I had five…

If any of you caught me today…I thought FIVE games sounded better….so the post was originally Five Great Games…but then I realized that I had put six on the list–and I wasn’t willing to give any of them up!  Funny how attached I get!

You know maybe it’s something new…most lists are Five or Ten…but why not Six?

 

 

toyportfolio.com: Six Great Games to Play with Your Kids

Here are six  great games to think about for the holidays. The complete reviews of these award winners are on our site, www.toyportfolio.com

Active Fun Games

Dr. Seuss Super Stretchy ABC Game (I Can Do That Games)

Boochie (Gamewright)

Pure silly fun

Feeding Frenzy (International Playthings)

Ring-0 Flamingo (Gamewright)

Concepts and Strategy Games

eeBoo Color Dominoes (eeBoo)

Double Shutter (Blue Orange)

Encourage Curiosity about Nature with Discovery Box

worlddiscoverytreasuresMy grandfather used to take us rock hunting at a quarry in Franklin, New Jersey.  These adventures with my grandparents (my grandmother went along for the ride, but did not share my grandfather’s enthusiasm for the rocks)…were part of our childhood.  After finding our rocks, we would then go into the dark room with our black light (along with other rock folks) and see if we had found any with fluorescent substances.  Pretty cool right?  Kick in a guaranteed trip for ice cream cones–and you could see how much fun this would be.  My grandfather (an engineer by training) sold the first tv in their area (in upstate New York).  My mother recalls that when there was a big fight or important event on tv, that people would gather to watch it in front of their appliance store.  His backroom was always fun to visit because there was always something to look at including his great collection of rocks.  He always encouraged us to build our own collections.  One of my last road trips with him before he died was to a rock show.  He was still delighted that I was interested (I was 17).  Truth be told, I just really enjoyed being with him.

worldbox

World Discovery Box with a sampling the treasures

So when I first came across World Discovery Box, it made me think of my Grandfather.  The focus of the company is to help build your child’s own collection of nature and science collectibles. Of course, you could do this yourself if you were so inclined but I really love the quality of the materials and boxes you can order. The wooden boxes and artifacts range in price from $69 to $199.  You can add to your child’s collection from their site – making this  a gift that you can add to as your child grows.

I also like the idea of using the box as a starting point.  Adding treasures you may find together-from a trip to the beach, on a walk in your own neighborhood.  Maybe because of my own experience, I think this is a great present for grandparents to give since it starts a dialogue. The only aspect of this product that could use some beefing up–the limited reading materials about the insects, minerals, shells, fossils that comes with the box.  (It’s just a folded guide). For the money,  I would have thought it would be paired with a book  about these topics and maybe some tools for your own rock, fossil and bug collecting adventures. In any case, it’s something you can add on your own.

Two great books:

Smithsonian Rock & Fossil Hunter

Smithsonian Bug Hunter

Bug tools:

Insect Lore Big Bug Magnifier

Creature Peeper

Jim Dale…wonderful as always!

Screening audios can be pretty painful- each year we ponder giving it up.  The music is often preachy or so frenetic that you want to scream, and so many of the books on audio are so dry, you can’t imagine any child sitting through any of it–without falling asleep.

And then we get to something recorded by Jim Dale and we feel happy that we cover this category of children’s media.   If you’re looking for something to enjoy in the car, we’d highly recommend Return to the Hundred Acre Wood read by the unmatched narrator of our generation, Jim Dale.  It’s now available from Penguin Audio.  Don’t be put off by the introduction…get to the story and all of the wonderful voices of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and gang.  As you may know this is first authorized sequet to A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner in more than 80 years. There are two new characters, Lottie and Otter.  (And if you have a child that wants to begin the Harry Potter series but may have trouble with the length of the titles–Jim Dale brings the whole Hogwarts gang to life.  Perfect for long trips–you’ll all want to get back in the car.)

Are you looking at me? My Little Pony is Back!

mylittleponyHasbro is re-introducing the “iconic” (their word) My Little Pony Collection…there’s Pinkie Pie (The Leader and Everyone’s Best Friend), Rainbow Dash (Glamour Girl), Cheerilee (Storyteller and Hairstylist), Scootaloo (The Playful Little Sister), Sweetie Belle (The Fun Loving Unicorn), Toola-Roola (Artist) and Starsong (Multi-talented Singer and Dancer).  And all along I thought they were plastic little pony figures with outrageously colorful mane and tails!