Tag Archives: Zingo

Games Teach Life Skills During Play Time!

I recently had the pleasure of being introduced to Michele Wong, coFounder of HATCH, the company behind My Plate-Mate. This guard attaches to any standard plate to prevent messy spills at mealtime and promote independent self-feeding… if that isn’t real-life problem solving I don’t know what is, it’s no wonder her family is drawn to ThinkFun games!

Michele and her family are long-time ThinkFun fans, and I’m thrilled to have her as a guest blogger sharing her story!

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Michele Wong 300x200 Games Teach Life Skills During Play Time!

The Wong Family at Play!

Like most families, we seem to always be on the run from one activity to the next.  Our house is filled with constant chatter and movement.  Well, what can you expect in a home with 3 busy kids?  We do have moments of quiet down time.   This is the perfect chance to open up our arsenal of Think Fun Games instead of turning on the TV or Xbox.  Sure, I’m all for relaxing and having fun.  But while my kids are enjoying their game time, I am content knowing that the benefits of Think Fun games reach far beyond just having a good time.

I believe that learning is not merely about memorizing charts and tables in school.  It is also about creative problem solving – applying and modifying what you know to new and changing situations, looking for solutions from different angles.  All Think Fun games stimulate creative problem solving.  In the process they can also strengthen wonderful characteristics such as patience, flexibility, and self-confidence.  These are skills that will not only benefit my children in school today, but they are important life skills that I hope they will embody and carry with them through the years.

Now back to the fun.  As a Mom (family maid, referee, taxi driver, etc) I must comment on the other appreciated perks of Think Fun Games.  I LOVE that each game is housed in its own draw string pouch.  Finish the game, pile in the pieces, cinch up the bag and Voila!  Done!  These pouches also make games easy to pack and travel.  Our games have accompanied us (and saved my sanity) on an 18 hr road trip, camping trips, long airplane rides and even longer hours stranded at the airport.  The games work well played alone, collaboratively with a partner or in team competition form.

Our Family Favorites-

Rush Hour Jr. – A super fun and mentally challenging game that promotes strategy development.   It’s addictive to both children and adults alike.   And let’s face it, everyone wants to help rescue the Ice Cream Man.

Square by Square- A great game to build spatial relationships and pattern matching skills.  This is another hit for players of all ages.  Our family likes to play timed rounds in teams- kids vs. the adults.  It’s funny to watch the parents break out in a sweat as the kids “school” us in this game.

Block by Block- Another great game that promotes spatial awareness in a 3D puzzle format.  This is always popular with children who enjoy building activities.

River Crossing Jr. and Tip Over- Both excellent games that promote visual and spatial awareness as well as strategic planning.

Zingo- This is a favorite game for youngsters that involves matching as well as shape and pattern recognition.  Also promotes identification of site words and letters.   Just the sight of the “Stinky Feet” is enough to crack my kids up.

Keep up the great work Think Fun!  Our family can’t wait to enjoy and be challenged by what you come up with next.

The Wong Family

Play Your Zingo!… and Eat it Too!

Zingo 300x300 Play Your Zingo!... and Eat it Too!If asked what Zingo! tastes like, I’d likely look at you funny and respond, “Plasticy?”

That was until this popped up in my Google Alert for the search term “Zingo!”

“Del Monte’s new Zingo sauce offers a twist on ketchup and the essence of far eastern taste with a sweet and spicy blend of red chillies, red bell pepper, garlic and ginger. With only 36 kcal per serving, real chopped vegetables content, it’s a delicious treat for all.”

zingo sauce 300x181 Play Your Zingo!... and Eat it Too!

Always knew that playing Zingo! was good for a healthy brain, now it sounds like eating this veggie-packed sauce is good for a healthy body, a win-win!

And check out this funny commercial…

Edible Zingo is sold in India, so next time you’re in Mumbai make sure to specify WHICH Zingo! you’re looking for…  and please pick me up a bottle!

The Next Billy Mays…

ThinkFun co-founders Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello may be moving into the infomercial-making industry!  Check out this silly ad they created over the weekend!

*Note:  This “infomercial” was created entirely in fun, certainly not the type of hard-sell marketing approach we take with our products!  Sorry, but you won’t see Bill on QVC any time soon icon smile The Next Billy Mays...

All that’s missing is a Snuggie!

Zingo! To Go is on the move!  The Zoomer car recently braved the crowds at the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC… and traveled into the desert!  See more adventures on this new Facebook Page.. and share your own photos!

Enjoying the view from the Cherry Blossom trees!

Zingo to Go Takes DC!

What a gorgeous weekend we’ve had in Washington, DC!  Couldn’t resist taking Zingo! To Go on a mini road trip (inspired by the adventure series the game’s designer started last week!) to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival!

DSCN0879 225x300 Zingo to Go Takes DC!

Parked in Obama's driveway...

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DSCN0884 Zingo to Go Takes DC!

moz screenshot Zingo to Go Takes DC!

DSCN0893 300x225 Zingo to Go Takes DC!DSCN0890 300x225 Zingo to Go Takes DC!

* But one word of caution… be careful when double-parking outside the White House… icon smile Zingo to Go Takes DC!

DSCN0880 300x225 Zingo to Go Takes DC!

Zingo To Go Takes a Road Trip!

moz screenshot 2 Zingo To Go Takes a Road Trip!moz screenshot 3 Zingo To Go Takes a Road Trip!moz screenshot 4 Zingo To Go Takes a Road Trip!Travel plans in your future?  Check out the just-released Zingo to Go, based on ThinkFun’s beloved Zingo! game!ZingoToGo 7702 lores Zingo To Go Takes a Road Trip!

Having visions of 72 plastic tiles strewn all over your backseat?  Not to worry!  The Zingo Zinger has been re-imagined into an enclosed Zingo Zoomer Car.  The Zoomer holds image dice that, once shaken up, fall into place in the windshield– no loose pieces!  Players snap together traffic light game boards and flip the images when they’ve got a match, and the first to complete a traffic light wins!

Mike, the designer behind the Zoomer mechanism, recently took Zingo-To-Go on the road and shared these hilarious photos… Enjoy!

Where have YOUR games been?  Do you have fun images of your family playing a favorite game (Zingo or otherwise) that you’d like to share?  Email me your photos and I’ll feature them  in an upcoming post!

Zingo!… adored by preschoolers and dinosaurs alike!

Proof that Zingo! truly is a game for everyone… young, old, even extinct!

Dino Zingo 225x300 Zingo!... adored by preschoolers and dinosaurs alike!

Looks like Stegosaurus has some catching up to do...

Doggie Zingo 300x225 Zingo!... adored by preschoolers and dinosaurs alike!

Wonder who will be the first to cover the "dog" image!?

Check out the new updates we’ve recently made to improve Zingo! game play!

Do you have a Zingo! lover at home?   Email me your photos, and I’ll feature them in an upcoming post icon smile Zingo!... adored by preschoolers and dinosaurs alike!

Extreme Makeover… ThinkFun Edition!

Two ThinkFun Favorites Get “Gnu” Updates Based on Player Feedback!

Over the years we’ve gotten LOADS of fabulous suggestions from parents, teachers, and kids for ways to improve our Zingo! and What’s GNU? games, and we’ve listened! Last year, we went through massive amounts of player feedback, including online reviews, customer emails, and letters from kids, and we found several recurring themes! To share a few:

“Make Zingo! tiles double-sided!”

“Loading the tiles back into the Zinger is a pain”

“What’s GNU? is too tough for the youngest players”
“There is often no way to make a word in What’s GNU?”
“What’s GNU? Cards scattered everywhere make it way too overwhelming for my 5 year old!”

Using these suggestions and more for guidance, the product development team explored all possible updates, and, having tested countless prototypes and ideas firsthand, I can confidently say that the refreshed versions of these two games are greatly improved as a result!

Updates include:
Zingo!

  • Double-sided tiles!
  • Zingo! Zinger now features easy reload slots that let players pop tiles back in as they play! No more tiles littering the floor means fewer missing pieces… and makes clean up a snap!
  • New tile and image distribution means a winner every time!
  • Instructions feature new options for game play!
  • 2-sided cards offer 2 distinct levels of play. For beginners, the green side is less competitive. If all tiles are used, every player will fill his/her board. The image distribution on the red cards brings a much more competitive element to game play, and players must be quick to call for tiles to have a shot at victory!

Zingo 7700 HiResSpill 300x300 Extreme Makeover… ThinkFun Edition!

What’s GNU?

  • Now features 2 levels of play! For beginning readers, green cards feature 2 printed letters, meaning they must only fill one missing sound to complete a word. Advanced players can flip to the red side and play with 1 printed letter.
  • New letter distribution on the Word Cards and tiles for maximum word building opportunities!
  • New rules for younger players make the game less overwhelming, and instructions offer loads of play variations!
  • Red vowels highlight spelling patterns and help young readers learn word-building conventions
  • More word learning opportunities than ever with a new online 3-Letter dictionary (see the link below)!

*See some of these “GNU” updates for yourself in our online What’s GNU? game!*

What Gnu cards 300x300 Extreme Makeover… ThinkFun Edition!

"Gnu" word cards and red vowels help early readers build words and learn spelling patterns

For these and all products, making sure we get things exactly right before launching them is about the truth of the game play itself. Obviously packaging, graphics, color scheme, etc. are vital to a product’s success, but the most stunning box in the world means nothing if the game inside doesn’t inspire players to stretch their thinking and grow as they play! It is this commitment to ensuring every game is not only as fun as possible, but also genuinely fosters the development of critical thinking and social skills, that drives our rigorous testing process conducted “in the field” (aka classroom!) by yours truly!

What makes me so proud of the games we produce is the incredible amount of research and testing that go into each product, particularly games targeted at the very youngest players. As you can see, feedback from our teacher partners and their students drives the development (and re-development) of everything we do, so your ideas and comments are ALWAYS welcome – please feel free to email me anytime!

And finally… a HUGE thank you to the many teachers and parents who tested these new games!