TDmonthly Magazine!
March 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 3


TDmonthly's Psychologist Mom

She'll Put Your Toys on the Couch

Once she took a break from keeping a beat, learning Spanish and brushing-up on her ABC’s, Dr. Wright, TDmonthly Magazine’s Psychologist Mom, rated five products with 1 to 5 TD stars (for TDmonthly!); 5 is the top mark.

Kubit2me Lil' Scholars ABC's & 123's by KUBIT2ME INC.
Age: 3 to 6
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: General Games
MSRP: $24.99

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.'s Impressions: This game is made up of a large, plush cube, 26 upper- and lower-case alphabet cards, 20 number cards, 108 reward stickers and game ideas and instructions. A child takes the cube and tosses it to another child, who catches it, pulls a card from the pockets and reads/recognizes the card. Skills include learning letters, numbers and sounds, building vocabulary skills, counting and sequencing.

Kids' Perspective: The kids we played with (two 2-year-olds and a 4-year-old) had a lot of fun playing the game although it was generally very easy or too hard. They either knew the answer or did not. However, with repetitive play it could be a method of learning ABCs and numbers.

Recommendation: The kids not only practiced their numbers and letters but took turns and played a non-competitive game. Kubit2me is an interesting and distictive alternative to teaching the basics in a traditional way. It would be great in a pre-K classroom.

FlyBall, The Coach's Friend by PROBALL INC.
Age: 7 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
MSRP: $9.95

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.'s Impressions: FlyBall is a slingshot-type baseball trainer — a firm, rubber ball with a loop of tubing and a built-in launcher. It allows for super fly balls with no fear of hurting your hands while catching because of the rubber.

Kids' Perspective: My boys, 9 and 11, really enjoyed playing with the FlyBall. They did not use the launcher as much as just using the ball itself like a slingshot. They also did not end up playing catch. They preferred to see how far they could launch the FlyBalls.

Recommendation: This is a fun, safe ballgame for the park. I can’t say whether it would help with baseball skills, but it is certainly good for developing eye-hand coordination and throwing precision.

Rock Beat Rhythm Sticks™ by WOODSTOCK CHIMES
Age: 3 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Musical Toys
MSRP: $19.95

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.'s Impressions: These electronic rhythm sticks have different buttons to change the beat and sound. There is a snare drum, tom-tom and cymbal. The ends light-up to the beat.

Kids' Perspective: Kids like noise and beats. All the kids who got their hands on this toy had fun.

Recommendation: If you don’t mind the noise, this is a fine toy, since kids can walk around the house making a beat. It’s the perfect gift for kids (perhaps not for parents)!

Spanish Bingo by eeBoo corp.
Age: 5 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: General Games
MSRP: $14.95

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.'s Impressions: Spanish Bingo by eeBoo is great! The cards are sturdy and well designed, and there’s even a nice pink bag to hold the tiles. The game rules are those of any bingo game, but the tiles are in Spanish.

Kids' Perspective: My boys (9 and 11) like Spanish Bingo very much and are using some of the simple words they have learned since playing.

This is a great game for kids even if they are not learning Spanish. It teaches some fundamental words and is exciting to play. It also includes a pronunciation guide in case the caller does not speak Spanish.

Good Citizenship Flash Cards by eeBoo corp.
Age: 3 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Creative Activities
MSRP: $12.00

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.'s Impressions: These are beautiful, solid flash cards that demonstrate community, personal and social responsibility. Each card has a question on the front and an answer on the back. There are also two parent cards that give tips on how to teach little ones good manners and citizenship.

Kids' Perspective: The kids I played with (3, 5 and 6) did not like the game. It was too simplistic and it rang clear as a lesson.

Recommendation: I think the cards are nice to look at and play with. The lessons — honesty, manners, respecting the law, etc. — are obvious; however, they do not lend themselves to fun play. I think a discussion within context is more appropriate.

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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