Indoor Toy for Active Kids

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Today is a rare day in Austin. Snow falls in beautiful, fluffy flakes. Hopefully, you and the kids can get bundled up and have a dance in the snow. On normal rainy days, however, you may wish you had a way to keep the energetic tikes entertained indoors.  Here’s a sure way to let them run around while staying in one place. Behold, the Super Skipper.

Super Skipper, ages 3+, $33

Super Skipper is essentially a jumping toy.  Push a button to choose a speed, or use the big button, which starts slow and builds up speed, so you can practice your way up to the fastest setting. The pole goes around while the machine plays music.  Step or hop over the pole, and be careful not to knock into it, or you’ll hear the sad sound of "wah-wah-wah-waaah".  But it’s okay!  Push the button again to keep hopping. Or you could just chase it…  

Super Skipper is a kid magnet! When we demo this toy, every child in the store crowds around waiting for a turn.  Also, storage is especially convenient because the pole is collapsible (like a toy light saber) to fit back in the box. So, next time you’re trapped indoors with wild monkeys, clear a space in the living room and start this baby up.

 

The Greatest Dot to Dot Super Challenge! by David Kalvitis

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

 

Okay, okay.  I know this isn’t your typical book-review book, but I think it’s definitely worth mentioning.  Most dot-to-dot books are very simple and geared for younger kids.  Usually the progression is from matching to dot-to-dot to mazes to more difficult things like sudoku.  But dot-to-dot puzzles don’t have to be just for small children.

The Greatest Dot to Dot books are a series of 7 (and hopefully more forthcoming) books of innovative variations on dot-to-dots.  Books 1-4 take the regular old puzzle to the next level – harder than usual, but not epically frustrating.  Books 5-7 are Super Challenge! books for even more advanced users – fun even for adults!

Some cool examples: odd/even puzzles puzzles in which you only connect odd numbers only and even numbers only on two separate lines, "compass" puzzles in which you connect a solid grid of dots by traveling in the directions specified by the code key, and puzzles with over 1300 dots spanning across two pages!

To visualize those confusing descriptions and try some sample puzzles, visit the website.

(For younger kids, we still have lots of dot-to-dot and picture puzzle books in our Dover books rack).

Prices and availability may vary – call store for current info.

Zilker Park Kite Festival

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Image from AustinParks.org

Come to Terra Toys to get a kite, and get ready for March 7th.  It’s Austin Parks and Recreation’s annual Zilker Park Kite Festival!  So many people come from all over to share the excitement.  It’s an Austin tradition you don’t want to miss.

Click here to learn more.

Rumis, Award-Winning Strategy Game

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Rumis (also marketed as Blokus 3D) is a challenging strategy game in three dimensions.  Like some other strategy games, the end goal is to cover most of the board with your own color of blocks.  The hard part is that only the top layer of any part of the structure counts – the player with the most stones visible from above is the winner. 

Included are 6 "building plans", different gameboard footprints inside which your stones must be placed.  Each game board also has guidelines for how high a structure may stand at any given point – this adds difficulty and makes for very interesting-looking structures. 

Great for game nights, whether for just grownups or for family.

Rumis, $30, 2-4 players, ages 8 to adult

Prices and availability may vary – call store for current info.