Friday, November 25, 2016

Two Ways to Support TAT Just By Shopping

Thank you so much everyone! The recent newsletter is a success! The Toys As Tools Hit Lists is proving useful to you all. I'm thrilled!

I know you want to support this site so please bookmark these two pages to use when shopping on AMAZON or MARBLES.  Your support will lead to a new and improved website that promises to impact the industry by making it easier for consumer to by the best toys and tech for their families.

Here's the AMAZON link.

Here's the MARBLES the Brain Store link:

Please bookmark it. Toys As Tools will receive a small commission from anything you buy whether it be diapers, food, toys, or technology.  Everything counts! Here's a very short photo diary of our testing. We've been looking out for you knowing that you've been waiting to buy everything now.

Mel Chemistry: We're still testing but it's fun overall.

Playdoh TOUCH- Launched at the Apple Store a just a couple of weeks ago. 

This was a customer service call.  Kids should learn how to do this. Spin Master gets an A+ in customer service! 

Still researching parenting tools.  This one is a pair of gloves. I like a man in uniform! 

This young lady was testing Creativity for Kids Light Up Globe. She used her phone to trace to make a shrinky dink piece.  So smart! 

littleBits Gizmos and Gadget Kit, on sale now $40 off. 

two tester kids, an artist parent, and my games and gaming guru talk with Jay Melican, Intel's Maker Czar (that's his real title) about an upcoming subscription product. 

Thank you to each and everyone of you who has inspired me to bring you the best news with the best intentions and integrity your family deserves.

Yours truly,

Cubebot, what's wrong? Are you okay? Look for desk toys for holiday office swaps and stocking stuffers and for you! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Black Friday Hit List (for Thoughtful Parents Who Want More)

Are you ready to shop until you drop? Just kidding. I don't believe we should respond to Black Friday this way. 

Ninety percent of the items in this list contain products that Toys As Tools testers has personally tested and approved.  For the sake of brevity, this will just be a list. The toys were submitted for consideration. Payment for inclusion is impossible. 

Note: Re: Amazon and Marbles: Putting items into your cart after going through my link means that you are supporting Toys As Tools just by purchasing something as you would normally do but a little percentage will go to TAT so thanks in advance! As you will see, a lot of the deals will be on the home sites of the products. Go ahead shop around! May you get the very best deal this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hit List: Marbles the Brain Store

I'll be trying this one out very very soon.  It's physics plus spatial reasoning and cunning strategy
Newton - $34.99  Exclusively at Marbles the Brain Store

I don't know why it took me so long to make this list from Marbles. My apologies to you but I'm confident that you'll forgive me once you make your first Marbles purchase. I just became an affiliate and I couldn't be more thrilled. This is a list of great items here but it also contains tips on how to win at specialty store shopping.  It's possible. Just give me a chance.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sign Up for the Very First Newsletter

This website is back in transformation but the holiday season waits for no one.

That said, it's time to get you some information about what are the best products out there for your little ones (and bigger ones) and let's not forget ourselves!

So don't forget to sign up!  I promise that by 11/22/16 Tuesday, you will learn something, actually, a lot of new wonderful amazing somethings.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

At Forbes: What if Everyone Had Assistive Technology?

America is getting an intimate snapshot of how technology lets inclusion make life better for everyone through the new hit ABC comedy Speechless. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Ever hear that argument? If they give a computer to a kid who has dysgraphia then what would happen if all the kids wanted a computer. I like to answer it with if you gave someone whose legs never let him more than a half a block even with crutches, a wheelchair, then that's good. But if all the kids said, hey I want a wheelchair too then what would you say? You'd probably have a lot of things to say.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Barbie Has a New STEM Kit! Latest Story at Quartz

For those of you who missed it, check out my latest story about the new Barbie STEM Kit at Quartz! Was I fair? Unfair? Are you applauding or heckling or not feeling sure what to say?

Curious? Want to try it out yourselves?  Use my Amazon link and support Toys as Tools! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Adventures of a Table Top Tutor

Kids keep playing long after the teacher has left. photo: Toys As Tools

Folks, this is Doug Mercier, an IT professional by trade and my go-to advisor for all things board games and video games.  He also helps me with questions like, "How do I set up a server for Minecraft for my kids so he can play with his friends- you know, people he actually knows? But I have to be able to turn it off whenever, okay? "

Today, as my article in Quartz about board games is published, I am simultaneously publishing his first person perspective on what it is like to teach Testers 1 and 2 on how to play the coolest games out there. Happy Reading. -Jenn

Adventures of a Table Top Tutor
by Doug Mercier

In a world saturated with games and entertainment for kids it can be hard for parents to turn the fun off, get them to settle down, and do their schoolwork. But what if the fun didn’t need to turn off? Video games and board games can seem like fruitless activities however, many of them can actually teach kids important lessons that can be used in real life.

For example, games like Catan teach the importance of resource management and planning ahead. Other games like Legends of Andor teach problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking. So how is a parent to know when a game has real skill opportunities versus just fun?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Technology, 2e Kids, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Useless Box from the Makershed is useful technology because it is useful to laugh.  

by Jenn Choi (Doug Mercier contributed to this article)

Does your child hate writing?
Does your child avoid reading?
Then give me your attention for just a few. I promise to be assistive and then some.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Why "Toys Are Tools" Must Innovate

Many thanks to Don Carter for this wonderful logo.

WHAT: An important announcement from Jenn

I never thought of myself as cutting-edge anything. All I wanted to do was help you make purchases that would make you happy. Why would I need a name change and a new website to do this?