Older Posts…

Attack of the Robot(ic)s!

ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie and his video camera have returned from the FIRST Robotics Tournament!

The energy in this video is just incredible (check out the line dancing!), and it’s clear these young engineers are prepared not only to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, but also to inspire the next generation of problem solvers!   For [...]

Getting to the Heart of Problem Solving

The following is an article by ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie, recently published in ThinkFun’s bi-weekly Classroom Connection newsletter.  To receive these mailings, click here

This weekend I am off to volunteer as a judge at the FIRST Robotics New Jersey Regional Tournament, which I do every year. Founded by legendary engineer Dean Kamen, this is [...]

Rush Hour in Cairo Egypt!

Here’s a photo of a real-life Rush Hour traffic jam sent to me by Laura Efinger, a pediatric occupational therapist (and big Rush Hour fan!) in Cairo, Egypt.  Laura writes, “I have attached a picture of some Cairo traffic, which may explain why we love Rush Hour in Egypt!   Some is parking and [...]

Can Chocolate Fix Teach Geometry? Here's PROOF!

The following is a post by guest blogger Sean Gregory, a math teacher at Napa High School, Napa, CA

Games are a normal part of my classroom. I have always loved games personally and believed that I would be a better teacher if I put a part of myself into my teaching. My students from the [...]

The Power of Praise...

According to a survey conducted by Columbia University, 85 percent of American parents think it’s important to tell their kids that they’re smart.  To a parent looking to help a child reach his/her potential and feel confident, this seems both [...]

We Hold These Truths...

Given the current state of education, it’s easy to understand the frustration teachers feel as they are stretched thin and given increasingly mixed messages.  Forced to “teach to the test” while still focusing on differentiating to meet the needs of individual learners. teachers today often find their jobs precariously tied to student test results and [...]

Can Playing Rush Hour Make You Smarter?

Can playing games make you smarter?  This is the kind of question that causes many traditional educators to roll their eyeballs… and the kind of Holy Grail dream that drives companies like ThinkFun to develop our new programs and continue to innovate!

Last month, I was contacted by Allyson Mackey, a doctoral student who works in [...]

Playing in the Just Right Zone

The following is an excerpt from one of my favorite blogs Unwrapping the Gifted. I finally had the pleasure of meeting its author, Tamara Fisher, last fall at the NAGC Annual Convention in St. Louis!

In her recent post All in the Name of “Fun,” Tamara asked her gifted students to respond to the [...]

Welcome to SmartPlay!

Welcome!  I’m Charlotte, a former elementary school teacher turned professional player!

Like countless other teachers and parents, I’ve seen firsthand the powerful learning that emerges when young thinkers engage in meaningful game play.  With this SmartPlay blog, I hope to connect with others who have a similar passion for using games and puzzles to support and [...]