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ThinkFun’s President & Co-Founder Bill Ritchie on 21st century thinking and gameplay
Updated: 3 min 33 sec ago

7-year-olds Are Building The Future: Maker Studio

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 18:14

The future has arrived, and kids like 7-year-old Bella are building it.

Just this week, ThinkFun launched its first video trailer on social media. Taking advantage of modern tools to deliver content like this is the future and we hope launching Bella’s video helps us to inspire a whole new generation of modern makers and STEM enthusiasts.

In our very first video, Bella uses her Maker Studio Gear Building Kit to yank a loose tooth right out of her own mouth! Her inspiring enthusiasm makes you laugh and her engineering success encourages viewers to learn more. It’s all part of an ongoing narrative we’re fostering that revolves around Maker Studio and the STEM exploration these kits inspire.

Bella—Maker Studio’s creative correspondent—has a whole series of videos on her channel, Made by Bella. You can watch her entire tooth pull experiment or check out her other experiments, such as this, her first contribution:

Maker Studio is a collection of three open-ended construction kits. These are different kinds of toys — ones that challenge kids to impress their personal stamp of creativity directly onto the experience of play. The fun of Maker Studio is in creating your own funky machine and sharing your own creative solutions. Social media content like Bella’s simply celebrates that as it happens.

And Bella isn’t our only creative correspondent. Within days of inviting families to try out Maker Studio kits we were rewarded with a power shot of creativity. Take a look at these pictures:

Taking things one step further, we’re working to organize a Maker Parade Online Tournament Pageant this fall. Picture a Rose Bowl Parade crossed with a Burning Man art car celebration of STEM exploration.

Watch this space for more news, more videos, and more fun in the making.

Rush Hour Shift is Here!

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 15:54

Great news! We’ve just launched Rush Hour Shift, a 2 player version of our iconic Rush Hour Traffic Jam puzzle. We’ve been looking for this for nearly 20 years now, finally found something worthy of the Rush Hour name.

With Rush Hour Shift, each player has their own Escape Car, and you draw cards that tell you how to move. What makes it exciting is that the playing grid can shift from side by side, so you get to play the board as well as move the cars and trucks.

Rush Hour Shift makes me nostalgic about the original game. Rush Hour was invented by Nob Yoshigahara, a crazy genius and a good friend. Nob and his NOBrain Corp created Rush Hour, I made sure that the Escape Car was red and had tailfins, and the rest is history.

Nob showed us two ideas in 1995 … the second one became Stormy Seas, a Rush Hour-like puzzle with a playing grid that also shifted. We made a bizarre packaging choice with Stormy Seas so it didn’t do terribly well … but it was a great puzzle.

Rush Hour Shift captures the best of Rush Hour and Stormy Seas. That’s what makes Rush Hour Shift worthy to me.

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