Spot It! Signature and National Poetry Month

Posted by aMuse Toys on April 04, 2013 3 Comments

The arrival of Spot It! Signature to our shelves is perfect timing. April is National Poetry Month and this latest edition of Spot It! from Blue Orange Games is packed with images inspired by the creative arts and literary world. You'll have to be quick to match images like a Feather Pen, a Music Note, the words Imagine and Dare, and even silhouettes of authors like Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe. Spot It! Signature fits right in with anyone's trunk of games, but it's an extra special treat for those literary lovers in your life

 

Playing a few rounds of Spot It! Signature is also a great way to recognize National Poetry Month with family and friends. The month long celebration was created to encourage Americans' curiosity and appreciation of poetry and to present poetry not as something intimidating but as something accessible and enjoyable. If you want to introduce your children to poetry or maybe add to the list of poets you already know, check out sites like the Poetry Foundation and the Children's Poetry Archive. Or, you could head to your local library and ask the reference librarian for suggestions. Who knows? You and your kids might find yourselves writing a poem or two of your own.

However you celebrate, feel free to share with us because we'll be celebrating, too!

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Play Matters: MimiQ by Four Esses

Posted by Allison Humphries on April 02, 2013 2 Comments
We are ecstatic to announce the arrival of a new addition to our Game University collection, MimiQ! A great find from our new Danish friends at Four Esses, this card game is the perfect mix of fun and function. 
 
 
 
The game play follows that of Go Fish, but with a twist. Each card depicts a child making (what appears to be) a very silly facial expression. The goal of the game is to collect the most trumps - collections of 3 matching cards. During your turn, simply select a card that you have in your hand to request from an opponent. Here comes the twist. You must first point to your selected opponent, and then, MimiQ (get it?) the facial expression represented on the desired card. That opponent is then prompted to scan his or her hand for a match. If a match is found, the facial expression is sent right back to you and the card is handed your way. No match? Your opponent sticks his or her tongue out at you and you select a card from the deck. Play resumes with the next player. How much fun is that?
 
 
It gets better. Not only is this game a fun and silly way for kids to play cooperatively, it's also an excellent way to help develop and fine tune oral motor skills. This refers to the ability to move your tongue and lips quickly and easily in order to correctly form words and produce sounds. The facial expressions shown on the cards all work to strengthen oral muscles. 
 
 
The multitude of ways in which parents can utilize this deck of cards is incredible! Introduce the concept of mimicking to a toddler. Discuss emotions and how facial expressions play a part in sharing feelings with your preschooler. Challenge your middle schooler to play an entire round without speaking (only using gestures). And finally have an excuse to stick your tongue out at your significant other!
 
Start practicing your most outrageously silly faces and swing by the Quarry Lake or Fells Point locations to play a few rounds with the aTeam! #ComeGetYourGameOn

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Game University: Iota by Gamewright Games

Posted by Leila Warshaw on January 09, 2013 0 Comments

 

They say that great things often come in small packages.

Well, that is totally true when it comes to Iota, the latest award-winning game from Gamewright. This tiny card game is packed with big challenges.

While the rules are simple, mastering the game will take concentration, visual acuity and a bit of strategizing. The game is like a combination of Set and Dominoes. Each card features a color, shape and number. During play, cards are placed down in lines. The goal of the game is to complete lines of 4 cards; earning points. When it's your turn, you must add a card to an incomplete line making sure that the features of that card either match or mismatch the features of the cards already down.

Make sense?

That's okay if it doesn't at first. Encourage your kids (And, we encourage you.) to keep trying because it may take a few rounds to understand. Once you do, however, we are sure your family will be playing it every game night.

Want to know more about the game, or would you like to play a round [or three] with us? Visit us at our Fells Point or Quarry Lake locations and #GetYourGameOn.

  

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Game University: Morphology

Posted by aMuse Toys on January 11, 2012 0 Comments

The basic structure of Morphology may sound familiar: a player is assigned a word that only they know and then must figure out how to get their teammate(s) to guess. In Morphology you do not mime clues, you don’t draw on paper, you don’t use other words that are similar.

Can you make a light bulb out of some string and a few cubes? What about scissors with wooden sticks and bands? 
In Morphology, you are given 50 or so pieces of. . .well . . . stuff. . . to convey your word. Among the “stuff” are glass discs, wooden cubes, popsicle sticks, string, rubber bands and more.


You have to build or lay out something with these trinkets that allows your team to guess what the word is before the time runs out.


When you use unconventional tools to create shapes on the word cards you are improving your visual and spatial processing skills. Unlike drawing games where you are limited by your drawing ability, Morphology is a game where Creativity Wins.
 

This simple yet incredibly clever game challenges you to think outside the box about the structure and form of everyday objects and words.

We've played many rounds at the stores and every time we laugh hysterically. It's amazing to watch the inventive ways people use the trinkets to try and express the word they are given.


The game is slated for Ages 13+, but it is easy to imagine younger players benefiting from the creative aspects of the game. Morphology is a great family game that keeps you thinking and makes you laugh out loud. Stop by either location to play a round (or three) with us!

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