What do you do in the industry?

My journey in the game and toy business has been a bit convoluted. I started out designing and publishing my own games back in 2002. For anyone not familiar with the world of the small publisher, it means wearing several hats. After I designed a game, I worked with illustrators and manufacturers to create it, then with distributors, sales reps, and retailers to get it to market, and, of course, w...

September 24, 2019

2019 Play in Education (PIE) Conference Presentation Description:

Learners benefit cognitively, physically, and socially when they play. Learners also benefit cognitively, physically, and socially when manipulate objects for a craft project. However, the benefits received in making something are often not the same benefits received when one plays. The presentation showcases some simple educational games and activities that can...

September 19, 2019

(The following answers were dictated to Hayley’s mom, children’s book author Lori Orlinsky)

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

My mom wrote the book about me! The book is called “Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All).”

What is Being Small about?

The book is about a child who does not want to go to school because she is the shortest kid in her class. But in the book, her mom tells her that being short makes her speci...

September 12, 2019

 (Picture credit: Ava Gray, left, a reporter for Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, interviews Ellie Skalla, 11, of Oak Park, creator of GalactiQuest, at the 2018 Chicago Toy & Game Fair at Navy Pier on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 as appeared in Neil Steinberg/Sun-Times)

When she’s not camping with her fellow Girl Scouts, or drawing in her sketchbook, Ellie Skalla can almost always be found playing board games with her friends...

What do you do in the industry?

I played with a bunch of toys when I was a kid, bought two or three gazillion when I became a dad, and now I have the honor of performing at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. I am the Only Former Social Worker Presenting Research Based, Totally Interactive School Assembly Programs and loving it!  Jedlie.com

What are you working on now?

I am looking to launch some new spin off podcasts that...

Since "retiring in 2016, I have gotten very involved with our local Congregational Church. I was asked to speak with the Confirmation Class of teenagers about the Spirituality of Play. Our Minister, Amy, thought it was a great message and asked me to deliver it as a summer sermon. Here's what I came up with...

Good morning!  Thank you Amy for inviting me to share my story today.  My story is about the Spirituality of Play and I...

What do you do in the industry?

I am Managing Director of Gibsons, a 100 year-old British, family company. We produce board games and jigsaw puzzles.

What does your typical day look like?

There isn’t a typical day really, but it always starts with a hot water and lemon (the strong coffee comes later!). Whether I am heading to the office early or dropping my children at school first, I always listen to the news on my way to work....

How to Host an Adult Game Night

When I was little, my parents rarely left us with a babysitter to hit the town. Instead, they gathered their friends for a game night and relegated the children the basement (where we inevitably watched inappropriate television and gorged ourselves on Doritos and other 80’s goodies).

If you’re inspired by game nights of the past, why not throw your own adult game night for your friends? I hosted o...


CHICAGO (September 25, 2018) ― Following a record year for finalists entering into licensing deals with toy and game industry giants, registration is now open for ChiTAG’s 12th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC). The annual competition provides an opportunity for children ages six to 18 to presen...

Today’s students should be learning more than just the basics–reading, writing, and arithmetic. Twenty-first century learning integrates the 4 Cs of education—Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication. As a teacher, one way I have found to teach these skills in my classroom is through toy and game design.

What child doesn’t love to play games?

This interest of game play can easily be applied to any classroo...

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