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Teacher's Stories - Archives

ThinkFun Games Challenge Thinkers of all Ages!

A teacher and her students bring ThinkFun games to a local retirement home!...more

ThinkFun Games Teach across Grades at Armbrae Academy!

A Canadian school incorporates game play into all classrooms, challenging and delighting students at all levels!...more

ThinkFun Games Build Pride and Self-Confidence in Strategies Lab

A school's Strategies Lab program uses ThinkFun games to help kids practice problem solving and talking about their thinking....more

ThinkFun Games Engage Every Type of Learner!

A second grade teacher shares her success bringing ThinkFun games into the classroom and giving her students a ew challenge....more

Students Engage with ThinkFun Games in Classroom Learning Centers

A teacher describes how incorporating ThinkFun games into classroom center time maximizes problem solving learning....more

ThinkFun’s GridWorks Game Enriches a High School Math Class Curriculum!

ThinkFun's GridWorks (now reinvented as Chocolate Fix) helps reinforce math skills in a high school Algebra classroom....more

ThinkFun Games Ignite Minds in a 7th Grade Math Class!

A teacher describes how classroom games provide new avenues for learners to succeed and build confidence!...more

A 5th Grade Math Teacher Uses Games to Motivate All Learners!

A teacher discusses the powerful learning that comes with integrating game play into the classroom...more

Sharpen Students' Thinking Skills with Brainteaser Puzzles!

A high school math teacher explains why begining each class with a brainteaser gets students ready to learn!...more

Problem Solvers Unite to Tackle the 36 Cube Challenge!

A teacher shares her experience challenging students to take on the 36 Cube puzzle. Here she describes the way her students rose to the challenge...more

Playing MathDice Makes Math Learning Fun!

A gifted specialist introduces MathDice to a middle school classroom and reignites students' enthusisam for math!...more

News Archives

Mr. Dad Armin Brott on the super hot robot trend.

Robots and game figures were really hot in 2014 and we’re predicting that they’ll be even hotter in 2015. Here are some of our favorites as we mo...more

Robot Turtles is Game of the Year!

The Robot Turtles Game from Thinkfun is our top game of the year and we’re not the only ones who think so; this game which teaches kids the basic...more

Top Games to "Secretly Challenge Kids' Minds!"

Sixty challenges to give your frontal cortex a work out. Grow your skills from beginning to advanced as you master this maze/marble run mash up....more

Robot Turtles Touted as Evidence of Kids & Coding Trend for 2015

" Every child born in the next 12 months will learn coding as a core subject alongside numeracy and literacy,"...more

Gravity Maze is a Favorite in Kid-tested Toy Picks!

Which toys do kids like? That’s a question toymakers ask every year when coming up with new products...more

Robot Turtles, Gravity Maze & Laser Maze Make Purdue Engineers' Gift Guide

“It’s important to introduce engineering to children at a very young age – even before they reach kindergarten,”...more

Gravity Maze: Good Housekeeping’s Best Toy Award 2014!

The brain game challenges kids to think. Players use spatial reasoning to move marbles through a maze of towers....more

Robot Turtles is a Top 5 Great Board Game!

The beauty of Robot Turtles is that it subtly reminds you that, at their basis, computers are actually very simple machines, ...more

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio honors us with 3 Platinum Awards!

A fun twist on ThinkFun's usual brain teasers...more

Vote for Laser Maze & Gravity Maze for Toys of the Year!

Gravity Maze is a finalist for Specialty Toy of the Year, and Laser Maze is a finalist for Innovative Toy of the Year!...more

Robot Turtles & Gravity Maze are Best of 2014!

Here's a gift guide for children who can't get enough science. We waded into toy land and found wacky science labs, strategy-filled games and sta...more

Robot Turtles Goes Beyond Coding

The game totally gets your kids’ minds thinking. I love watching my 4-year-old get so into this game ...more

Melissa and her 9- and 12-Year Old Kids Love Gravity Maze!

We love Gravity Maze...because it gets kids using logic and visual-spatial skills....more

Thinky the Dragon in BBC Tribute to Martin Gardner

Maths writer Colm Mulcahy looks back at the amazing career of a man who would have been 100 this week....more

Robot Turtles and the Importance of Failure

Educator Michelle Parrinello-Cason says the game teaches her daughter an important lesson: "It's okay to fail. It's okay to make a mistake."...more

Play Guru TTPM Gives Robot Turtles a Go!

Robot Turtles is "the kind of game kids can get laser focused on!"...more

Zingo! Spanish & Robot Turtles are Best Gifts for a 4-year-old!

Uber popular site calls them "highly recommended by educators and parents and adaptable!"...more

Inventors Honored with Inventor of the Year Nominations!

Robot Turtles' Dan Shapiro is nominated for Rising Star and Gravity Maze's Oliver Morris for Excellence in Game Design....more

Move & Groove is Top 10 Toy for Smart Bodies, Smarter Minds

Sometimes people think of the body and mind as two separate entities but indeed, we know from physical interventions such as swimming, massages, ...more

Robot Turtles & Gravity Maze Win Best Toys for Kids Awards!

Drawing upon their expertise, experience, and commitment to fulfilling play, ASTRA retail members hand-picked the most engaging, unique, open-end...more

Gravity Maze & Laser Maze are Best Gifts for Tweens

These gifts have a bit of the cool factor while also being practical, pure fun, and a bit educational too....more

Gravity Maze Gets Props for its Cool Design

The plastic pieces are durable and look awesome with their translucent, bright colors, and fit securely into the base....more

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio grants us 3 Platinum Awards!

A fun twist on Think Fun's usual brain teasers. ...more

Wired: Game That Teaches Preschoolers to Code

Next month, if you walk into any Target store across the country, browsing one of the main hubs of mass American consumerism, you’ll find a board...more

Bill Ritchie & Andrea Barthello Interviewed by Global Toy News

Husband and wife team Andrea Barthello and Bill Ritchie are not only the founders of highly successful ThinkFun but two of the most fascinating p...more

Gizmodo goes wild for Robot Turtles!

Not only does Robot Turtles teach a love of Herpetology (the study of reptiles) it also teaches them the basics of computer programming—aka codin...more

Back to School, Back to Math Dice!

Get ready for the 11th annual Math Dice competition!...more

BigLeap, with ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie & Neuroscientist Silvia Bunge, Launches 1st Crowd-Funding Challenge for Social Good

BigLeap partners with ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie & Neuroscientist Silvia Bunge to launch first crowd-funding challenge platform for social good...more

Laser Maze and Zingo Sight Words win ASTRA Best Toys for Kids 2013!

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association names Laser Maze & Zingo Sight Words 2013 Best Toys for Kids!...more

Rush Hour Featured in Scientific American

Rush Hour featured in Scientific American MIND article on brain games...more

Hello Sunshine wins a Parents’ Choice Gold Award

Sunny looks great in gold! Hello Sunshine wins a Parents’ Choice Gold Award...more

WordARound a Top Ten Family Board Game in FamilyFun Magazine

FamilyFun Magazine features ThinkFun's new WordARound in Top Ten Family Board Games...more

First Logic Game With A Real Laser Among Innovative ThinkFun Games Debuting At Toy Fair

First Logic Game With A Real Laser Among Innovative ThinkFun Games Debuting At Toy Fair...more

ThinkFun is proud to partner with Asperkids to share the "Asperkids for All Kids" games collection

ThinkFun is proud to partner with Asperkids to share the "Asperkids for All Kids" collection...more

ThinkFun Celebrates Four Toy of the Year Award Nominations!

ThinkFun Celebrates Four Toy of the Year Award Nominations! - Vote for your favorite!...more

Good Housekeeping Names Yackety Smack a Best Toy 2012!

Yackety Smack Wins a Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award!...more

Run a ThinkFundraiser!

We put the FUN in Fundraising! Sell ThinkFun games and earn 40% for your organization....more

ThinkFun celebrates FIVE new awards from Oppenheim Toy Portfolio!

Five new ThinkFun games are awarded Platinum & Gold Awards from Oppenheim Toy Portfolio!...more

Turnstile Featured on The Today Show's "Toys That Teach" Segment with Stephanie Oppenheim

Turnstile on The Today Show! Named an award winner in "Toys That Teach" by Oppenheim Toy Portfolio...more

Roll & Play and UnHinged named Dr. Toy Best Picks 2012!

ThinkFun's Roll & Play and UnHinged games named 2012 Best Picks by Dr. Toy!...more

ThinkFun Announces Four New Education Games

ThinkFun announces the introduction of four products custom made for the classroom...more

ThinkFun’s Distraction game awarded TWO prestigious honors by Dr. Toy!

Distraction has been selected as a 2012 winner in Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products and named one of Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games! ...more

ThinkFun's Transparent Card Game Swish is CLEARLY a Winner!

Swish, ThinkFun's innovative spatial card game, is getting rave reviews!...more

Roll & Play and Rush Hour named ASTRA Best Toys for Kids 2012!

The American Specialty Retailing Association (ASTRA) names Roll & Play and Rush Hour Best Toys for Kids 2012!...more

Four ThinkFun Games Win 2012 Play Advances Language (PAL) Awards!

Four ThinkFun games are awarded 2012 PAL (Play Advances Language) Awards for supporting speech and language skills through play!...more

ThinkFun Spends a Day at the Cardboard Arcade!

Inspired by Caine's Arcade, a local elementary school created their own and invited ThinkFun to the grand opening!...more

ThinkFun Celebrates Creative Problem Solving at Destination ImagiNation Global Finals!

ThinkFun is thrilled to sponsor Destination ImagiNation and its mission to promote creative problem solving!...more

Distraction Reviews are Focused on Fun!

ThinkFun's new card game is designed to exercise working memory through play!...more

People Love PathWords Jr!

ThinkFun brings the fun of PathWords to younger players with this terrific new "logic puzzle meets word search" challenge!...more

Roll & Play™ is on a roll!

ThinkFun's first-ever toddler game is getting rave reviews!...more

ThinkFun’s Chocolate Fix App Available Now on iTunes

ThinkFun's new Chocolate Fix App is serious brain candy that’s addictively fun to play!...more

Ohanarama and ThinkFun Partner to Bring Award Winning Zingo! to Families Online

Ohanarama and ThinkFun Partner to Bring Award Winning Zingo! Game to Families Online...more

Four ThinkFun Games & Apps Honored with Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards!

New ThinkFun games (& an app!) receive Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards...more

USA Today article: "Kids: Have an 'appy Holiday" features Rush Hour: Holiday Edition

Rush Hour: Holiday Edition app is featured in USA Today...more

New York Times Travel: "Apps & Games to Keep Children Happy"

New York Times Travel article features Zingo! to Ga in it's listing of apps and games to keep kids entertained while traveling...more

Rush Hour: Holiday Edition – ThinkFun’s Newest Mobile App Available for a Limited Time Only!

ThinkFun releases a holiday version of the top-selling Rush Hour app with 400 all-new challenges!...more

ThinkFun Swish is a featured holiday gift in USA Weekend!

Parents' Choice & USA Weekend name ThinkFun Swish a top stocking stuffer for the holidays!...more

TOTY Toy of the Year - Vote Now!

Swish & Tilt have both been nominated by the Toy Industry Assoc. for Toy of Year 2012. Voting starts Nov 21st!...more

ThinkFun and MAA Host Second Annual Gathering for Gardner Celebration of Mind

Gathering for Gardner Honors Martin Gardner's Memory with Engagement in Logic Puzzles...more

Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Picks Children’s Products for 2011 Features Cartoon It! from ThinkFun

Dr. Toy announces her picks for the 100 Best childrens Products for 2011, including Cartoon It - ThinkFun's new memory drawing challenge!...more

PathWords Named 2012 Game of the Year by Games Magazine

ThinkFun's PathWords is named Best New Word Game for 2012 by Games Magazine...more

Dr Toy's Top 10 Best Creative Products for 2011 features Cartoon It!

Cartoon It! is one of Dr Toy's Top 10 Best Creative Products for 2011!...more

Toys & Games Build Skills as Kids Head Back-to-School

Toy Industry Assn. recommends MathDice, MathDice Jr, & PathWords to help build back to school skills!...more

What's Hot for Tweens and Teens: Toy Industry Association's top picks include ThinkFun's Rush Hour

A Toy Industry Association (TIA) Trend Expert highlights top picks for tweens and teens, including ThinkFun's Rush Hour game & app!...more

ThinkFun’s Rush Hour app wins an Editor’s Choice Award from Children’s Technology Review!

ThinkFun’s Rush Hour app wins an Editor’s Choice Award from Children’s Technology Review!...more

Stephanie Oppenheim of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio shares her interview with Sam Ritchie, son of ThinkFun co-founders

Stephanie Oppenheim of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio recently interviewed Sam Ritchie, son of ThinkFun founders Andrea Barthello and Bill Ritchie...more

PathWords Wins 2011 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award!

ThinkFun's newest logic game PathWords wins 2011 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award!...more

TILT makes the National Association for Gifted Children’s (NAGC) 2011 Recommended Toy List!

ThinkFun's TILT is included on the National Association for Gifted Children’s (NAGC) 2011 Recommended Toy List!...more

NOVA EXEC Magazine Feature: Barthello and Ritchie, Thinkfun Inc.

Northern Virginia Executive Magazine Features ThinkFun Founders Bill Ritchie & Andrea Barthello...more

ThinkFun’s Rush Hour is one of Babble’s Top 25 Android Apps for Kids

Online parenting magazine recognizes ThinkFun's Rush Hour in "Top 25 Android Apps for Kids"...more

ThinkFun’s Award Winning 'Solitaire Chess' Mobile App Now Available for Android

Solitaire Chess Now Available for Android - A Creative Twist Combines Two Classic Games for a Fast Fun Challenge You Can't Put Down...more

ThinkFun's Solitaire Chess App Wins a Parents' Choice Gold Award!

Parents' Choice honors ThinkFun's Solitaire Chess app with a Gold Award!...more

ABC News: Mother's Day gift ideas segment features Chocolate Fix by ThinkFun!

Parenting columnist Meredith Sinclair features Chocolate Fix in a news segment on Mother's Day gift ideas!...more

ThinkFun: Mind Over Matter (Retailer Magazine)

Retailer Magazine profiles ThinkFun founders Bill Ritchie & Andrea Barthello as they share the company's history and vision for the future...more

The Today Show Features ThinkFun Games!

Today Show segment on Smart Toys for Smarter Girls & Boys features Zingo 1-2-3 & the Rush Hour logic puzzle by ThinkFun!...more

Bill Ritchie & Andrea Barthello Honored at Commonwealth Academy’s CARE Awards

2011 Leadership Award honors ThinkFun cofounders for creating games that inspire learning, spark creativity, & build problem solving through play...more

Smart Mouth Wins 2011 Play Advances Language (PAL) Award!

Smart Mouth game honored with a 2010 PAL Award (Play Advances Language) for supporting language development!...more

Treat Your Feet with Customized ThinkFun Sneakers!

We know ThinkFun fans have happy, playful brains... now the fun can extend all the way down to your toes! Get YOUR feet in on the fun!...more

Rush Hour played by veterans with brain injuries.

ThinkFun's iconic Rush Hour game was featured in a NBC segment on brain injury rehab for returning veterans...more

Solitaire Chess App Now Available!

Solitaire Chess is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iTouch! Simple to learn, impossible to master, and addictively fun!...more

Thanks for Voting ThinkFun!

Solitaire Chess & Math Dice Jr. are nominated for 2011 Toy of The Year awards!...more

S'Match wins a 2010 PAL (Play Advances Language) Award

S'Match honored with a 2010 PAL Award (Play Advances Language) for promoting language development!...more

A Very ThinkFun Halloween

ThinkFun employees celebrate Halloween with a "Dress as Your Favorite Game" costume party!...more

ThinkFun & MAA to Host a Reception in Honor of Martin Gardner's Celebration of Mind

ThinkFun celebrates Gardner's work & pursuit of a playful approach to mathematics, science, art, magic, life, literature, philosophy, and puzzles...more

What's GNU? and FlipOver win Teachers’ Choice for the Classroom Awards!

We have a winner... make that two! What's GNU? and FlipOver win Teachers’ Choice for the Classroom Awards!...more

Rush Hour recognized as a Best Seller by the Toy Directory!

Rush Hour recognized as a Best Seller by the Toy Directory!...more

ThinkFun Games Challenge Thinkers of all Ages!

Allison McGee teaches 7th and 8th grade math at All Saints Catholic High School in Kanata, Ontario.
I began using the ThinkFun games with my grade 7 and 8 students four months ago, and they are loving it! In fact, the first thing I usually hear from my students now is, "are we doing Game Club today?!" We usually use Game Club once every couple of weeks, and during each session we focus on developing a different social skill and problem solving skill.

In addition to the in-class Game Club, my school also has a math club that meets once a week at lunch, and our focus is the ThinkFun games the kids already know and love from Game Club. Both Game Club and math club now provide opportunities for students to work together, have fun, and develop their thinking skills all while playing great ThinkFun games!

I recently took my grade 7 math class on a field trip to a retirement home to share the ThinkFun Game Club games with the residents. This was a great success for everyone involved! Some of the residents simply enjoyed watching the students play the games, while others got right into solving the challenges themselves.
As a teacher, it was so rewarding to see my students interacting with the residents and sharing their knowledge of a particular game. The Game Club games were great conversation starters for the students and residents, and the discussions that naturally emerged as they played helped them get to know each other a little better.


This visit was a fantastic opportunity for my students to share the mind challenging games they've been using in Game Club with friends in a new community. What an incredible outreach experience for my students. This trip was a wonderful experience for everyone involved, and we hope to go back soon!

Article by Rick Nuthman. Posted Thu, 09/30/2010 - 15:04



Playfully Based on Serious Research From Martin Research Consulting

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (December 9, 2014)  - Just in time for Hour of Code, a new research study released by ThinkFun® and Martin Research Consulting suggests that Robot Turtles, the only board game that teaches coding skills to preschoolers, offers myriad benefits beyond high income potential. In a study of 125 families recruited from an online national database, game play with Robot Turtles prompted alluring observations usually associated with chi-chi schooling, expensive tutoring and Buddhist retreats, including these Top 10 zingers:


  1. Your kids will spot a liar. Kids playing Robot Turtles are more likely to notice when people aren’t being honest and immediately notice when people do not smile sincerely. Parents were warned to keep their child away from family gatherings and keep Santa talk to a minimum.
  2. They’ll give Gwyneth Paltrow a run for her money. Game play with Robot Turtles generated marked upticks in creative ideas, originality, innovation, multiple solutions and ponderings about the future. This new creative awareness will no doubt be razor-focused on your blah wardrobe and home furnishings.
  3. You’ll save loads on family therapy bills. A love for tackling complex problems, problem-solving finesse and the ability to identify and correct mistakes was heightened during game play. Just imagine how you’ll use that $200 an hour next year...
  4. Better hope for headphones under the tree. Asking "Why?" is a good thing, right? (Keep telling yourself that.) After kids played Robot Turtles, their curiosity increased as did their tendency to think about and reason why people do the things they do. Tell them you don’t understand your mother-in-law either.
  5. Dust off those chore lists. Robot Turtles prompted children to more frequently help out, stay on task and think about things. Preschool may be too early to introduce chimney cleaning, but a dad can dream.
  6. You may feel inferior amid the Gandhi-like demeanor. Kids playing Robot Turtles were considered better communicators, less likely to wrest control of a situation and more family-focused. Usually that kind of behavior doesn’t happen until mid-December.
  7. Wave bye-bye to meltdowns. Children’s ability to handle failure well doubled. (The researchers were quick to add that children's view of parental failure may not be handled as seamlessly.)
  8. You'll be smarter than a 5th grader! Parents also got a boost after Robot Turtles game play, seeing improvements to new ideas, originality, creativity and problem solving. Behold your wondrousness - now go ask for that raise.
  9. Sheryl Sandberg might not like this one. Yes, the B word. Kids playing Robot Turtles were viewed as more bossy by their parents. But if bossy means they're helping out around the house, handling failure better and more creative, family-focused, and flexible? We'll take it!
  10. You'll never look at Candyland the same way again. Mr. Mint's a great guy but kids playing Robot Turtles improved intellectual capacity and executive functioning skills that provide the basis for coding and 21st century thinking. (Plus they got to have fun with their family and make silly turtle noises.)


Full report by Martin Research Consulting is available on ThinkFun's website.


About Robot Turtles

Robot Turtles is the only board game to teach coding skills to kids as young as four, and the only screen-free resource for this pivotal age group. Robot Turtles was a Kickstarter sensation, graced the front page of the New York Times and has garnered awards since its national introduction last summer, including Teachers' Pick by Scholastic Instructor and Best Toy for Kids by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. Robot Turtles was invented by Seattle software entrepreneur Dan Shapiro who wanted to spend quality time with his then four-year-old twins and share what he feels is his single greatest superpower - the skill of programming. For more information, visit


About ThinkFun, Inc.

ThinkFun is the world’s leader in addictively fun games that challenge your mind and inspire creative thinking. Nearly 30 years ago, ThinkFun was founded with a dream to change the world through play. ThinkFun continues to expand on that dream every day with games, mobile apps and global education programs.


About Martin Research Consulting

Martin Research Consulting provides custom research related to youth, education and the Millennial generation. With over 20 years' experience monitoring and understanding trends and developments in these areas, Dr. Suzanne Martin works with clients to understand their unique needs and customize research solutions.


# # #


Editor’s Notes

Contact: Elizabeth Shea, Shea PR -, 703.472.3921


Available for interviews:

  • Bill Ritchie, Co-Founder and President, ThinkFun
  • Suzanne Martin, Ph.D., Martin Research Consulting



36 Cube™ 

ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award - 2009

Parents' Choice Gold Award - 2009

iParenting Media Awards Best Products of 2009

European award - 2009


Adams Cube™

Parents' Choice Gold Award - 2009


AHA! Rec-Tangle™

Parents' Choice Recommended Award Winner - 2009



Canadian Toy Testing Council 3-Star Rating - 2004


Block by Block® 

Parents’ Choice Honors Award - 1997

Dr. Toy Ten Best Children’s Games - 1996 

National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA), Honors Award - 1996

RE: Safety and CPSIA Compliance

Since 1985, ThinkFun has been developing games that ignite the minds of both children and adults alike. One of the core ingredients in creating ThinkFun games has always been to make sure that they are not only fun, but that they are safe to play with. We want to personally assure you that we have and will continue to take the necessary precautions so that our products meet the highest safety and quality standards.

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