high and measures about 6″ wide. Each of the body parts is held in place by very strong magnets, yet all of the parts can be easily detached from the main body. There are separate body parts for both the front and back views, and even a choice between boy or girl face labels. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Learning

Big View Telescope – Close Ups for Little Kids

Big View Telescope takes a look at a nifty new telescope from Learning Resources.

The “Big View Telescope” has been specially designed with young children in mind. The telescope is bright green in color with blue and yellow accents. It measures approximately 10 inches in length, and comes with a sturdy adjustable tripod. The “Big View Telescope” is suggested for youngsters ages 3 years old and up, and if this is their first time looking through the eyepiece of a telescope, they will be in for a pleasant surprise. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Learning, Outdoor

Flash & Thunder- A New Type of Game Experience

Invicta Challenge looks at an innovative new style of entertainment from INVICTA Challenge Inc.

The Toys Bulletin staff was not sure what to expect prior to opening the “Flash & Thunder” game box. From the description, it seemed to be some kind of video game, but there was also an action figure and a graphic novel inside. As it turns out, the game actually includes all of those features plus much more in the first of a series of leadership stories and games released from INVICTA Challenge. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Books, Figures, Games, Learning

Isotta Discovery Car – An Italian Gem

Isotta Discovery Car reviews an educational automobile from Quercetti and International Playthings LLC.

The “Isotta Discovery Car” is a nine piece plastic car that shows the inner workings of the pistons, gears and even the differential. But first a little history, back in the early 1900s, Cesare Isotta and Vincenzo Fraschini (both Italians), began producing a super luxury automobile designed primarily for the extremely wealthy buyer. In fact, it is said that no two were alike. Although the Isotta never became a success, Quercetti has used that great automobile name to present this plastic car for kids. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Learning, Vehicles

Code Master – Program your Avatar

Code Master 1 reviews a new programming challenge from Thinkfun Inc.

We have to begin by saying that we simply loved play testing this game. “Code Master” is a single player game for ages 8 years old and up, and in addition to being fun to play, it also introduces youngsters (and some oldsters too) the basics of programming, stressing flowcharts, movement, direction, and even conditional decision making. The object of the game is to complete programs which direct an Avatar along a path from a given point on a map to an ending Portal using various tokens. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Games, Learning

Ozobot Bit 2.0 – The Next Generation of Tiny Robots

Ozobot Bit 2.0 follows the progression of Ozobots.

Last Fall, Toys Bulletin reviewed the award winning Ozobot 1.0, a new type of robot (see our review from 21 November 2014). Now, Evollve Inc. has released version 2.0, and it includes a very exciting upgrade. First of all, “Ozobot Bit 2.0” does everything that the original Ozobot did, including the ability to follow a set of Ozocodes, which are color coded commands that control the Ozobot’s speed, direction, and all of its movements. The Ozocodes can easily be drawn using colored markers, or by using Ozocards that are already coded. There are also a pair of apps available that allow the Ozobot to perform moves right on your tablet. The Ozogroove app is especially entertaining, since the Ozobot can be programmed to make some serious dance moves. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Electronics, Learning