Fun Finds From the Chicago Toy and Game Fair

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Wasn't #ChiTag last year?" Yes, but by waiting a couple of months to post, I've separate the wheat from the chafe, so to speak. Also, it means I've unpacked enough from the move to find my notes from ChiTag.

I've attended this show twice as a media guest. The show has grow both in size and liveliness since I first attended (in 2009?); it gets better each year.

A treasured ChiTag tradition is the Young Inventor's Challenge. If you have a creative child who loves games, mark your calendars. The 2012 YIC will open for submissions in March.

Here are my favorites:

Telestrations. I heard a bit of buzz about this prior to ChiTag, but, honestly it sounded dumb to me. The name, I mean, was off-putting. It turns out the game is actually a barrel of laughs. It's part Balderdash and part Pictionary and all fun!
Note: I was given a Telestrations game for my family.

BrickStix A brilliant idea dreamed up by a young boy who wanted to take his Lego creations to a new level, these removable, reusable cling decals are compatible with most smooth plastic bricks. For around $6, your child can get a set of 40-80 "stickers." I bought a zombie pack for my son, who is still waiting for just the right occasion to use them.

Whomp Charmz Poised to become the next Sillybandz, these cute, colorful rubbery charms are also erasers. They can connect to the aforementioned bandz or clip on to laces, ear bud cords, computer cables and such. I don't recall the price, but it was reasonable for a pack of 8. I almost bought these for my son, you know, so he could be a trendsetter and all, but then I remembered the 236 silly bandz he has scattered around his bedroom and figured I'd let someone else's child have the spotlight.

Cool stuff that was too "girly" for my house (which simply means my boys would not like it, perhaps your boys would):

Artterro They make eco-minded artsy journal kits, creativity kits, DIY doll kits and more.

Created by a local mom, Poofins are soft, star-shaped pillows with a special pocket inside to hold Poofin charms, mini pillows with drawings or photos of things of significance to the owner. A charm might have an image of a baseball bat or a photo of a special friend or pet. It's a comfort object that be used to build a child's sense or simply something to cuddle with. I admit my boys might have been into this concept as toddlers or preschoolers, but they likely would have passed on the charms in favor of Match Box cars and superballs.

What is your family's favorite new game?
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