Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Easter Gift Ideas -- Fun New Games From ThinkFun (Review)

Instead of filling your child's Easter basket will all candy, why not surprise them with a few fun, educational games from Thinkfun?  Thinkfun recently added a handful of new games to their lineup, and I had the opportunity to review two of them.  Below is more about the two games I reviewed with my family, as well as more about the other new Thinkfun games.  Each of these new games, as well as other popular Thinkfun games, would make for a great Easter basket gift for children of all ages.

Hello SunshineHide and Seek Learning Game 
Ages 18 months – 3 years, MSRP $19.99
"Hello Sunshine™ is a charmingly simple game that will have you and your child laughing and playing together! Play hide and seek with Sunshine – a huggable plush toy – while teaching your child positional concepts such as In, On Top, Below, Next To, and more. An adorable toddler learning game to follow the success of Roll & Play, nominated for Toy of the Year in Infant Toddler and Educational categories. Check out the how-to-play video."

My Thoughts:

It is hard to find games for children ages 18+ months and up.  But, thanks to the folks at Thinkfun, I have been able to pick up some great early learning games that are not only fun for the girls to play, but also a great way to teach things like introducing play patterns, matching cards and following the rules.  Prior to receiving the new Hello Sunshine! game to review, our favorite Thinkfun game has been Roll & Play.  If you missed my review of this fun toddler cube rolling game, click here to read it now --

Recently, the folks at ThinkFun released a handful of new games for toddlers through adults, including the Hello Sunshine! Hide and Seek Learning Game.  Like the Roll & Play cube game, this game is early to teach and play with toddlers, and will have both you and your little one laughing as you interact with the plush sunshine toy included.  This game is not only fun to play, but is also great in helping build your child's language and vocabulary, spatial and gross motor skills.

This hide and seek game was so much fun to play with the girls, as it had provided us with hours of bonding time, as I hide and the girls try to find where the sunshine toy is. 


 And, once they find it, I show them the card and read it to them, so that they learn about the different positional concepts, like next to, on top, behind, under, in and in front of.  And, when we are done playing with this addicting Hello Sunshine! game, the 18 double-sides cards that come along with the plush toy, fit nicely in the enclosed pouch found on the underside of the plush toy.  Simply place the cards in here and Velcro the pouch shut.  Now you don't have to worry about misplacing the playing cards, and it makes for easy transport, if you want to bring this fun game to Grandma's house. :-)

WordARound™ - Race to Unravel the Word
Ages 10 to adult, two or more players MSRP $12.99
"Who knew that positioning a word in one continuous ring would make it so tricky to read? Be the first to decipher and shout out the word on each WordARound card, and you win that card. Collect the most cards, and you win the game. A fun, fast-paced card game that will be the life of any party! Here’s a quick how-to-play video."

My Thoughts:

This new word game from ThinkFun has come in handy during the recent snow days we have had, as it had kept my nieces and nephews entertained.  We are a family who loves game night, and whenever I have friends and family over for get-togethers, we always seem to end up in the family room playing board games or word games.  So, when my nieces and nephews were over due to no school, I taught them how to play this word game, and when the girls went down for a nap, we had a blast shouting out words we deciphered on each card.  The first person to call out the right deciphered word, wins that card.  And, then the first person who collects 10 cards is crowned the winner.  I can't tell you how many times I have been challenged and beat by my 10 and 12 yrs. old nieces and nephews.  Here is an example of the words you need to decipher on the cards --

Were you able to decipher the words?  It may look easy, but this is a fast-paced game, and your brain become baffled as you try to be the first to decipher the words on the cards.  But, this is what makes the game so much fun. 

I don't know about you, but I just love word games.  After spending all week with the girls, I love being able to pull out a word game to play with my husband during our weekly in-house date night's, as it helps me recharge my brain, while relaxing with my husband.  Who doesn't like a friendly competition with their spouse?  I sure do! :-)  And, with the new WordARound by ThinkFun, we can't get enough of this addicting fast-paced card game.  Just this past weekend, I shared this game with a group of friends who had come to visit.  We paired up into teams and had a blast working together trying to decipher the words.  Even though we were paired with another person, it was still hard to decipher the words in record time, making the game very challenging and addicting at the same time. :-)


In addition to the above two games I was sent to review from ThinkFun, here are a few other new additions to their product line, which would make for great Easter basket gifts:


Swish Jr. (Ages 5 and up, two or more players, MSRP: $12.99
Builds: Visual perception, matching, concentration
"This transparent card game is the much-anticipated little sibling to Swish, a two-time nominee for Toy of the Year. Young players build spatial awareness as they mentally flip and rotate see-through cards to match shapes."


MathDice Powers Practice Edition (Ages 10 to adult, two or more players, MSRP: $7.99)
Builds: Mental math skills, particularly exponents
"A new design of MathDice, the widely acclaimed “Fast, Fun Game of Mental Math,” with a focus on exponents. Invented in 1998 by ThinkFun co-founders’ 11-year-old son Sam (now a software engineer at Twitter), MathDice has sparked a passion for numbers worldwide."

Laser Maze (Ages 8 to adult, solo play, MSRP: $29.99)
Builds: Sequential reasoning, visual perception
"Tweens will cheer for the first logic game with a real laser! Players beam, bend, and split a laser using mirrors and targets to solve 60 challenges. Laser Maze is the brainchild of Luke Hooper, inventor of the chess-like laser game Khet. This powerful, safe game experience unites the heritage of ThinkFun’s logic puzzles with the latest in high-tech."

---BUY NOW---

Click here to order these or other games the whole family can enjoy from ThinkFun --

About ThinkFun

ThinkFun is the world's leader in addictively fun games that sharpen your mind. ThinkFun was founded in 1985 by husband and wife team Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello with a dream to change the world through play. Our mission: "To translate the brilliant ideas of the craziest mathematicians, engineers and inventors into simple toys that can be appreciated by boys and girls around the world."

Over the years, ThinkFun has strengthened its commitment to products that inspire learning, spark creativity, and nurture problem solving. We continue to push into new frontiers with apps, online games, education programs – even brain research!

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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