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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PLAYMOBIL!

Posted by Claudia Towles on March 28, 2013 0 Comments

Its time to get excited! PLAYMOBIL has made its way back to aMuse Toys. Made in Europe, fun, functional and a classic, PLAYMOBIL and aMuse Toys are a perfect match. The developers and designers at PLAYMOBIL adhere to the highest standards in creating quality, imaginative toys that generations can enjoy together, so of course they fit in quite well with other aMuse favorites.

Stop in to check out our assortment. With the PLAYMOBIL 123 series there is something for every age!

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Play Matters: Learning the Alphabet with Janod

Posted by Leila Warshaw on March 12, 2013 0 Comments

   

 

We have had a great year with Janod! After meeting them at the 2012 New York Toy Fair, they quickly became an aMuse favorite. We knew our customers would love discovering their whimsical wooden toys and puzzles on our shelves. We simply love the playful attitude and attention to detail that this french company gives to its products.

A top choice froim their collection of beautifully illustrated flash cards is Janod's pack of animal alphabet cards. These sturdy cards are great for toddlers developing letter recognition and for preschoolers and kindergarteners building upon important reading skills.

The first side of each card is great for learning letter recognition and making visual associations with a variety of animals. As your little one gets older, he or she can pair the uppercase and lowercase letters together on the second side. The set enhances spelling and reading skills by exposing children to the beginning sounds and full name of each animal.

    

 

While the front of each card features letters of the alphabet in their uppercase form along with an illustration of a corresponding animal, the back side depicts the matching uppercase letter as well as the cursive lowercase letter. Below the animal name is written in uppercase and cursive lowercase lettering.

   

Janod's products encourage kids (and kids-at-heart) to Just Play and we could not agree more!


 

 

 

 

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Play Matters: Sensory Play with HABA

Posted by Leila Warshaw on January 15, 2013 0 Comments

                

From birth and far into youth, children learn about their surroundings through sensory play. The ability to understand and express how something feels, tastes, and looks is both key to proper social development and a strong foundation for more complex cognitive abilities later on.

This is why we love Feeling & Touching from the "My Very First Games" series by HABA.

It is a game to stimulate the senses and encourage your little ones to talk about what they see and feel. Feeling & Touching doesn't have rules that need to be followed. Instead, HABA gives parents guidelines and suggestions for play.

The game contains pairs of wooden food items, like a slice of a cheese and a green bean, big enough for kids to grab and study. There is also a soft sheep pouch who opens up to "eat" the food. One play variation is to lay all the food items in front of the child and then have them describe what they see. Are there any items that are the same in shape or color? Ask them to put all the pairs together.


Another way to play would be to hide a piece of food in the sheep and ask your child to identify which item was "eaten." There are clover-shaped tokens that can be used to reward your child. For example, if they can correctly identify what the sheep ate, or if they can describe 3 things about that slice of cheese (whether it's something they see or feel), then they get a token.

The open-ended guidelines allow for creativity from the parent and open exploration from the child. The tokens are a positive reinforcement for participating in the discussion.

If you would like to hear more about the game or play a round with us, please visit aMuse at either location.

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From the Archives: Every Kid Needs an EarthBall!

Posted by aMuse Toys on May 18, 2012 0 Comments


Earth Ball


We are SO excited about EarthBalls. They are exactly the kind of toy we love to carry at aMuse. Fun, educational and beautiful to boot.

EarthBalls are the most visually authentic replicas of our planet available anywhere and they are a TON of fun. EarthBalls are a great way to add another dimension of learning to any ball game.

Earth Ball

Another really cool feature is that each EarthBall displays NightGlow Cities, allowing you to see the world's cities glowing brightly at night!

Earth Ball

If you still aren't sold on EarthBalls, in 2009 the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched into orbit with seven astronauts & one inflatable EarthBall onboard! There's nothing like a seal of approval from NASA!

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