Birthday season is upon us. So I found one of the best spots to grab a great present!
As a mom of a 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, birthday parties are a big part of our weekend calendar, especially this time of year. Did you know more birthdays are celebrated in September than any other month? That means LOTS of birthday parties! So I’m always on the prowl for gifts that are unique, fun, inspire creativity and critical thinking, and are reasonably priced. When I stumble upon something that parents can enjoy with their kids — even better! I realize I set the bar pretty high and sometimes fall short, especially when I’m chasing down a present an hour before the party. I do the best when I find something amazing and stock my present shelf with as many as I can buy.
At Marbles: The Brain Store (Level 2), I found many games, toys and activity sets that meet ALL my criteria… and then some!
Every item at Marbles is carefully selected for it’s brain boosting power in one or more of these five categories: critical thinking, memory, visual perception, coordination and word skills.
Here are just a few fun finds! I’ll definitely be back to stock up.
Don’t let the size of Rory’s Story Cubes ($9.99) fool you! This petite box houses endless play. The Story Cubes offer the tools to help spark the creation of imaginative, improve-style stories. Each set comes with nine, six-sided small cubes with images on them. Players roll the cubes and then create a story using all nine images that land face-up. The Story Cubes can be played solo or as a group. Younger children can play with fewer cubes at a time.
It’s a gift that can stand on its own or can be combined with another one. This would also make for a fun activity to do at the birthday party.
Imagine fusing together a game of dominoes and Scrabble. That’s how Marbles describes Appletters ($16.99). Players form words with the letter pieces and build off of the first or last letters of each others words. The letters come in a small apple shaped pouch, making it perfect to take on the go!
Giant Brain Noodles ($16.99) are a favorite in my house! We’ve had a set of these bright, super-sized, 18-inch-long pipe cleaners for years. Bend them into anything from animals to abstract designs. You can choose to make one of the items featured in the instruction guide or you can let your imagination run wild!
Check out this guy! Yep, the robot’s body parts include toothpaste boxes and food containers. Just think about what can be re-purposed from your recycling bin.
The Makedo Find & Make Robot Kit ($14.99) comes with reusable clips and hinges to use to create your own robot, such as the one above, with recycled materials you gather up around your house. The kit also has some sticker sheets you can use for adding extra detail.
The Doodling Robot Mechanics Kit ($19.99) is two gifts in one! First, you get to build your robot artist. Then, let it go and watch it “create artistic patterns as it vibrates, shakes and shimmies around!”
This next toy is one you have to see in action! Just like the Doodling Robot, you build the Electric Dragster ($19.99) and then watch it come to life! Just click play below to see a demo video with manager Patty Soukop!
It’s always fun to tie an unexpected small treasure to the top of a gift! At just $2.99, the Fiddlesticks make a perfect gift topper or goodie bag stuffer. Each stick comes with a dozen small pieces of wood connected by an elastic band. Bend and mold the Fiddlestick into a different shape every time. According to Marbles, “Studies have shown that tactile manipulation toys like Fiddlesticks can help alleviate ’fidgety’ energy in the brain, thus allowing the brain to focus better on information it is trying to bring in and retain.” Sounds I can use one of these in my office!
Pop into Marbles anytime and try out a game or activity. The “Marbles BrainCoaches” are happy to play with you! Plus, Marbles hosts a free Family Game Night the 3rd Thursday of every month (except December). The next one is THIS THURSDAY NIGHT (9/20) from 5:30-7:30 pm.