*Image borrowed from fatbraintoys.com.
Have you ever heard of Fat Brain Toys before? If not you are really missing out.
Fat Brain Toys originated in Elkhorn, NE by the Carson family. You can read the whole story behind the creation of the company here. It is the classic story of one idea turning into something way bigger than anyone could have imagined (I love these kind of stories)!
Fat Brain Toys was originally created to target an online market, but after numerous requests they opened their first retail storefront in 2008. This store is located near Village Pointe South in Omaha. Greg & I took the boys there and let me tell you this store is nothing like browsing the toy aisle at Wal-Mart or Target!
As a mom who has had many toys come in and out of her household, I can assure you I have been exposed to many different toys over the past six years. I’ve found that many toys are cheaply made, or they are not exciting enough to hold my boys’ interest for very long. You will find quite the opposite with Fat Brain Toys products. They offer thousands of quality, open-ended toys and games. Every product on their shelves not only provides kids with entertainment, but it also educates them at the same time. Not only that but the products they offer are unlike anything else you can find at most toy stores. Their products are truly one of a kind!
We recently tried out a few products ourselves. The first being the Pallina game. This game is like a modern version of the KerPlunk game I grew up playing, except it is way more friendly for younger kids.
Before even pulling the contents of this game out, I was immediately struck by the packaging. You can tell that pride is taken in every step of production of a product.
Pallina is a 2-4 player game. All four of us played this game the first time.
To set up, you place the different wooden sticks between the holes of the bamboo funnel-shaped basket, in order to create a base on which the balls will sit. Mix the colored balls and dump them into the basket. Each player then picks his/her own colored bamboo sticks and matching wooden colored balls. After that, you’re ready to play!
The youngest player goes first (this fact put an end to the pity party Griffin was having because Carson picked the color blue before him), and you take turns pulling out your color of stick from the basket. Each player attempts to keep his/her colored balls inside while removing their colored sticks. You must be strategic while pulling out your sticks so that you make the other players balls fall, but not your own. To win, your color of ball must be the last one remaining in the upper part of the basket. Each game takes about 5- 10 minutes to play. Through playing this game, kids have to match colors, problem solve and think strategically. They’re learning without even knowing it because it is so fun. Again, this is a common theme with all Fat Brain Toys products.
I cannot adequately describe how much fun the kids had with this! Squeals of delight could be heard the entire time we were playing! Greg & I even got to witness several victory dances.
We played several games with all four of us, before it was time to make lunch. You can also play this game with just two players, and the boys were not remotely ready to quit playing, so they played a couple more rounds just the two of them. With two players each person picks two colors, which they thought was great! They were completely capable of playing the game by themselves, which as all of us parents know is an awesome, awesome, thing!
This game gets two thumbs up from the Wheeler family!
If you live near Omaha, you must make a visit to the Fat Brain Toys retail store. They not only allow, but actually encourage you to come into the store and try things out. If you don’t live near Omaha, you can browse their online store. With rare exception, if you place an order by 3:00 p.m. Central for an in stock product, it will be shipped out that very same day, from their warehouse in La Vista.
Are you ready to try a smarter way to play?