Last year it was a very Wii-nderful Christmas.
The year before that Leapsters were the hit.
The year before that, Leapfrog in general hopped into the house and didn’t leave.
Christmas 2009 was a very Mindware Christmas. Everything the boys got from them was a hit. A few months ago, when catalogs started descending upon the House of Chaos, the boys would grab them from me and disappear with pens. They never really found much in most other catalogs, but with Mindware they finally gave up circling individual items and just wrote “Everything” on the front cover. O-kay, that made shopping a wee bit easier.
Before our Griswold-style trip to Iowa at Thanksgiving I bought Quirkle, figuring we’d need something to entertain the cherubs a few days. Huge hit. With A, if his mind isn’t active, his body is. This got his mind going and kept him from running around Grandma’s house full of tchotchkes. It took no time at all to learn, and A even taught his cousins and Grandma later in the week…right before he smoked ’em.
But…Christmas. I would like to give a huge thank you to whoever designed Q-Bitz. That person must have had a kid in vision therapy once upon a time. Pull a card, and then match the design with your sixteen small blocks. It is exactly the part of testing that indicated A needed vision therapy again. Makes you think, makes you concentrate, makes you compare and contrast, and it’s fun to boot. I took it to A’s vision therapist on Monday and she loved it. I pull that out as a game to play when I just can’t face the vision therapy practice battle at home. He thinks he’s playing a game, I know he’s getting some VT practice, and there’s no head-butting. Can’t beat it. And I just love playing the game myself.
J got not one, but two sets of Tangoes Jr. (Note to self: try not to share entire idea lists with everyone). Again, learning disguised as a game. Mwahahahahahahaha!!!!! I like how everything in this set is self-contained and magnetic, so he can just pick it up and go. In the car, waiting rooms, restaurants. And it’s something we can do together.
His other set of Tangoes Jr. is going to be exchanged for Quirkle Cubes as soon as I make it to the post office.
For as picky of an eater as he is, J will tell anyone within earshot that he’s going to be a chef. He got three (four?) different cookbooks at Christmas, one of them the United States Cookbook. Learning disguised as cooking (heh). My only complaint is that Colorado is represented by the Denver sandwich; an omelet between two pieces of bread. Really? No lamb? No vegetarian? No bison? But an omelet that isn’t really representative of the state. But I do plan to make the Key Lime Pie (gluten-free) from Florida pretty soon. Mmmm…
Even with all the goodies they got at Christmas, I (sigh) broke down and ordered more last week. Mostly visual learning aids for math, mazes, and dot-to-dots. But I did get Rush Hour on the advice of A’s vision therapist. He loves this game and again, anything that works VT at home with minimal frustration is something I’ll lay out cash for.
I love Mindware. I don’t work for them, they haven’t sent me anything I haven’t paid for (yes, this is my disclaimer to cover my butt), but I love all the games and creative learning options in the catalog. I’ll keep ordering for the boys as long as I keep finding cool stuff there.
But I know the boys are hoping next year is a very iTouch Christmas. Riiiiight…
UPS delivered a huge, and I do mean huge, box from MindWare to our house this year too. The eiffel tower kit, however, was back ordered so we missed out on it. Sigh! The dart frog mosaic is proving a great diversion and seems to work the fine motor skills. Will try the QBitz.
Oh yeah…the twins are already picking out cellphones for next Christmas. Not. Happening.
Hello from MindWare…Wow! Thanks for the post! We are SO excitied to hear that your boys are enjoying their new MindWare toys. Thank you for the support! By the way, the inventor of Q-Bitz is a creative wonderwoman named Peggy Brown. We will share your wonderful comments with her. Thanks again!