TDmonthly Magazine
January 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 1
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January 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 1
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TDmonthly's Psychologist Mom

She'll Put Your Toys on the Couch


Dr. Wright doesn’t just look at toys; she analyzes them. In and out of the box, she scrutinizes them for playability, appropriateness and educational value. The latter quality is especially important to this psychologist/mother, who also homeschools her three youngest children.

TDmonthly Magazine’s Psychologist Mom felt a bit discombobulated with the selection of products below, as she matched up dinosaurs, looked back over six generations, and rated each product with 1 to 5 TD stars (for TDmonthly!); 5 is the top mark.


Sixteen by ALPINE GAMES
MSRP: $6.95
Age: 8 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Card Games

TDmonthly rating:


The Dr.'s Impressions:
This very cool-looking set of 54 custom cards includes four suits numbered zero to six (two wild cards are also included.) Three cards are dealt and a draw-pile is established. Players put down a card each turn with the goal of hitting 16. If one player busts, the other gets the pile. One can also win the pile by playing three cards of the same number or suit, similar to blackjack.

Kids' Perspective:
The kids loved this game so much that we played all month. They played alone, but we also found the instructions for the four-player option online and played as a family.

Recommendation: I highly recommend Sixteen. It says it’s for ages 8 and up, but we played with a 5-year-old and 63-year-old. It is fun, strategic and provides practice in addition. Sixteen is perfect for a quick game

T-Rex Rules! by GREAT AMERICAN PUZZLE FACTORY
Age: 4 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Card Games
MSRP: $9.99

TDmonthly rating:


The Dr.'s Impressions: This 52-card, classic matching game offers pictures, descriptions and facts for 50 dinosaurs. It presents educational opportunities for little ones who are inevitably inspired by these ancient creatures.

Kids' Perspective: Knowing that dinosaurs are a popular subject for the 4– to 7-year-old range, I found a group of boys to play. They loved this game. Matching stimulates this age range, and this game offers more matching than most. The kids were especially appreciative of the pronunciation guide.

Recommendation: Young children are fascinated by dinosaurs. It is a great educational opportunity for kids to learn categories and facts of biologically relevant species. T-Rex is exceptionally astute with delivery of information in a fun and exciting format.

Discombobulation™ by CONTINUUM GAMES INC.
Age: 8 and Up
Category: Card Games
MSRP: $9.99

TDmonthly rating:


The Dr.'s Impressions: This game has number cards (players lose once they hit 500), action cards with no obvious purpose, and — the soul of the game — discombobulation cards that are one of 12 different challenges requiring a fast, creative memory.

Kids' Perspective: Although the makers of Discombobulation claim it’s for children 8 and up, I find it difficult to imagine that any child under 16 would have the broad-based knowledge necessary to excel at this game.

Recommendation: Discombobulation delivers. From reading the very small print of the very long directions to keeping up with the fast-paced delivery of information during the challenges, I felt discombobulated and stimulated. The game requires a level of commitment that is welcomed within the educated set. If there was one game to have while snowed in at a cabin in Big Bear, it is definitely Discombobulation.

Six Generations™ by SIX GENERATIONS PUBLISHING
MSRP: $8.97
Age: 6 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Card Games

TDmonthly rating:


The Dr.'s Impressions: This 72-card deck represents six generations of a family that immigrated to the United States from Europe. The generations are made up of couples from 20 different countries that can be laid out to form a family tree. Players get six cards and on their turn try to add a person to the family tree. If they cannot add a descendent, they must draw a card.

Kids' Perspective: My boys, ages 8 and 11, did not like this game. I introduced it to a few other children and they did not like the game, either. However, some of the girls really liked the costumes and ended up playing a version of paper dolls with the cards.

Recommendation: During the process of being born into the family, players become familiar with 72 of the most popular names and wonderfully designed ethnic costumes. There is the obvious lesson of genealogy as well as the lesson of exponents (two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, etc.) However, it is neither interesting nor fun to play. There are other games that can be played with this deck, but we did not really take to the game.



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Dr. Tiffany WrightWriter's Bio: Dr. Tiffany Wright doesn’t just look at toys; she analyzes them. In and out of the box, she scrutinizes them for playability, appropriateness and educational value. The latter quality is especially important to this stay-at-home psychologist/mother, who also homeschools her three youngest children. Her daughter attends UCLA. Dr. Wright earned her Ph.D. in personality psychology from University of California, Riverside. She is always on the lookout for toys and games that inspire creativity and impart knowledge while bringing fun and laughter to her home. Read more articles by this author

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