New Here?


Updated 12/20/13
Those you who've read my recent articles or thoughts published about toys, imagination, and future work skills, WELCOME!   If you are wondering about how my testers and I test the toys, this is a good place to start.

Upon hearing about my website, Toys are Tools, a very good friend said to me, "Wow, it must be so great getting free toys."  Some folks may think this too but to me, reviews are so much easier when I buy the toy.

When I buy it, no one else knows I have it.  No toy company is sitting there waiting to hear of what I'll say and when I'll publish.  If I buy it and become disappointed, I do not have to tell anyone that I didn't like it. I rather use the space here to give you information about things you can use.

But alas, to make sure I can offer information about as many products as I can, I must accept complimentary product submissions.  But please know this, every company that submits to Toys are Tools understands that reviews are never promised in exchange of anything including the toy or any forms of payment.  (more info on product submissions here)  We also spend a lot of time fiddling around with the toys.  The first day of play could be different from the fourth week of play.

The Whisperphone and its cousin, the Whisperphone Duet can be used for pretend play but it's also excellent at helping kids improve reading fluency or even learning a new language!   photo: Harebrain

If you decide to stay awhile, and I hope you do, be prepared to see toys that you may have never seen before.  Many of them are just as affordable and oftentimes tons better than the toys you see in some neighborhood markets.   All of the toys are suitable for children somewhere within the age range of 3-12 years of age.


Our method of describing toys is different too.   We believe that toys are tools that are used for various purposes including:
  • icebreakers in social settings
  • make-believe play
  • memory boosters
  • executive functioning
  • artistic expression
  • practicing scientific thinking (ie. visual-spatial reasoning or tweaking)
  • to learn more about our "Toolbox Compartments" click here.

I am very fortunate that my son teaches me 101 million ways to play.   This is our underwater maze on waterproof paper.  photo: Toys are Tools

We have three families testing the products.  Out of four children, two are boys (mine) and two are girls (not mine but I adore them to pieces) ranging from ages of 5 to 9.  These families, including mine, are not paid by the toy companies for favorable outcomes.  Rather, they believe in the benefits that a great toy has to offer and have tons of fun testing out the toys.  Read more about our testers here. You may find that your children have something in common with them.

If you read through the site, you will see that our reviews provide as much information as you could possibly ever want!  We want you to be happy with what you buy!  Many include videos and close-up shots as well as ideas on how to use it and even what to do when they get tired of it.   We also provide expert commentary from child psychologists and educators who will frequently look at the product with Toys are Tools to tell us what is so educational about these educational toys we're seeing.  If you don't require a lot of information, feel free to just browse around and scan our intro-snippets (WHAT, DOES, INVEST, TOOLS).  Soon, we'll have a "Find A Toy" section to help you find what you're seeking. 

We were there when the playdough-based electrical circuit kits from St. Thomas University were displayed at the Maker Faire in New York City-2011 and were first in line when the SquishyCircuitsStore product became available for consumer purchase.  photo: Toys are Tools


And here's one more reason we hope you'll stay awhile and look around.  We love giving away toys and gadgets.  There is always something going on here.  See the Giveaway List HERE.

Thanks for coming to play... please stay awhile and check out what's new today.

Gotta run?  Subscribe to Toys are Tools  and don't miss our next thoughtful toy review that focuses on building critical skills and encouraging natural talents.

Yours truly,

jenn choi


thoughtful toy reviews aimed at developing skills & encouraging natural talents