COMMENTARY: Memory Games: I Can’t Remember When I’ve Had This Much Fun!

I’ll admit that my memory isn’t quite what it used to be. Part of that might just be the hectic nature of modern life: With so much going on around us and so many things to keep track of, forgetting becomes all too easy. It’s also a totally natural consequence of aging, says that article that I read, in, uh… some web site or other. The point is, nowadays I write a lot of stuff down on a pad, or I email myself reminders. I’ve also started playing memory games, which even if they don’t re-forge my brain into a sharp instrument of information-retention, are at least a whole lot of fun.

This brings us to the board game Memory, which we’ve all played in one form or another. There’s a set of tiles placed face-down, and one or more players take turns flipping them, two at a time. If a player turns up a pair with of same face, they get a point and go again. The overall premise is simple, yet versatile enough that the game’s been tweaked in all sorts of ways. Meanwhile, the images requiring matching can be anything, which might explain why various intellectual properties have utilized Memory as part of a larger licensing plan. Below you’ll find some interesting versions of the classic game currently on the market, though it’s by no means an exhaustive list:

MonstersUniversityMonsters University Look-A-Likes Matching Game, from Spin Master: This licensed game, intended for kids ages 3 and up, definitely benefits from the distinct visual designs of Mike, Sulley, and the rest of the gang from this past summer’s Monsters University (on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack October 29). The illustrations are clean and brightly colored, and thanks to how they’re juxtaposed against white backgrounds, they make a better impression on your memory during game play. Meanwhile, each half of a matching pair of tiles features a different colored border, making it possible to split the deck systematically to play a simpler version of the game. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Expands Education Product Selection, Introduces Imaginarium Brand

Toys R Us EducationalToys “R” Us will expand its year-round education product selection in stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com. Filled with a broad collection of items, kids from preschool to fifth grade, parents, and teachers can now find the essentials they need to make learning easy and fun throughout the entire year.

Toys “R” Us is also debuting a new line of exclusive education products under its Imaginarium brand, the company’s largest range of specialty and learning toys. Imaginarium Learning offers shoppers dozens of back-to-basics, as well as inventive products, which promote early learning skills in little ones ages 18 months and up.

Under Imaginarium Learning, kids can discover the universe with the Lift a Flap Solar System and Lift a Flap World Puzzle, or learn their ABCs and 123s with the assistance of Touch & Learn Alphabet Fish and ABC & 123 Monkey. Additionally, magnetic tablets, like Magnetab Numbers and Magnetab ABCs Lower Case, teach small hands to trace and write, while double-sided write and erase cards and take-along boards provide activities that reinforce writing skills. [Read more...]

CMOM Honors Learning Resources with Corporate Leadership Award

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) has selected Learning Resources, Inc. as the first recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award. Learning Resources, an Illinois-based company, is a leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational toys engage children and support individual learning style. Since its inception in 1984, the company has dedicated itself to designing products that enable both parents and teachers to go beyond traditional instruction.

“Learning Resources shares CMOM’s educational values and pedagogies, with an emphasis on the importance of early childhood education, family learning, and providing interactive tools and resources for all children across the learning spectrum,” said Andrew Ackerman, CMOM’s executive director. “By honoring their innovative work and passion for educating children, we are reminded of the importance of our work and are reinvigorated in the process.”

Rick Woldenberg, CEO of Learning Resources, will accept the award at CMOM’s bi-annual Spring Benefit on May 21.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Learning Resources is Giving Students Tools to Succeed

The Kids In Need Foundation and Learning Resources have teamed up to provide free school supplies to students whose parents cannot afford to buy them, and also for teachers at low-income schools. Established in 1995, Kids In Need has distributed $350 million in supplies, serving more than 1.6 million children and 100,000 teachers annually. Learning Resources will donate products to the Kids In Need National Network of Resource Centers.

The first set of supplies will be distributed to the Teacher Resource Center in Chicago, and will include more than $7,000 worth of supplies, such as thermometers, magnifiers, pocket charts, rulers, and puzzle cards. Since 1997, the Teacher Resource Center in Chicago has donated supplies to more than 2,200 teachers from low-income schools.

Click here to learn more about the Kids In Need initiative.

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Games & Puzzles: Double Duel Sound-Alike Word Game

It’s a color. The wind did this. What’s the answer? Blue/Blew!

Learning Resources‘ new high-speed challenge, Double Duel Sound-Alike Word Game, helps build vocabulary connections. When players know the answer, they try to be the first to hit their buzzer. Each buzzer makes a different fun sound: honk honk, boxing bell, doorbell, and boing. Color-coded question cards provide two levels of play.

The game, for three or more players, ages 7 and up, includes 200 double-sided, self-checking clue cards; an activity guide; and four buzzers.

For more games & puzzles, read The Toy Book‘s July/August issue. Click here to read!

GUEST BLOG: Five Toys to Teach Kids About Money by Mallory Loren

The following is a guest blog written by Mallory Loren who is a digital strategist and contributor for BCF Wealth Strategies. The company acts as a personal CFO that specializes in small business owners, self-employers, and retirees.

Your little one is a long way off from balancing checkbooks and managing mortgages, but teaching him or her about responsible spending starting at a young age is an extremely important skill. Children often find lessons about money to be tedious, so we have some toys to make it exciting. Check out these five educational aids and toys to help your wee one become enthusiastic about learning the value of a dollar:

Fisher-Price Fun 2 Imagine Cash Register (2-4 years)

The Cash Register is a classic and handy tool to introduce your child to the concept of money. The Fisher-Price Fun 2 Imagine Cash Register is brightly colored, comes with sortable numbered coins, makes noises, and features popping and spinning rolling action that will keep your little one entertained while learning.

Perfect Solutions Digital Coin-Counting Piggy Bank (8+ years)

This toy takes the classic piggy bank to the next level. The Digital Coin-Counting Piggy Bank is useful for all ages. Even adults may find it helpful to keep track of loose change, but it is designed for kids because it allows to see them how much money they have accumulated and keeps count of their earnings all in one place.

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