Last year, Cute W came home with Thinkfun’s Chocolate Fix as a Valentine’s Day gift for the girls.
W is always looking for super-strategic games and puzzles, and they are received with varying degrees of enthusiasm. This one went over quite well. First, it’s cute. That scores points with my kids. There’s a booklet with 40 different puzzles, and you’re supposed to follow the clues to arrange the nine “chocolates” in a specific way. It says that it’s recommended for ages 8 and up, but J could do the easiest puzzles last year at age 5 (and I don’t believe that she’s a prodigy). The toughest ones are challenging for grown-ups. It was a nice alternative to even more chocolate.
Thinkfun makes tons of educational games and puzzles. Sometimes they cross the line, I think, and get a little bit too educational. But my kids could not stop playing Zingo. Which is basically Bingo with very short words. It’s one of those games that you play with the kids once or twice and you think, “This is a great game! The kids love it!” And then you play six more times and think, “Okay, it’s getting a little bit tedious, but it’s so educational, and the kids really enjoy it.” And then you play four more times and think, “Holy crap, I would rather jump out a window [Mike Berbligia-style] than play another game of this! Oh, why oh why did I appreciate my life more back when I was childless and I could spend my Saturday afternoons eating ice cream while reading a magazine?”
Speaking of games, we’re still big fans of Sleeping Queens, by the way. But Chocolate Fix is a great idea for Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure that he got it at The Toymaker at Stuyvesant Plaza, although I don’t know if they have it around this year.