You saw our Facebook Post the other day that we are now carrying Fidget Spinners and that they were selling like crazy. Are you left wondering, “What are they?”
The goal of a fidget toy is to fiddle with it. Just spin it silently instead of clicking a pen or flipping a lighter and irritating your surroundings. Some people even say that fiddling can help you concentrate.
If you find your fingers are generally a mess due to your boredom-induced nail-biting, or you’re driving your cubicle neighbors insane from your desk-drumming and pen-clicking, fidget toys might be the cure for your nervous or bored energy. Stress balls and desk toys have been around forever, but a recent trend in fidget toys adds a collectible, high quality flair to finding a place to fidget your excitement away.
Thanks to its surprisingly successful Kickstarter campaign, you might’ve heard of Antsy Lab’s Fidget Cube, which raised $6.4 million after setting a relatively meager $15,000 funding goal, Fidget Spinners have quickly become the latest fad.
We currently carry #TopTrenz Spinner Squad, but will likely be expanding our line. We’ve already put in an order for solid colors!
We know what it’s like, being snowed-in can get monotonous, but have no fear Family Fun Hobbies is here!
With the impending storm, we wanted to give you some ideas to preemptively stop boredom beforeit starts with Seven Snowed-In Suggestions to keep you and yours sane.
1. Mad Libs – You remember how much fun you had, share it with your family. We have tons of different books in stock for every interest.
2. Forbidden Island/Forbidden Desert – In this 2-4 Player BoardGame, teams go on missions to claim four sacred treasures. The game stresses problem solving, strategic thinking and cooperation. Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!For a quick video teaser click here. 30 minutes play time. Ages 10+
3. Dixit (and expansions) – There is an old saying that every picture tells a story. Live the truth of that saying in the game Dixit, in which lovingly crafted pictures shape stories that you tell. Winner of the 2010 Spiel des Jahres award for Game of the Year, Dixit can be played with three to six players, and is suitable for adults and children, family and friends, and anyone with whom you share a common language.
In this game of imagination and creative guesswork, players take turns playing the storyteller, telling a brief story based on a picture card. As the storyteller, you select a card from your hand, play it facedown, and speak a word, phrase, or sentence represented by the picture. The others play facedown the picture card fromtheir own hand which best represents, to them, what you’ve said. The cards are shuffled and revealed, and each player votes for the image that they think inspired the storyteller’s brief tale.
If all players correctly guess the storyteller’s card, everyone but the storyteller earns two points. If only a few players guess it, then they and the storyteller earn three points. In thatcase, every player, including the storyteller, earns a pointper vote that their card received so that the most imaginative matches between pictures and words are rewarded no matter who made them. 3-6 Players, Ages 8+.
4. Puzzles – We have them for all age ranges and all interests! Puzzles are an excellent activity for keeping your brain sharp. They challenge your dexterity, spatial reasoning, and logic. Even better, they work both sides of your brain simultaneously, something few other activities do. The creative side works to see the finished product, while the logical side works to fit the pieces. Plus, Puzzles are interactive. Your entire family can work on one puzzle together, creating valuable social interaction! Even better, puzzles don’t require electricity if the power goes out during the storm!
5. Happy Salmon – Who doesn’t love a card game which involves fish, high fives and fist bumps? Click here for a quick demo! Happy Salmon is the simple, fast-paced card game packed to the gills with high-fivin’, fin-flappin’ fun. Actions including the classic “High 5”, the unifying “Pound It”, the frantic “Switcheroo”, and the delightful “Happy Salmon” will leave players doubled over in laughter. With so many mini-celebrations built into the play, it’s the happiest game ever!
How to Play:
Everyone calls out the action shown on their top card.
When two players have a match, they celebrate by
performing that action together, then discard their top card.
The first player to match all of the cards in their deck wins!
6. AdultColoring Books – “In a very short time, coloring has proven surprisingly addictive for America’s stressed, anxious, and overworked. Therapeutic without being therapy, meditative without being meditation, creative without being creation, artsy without being art, the supposedly soothing activity has also become a big business—in 2015 alone, US sales of coloring books shot up from 1 to 12 million units.” – qz.com
We have a huge selection of coloring books in store to keep you occupied while the kids run amuck in the snow. Coloring also helps to reduce stress and anxiety! Who doesn’t love that?
7. Science Kits – Family Fun Hobbies has a huge selection of science kits from the short to the involved to cover many interests and age ranges. Kits are a great help for parents who teach their children at home by themselves and want to make the topics interesting or just to fill some time in an educational way. Science kits make use of real life investigations that help kids to think about what they have learnt and how to apply it when they go outside to discover, or while they are in the classroom. Overall, educational science kits will teach a child science concepts that they can apply to the world around them, and help them think outside the box. Teachers and parents find these kits very useful in educating their children because these kits help teach both the in-depth principles of science and the hand-on learning of science.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Seven Snowed-In Suggestions for Family Fun!
So you, or your child, has been tasked with picking a Science Fair Project. Now what?
First things first. Do Not Panic! Family Fun Hobbies is here to help! Now clarify with the teacher exactly what their expectations are for the project. What topic should it cover? Does it have a length requirement?
Five types of science projects
There are five basic types of science projects. You should pick from these types to help narrow things down.
Descriptive: This is basically a science report that describes an existing situation — global climate change, for example — with maybe a visual aid requirement. This type of project is usually required in elementary or middle school rather than high school.
Collection: Collecting leaves or insects is a common project for elementary or middle school. Most high school teachers require more than a simple collection.
Demonstration: This type of project is a demonstration of a known science principle or phenomenon, such as floating a needle to demonstrate water tension. You aren’t really learning anything new. Check with your instructor to see if this type of project is allowed.
Engineering: This type of project involves designing, analyzing and improving a device, material or technology. An engineering project involves building a prototype or developing a simulation to test the effectiveness of design changes or differing materials.
Experimentation: This is the type of project most commonly required at the high school level. Students are expected to use what they have learned about science processes to develop and carry out a “fair test” experiment and to report findings.
Now choose a topic
Once you are clear on the type of project required, it is time to move on to selecting the actual project. There are hundreds of books and online resources available with suggestions. How do you choose the topic that is right for you?
You will be spending quite a bit of time working on your project, so you want to choose a topic that truly interests you. One way to start is by making a mind web or mind map. Start with a big blank sheet of paper, draw a circle in the middle and label it with a word representing one of your interests. Draw several lines, or spokes, radiating from the central circle and free associate other words that you think of when you think about the central topic.
For example, if you choose “sports” as your central idea you might label the spokes “basketball, football, baseball, running, golf.” Next, draw several more lines from each of these spokes and write several questions for each of the topics. The best science questions usually begin with one of the following words: what, when, which, who, why, where or how. Try to write at least two questions for each of your spokes.
Eliminate irrelevant questions. Deciding what is “best” often means that you would be basing your results on your opinion instead of evidence. This is called “bias” and is not appropriate for science. Find the questions that have both an independent and a dependent variable. The independent variable is a factor that you can change in order to test the effects of the change. A dependent variable is something you can measure which shows the effect of the change that you made.
For example one of your questions might be: “When is the best time to work out?” This question has an independent variable — you can choose to work out at different times, but it lacks a way to measure which time is “best.” You need a dependent variable. The easiest dependent variables to measure include numbers such as changes in size, time, speed, ordistance. Some experimental questions have changes that cannot be measured with numbers and must be characteristics that can be easily described such as a change in color. Running at different times of the day would be your independent variable.
“Does running in the morning increase my heart rate more than running in the evening?” has both an independent variable (different workout times) and a dependent variable (heart rate — you are measuring the speed at which the heart beats.) Notice the wording change — we have narrowed “working out” to “running.” We also have only three possible outcomes: heart rate can increase more in the morning, it can increase more in the evening, or it can be the same in the morning and evening.
Next you have to design a “fair test.” In the example, you would have to make sure you did the same workout under the same conditions at different times of day. After all, if you ran a mile uphill in the morning and only a quarter-mile on level ground in the evening before measuring heart rate the test would hardly be fair! You also want to control as many other factors as possible. For example, you might find a place to run indoors so that weather would not change. The best experiments have only one factor that is changed – the independent variable. You also want to include several trials of the experiment, usually at least seven, to make sure any changes observed in the dependent variable were caused by changing the independent variable, not by chance. The more trials you do, the more certain your results will be.
Now you have the basis of a science project that is possible to do:
Question: “Does running in the morning increase my heart rate more than running in the evening?”
Independent variable: Different times of day
Dependent variable: Heart rate
Fair test: I am going to run the same distance under the same conditions twice a day every day for two weeks. I will take my pulse before I run and after I run and calculate the difference in heart rate. I will record the changes in heart rate and determine if the average difference is greater in the morning or the evening or if there is no difference.Remember that the best experiments always suggest further experiments or questions. For example, if your average heart rate increases when you run in the morning does the same thing happen to other people? (Remember if you use others in your experiment you will need written permission from their parents if they are under 18.)
Still stumped…stop by Family Fun Hobbies. We have many science kits available to start your project off right. For example:
4M Green Science Dynamo Torch
Build your own emergency flashlight that doesn’t need batteries! This kit contains all the pieces needed to build a small generator that converts hand power to electricity that powers a light bulb. Your child will learn about green energy sources that minimize the negative impact to the environment. The flashlight can be attached to a clean, used bottle to demonstrate recycling opportunities.
The 4M Dynamo Torch includes all the pieces necessary to build a functional, crank-powered flashlight. You provide screwdriver.
4M Solar Mechanics
Experiment with solar cells by building a solar powered robot or fan
This green science kit is environmentally friendly
Solar spinner and more
This kit uses re-purposed materials
Experiment with solar cells by building a solar powered robot, fan, solar spinner and more
This green science kit is environmentally friendly
With the Solar Mechanic kit, you can learn about alternative energy using solar panels and hand cranks. Assemble a unique solar motorized module powered by a solar cell – using clean energy from the sun. Use it as an engine of a vibrating robot that slides across the floor. A cooling fan that functions automatically under the sun. An illusion spinner that turns the sun’s rays and colors to sparkling visual wonders. And more. No batteries are required. The fun and the power are unlimited.
4M Potato Clock
Be a scientist as you discover how to power this digital clock using potatoes.
Experiment to find out what other substances will power the clock and create many unusual batteries with apples, tomatoes, soft drinks and more.
digital clock with wires
copper and zinc strips
Potato is not included in kit.
Recommended for ages 8 and over.
All of these kits, and many more, are available in store now. We also have parts to help build motors, bridges and more!
Family Fun Hobbies is once again heading to the New York Toy Fair! So what does that mean?
114th North American International Toy Fair™ #TFNY is the largest toy, game, and youth product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere!
OWNER: Toy Industry Association
SHOW DATES: Saturday, February 18 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday and Monday, February 19 and 20 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 21 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. New York, NY
PARTICIPATION: 1,126 total exhibitors from 31 countries
(Pre-registered as of February 2, 2017) 103 first-time exhibitors
11,000 registered buyers representing more than 4,000 of unique retail outlets
21 of the top 25 Toy Sellers representing the $26 billion domestic U.S. toy
This year, Toy Fair will attract more than 30,000 registrants (including nearly 13,000 retailers, wholesalers, importers, buying groups, and trade guests) from more than 100 countries.
EXHIBIT SPACE: 443,000 net square feet on-site at the Javits Convention Center
NYC is a playground this week! At the Javits Convention Center and across the city, more than 1,100 toy companies are showcasing the products that will be under the tree this Christmas to retailers only, it’s not open to the public!
As the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair is a massive celebration of play.
This year’s marketplace is bigger than ever. The show is the equivalent to more than seven football fields filled with creative, innovative, and skill-building toys and games!
Who comes to Toy Fair? There are more than 30,000 attendees from over 100 countries. That’s toy inventors and designers, manufacturers, toy buyers from retailers of all sizes, wholesalers, importers, entertainment executives, and more. If someone is connected to the toy industry, they are probably in town this week!
Toy Fair has a dedicated area for new exhibitors called the “Launch Pad.” It is a great place to see new up-and-coming toy inventors as well as international companies looking to expand their product to the U.S. Located in Hall 1E of the Javits Center, Toy Fair first-timers represent 17 countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and Poland.
Toy Fair is important because play is important. Toys – which are the tools of play – promote the development of children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and fine and gross motor skills.
U.S. toy and game sales rose by 5 percent in 2016, according to NPD. This speaks to the innovation and creativity of the industry. Collectibles were a top contributor to the industry’s growth. Sales jumped 33 percent and represented 9 percent of the industry’s total dollars. Additionally, games and puzzles, dolls, and outdoor sports and toys were the top three performing super-categories, each posting double-digit sales growth in 2016 compared to 2015.
From board games and dolls to outdoor toys and e-connected playthings, the toy industry is churning out an incredibly diverse array of products for kids to play with!
A well-rounded day of play is important for families. There is room for both traditional toys and digital playthings to help round out the play experience.
Based on data provided by The NPD Group and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce
In the United States:
o The average price of a toy is around $10.
o The estimated three billion units sold across the nation each year generate approximately $26 billion in direct toy sales.
o 2016 ended with a 5 percent increase in overall U.S. toy sales, according to The NPD Group. Growth categories included: games and puzzles (+18%), dolls (+10%), outdoor and sports toys (+10%), plush (+6%), infant and toddler preschool toys (+3%), youth electronics (+3%), and vehicles (+1%).
o Interesting to note: Collectibles were a top contributor to the industry’s 2016 growth, with sales growing 33 percent to reach $1.8 billion. Collectibles represented 9 percent of total toy industry dollars. Among NPD super-categories, outdoor sports and toys had the largest dollar amount increase at $328 million.
What does this all mean to you, our customers?
It’s pretty simple really. It means that when you shop with Family Fun Hobbies, you are helping to grow this amazing industry of toys and games. You are helping a small, local business and you are part of a growing trend! To get you involved Katrina and Rob will be posting pictures, updates, videos, surveys….whatever they have time for, to our Facebook and Twitter accounts! We NEED your input so that we are focusing the store in the direction you want it go. As a reward for your help, we will give away all of the #TFNY SWAG we get via random drawing. You just have to interact with us to be entered!
As another reward, we are making room on our shelves for all of the new products. Keep an eye out for in-store sales. Right now all 4M Science and Craft Kits are Buy 2, Get 1 FREE!!!
Have you started to think of your upcoming Science Fair Experiment? We can help you ideas and parts. All 4M science kits are on sale buy 2 get 1 free through March 4, 2017 to help with that!
Today, however we are talking about inspiration. Do you needs some? How about trying the Board Game Legendary Inventors by Asomdee?
Over the course of human history, curious and cunning men and women have explored the limits of science, technology, philosophy, and more. Exciting discoveries and brilliant new inventions have the capability to alter the landscape of humanity into the far reaches of the future. These intellectual pioneers have organized across time into teams of sorts, combining their talents in an effort to more effectively create new inventions. Which of these teams will be known throughout history as Legendary Inventors?
Calling all mathematicians, chemists, mechanics, and physicists! Innovative experts are needed to push the boundaries of human discovery and create useful inventions to carry us into the future. Now you and your friends can lead a team of some of history’s greatest minds to glory as you create historically significant inventions to advance humanity.
In Legendary Inventors, a game for two to five players, you are in charge of a team of four inventors of great renown. Direct your team to complete magnificent new inventions to gain rewards and notoriety, and help your inventors achieve even greater inventive feats by pushing them to gain more knowledge and broaden their skills.
Rival teams must collaborate to complete new inventions, but will compete to patent or acquire as many completed inventions as possible to earn victory points. As more and more inventions are completed, these discoveries build on each other and enable increasingly more complex and advanced inventions to be thought up and constructed. This is symbolized by Ages, the three phases of a game of Legendary Inventors. The player leading the team with the most victory points at the end of the third Age is the winner, and will go down in history as Legendary Inventors.
You and your team of inventors will shape history as you complete progressively more complex inventions. Legendary Inventors is easy to learn and quick to set up, so you and your friends will be scrambling to patent your newfangled creations in no time.
Legendary Inventors will provide experiment, inventor and idea inspirations to the young and old. Available at Family Fun Hobbies now! Ages 10+. 2-5 Players. 40 Minutes Play Time.
Klank! Has quickly become very popular at Family Fun Hobbies. This deck building meets board game meets dungeon crawl game appeals to many people (including me, Katrina) for various reasons, but all agree it’s a lot of fun!
Burgle your way to adventure in Clank!, the new deck-building board game.
Sneak into an angry dragon’s mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow.
Be quick and be quiet. One false-step and — CLANK! Each careless sound draws the attention of the dragon, and each artifact stolen increases its rage. You can only enjoy your plunder if you make it out of the depths alive! Number of Players: 2-4.
For Ages: 13. Playing Time: 60 Minutes
The first time we opened the box it screamed “expansion is coming”. There’s room in the box, it was obvious. Well today, Renegade Games announces, yes Clank! is getting that expansion!
Coming March 2017! Clank! Sunken Treasures
The challenge to prove your thieving skills has moved to new environments. You’d better know how to swim, as several rooms you’ll face have been completely flooded with water. Plus, of course, there’s always an angry dragon to avoid…
Clank! Sunken Treasures is an expansion for Clank! A Deck Building Adventure. Players will explore two partially flooded maps with new Dungeon Deck cards, a new persistent monster to defeat, new environmental challenges, and more as they venture in the watery depths! Requires Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure to play. Number of Players: 2-4. For Ages: 13+.
Playing Time: 60 Minutes
Are you fan of Fluxx? Do you know Fluxx? Either way, this post is for you!
All Looney Labs Games, the inventor of all of the Fluxx Card Games are chock full of fun, but did you know they are actually educational, too? Fluxx games encourage critical thinking, text analysis, and reading comprehension, and the foreign language versions are excellent to help learn another language or with ELL students. Chrononauts and Early American Chrononauts cover key events in US History and encourage deep cause-and-effect thinking. Mad Libs®: The Game enhances language studies, emphasizing parts of speech and vocabulary building. And don’t even get us started on all the education things you can do with Pyramid Arcade!
This means Looney Labs’ games are just perfect for integrating into classrooms – not just for play, but to help teach and support curriculum. From history to geometry to language studies to creative writing, our games have everything to make learning fun!
Adding to their Learning Theme, Looney Labs is about to release Math Fluxx: The Numerical Card Game With Ever-Changing Rules! Pre-Order at Family Fun Hobbies Now!
Math Fluxx is really all about the numbers. Players use positive integers (whole numbers) in their quest to achieve a very mathematical Goal. But it’s not just putting 4 and 2 together to achieve the 42 Goal (for example); Math Fluxx also features the Plan B Meta Rule. Plan B puts Special Victory Rules into play which give you a second way to win and require even more arithmetical acumen (ex. Plus Victory lets you win if your Keepers add up to the current Goal). With Math Fluxx, the fun is exponential! Math Fluxx will be available on March 9, and is the most numerical version of Fluxx ever. The Keepers are all numbers and the Goals are all number-based. Add to that some mega-math Meta Rules and you’ll actually have to do addition, multiplication, or a combination of elementary operations to match the Goal. With Math Fluxx, the fun is exponential!
It all begins with one basic rule, just like every other Fluxx theme: Draw one card, Play one card. You start with a hand of three cards… add the card you drew to your hand, and then choose one card to play, following the directions written on your chosen card. As cards are drawn and played from the deck, the rules of the game change from how many cards are drawn, played or even how many cards you can hold at the end of your turn. Winning is based on the Goal Card, but the Goal Card changes too, thus the game is always in “Fluxx”.
Playtime: 5-30 minutes
Watch Andrew and Kristen Looney play the first game of Math Fluxx below!
Which came first, the first appearance of Frankenstein’s monster or the battle between Blackbeard and the HMS Pearl? When did humans first develop agriculture? Think you know? Then you might enjoy Timeline, a fun and quick card game that’s all about getting your dates in a row.
At a Glance: Timeline is a card game available in a number of different themes but each with the same basic principal–placing the events or items on the cards into chronological order. The different Timeline sets can be played individually or merged with one another to create customizable games. Some of the currently available sets include:
Science and Discoveries
Music and Cinema
Each Timeline tin contains:
110 cards, each depicting an event or item
How to Play:
The game is incredibly simple to play, although this doesn’t mean it is easy to win. Each player is dealt four cards, date side down. They then take it turns to create a timeline in the center of the table by guessing where in the existing line of cards their card will fit.
You know that Lindbergh didn’t cross the Atlantic until after the airplane was invented, but did he cross it before or after the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth? The diving suit was surely invented after the catapult, right? But was it invented before or after the invention of the microscope?
These are the sort of questions you’ll ask yourself whenever you play one of the games in the Timeline series. Each turn, you’ll try to place a card from your hand into the correct position on the ever-growing timeline. If you play the card correctly, you have one less card in front of you. If you play the card incorrectly, you must replace it in your hand with a new card. If you’re the only player in a game round who can correctly play your last card, you win!
It’s relatively easy to make your early plays, when you can simply decide whether or not you would place the Founding of the Knights Templar before or after the The Invention of the Portable Phone. Your decisions become increasingly challenging as the game continues and the timeline begins to fill out.
Whenever you play a card in Timeline, you place it on the table in tangible relation to the other cards in play. For example, if you believe the invention of garbage bags occurred before the invention of satellites, you would place The Invention of Garbage Bags card to the left of The Invention of Satellites card. On the other hand, if you thought the invention of garbage bags took place later, you would place its card to the right of The Invention of Satellites card.
Now here’s the real brilliance of Timeline, you can mix sets! Since all the different Timeline games utilize the same mechanics, you can mix two or more sets of cards to multiply the possibilities and enjoyment of your games.
Your Journey Through Time Begins
No matter where your journeys through time begin, nor which topics you cover, you’ll find that the Timeline series is easily one of the most entertaining, accessible, and educational trivia games available!
Timeline plays in 15+ minutes, for 2-8 players aged 10+
We think this is a fun game which requires some knowledge and strategy. The ability to mix decks creates endless Timelines to fill in, making it highly replayable.
The Hamilton, NJ AMC will be one of a few theaters to Premier “Growing Up Smith” on Friday February 3rd! To help get the word out, the movie promoters have asked Family Fun Hobbies to hand out flyers and to GIVE AWAY SOME TICKETS!!!
The tickets are FREE for you and available for the length of film run at the AMC. See below on how to win a pair!
So what is “Growing Up Smith”? It was described to us as “the feel-good, coming-of-age story of Smith, a 10-year-old boy from India growing up in Small Town, America in 1979. As the boy’s family tries to straddle the line between embracing the American Dream and persevering their Indian heritage, Smith sneaks out for a taste of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dons a “Saturday Night Fever” costume, and contends with his parents as they send him to school with a yellow squash instead of a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. And as Smith falls head over heels in love with Amy, the girl next door, he finds in Amy’s father, Butch, the all-American cowboy he wishes his own father could be.”
So are you wondering how to win a pair of tickets?
It’s super-duper easy!
Comment below why you think you should win a pair of tickets. You MUST enter by 9pm EST Monday, January 30th ! (You must live locally).
Like our Facebook Page (in case for some odd reason you haven’t already) because we will be doing a Live Random Drawing for our Winner! (If you don’t use Facebook, never fear, we will announce our winner here after the drawing).
See we told you it was easy!
Update: This contest is now closed. Thanks for participating and enjoy the movie!