Twenty Dollar Tween Solutions
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June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6

June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6 TDmonthly SEARCH

Mom's Perspective

Twenty Dollar Tween Solutions

You know your kids are growing up when your Tween accompanies you to a major toy store and walks out with the $20 you’d just given him still tucked in his pocket. It’s not that nothing interested him; it’s just that nothing under $20 interested him. As they approach full-fledged teendom, kids’ wants and Moms’ wallets are often at odds. But don’t abandon hope: there are some toys in the $20-and-under range that even discriminating pre-teens can’t help enjoying.

“Mom, I want a laptop!”

Power of Two Clock

Right. My kids want things I don’t even know how to turn on, let alone pay for. We compromised with a Powers of Two Clock that tells time with an array of red lights and binary number code, a fun conversation piece for a budding young programmer. I found one for $19.90 at the San Francisco Exploratorium online store.


“Mom, I want (insert latest video game title here)!”

Binary Arts' LiveWire Puzzles

Video games usually list in the over $50 category, but specialty stores offer challenging and fun puzzles that actually succeed in entertaining Tweens. Mine enjoyed Binary Arts’ LiveWire Puzzles, a wire-disentangle puzzle in the $10-15 range. Its Rush Hour series of sliding-block games appeals to both daughters and sons (and Mom and Dad). Also from Binary Arts is Smart Mouth, a fast thinking, shout-it-out game played by sliding the “Letter Getter” forward and back to reveal two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters wins the round (under $20.00).

“Mom, I want something cool!”


Lego, knowing that Tweens consider themselves too mature for building blocks, is making electronic, robotic versions of their popular building sets, such as its popular Star Wars and Mindstorms™ Robotics series. But in the under $20 range, a construction set that still draws them is Geomags from PlastWood, utilizing magnetic rods and nickel plated spheres, Geomag allows kids to create complex and durable desktop structures. Starter sets list for under $20.00.

Smart Mouth

Due for release in spring 2003 are Slap Message Bands from Hasbro’s Tiger Electronics. A 21st century style of note passing, this toy lets kids record a message, then slap it on a friend’s wrist—who can listen, record over it and slap you back. Retail is under $15.

Writer's Bio: Pennie, a graduate of Indiana University School of Journalism, is a freelance writer and lives with her husband and three children in Visalia, CA..

  by Tess
Great games!




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