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...

January 16, 2018

What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

As a child, I was more interested in crafts and creating than specific toys. I was more often covered in paint, glue and marker than not. I would use old cereal and cardboard boxes, duct tape, fabric and art supplies to create anything from beds and table/chair sets for my stuffed animals to castles and kingdoms for plastic characters.  I did use Lego  more to create my own designs...

November 7, 2017

PARTNERSHIP WITH PLAYFOAM AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARENTS NETWORK OFFERS FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS FREE EARLY ACCESS TO THE 2017 CHICAGO TOY AND GAME FAIR

Families Can Beat the Crowds and Discover Toys and Games that Support Their Needs from Influential Occupational Therapist, Helen Sadovsky

Chicago, IL (November 7, 2017) - Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG) will once again offer families with special needs free early access to i...

September 14, 2017

Registration is now open for the 11th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) through October 28, 2017. Held annually as part of Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG) on Navy Pier, the Young Inventor Challenge invites girls and boys between the ages of six and 18 to present original toy and game concepts to media, consumers and industry heavyweights, with the possibility of being picked up for distribution by a major toy company or...

June 23, 2017

My advice would be for all my fellow inventors is to continue to explore, observe and ask questions. Logical thinking and problem solving are very important and that’s something that we do every day.  Your first idea may be completely off and ridiculed but don’t be discouraged. When I made my first board game (no details disclosed here), people were saying, what is that? That’s too easy. Why do you need a board game for that?...

June 5, 2017

(Reisa Schwartzman win Martin Nedergaard Andersen, inventor of Kwan)

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.   -Albert Einstein

Last night I had a conversation with my 20 year old son about if it was more important to be happy in the moment or to have a meaningful life which will bring you long term happiness and fulfillment.  How do we obtain this meaningf...

June 5, 2017

Children of all ages want and need to spend time with parents and friends, why not use this time in an activity that is loads of fun and works your brain, which is a muscle after all – playing with others! 

We have a plethora of articles documenting the value of play on our Importance of Play webpage

Just a few highlights include:

One of the things we've learned over the years is that the brain is like a muscle. The more it exe...

June 5, 2017

raditional educational games require not just memorization of knowledge, but also the ability to apply that knowledge to a situation.  There is no reason why we as educators cannot take this to the next step and push students towards creation to demonstrate true mastery of a topic.  Creating a game requires knowing the topic, being able to evaluate what information is critical and what can be simplified, and then adapting that...

June 5, 2017

I don’t often get to write that word, but it definitely applies to Compose Yourself. There’s just no other way to describe the moment you hear an orchestra play your song. It’s an instant rush. You immediately want more. You immediately want to do better. Am I going to drop all my careers and start trying to become a composer? No, but now I get the appeal of playing a musical instrument. I never learned how to play one, but no...

May 27, 2017

Is digital media use damaging to your child’s development? How can parents limit their child’s exposure to screens, without denying the inevitable relationship children will have with technology in the future? In the age of technology, many parents are aware of the research describing the negative effects of too much screen time on the developing mind of a child. To reemphasize this message, the American Academy of Pediatrics...

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