Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Listen to Jenn Talk About the Power of Play

I was grateful to be interviewed by veteran toy designer and podcaster Phil Albritton. We talked about so many things!

I loved talking about:

- why video games are so successful at taking up your child's time
- why toy companies need to teach parents how to play with their kids
- the importance of monitoring children in the digital space

Press the play button to hear all of it!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What Cutting Edge Looks Like in a School (2017) at Forbes

This is my latest story at Forbes. It's all about cutting edge tools in schools.

Yes, a lot of them involve technology but believe me, it's more about just what's good for kids right now.  These tools demonstrate the kind of leadership that I find in great educators and educational institutions.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Father's Day Gift Guide at Forbes

QUIXO- my kid always kicks my butt with this one.  I hate him. 

This year's line up for Father's Day gift was all about different kinds of dads.  Star Wars dads, tech dads, athletic dads.

Here is the story in case you missed it.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Need a LEGO Brick Organizer for Your Home?

I've been doing this quietly but I'm now taking more clients for this service because I want everyone to really enjoy their bricks! 

Educational toys are not educational if you can’t find them

We straighten out their drawers, their desks, and now we even buy rugs for their school lockers. However, when it comes to toys, even educational ones, we usually require kids to do all the clean up. In most cases they should be able to, but LEGO bricks are different. There are few toys that kids can own that could easily number in the thousands. There are about 70 LEGO bricks for every one of the world’s 6 billion inhabitants. And children around the world spend 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.

If the collection becomes this large, throwing them all into a big bin makes about as much sense as using large garbage bags to store your clothing for everyday wear. Jenn Choi, toy expert and Founder of Toys As Tools, has learned from working with toy designers and brick fan families on how to coach families on best ways to organize their LEGO bricks to suit kids' play styles and their families’ needs too.

Read about Jenn's work here in Quartz

Parents are trained along with the kids. Parents are present for the entirety of the training.

How she does it

Jenn Choi, Toy Expert and Founder of Toys As Tools provides brick sorting and organization education to families who love LEGO bricks and want to make sure that the LEGO bricks they own are organized for optimal creativity. Services include initial phone/video consultation and a home visit where parents and children are taught how to sort and organize in a way that best suits their collection. Appropriate supply suggestions are also provided. Consultation concludes with a final follow up phone/video call. 

Got a question? Email me at jenn at toysastools dot cc

Here are some neat storage supplies. Jenn can help you choose which will be right for you. 

Don't forget to read my favorite LEGO story at the Atlantic- How to Teach Your Kids to be Grateful: Give Them Less

Friday, March 31, 2017

Help Me Help Us

WHAT: Request to you- fill out a quick 9 question survey (Average time: 6 minutes)
WHY: To gather your experiences so that I can tell the toy industry folks how to give us the toys we want and need
AND.......... You'll be entered to win a $25 gift card




With much love and gratitude,
Jenn Choi

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Toy Round Up at Breakthroughs in Twice Exceptional Education

I just returned from the two-day conference hosted by QuadPrep for the twice-exceptional community: therapeutic professionals, parents, and educators!!!!!  It was amazing!

I hosted a tremendously exciting raffle of the following toys to support the conference. But first we played!

Teachers were loving the 3Doodler START.  Can't burn your kids' hands.  Look at that LEGO hair. It comes off and goes back on!  YEAH!!!!

Raffle and goody bag gifts were made possible with the generous support from 

Fave photos from the conference
Thanks to Rachel Ford and Sarah Cottone for helping capture these moments!

She made herself a necklace! 

He worked hard all day. Delivering snacks. 

littleBits makes tech soooooo easy. 

You think you know math but you don't know it like Rachel McAnallen. She will blow you away. I'm sitting here with teachers of gifted children because we were following her like Confucius and she let us "play math" with her for an hour.

More videos of Rachel McAnallen here

A staffer drew this out for fun! 

I made a remote control something! littleBits remote control bit is the best. Make an RC car? Yes you can. 

STEM class for twice-exceptional kids? She packed in so much material.  Katharina Boser Master STEM Educator!  

Keynote from globally recognized leader in Twice-Exceptional Education. Susan Baum

So many friends of the 2E community.  Thank you all!!!  Think about it like this: If your teacher works well with gifted kids who have special needs, doesn't that mean that teacher is pretty much a super teacher? 2E ed is amazing ed. 

From Nancy Tarshis' talk. If you can leap right over, you probably haven't learned anything.  YES!!!
Oh look, there goes another working mother.  Gyroscope power. MiP

Nancy Tarshis knows how perfectionism hurts 2E kids. 

Oh the pressure. I want everyone to win!  Kristin Berman, Head of School, Quad Preparatory School reads out the winning numbers. 

Packing up to go home. Thanks everyone. Let's play again soon! 

As many attendees asked what were the names and where these can be purchased, here they are!
You can find a list from the Quad here

These can all be found at either the toy company's website or Amazon.  Purchases made after using our Amazon link may help support this website with a modest commission.

3Doodler START Mega Set
Buy from Amazon   

Anki Cozmo
Buy from Amazon

Every participant received a tin from Crazy Aaron's Putty World
Buy from Amazon

littleBits STEAM Student Set
Buy from Amazon

Sphero SPRK+
Buy from  Amazon

Sphero Force Band
Buy at Amazon

Battle Worn BB-8 with Force Band  This will be auctioned off at the Quad Gala in May. 

Coder Mip
Buy from Amazon

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Top Toys to Watch in 2017

Here are some more details you may want to see before buying from this new list of toys worth watching this year. But first, may I say I admire your adventurist spirit. While I review toys for work, I do hope all of us feel free to just go with our gut sometimes.

Here are some additional photos and purchase links (they support this website) that may help you buy the toys that are already available for sale.

Read the piece at Forbes in case you missed it. 

Things You Can Buy Now:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Twelve Amazing Books to Inspire Creativity in Kids

As seen at

Can't find these amazing books? Never fear! I will always be here to help!

If you haven't seen my list of books dedicated to STEM, LEGO, and making fabulous things then check it out here

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Six Best Tech Gifts For Kids In 2016

As seen on Forbes...

It's true that parents and play industry leaders alike have all focused on getting the family to "unplug" and go "offline." I like this movement and do like the toys and games that support these activities however, there is nothing like a great technology gift that can really wow a child.

Tech gifts can be very fun for the gift-giver as well because they can range from the very practical to the completely unnecessary. What's funny is that people tend to fall in love with their most practical and most unnecessary gifts. I think this is because no matter what, tech gifts can inspire us to think about the world of possibilities be it striving for productivity or just plain fun.

Here is a short list of my favorite tech gifts for kids this year.....  Read the rest on my blog at Forbes! 
Picture list below with easy links for purchase:

Cozmo (my fave this year)

Asus Transformer Mini


Sphero Star Wars Force Band

3Doodler Start

Intel Compute Stick

It's time to play!