Category Archives: Creativity/Imagination

Mini Squigz – one of Forbe’s Top 10 Toys for 2015!

I love their tag line, “fun little suckers.”
If you remember the Squigz toy, then you’ll recall how they were first introduced on the scene a few years ago, and they became the must-have toy of the year. Well, now they’re back.
Sort of. They’re back in a smaller shape than the originals – but that doesn’t mean any of the fun was cut down in size. They’re a little over half the size of the original Squigz, which means that each box of these fun pieces are going to contain more pieces than what you got with the original ones. This toy is recommended for age 5 and up.
You’ll be able to put them together and pull them apart. They’re entertaining, addictive and fun for the entire family. While they look like simply playthings, they actually do a lot to help anyone who uses them.
They work to improve motor dexterity and can prod kids and adults alike to let their imaginations soar. Each of the boxes of the Mini Squigz contains a total of 75 pieces so there’s a lot that you can do with that many pieces.
You can build all sorts of unique and fun creations. Plus, there are some new shapes for you to see as well as some new colors. The shapes and colors do repeat themselves in the box, but you do get 5 different shapes in all throughout the piece count.
It’s fun to stick them onto different places and they’ll easily adhere to any surface that allows them to create that suction hold. Rough surfaces do make it more difficult for the pieces to be able to hold on.
 minisquigzThey act just like the full size Squigz. When you press them together, they’ll cling tightly to the other piece thanks to the suction action. When you pull them apart, you’ll get the same loud popping sound that you get with the originals.
But because you have more pieces with the mini version, you get to do more things with them. You can make them stack upward or you can attach them out. They can create arches, bridges or whatever item your imagination dreams up by simply sticking them together and because the suction is strong, they’ll stick until you separate them to build something else.
You can hang them upside down or sideways and they’ll stay that way even going so far as to defy gravity. You would think that something this strong would leave a mark on whatever surfaces you stick them to, but they don’t.
That’s just one of the many reasons why parents love this toy. So kids can build whatever their hearts desire and the possibilities are endless. They can be played with at home or on the go and they’re especially great to take along on a trip to help keep kids entertained. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them if they get dirty because the toy is completely washable.
I hope this post was helpful.
Suzanne

Meccanoid G15 – Robotic Toy

Meccanoid G15 – one of Forbe’s Top 10 Toys for 2015!
Robotic toys and sets are some of the hottest toys on the market today and there’s a good reason why you’ll want to consider buying them for your kids. By using robotic toys, interacting with them, playing with them, building them and programming them, you give your child an educational boost.
This is because robotic toys help kids in the area of S.T.E.M., which is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Kids learn skills that help them be more effective in the way they learn and are able to apply that learning.
The Meccanoid G15 is an extremely advanced robotic toy that kids will love because it has a ton of interactive features. One of the features is that it knows the owner’s voice commands.
While it comes with the ability to be able to understand commands and users can add more. The robot understands when it’s commanded to make certain movements. meccanoid2
You can instruct the robot to take a step to the left or right or to go backward or come forward. Kids can program the robot to be able to respond to commands that they think of.
This is something that helps kids in the field of technology as well as science. The Meccanoid is so sophisticated it can freely interact with people. It has the ability to have a conversation with kids because of the huge database of phrases (over 1,000) it already knows.
It’s so intelligent it can even talk to you about facts you might know or it can make you laugh by sharing a joke. When you’re quiet, the robot can speak first just like another human can.
If you tell the robot what your name is, he’ll store that in his database and be able to recall it at a later date. The robot has LIM which is Learned Intelligent Movement coupled with Motion Capture. This is a feature that lets you give the robot certain movements and sounds that you want him to do. When you want him to, the robot will then do the movements or sounds that you program into him.
When he moves, it looks realistic because he has 6 motors that are working to make the movements look natural. The robot is able to work with the use of a smartphone app.
All you have to do to make the robot move is to create the movements on the app and the robot will respond. There are 600 pieces to the robot. He comes with a charger, a rechargeable battery, a Meccabrain, tools and other assembly pieces. The Meccanoid stands around 2 feet in height and is a great gift idea for kids between the ages of 8-13.
I hope this was helpful.
Suzanne

Compose Yourself

Compose Yourself by ThinkFun – a Forbe’s Top 10 Toys for 2015!
The best way that children learn is through hands-on teaching. All kids naturally have the desire to create – especially when it comes to music, and you can encourage that desire by introducing your child to Compose Yourself by ThinkFun.
This learning toy does so much more than ordinary music kits that teach a child how to read sheet music. This set teaches a child how to actually compose. The notes are arranged in musical compositions based on what another music composer created.
What parents love about this set is that kids who don’t know anything at all about music composition or even how to play a single instrument can still create wonderful compositions. This is recommended for children ages 6-15.
However, by using Compose Yourself, kids can change the sheet music to suit what they want. They can remove the bass symbol or turn the card upside down. When kids get to experiment with music, not only do they find it fun, but they’re eager to learn – and kids retain more with hands on learning versus being instructed without actually doing.
The set allows kids to create compositions for themselves. This learning toy is the creation of Maestro Philip Sheppard and any child can use the cards to create the music he wants to create.
Not only will your child learn by playing, he or she will be able to arrange the notes in a manner to create a beautiful composition. With more than a billion different combinations of music, your child will never get tired of creating his compositions.
The cards can be arranged in a pattern and each of the cards are numbered on the top as well as on the bottom for easy identification. When the child is finished arranging the notes on the cards the way he wants them, he can input the code and will be able to hear what he’s created.
 compose2
His creation will be performed by a symphony orchestra at an actual music studio.
These cards will help inspire your child’s imagination, help him to express himself musically and build his self-confidence. Using the cards is simple to do and even young kids can get involved.
All kids have to do is put four cards in whatever order they want them to go in. Once they have the pattern that they like, they put the codes into the website. After the code is entered into the website, the child’s creation will them be played by the orchestra.
Your child can still rearrange the notes if he prefers a different sound. When he’s satisfied with his musical composition, he can get the MP3 of his music or he can print it out to play on a musical instrument. When you purchase the Compose Yourself kit, you’ll get 60 different music cards for your child to work with to create endless compositions.
This is really a unique “toy.” I hope you know a child that will love this.
Suzanne

Dohdles – one of Forbe’s Top 10 Toys for 2015!

Long gone are the days when games simply involved players moving a marker around a board. Today’s games are more interactive and a lot more fun to play. One of the fun games for families or as a party game is Dohdles by Thames and Kosmos.
These Dohdles are creations that are made by the players from dough. These creations are meant to be riddles to be solved but not solved too quickly. Each player gets to use his imagination to create a sculpture that has the other players guessing. This game is recommended for ages 10-15.
The creations are often hilarious as each player who makes the creation interprets from his creative mind what he thinks it should look like. The shapes of the Dohdles can be something like an everyday object or like part of a body such as a nose.
You don’t have to be an expert to play. You just have to have an imagination and be willing to laugh. The trick is to create your Dohdle as well as you can, but not make it so good that the other players all know right away what it’s supposed to be.
For people who have absolutely no creative sculpting talents at all, you’ll still be able to create items in certain shapes. The game works by the players being able to figure out what their opponent has made with their sculpture.
dohdles
If you guess what it is, then you get points. But you also get points if the other opponents can’t all figure out what it was that you made with your sculpting clay. You want to make it so some people can figure out what it is, but not everyone – because if everyone guesses what it was that you made, then you don’t get any points.
But if no one guesses what you made, then you don’t get any points there either. The game is played with four rounds of the opponents trying to figure out what it is that you created.
When it’s your turn to play, you’re allowed to question your opponents about what they created with their sculptor to help you figure out what it is. But you’re not allowed to ask open-ended questions.
These have to be questions that can be answered with either a yes or a no. You can also ask for a letter in the creation. When you’ve been given some of these clues, if you decide that you know what the opponent’s Dohdle is, you put your guessing cube into the funnel.
This funnel sorts the cubes and sends them out. The first cube out is the player who’s allowed to take the first guess. Anytime that you identify what your opponent made, you get to move forward. The game can be played multiple times – because the clay doesn’t harden even after repeated use. It’s a guessing game that’s suitable for 3 to 6 players.
Sounds like fun to me!
Suzanne