Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

Keep those budding minds razor sharp with a variety of brain-boosting, surprisingly fun board games, books and music. Here’s a roundup of products that will underscore the joy of learning:

Imagination Games are whimsical and inspired, and range from the meducational Scabs and Guts, whacky Quelf, and Beat The Parents to an array of portable card-size games that are ideal for travel or waiting somewhere together. It’s even a pleasure to simply peruse the games at Choose the one that fits your family: Gossip Girl, Fact or Crap, Millionaire, Nascar, Frogger, Tribond, Dance Dance Revolution, and of course, Boys Are Stupid – Throw Rocks At Them.

Portable and now redesigned, Battleship is a classic seek-and-find game that’s great for the 4 – 8 year old crowd. For older children, teens and parents, Risk is a strategic game of global domination that can be thrilling for hours (if not days of obsession) — and the newest version has a new map, revamped rules and faster action. Connect-4 is challenging for all ages, and now has a pop-out feature that renders it even easier to play. Pictureka! is a visual beat-the-clock challenge for those love scrambling against time, and Trivial Pursuit Wii is timeless for all generations. Find all of these great games and dozens more at

Putumayo Kid’s European Playground, Picnic Playground, and Sesame Street Playground were created to lull, delight, sway, excite and thrill children and adults alike, and they’re each successful at doing just that. With Putumayo’s rich musical collections, you can choose a region of the world and immerse yourself in its distinctive musical offerings and its lullabies for babies; Your children will say gracias, merci, and asante sana.

When you tire of board games and music, and it’s unlikely you ever will, you can explore a fresh side of the city by consulting Fodor’s Family: New York City With Kids by Meryl Pearlstein. It’s rife with suggestions that even diehard, seen-and-done-it-all New York parents will appreciate:

Go ahead: roll the dice, draw the card, spin the spinner — these are years you’ll treasure together, win or lose.

Originally published September 2009
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