LOVE Hasbro Games Scrabble Flash Cubes

February 1, 2010

It was only a prototype (and a buggy prototype at that)…but if it works the way it did during our demo, this promises to be one of the best games for 2010.  Takes the play of Scrabble, Boggle…and marries it with fun technology. Take a look at our video.


Free Game: To Go With Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?

January 11, 2010

Chances are you have a copy of Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle’s Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?


Here’s one of the games we recommend in Read It! Play It! with Babies and Toddlers that you play after you share the book with your child.

I Went to the Zoo

Borrow the refrain of “Polar Bear, Polar Bear…” as you pull your child’s toy animals out one at a time. Before long your child will be adding animals as you both say…”I went to the zoo and what did I hear? A little lion growling at me!”

Make a “zoo” for the animals with a collection of shoe boxes or blocks that your child can continue to play with alone.

(from p. 46, Read It! Play It! with Babies and Toddlers)


Free Game: How High Can You Go?

January 8, 2010

Yesterday I walked past a display of silverware that was in the form of the Empire State Building. It reminded me of a great game to play with your kids that will keep them busy on a cold winter’s day.

Challenge your kids to build the tallest building using their LEGO Bricks!  For younger kids this will be about adding more bricks until the structure falls down.  But for older kids this can also become a real hands-on experiment–how do you make the structure more stable?  What do we need to add to the base to make it less tippy.  If you’re really into the building why not make your own city of skyscrapers. What kind of buildings do they think should be in the city?  A sports arena, a shopping mall, a grocery store…always fun to hear what they want on their list.   Matchbox cars and trucks can also be used to populate the city.  Be sure to take pictures–you’ll be happy to chronicle the challenge.  You can also have them create a book with the pictures–something that can be sent to Grandparents or shared on-line.  Either way, I like encouraging kids to create their own structures from materials they have around the house.


Free Game: Can you find anything blue?

January 7, 2010

Get a box or a basket…and ask your kids to find things that are blue (or any other color that you’d like) and bring them to the basket.  You can also make this part of cleaning up toys…can you find all the yellow pieces first and put them away?  Making a game out of cleaning up is half the battle.

For games and activities for your baby or toddler, check out our Read It! Play It! with Babies and Toddlers. Also available in Spanish.

For games and activities to play with your child 4-8, check out the original Read It! Play It!


Free Game: Sorting Socks

January 6, 2010

If you have a preschooler at home,  you can play a mean game of sorting socks.  Works best with kids socks since they tend to have more patterns.  After you take the socks out of the dryer, have your child close their eyes.  Distribute the socks around the room/house….and then challenge them to find the socks that match. How many pairs can they make.  It will make this chore a little bit more fun for everyone.


In honor of the day…13 Great Games (all under $20!)

November 13, 2009

Rec_ABCBeautyWhile we usually like lists of five or a dozen, we realized today’s list of 13 Top Games Under $20 was meant to be!  Happy Friday the 13th.  Read our reviews at www.toyportfolio.com.

The games included are:

Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It Game (I Can Do That Games)

Rainbow Race (International Playthings)

Scrabble Slam Card Game (Parker Brothers)

Appletters (Bananagrams)

Yamslam (Blue Orange Games)

Pairs in Pears (Bananagrams)

eeBoo Fairytale Game (eeBoo)

Ring-0 Flamingo (Gamewright)

Uno Moo! (Mattel)

Too Many Monkeys (Gamewright)

I Spy Flip 5 Games (Briarpatch)

Dr. Seuss Super Stretch ABC Game (I Can Do That Games)

Curious George Discovery Beach Game (I Can Do That Games)


Pick of the Day: Jenga Max

November 12, 2009

jengamaxpicI used to play Jenga all the time. It’s my kind of game–you have to be decisive and you’ll know within moments if you win or lose.  So I was pretty psyched when I saw the new Jenga Max (Parker Brothers/Hasbro)  at Toy Fair…it looked great.  I then stopped thinking about it.  My mind was quickly full of Barbie Nail Printers and toys that read your brain waves.  Then about two weeks ago–I realized that we hadn’t received Jenga Max.  Oh no!    So we just got to try it out.  Read our review and you can watch our demo.