Game University: Blue Orange Games (July '13 Series)

Posted by aMuse Toys on July 19, 2013 1 Comment


We kicked off our Game University July '13 Series on Wednesday night with an aMuse favorite, Blue Orange Games. Kids and grown-ups alike filled the store wearing their Official aMuse Gamer Badges; ready to tackle the Spot It! challenge, learn about some newly released games and compete with members of the aTeam! For every three Game University events attended, kiddos receive a distinguished new title and a prize. From Gamer to Expert to Master to Legend, kids will be sporting some pretty decked out badges in no time!


The event was broken down into stations for visitors to experience everything that Blue Orange has to offer. Station one was equipped with all things Spot It! Participants battled it out with Spot It! JR, Spot It! Signature, Spot It! Spanish and the house favorite, Spot It! MLB. This visual perception and acuity game can be played in so many variations with an incredibly wide age range of players.



Station two highlighted new releases for 2013 including Flash!, Nada!, and Ooga Booga. Junior Sales Associate, Sebastian Towles, named Ooga Booga as his favorite camp care package item of the summer. That's really saying something coming from the child of toy store owners!



Station three was quickly occupied by little gamers in search of matching Pengoloo penguins, sneaky Gobblet Gobblers, and rocking Chicky Boom chickens.



Station four provided a sampling of aTeam favorites. There were several heated matches of Fastrack, quick-handed rounds of Trigger, and endless laughs while racing to squeak the Shrimp Cocktail starfish!



Join us at our Quarry Lake location every Wednesday in July from 3:30-5:30 for the Game University Series. Register here! We'll be waiting for you this Wednesday as we dive into an afternoon of ThinkFun games.

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Play Matters: eeBoo "Always Good"

Posted by aMuse Toys on May 09, 2013 1 Comment

eeBoo's motto, "Always Good," rings true in the collection we've brought back to aMuse! From flash cards and games to craft projects and story building activities, this company's dedication to creating engaging, educational products aligns very nicely with the aMuse mission of providing beautiful, purposeful playthings.  Check out our selection!

Alphabet Phonics Flash Cards: Explaining to a child that our alphabet is home to 26 letters that produce 44 sounds along with other abstract concepts associated with English language acquisition is no easy task! eeBoo's phonics-based flash cards provide visual associations that simplify the relationship between sounds and the letters that we use to represent them. The images provided on each card enhance vocabulary, word recognition and fluency in a kid-friendly format. It's never too early to start adapting this set of flash cards to meet your little one's developmental needs. Color recognition, animal sound & habitat identification and pattern building are just a few examples of extension activities that you can build into your child's play. 

Bilingual Flash Cards: Second-language learning research has shown that the greatest window for language acquisition and bilingualism occurs before the age of seven. This series of bilingual flash cards depicts word-picture associations that are recognizable to children at a young age. So take advantage of teaching your child a new langage during the optimum time for learning without difficulty and understanding of appropriate syntax. aMuse has sets in French and Spanish! 

Opposites & Rhyming Flash Cards: Concepts such as opposites and rhyming are often introduced through play as early as 9 months. These sets are great for vocabulary expansion and provide opportunities for environmental exploration. Making connections that are meaningful and relevant to your child can greatly impact their processing and metacognition


I Never Forget a Face Matching Game: Teaching your children the importance of multiculturalism through the celebration of diversity fosters compassion and is an excellent way to help him or her develop a sense of identity. This matching game encourages attention to detail, visual perception and acuity in a simple memory/matching format.

United States Bingo: Help your little one develop geo-literacy by playing a round of U.S. Bingo! Explore the idea that we are all connected through the decisions that we make every day. From what we eat to where we shop, there are cultural norms and unique representations of state-specific items that can be identified throughout our daily activities!



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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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