Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sale on ARK's Buzzy Pencils

Update: 11/27/13   Ark is having a sale
ends 12/1/13 (psst.. if you are late a little, I think you'll still be okay if you shop on dec. 2)

discount only applies only to things labeled. "Ark's ____"  But you can fill up your shopping cart with other goodies to get that free shipping.  I think the lowest shipping at ARK is 4.75 but still, I love FREE SHIPPING and if they have those construction plates in stock and you want them, you should snatch them now.

Additional note:  Here is a link to a reader question about the pencils.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Best Toys and Games 2013 List- Vote For Your Favorite

Can you guess who the winner is?

See Laser Pegs Below*

Yup, this is a Woodmobiel Christmas Tree- Standard Kit with a few pieces left over to make an easel

WHAT: Best Toys and Games List 2013 (20 Categories! 30 Product Suggestions)
Superb gift ideas ranging from $10 to $300

GIVEAWAY PRIZE:$50 Gift Card to The Winner - But You Gotta Give Us A Piece of Your Mind!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Parenting with Playdate Planet Interviews TAT, Young Inventors, & Links!
Click this photo to listen to the Parenting With Playdate Planet's story featuring Toys Are Tools! Hooray!

The coolest thing happened.  I was interviewed by Parenting With Playdate Planet about.... what else... toys as learning tools! 

I think a lot of the readers here know something about that!  My heartfelt thanks goes out to show host, Meryl Nieman, co-owner of Playdate Planet, who took a lot of my rambling about toys as tools and turned it into a smooth compact show.  In this program, I discuss the following toys: (you may or may not see them again in my holiday toy list lineup and giveaway coming super soon!)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reader's Question: Saving Money, the ARK Pencil + Other Writing and Math Helpers

WHAT: Reader Question: ARK Tran-Quill Pencil Kit

Greetings to everyone!
I hope to be sharing more reader questions on this blog so please feel free to send them in.  I'll do my best.  Here is one I loved answering!

Hi Jenn 

I always look forward to reading your reviews and advice on toys for tools, I recently read your toys for tools executive functioning piece and I think my son could really benefit from this. I wanted to know where I could purchase the Ark pencil. Can I get it on Amazon? Also do you have any other writing tools that can improve handwriting and also math tools as well? We recent purchased a Timex glow in the dark lizard watch for my 7 year old and it has helped him tremendously with telling time and understanding the concept. I'm open to anything you can recommend at this point.

Thanks a lot
(Ms. D)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Review+Giveaway: Squigz and Twig: Toys That Feed The Senses

Toy Hit of the Year: Squigz, to me, is not exactly a toy, it's more of an experience or an idea
one of the best examples of plart

WARNING: You Will Be Very Tempted to Make A Purchase At the End of This Review

WHAT: Squigz and Twig
INVENTOR: Scott Baumann (Squigz) and Matthew Hiebert (Twig)
DOES: we're not quite sure, I think it's a you-fill-in-the-blank-thing
INVEST:  Squigz two sizes $24.95 (24 pieces), $49.95 (50 pieces), additional Squigz available for purchase, Twig $49.95
3+ (but we have let younger kids play with Squigz)
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move, Express Yourself, Birthday/Holiday Build-Uponner, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer
EXPERT OPINION: David Wells, Manager, Creative Making and Learning, New York Hall of Science, AND Susan L. Roberts, Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Integrative Nutritionist; Author, My Kid Eats Everything
GIVEAWAY PRIZE: Squigz Starter 24 Piece Set

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Tribbit and Categories: Organize Your Mental File Cabinet

If someone insults you, can you shoot a snappy comeback? How good are you at this? I generally embarrass myself.

Are you one of those people who have these amazing comebacks.... about thirty minutes after the incident?

WHAT: Tribbit by Mindware and Categories by eeBoo
INVENTOR: Hank Atkins (Tribbit) and Saxton Freymann (Categories)
DOES: helps you organize the words in your head so you can use them when you need them and use them efficiently. 
INVEST:  $19.95 for Tribbit; $14.95 for Categories
8+ Tribbit; 5+ Categories
TOOLS: Foment the Love of Language; Express Yourself, My Body Needs to Move
EXPERT OPINION: Nicole Kolenda, M.S., CCC-SLP, P.C., Speech & Language Pathologist
GIVEAWAY: Win both of these awesome brain-building games!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday TAT: Think of Fun When You Think of Me

I am so grateful to ThinkFun for their cutting edge approach to play and learning. Thank you for recognizing the importance of Executive Functioning.

WHAT: 2nd Annual Thank You Note
INVENTOR: Jenn Choi (me!)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Pre-Holiday Spotlight: Makedo with Abundance (Energy, Creativity, Resources)

This is the Windball by Tanaka Satoshi... and guess what.. there are instructions! You can find lots of ideas (with instructions) at

WHAT: Make Anything Kit for Three and Box Props (People and Pets) by Makedo
INVENTOR: Paul Justin
DOES: you can make anything you want- even pets (not alive though)
INVEST: Box Props kits are $10-15; Kit for One starts at $25 (prices vary depending on retailer)
If you're under 5, kids will need help.
TOOLS: Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, Express Yourself, I Can Take Care of Myself, Like an Executive
Giveaway: Giving Away Kit for One- so you can make anything you want (U.S. only please)