TDmonthly Magazine!
March 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 3


TDmonthly’s Psychologist Mom

She’ll Put Your Toys on the Couch

TDmonthly Magazine’s Psychologist Mom recently found a tree full of creative play possibilities, practiced logic with colorful cubes, brushed up on spelling, and Bingo’d her way to a nutritious lifestyle. Read on to see why all four products were worthy of 5 out of 5 TD (for TDmonthly!) stars.

Age: 3 to 12
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Creative Activities
MSRP: $25.00

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.’s Impressions: This treehouse kit is made of pre-cut, durable cardboard. Kids can decorate the treehouse with paint and other items. It’s perfect for playing with dolls and other toys.

Kids’ Perspective: The 10- and 7-year-old girls who played with this really got into it. First, it offered fun in the decorating and construction; then, they played with their dolls in it for hours. “This treehouse is so much fun!” the 7-year-old gushed. A 5-year-old boy put little cars and animals in it.

Recommendation: This surprisingly sturdy treehouse would be great for both boys and girls to use with their small toys.

36 Cube by ThinkFun
Age: 8 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: General Games
MSRP: $24.95

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.’s Impressions: This multicolored puzzle is made up of 36 towers, arranged in the shape of a cube. The object of the game is to make a cube with only one of each color in each row and column.

Kids’ Perspective: This game was frustrating for a 7-year-old, but the 10-year-old and 13-year-old who played with it loved it (as did the adults). It’s the kind of game that appeals to children who like logic puzzles and games like Sudoku, although it is more visual and spatial.

Recommendation: This is a great puzzle game for everyone. It’s surprisingly challenging and very addictive. It’s a great puzzle to try by oneself or in a small group. The game helps develop critical thinking skills.

Comet, The Fast Path to Learning - Family Edition by ACTIVE MINDS INC
Age: 11 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Educational
MSRP: $39.95

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.’s Impressions: This game uses spelling and a little bit of the fun of “Wheel of Fortune” to teach facts about geography, science, health and history.

Kids’ Perspective: The 13-year-old who played this with me enjoyed the game’s fast-paced nature and the mental challenge of coming up with the answers.

Recommendation: This is a particularly fun way of testing one’s knowledge on a variety of subjects. Anyone can win in this game. It helps build reading comprehension and writing skill as well as pure, fact-based knowledge.

Food Pyramid Bingo Updated Deluxe Edition by SMARTPICKS INC.
Age: 10 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Educational
MSRP: $29.95

TDmonthly rating:

The Dr.’s Impressions: This is an updated version of a very popular game from SmartPicks that offers a lot of different food choices in a traditional Bingo game format. The update is based on the new nutrition guidelines from the U.S. government.

Kids’ Perspective: The 10-year-old and 13-year-old who played this game, while they may not have chosen to play it, enjoyed it from an educational perspective. These happened to be children who are well-educated and interested in nutrition.

Recommendation: This is a great game for helping children learn about nutrition in a fun way. The updated information is particularly welcomed, and since the Bingo format is familiar, players can actually concentrate on the facts about nutrition as opposed to how to play the game.

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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