Finally: a game for kids that you deserve

Hot Picture

Join me on a 5 minute journey and I’ll prove to you the dice game Tenzi, while positioned as a game for kids, is really made for you.

It was a typical hot day in August here in Texas. You know what August days are like in Texas? Hot. Not Africa hot, not Vegas hot, but a unique version of hot that can best be expressed thusly:


The kind of hot that evokes words like “blazing”, “humid” and “unbearable”. It was August, the end of summer, and the ennui (fancy word for boredom) set in – along with TV Ads for school clothes, supplies, shoes, and whatever else could plausibly be tagged as a “back to school” item.

But I digress – the natives (a 10, 9, and 7 year old) peered out at the pool contemplating how long it would take to layer enough sunblock to avoid spontaneous combustion in the 104 degree heat.

Then, out of the blue, mom walked in with a spring in her step. What was up her sleeve? (they wondered).

The answer: Tenzi



Tenzi is a dice game. An award winning dice game. But “game” doesn’t do it justice – it’s an all out assault against your opponents. It requires fast reflexes, eagle eyes, and the ability to make decisions – QUICKLY. It can be played with 1 to 4 players who each get 10 dice.

Here’s how it works:

When someone yells “GO!” each player begins rolling furiously trying to be the first to roll all 10 of the same number first at which point the winner can SEIZE VICTORY BY YELLING “TENZI!!!!”.

Can’t you feel the excitement??? Take THAT, ennui. As a bonus, there are 10 variations of Tenzi included in the Tenzi package and more (73 at last count) in a booklet sold separately.

Here’s how our young friends describe the game after playing with it for a few days:

1. “Fun!”, “Cool!”, “Different” – different is key (which is why it’s in bold). No one likes to play the same game repeatedly. Different leads to curiosity, leads to let’s check this out, leads to let’s play another round this time I go first. Leads to mom having ‘me time’. A good result.

2. “Could be used at parties”, “Could be used for stacking”, “Could be used on a trip” – aha! It’s compact and travels well, also versatile (name another toy that can be used for ‘stacking’ in less than 2 minutes – didn’t think so).

3. The best part of the game? “It can be played lots of different ways”, “it’s great for competing against others” – IMPORTANT – Tenzi comes with instructions to play it 10 different variations. Think you’ll get bored of this game? Not bloody likely, my friend. Not until you’ve exhausted all 10 variations and even then all you need to do is add another player and it’s a whole new game.

And what about competition? Healthy competition, I mean. Limit the stealing of diaries, chasing each other in an attempt to beat each other to a pulp, general name calling (somewhat). Open up to competition between reflexes, dexterity, and mental cognition.

To summarize, Tenzi: if you’re not playing it or giving it to your kids to play with, stocking up to have it on hand to give as an awesome birthday gift, you’re stuck with a bunch of whining kids on a hot / rainy / snowy / freezing day or scrambling around for a last minute birthday gift for the umpteenth birthday party of the year.

And don’t you deserve better???

Of course you do. You deserve a calm setting with a bunch of kids having fun while you enjoy a nice glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc / rich Pinot Noir /  warming Cabernet (based on your preference) and whatever else tickles your fancy.

Want to know more about Tenzi or other shockingly awesome toys for kids age 0-100? Follow me here on Twitter or check out our site’s gift gallery…always happy to share what I’ve found.



“Likes or comments are to a blogger what catnip is to ____”  (a: kangaroos b: aardvarks c: cats d: unicorns) 

Cristina Sierra_14






Cristina, Founder NeverMissGift

You have an active kid. I have an answer: Ogosport.

It’s summer and you have an active kid on your hands who is looking for something different, engaging, fun, that can be played in the water or on land (hey, kids are fickle. I get it.) To this I say: meet Jenie Fu.

Who? (You Say)

Jenie Fu; before there was Debbie Sterling, there was Jenie, the design force behind one of my all time favorite companies, Ogosport. Ogosport has a variety of quirky toys for kids but I particularly love the line of active toys including the OgodiskRaq.

This toy is cool because:



  • It works for both young and old, literally – from a 4 year old to my dad who is in his 60s and has health issues and no hand eye coordination, (those are his words).
  • It builds hand eye coordination and can adapt to many sports like volleyball (I used the OgodiskRaq when I was coaching my daughter’s 8 and under volleyball team to help the 5 / 6 year olds understand the mechanics of an underhand serve). It also adapts to baseball, and tennis as you’ll see in the review, below.
  • It can be used on land or in the water since the ball floats and all the materials involved are water friendly and will dry quickly. It’s a fabulous beach toy.

The Raq includes two disks, which act like mini trampolines allowing kids to get real distance (up to 150 feet) and one ball which has some unique features (more on that in a few lines). A child can play by him / herself or with someone else. That’s particularly great, since so many action junkies require a partner or a team and really, sometimes a mom / dad / aunt / uncle / grandparent needs a nap / drink / bathroom break.

It has an easy grip handle, allowing for better control and a bit more power, and the ball that is included has some nifty features. It can be modified to slow down or speed up which makes it that much more adaptable to kids with varying abilities.

Another great point about the ball – it is soft, won’t sink in the water, and won’t cause damage if used indoors.

So that’s why I love it. It’s fun, gets kids (and adults) moving, and as one mom puts it, “a great stress relief!”. Huh. That begs the question – to whom was she directing her shots? Are they okay?

But don’t take my word for it, check out what Maddie and Brayton, two of my kid toy testers thought of it….

What words did you think of when you first saw it?

M&B: Cool, Fun, Interesting

What did you think you could use it for? Name 2 things – playing doesn’t count:

M&B: Tennis Practice, Hand & Eye coordination skills

After Playing with it, what did you like best about it?

M&B: That it was a partner & solo game

Maddie & Olivia

Maddie and her bff, Olivia



Here’s their full review: Maddie Bran Toy Review.






Cristina Sierra

Got An Action Junkie? Meet the Spooner Board


The Spooner Board – one of my favorite toys for active (or even for non-active) kids, EVER.

What makes it so great?

1. It’s made in the USA – which is huge. Why? Because you are dealing with US manufacturing, supporting our economy and work force, and you can count on attention to safety and fairness in the materials and the processes involved in the final product. Think child labor is okay? I thought not. Go USA!

2. It gets kids moving – it works an indoor / outdoor balance toy that simulates activities like surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding.

3. The other great thing about it is the Spooner Board is it’s for ALL ages – as young as 3 and up to any age, really. Note my cousin Alex, age 38 (going on 9) on the board, below. The “great for all ages feature” is important. It means it won’t gather dust after 6 months and will be played with for years to come.

Alex - 38 years old going on 9

Alex – 38 years old going on 9

My take: I met Randy a few years back at NY Toy Fair and challenged him on their “any surface, any time” promise. I told him he had to travel on the board down the carpet of  the Javitz Convention Center. Without hesitation he  jumped on one and scooted 25 yards through a myriad of amused toy vendors and buyers yelling “GET OUTTA MY WAY”.

From that moment, I was hooked. Anyone this passionate / crazy is worth supporting.




But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a testimonial from one of my 6 year old toy testers, Donnelly, after a month playing with it:

1. What did you think when you first saw it? Use 3 or more different words – except for the word “stupid”.

D: Cool. Awesome. Exciting.

2. What did you think you could use it for? Name 2 or more different things, please. “Playing” does not count.

D: Surf Board Pretending, Walking, Balancing

3. After playing with it what did you like best about the toy?

D. 1. Scooting around the floor on my belly 2. Popping stuff of one end by jumping off the other end

Me: Awesome idea, by the way!

4. After playing with it what did you like least about the Toy?

D. The name BatBoard

Me: That’s the specific model name for Spooner Board he tested – must provide that feedback to Randy

5. Is it a good gift for your age and is it good for older and younger kids? Please explain as much as you want.

D. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good for any ages.

6. Would you recommend someone give it to another kid (that you happen to like) as a gift?

D: Yes I would give it as a Birthday present

See the review in his own hand, Donnelly’s Toy Review.

What do you think about the product, the review or anything else – let me know!


Cristina Sierra_14