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Articles by Susan Ledford


Roundtable Reviewers Paint Positive Reviews of Young Picasso Kit (8/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable created masterpieces with Noodle Head Inc.’s Young Picasso Art Kit

Roundtable Reviewers Fall in Love With New Vibrant, Cuddly Fuzzles (8/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Girls Roundtable went dotty over Ida, a monkey from Douglas Cuddle Toys’ new Fuzzles line. Moms and kids alike raved over the bright color and eye-catching design

Roundtable Reviewers Say Patchwork Matches Criteria for Strategy and Fun (6/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine's Grade School Roundtable recently played Patchwork from Knightweaver Games LLC. The goal is to make sets of four matching patterned cards, but Patchwork is not your typical matching card game.

Roundtable Reviewers Find Easy Daysies Instills Confidence and Routine (6/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable got organized with Easy Daysies Magnetic Daily Schedules Starter Kit, Chores & Rewards Kit, and Special Times & Clocks Kit.

Roundtable Reviewers Blow Whistle on Conflict Resolution With Pocket Referee (3/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Roundtable families recently experimented with a new approach to conflict resolution, using the Pocket Referee from Vraney, Inc. While some reviewers had mixed feelings about the coin, most participants were thrilled with the results

Reviewers Rate Take Along Teddy a Near-Perfect Companion (3/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Preschool Roundtable agreed that the flat design of the Take Along Teddy from Vermont Teddy Bear and its unconditional lifetime guarantee make the bear stand out from typical stuffed animals. Praised by moms and children alike for their soft, silky fur, the bears in this portable collection garnered a high rating.

TastyTalk and PetTalk Spur Fun Family Conversations (1/1/2010)
This month, TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable families got talking with two TableTalk Conversation Card games. TastyTalk and PetTalk, from U.S. Games Systems, encouraged all sorts of conversation among participants.

Eco-Aquariums Struggle, But Kids Still Enjoy Frogs (1/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Roundtable Families reviewed Wild Creations’ Classic Water Garden Starter Kit Eco-Aquarium for the September 2009 issue of TDmonthly. Five months later, the reviewers lowered their collective rating

X-Ball’s Magnetic Pieces Attract Creative Teens (12/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine's Teen Roundtable families had a blast with the X-Ball from Creative Whack Company.

Appletters Strengthens Core Learning for Reviewers (10/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Toy Testing Roundtable families munched their way to fun with Bananagrams’ Appletters, a practical, portable spelling game.

Families Flip Over Wild Creations Frogs (9/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Roundtable participants recently adopted new pets and created an eco-system with Wild Creations’ Classic Water Garden Starter Kit Eco-Aquarium.

Pairs in Pears Spells Fast and Fun, Reviewers Say (9/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Roundtable families paired up with Bananagrams’ Pairs in Pears game and spelled their way to play.

Families Praise ArtiSands for Simplicity and Sharp Designs (8/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Tweens Roundtable tried their hands at painting with sand with ArtiSands’ Geometric Kit.

Are Wild Creations Frogs Worth the Leap? (8/1/2009)
There's been a bit of a frenzy over Wild Creations' Eco-Aquariums kits that house African dwarf frogs since their big introduction to the specialty toy world in February

Bandthology Tones Minds With Trivia (7/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Tweens & Teens Roundtable participants tested their knowledge of popular musical groups, history and trivia when they played Bandthology: The Board Game for Music Lovers.

Kid Reviewers Applaud Eco-friendly Craft Barn (5/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Roundtable of 12 children from five families enjoyed coloring, decorating and assembling the Paintable Barn from Imagination Box Co.

Bowwowmeow’s Shrink Art Jewelry Charms Families and Their Pets (4/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Tweens & Teens Roundtable made something special for their pets with BowWowMeow’s Make Shrink Art Jewelry and Tags for Your Pet and You Too kits.

Bye Bye Monster Banishes Fears for Some (4/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Early Elementary Roundtable tried Your Thyme Inc.’s Bye Bye Monster Gift Set to soothe bedtime fears.

Ultimate Spinner Spins Hours of Fun, Panel Says (3/1/2009)
After TDmonthly Magazine's Grade School Roundtable spun fun for all ages with the Ultimate Spinner from Robbins Toy, reviewers reported that the contents met the promises on the box, offering a variety of games appealing to all ages.

Kids Drawn to Magnetic Sets by Discovery Post (2/1/2009)
Five families in TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable played with Discovery Post’s Discover Packs and Magnet Display Boards in the Fairy and Dinosaur series.

Panel Finds TC Pets Functional and Fun (2/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine's Girls’ Roundtable recently reviewed three TC Pets, the Media Chest Bear, Accessory Chest Dog and Treasure Chest Monkey. Since the monkey’s review in 2008, the company has revamped its line of plush animals with hidden compartments,

What Roundtables Mean for You (1/1/2009)
Throughout the year, TDmonthly Magazine's Roundtable reviewers — parents, their children, and occasionally retailers and experts — don their testing gloves and give their honest feedback about dolls, toys, games and infant products

“Woodman” Roundtable Proud of Vehicle Construction (1/1/2009)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Boys Roundtable went back to the basics with a woodworking kit from Woodland Magic Imports

Roundtable Roundup: Measuring Toys’ Lasting Value (12/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine recently checked in with its Roundtable families to find out which toys and games they reviewed from April through October still held their interest and continued to be part of their weekly play.

When Play Is Work: What Toys Teach Families (12/1/2008)
It sounds too good to be true: Get free toys by giving us your opinion. That’s toy testing in a nutshell.

When Play Is Work: What Families Learn About Toys (11/1/2008)
It sounds too good to be true: Get free toys by giving us your opinion. That’s toy testing in nutshell.

Questions Bring Families Closer, Reviewers Say (11/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable participants raved about their experiences with The Box Girls’ Family Dinner Box of Questions, a simple game of asking and answering questions that brought the families closer.

Strategic Word Play Game Earns Reviewers’ Praise (11/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Tweens & Teens Roundtable took word play to a higher level with Jumbulaya, the ever-changing word play game … and had so much fun they wanted to play again and again.

Holiday Gift Guide: Teach Kids to Choose Quality (11/1/2008)
Intense marketing or fancy packaging can make a toy seem better than it really is, and sometimes, perception complicates the task of selecting safe, quality toys for children — or helping them pick the right one!

Game Based on Ancient Ruin Earns Modern Praise (10/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Teens & Tweens Roundtable raved about Buffalo Games’ Ruin board game, based on an ancient Mayan ruin.

Playful Chef Whips Up Panel’s Enthusiasm (10/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable delighted in cooking with Playful Life’s Playful Chef set.

Qubits Take Construction to a New Level, Panel Says (10/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Tweens & Teens Roundtable was attracted to the complexity and novelty of Qubits, the Construction Toy of the Future.

Farming Game Sows Biz Principles in Young Minds (9/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Teens and Tweens Roundtable appreciated the realism and educational emphasis of The Farming Game by The Weekend Farmer Co., finding it somewhat complicated, but enjoyably engaging.

Manners Game Teaches Social Graces, Panel Says (9/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable participants reviewed their own manners as they played Blunders, a board game designed to make learning etiquette and social skills fun.

Families Say Pop-Up Cards Are Worth the Postage (8/1/2008)
TDmonthly’s Grade School Roundtable recently created cards with Play Odyssey’s Pop-Up Pen Pal Cards Kit.

Game Scores Four-in-a-Row for Design, Strategy and Fun (8/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade School Roundtable lined up to play Uncle Skunkle’s Rapid 4 More and couldn’t get enough of it.

Book on Global Warming Sparks Care and Controversy (8/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Diversity Roundtable learned about global warming while reviewing All 4 Kidz’s new book, “Who Will Save Our Planet?”

GeoPuzzle Teaches Homeschoolers European Geography (8/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable studied geography the fun way by constructing GeoToys’ GeoPuzzle Europe piece by piece. Their reviews show that the hands-on geography lesson was a huge hit.

Snuggly Monkey Stores Treasures But Needs Grooming (7/1/2008)
TDmonthly’s Girls’ Roundtable reviewers were intrigued with the secret compartment they found in Treasure Chest Pets, a combination of a treasure box and stuffed animal...

Homeschoolers Turn Pages for Digital Bookmark (7/1/2008)
It didn’t take TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable participants long to see that the ease of use and practical application of the Digital Bookmark by Mark-My-Time make it a product to … well … bookmark as a favorite.

Boys’ Roundtable: Carrera Speed Racer Set is Right on Track (7/1/2008)
Ready, set, GO! When TDmonthly Magazine’s Boys Roundtable test-drove Carrera’s Speed Racer slot car set, participants were quick to rave about the modernized classic.

Warm Whiskers Get Warm Welcome From Reviewers (7/1/2008)
Lavender-scented and buckwheat-filled, Warm Whiskers aren’t typical stuffed animals, TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable discovered.

Critical Thinking Series Challenges Homeschoolers' Thought (6/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable families exercised their brains in a fun way when they reviewed Building Thinking Skills software and workbooks from The Critical Thinking Co.

Preschool Reviewers Give 3-in-1 Stuffed Animals Three Cheers (5/1/2008)
With Zoobie™ Pets, what seems to be a simple stuffed animal opens to a pillow and detachable blanket. Did the moms and kids in TDmonthly Magazine’s Preschool/Early School Roundtable fall for Zoobies’ patented three-in-one concept?

Homeschool Panel Gives 3-D Puzzle Mixed Reviews (5/1/2008)
TDmonthly’s Homeschool Roundtable families recently faced the challenge of Voxal, a three-dimensional puzzle that is easier to describe than assemble. Did the families conquer it? Read on...

Grade Schoolers: I-Gami Offers Folds of Fun (5/1/2008)
A twist on the ancient craft of origami, I-Gami from PlaSmart Inc. awakened creativity in TDmonthly Magazine’s Grade-School Roundtable as the moms and kids who participated, despite some difficulties in disassembly, enjoyed constructing bright and educational creations.

Homeschoolers: Ethical Dilemmas in the Cards (4/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable families faced a series of ethical dilemmas when they played “what’s the deal?” from ethiKids inc.

Preschoolers: Clics Build Creativity (4/1/2008)
Clics, a three-dimensional building set from ToyLinks Inc., really “clicked” with some of TDmonthly Magazine’s Preschool/Early School Roundtable participants, while other children experienced some difficulty.

Homeschoolers: This T-Shirt Fits (3/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable families enjoyed Buffalo Games’ interactive T-Shirt Game, in which they matched slogans to graphic designs to generate the best T-shirt.

Homeschoolers: Kookeys for Keeps? (2/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable fell in love with the soft plush Kookeys by 10VOX Entertainment, although they had mixed reviews of the virtual world “Kooland,” which is still being worked on by its creators

PRESCHOOL ROUNDTABLE: Art to Go (1/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Preschool/Early School Roundtable has been active in the arts, exploring products that put innovative twists on classic items: crayons that do more than color from International World of Toys, and a portable chalk “mat” from Flourish.

Homeschoolers: Building an Animal Kingdom (12/1/2007)
This month, TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable experimented with Überstix’ Animal Kingdom, constructing Überfrog, Übercrab, Überbird and Überbat as well as open-ended creations.

Diversity Roundtable: Ishababies® Draw Smiles (12/1/2007)
TDmonthly Magazine’s brand new Diversity Roundtable recently reviewed Aisha & Co.’s Ishababies, a line of soft plush dolls available in a range of “flavors” designed to represent the global village we live in today.

Preschool Roundtable: Stories Worth Hearing (12/1/2007)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Preschool Roundtable enjoyed narration by Robert Guillaume and children in Confetti Enterprises’ multi-disk collections of fairy tales

Cool Company: TimeOut Tot Helps Parents Raise Better Kids (11/1/2007)
Creator Ann Brazil of TimeOut Tot literally lived the concept behind her line of teaching toys

Cool Company: How Personalized Bears Made a Millionaire (11/1/2007)
How do you turn $300 into a multi-million dollar international company?

Homeschool Roundtable: Pirates Attack (11/1/2007)
This month, TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable families played two pirate-themed games from Giddy Goose ‘n Gander: Piratack the board game and PiraTitan the card game.

Homeschoolers: Crafting on a Grid (10/1/2007)
This month, TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable got creative with Magic Mesh, a repositionable, self-adhesive, reusable mesh available in a variety of sizes, colors and weaves.

Homeschoolers Go Loco (9/1/2007)
This month, our Homeschool Roundtable participants found that the way to win is to prevent others from getting ahead in Buffalo Games’ Nacho Loco

Homeschoolers: Hands-On Science (8/1/2007)
TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable experimented with hands-on kits this month, growing a desert from the ground up

Homeschoolers: Blast Off With Baseball (7/1/2007)
Conquest on the baseball diamond and controlling the universe are the themes of this month's Homeschool Roundtable games

Homeschoolers Go for Fantasy (6/1/2007)
This month, our Homeschooling Roundtable participants met an imaginary creature named Freddy in Once Upon a Blue Moon, and took a break on the collectible, adoptable and customizable Big Freddy Chair.

Homeschoolers: Sentenced to Play (5/1/2007)
This month, TDmonthly's Homeschool Roundtable raved about four games that were four kinds of fun

Homeschoolers Puzzle Over Football (4/1/2007)
This month, TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschool Roundtable played new kinds of ball games with Top Toss Pro and BlongoBall, scored with K and T Toys’ Touchdown, and got an eyeful of prehistoric creatures with Safari’s Dinosaur Panorama Puzzle.

Homeschoolers: Think to Win (3/1/2007)
Think, think, think! Games that entertain while exercising the brain were the focus of this month's Homeschooling Roundtable.

Homeschoolers: Crafty Play (2/1/2007)
Playing is learning, TDmonthly's Homeschool Roundtable agreed

Homeschooling Roundtable (1/1/2007)
The homeschoolers got their hands into Kits for Crafts' "cookie" batter that winds up in the bathtub, and had their first experience with last year's Toy Fair sensation, PlayFoam by Educational Insights.

Homeschoolers: Tots Diet With Monsters (1/1/2007)
Good books can entice even reluctant readers to their pages

Homeschoolers: Tweens Turn the Page (1/1/2007)
Historical fiction figured large in this month’s books from Harcourt, Abrams Books, and Kidz by Dezign.

The Tough Days of Toy Testing (10/1/2006)
"Mommy! I want this toy!" We’ve all heard this one. Very annoying if repeated ad nauseum in the store.

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