Kids + Toys (Educational + Fun) = Future Innovators

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Qwirkle Rules!

popular board game QwirkleMindware’s Qwirkle Board Game has quickly become a favorite around our house.  Depending on who you are playing with it can be a simple matching game with colors and shapes for kids as young as 6 or an amazing strategy board game for older kids & adults.  Perfect for the whole family!

The object of the game is to complete a Qwirkle (6 tiles in a row).  You do that by building interlocking lines of tiles that are all one shape or all one color.  This is a great game for brain development!  Children learn:

  • pattern recognition
  • basic math skills
  • strategy concepts

Qwirkle is Mindware’s most award-winning game

If you want proof of the power of Qwirkle, here it is! Here’s a list of the awards this popular board game has won:

  • Parent’s Choice Gold Award
  • Mensa Select Award Winner
  • Spiel des Jahres (a prestigious German toy award – “game of the year”)
  • Major Fun Award
  • Games Magazine Best Family Game Runner-Up,
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
  • Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award

I love the feel of the wooden tiles – the shapes are painted – not stickers that can peel off. I also love that they come in a cloth draw-string bag which means it’s a great travel toy.

The set includes 108 wooden tiles in six colors and six shapes, cloth storage bag and Qwirkle rules (also on our website if you lose them!). 2 to 4 players. Ages 6 & up.

What are your favorite family board games?

Spotlight on Guidecraft’s Texture Dominos

Guidecraft texture dominos tactile toyEvery now and then, I like to feature a particular toy that provides fun and multiple educational benefits.  One of my favorites is Guidecraft’s Texture Dominos, a wonderful preschool manipulative and tactile toy.  The toy has also won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award.

Dominos are a great classic game that help children with math skills including combining and partitioning numbers.  Guidecraft’s Texture Dominos are a twist on traditional dominos.  They have two colored and textured dots for matching. 

Texture Dominos help children: Guidecraft Texture Dominos

  • Develop tactile discrimination
  • Develop visual perception.
  • Develop sorting & sequencing skills
  • Exercise fine motor skills
  • Think and problem solve
  • Learn to take turns when playing them as a game

Children can play a dominos game, they can match and sort (with eyes open or closed!), they can stack and build.  So many ways to play with them!

The set comes with 28 wooden dominos in a sturdy wooden tray.  For children ages 3+.

For more information on other great manipulative toys that are wonderful fine motor skill builders, check out my earlier posts Best Toys to Build Children’s Fine Motor Abilities and Lacing Toys.

Do your children play dominos?  What are their favorite domino games?

Made in USA Toy SaleTo honor American workers this Labor Day, we’re offering one of our best sales ever:

20% off Made in USA toys

I noticed that some big toy makers and toy stores are having sales this weekend but I noticed that they didn’t mention anything about American-made products.  Then it dawned on me – it’s because they don’t sell anything that’s made in USA!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

According to the US Department of Labor:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

So let’s celebrate the wonderful craftsmanship of US toymakers!   Use code LABORDAY at checkout. Choose from among:


Sale through September 3rd. We carry other fine made in USA toys and furniture but are unable to include them in this sale.  Sale excludes Vermont Dory, Mountain Boy Sleds, Little Colorado Furniture.

Remember that when you buy American made toys you are supporting your neighbors and contributing to a strong US economy!

Please check out these groups support Made in USA:

Made in USA Challenge

Buy Direct USA

For more information on the value of buying made in USA, please read my earlier posts:  Toys Made in USA, Made in America Toys – At What Price? and Made in USA Still Matters according to Businessweek.

Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

%d bloggers like this: