School Librarian Uses Think-a-lot Toys' Game for Wildly Successful School Competition

Elementary school librarian creates a wildly successful brain-building competition using the award-winning Think-ets game which meets the school's goal of getting kids to exercise their brains and spend less time in front of a computer.

Boulder, CO, May 25, 2010 --( Barbara Mehler got creative at Bedford Hills Elementary School. As the media specialist, she wanted to support the school’s goal of getting kids to exercise their brains rather than just playing sports or being in front of a computer. So she created the Think-ets Competition and showed how a simple game became an amazing teaching tool and an inspiration to kids who normally felt left out when it came to competing with others.

The media specialist introduced students to the game “What’s Missing?” from Kindergarten through 5th grade at the beginning of each library lesson saying it was a great way to exercise their brains. In the game, you lay out the 15 tiny trinkets from the Think-ets pouch and have students study them closely. Then you ask them to close their eyes, and after taking one away you have them open their eyes and try to find the object which has been taken away The students got so excited about this simple memory game that they wanted to play before every session. Because Barbara wanted to have all students involved, she used her PTO book fair money to purchase 12 more games and, starting with second grade and going through fifth grade, she began the Think-ets Competition.

“You could feel the excitement at the school build,” says Barbara. “Kids really were so excited to participate and those who moved up to the finals were thrilled. Many kids are good at sports and some kids don’t have that talent, so this game is good for them.” At the end of it all, the winner of the competition won a free game.

She also says that their inclusion (or special education) students really enjoyed the competition too.

Says Barbara, “I have gotten a lot of different kind of games for our school but none of them have taken off like Think-ets. It’s just the most marvelous thing.” The game has now been used in classrooms throughout the school and is being played on a daily basis. Even the principal has used the game with his after school theatre group.

And, it’s something she plans to do this every year. “It is a wonderful thing to have. Books are very important and so are computers, but those hands-on things are what kids truly remember. I’ve been at this for 30 years now and I have seen the transition to the technological age. But I know that these tactile things are very important in a child’s life.”

Think-ets has 10 different brain-building games you can play so she plans on introducing more games in next year’s competition including “Who’s Last?”, a game based on logic and strategy. The company also makes a Teacher Edition which comes with activities that classroom teachers, social workers and speech therapists can use for language development and writing.

So, how are they going to pay for this in the future? “We have a book fair at our school in February and the principal has allowed me to use some money to purchase Think-ets and they will be permanently bar coded and filed in the library to be used throughout the school.”

And the students loved it—just listen to what they had to say. “It has helped me in math because I can see problems in more depth now.” “I have never gotten this far in any competition, this is great” “This really exercises your brain. We love it!”

Games really can teach. There is even a whole website devoted to bringing the educational magic of games into schools called Games for Educators. Truly, there are many great games out there that can be amazing teaching tools—all you need is a little creativity and a little initiative.

(Think-a-lot Toys is a socially responsible toy company that makes the award-winning Think-ets games of imaginative play. Their mission is to create open-ended toys and games that provide entertainment, joy, and learning while stimulating imagination, memory and interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Think-ets game has a suggested retail price of $9.99; Think-ets Teacher Edition has a suggested retail price of $24.99.)

Think-a-lot Toys
Randy Compton