Friday, May 10, 2013

A Kendama For Your Mama? #toyreview #skilltoys #sponsored

If you're still looking for a unique Mother's Day gift, that outlasts cut flowers, think about a fun game or skill toy!

Thanks to our friends over at Cat & Mouse Game Store we get to check out a cool, green Kendama (both of my kids' favorite color)!   What's a Kendama?   Glad you asked.   The Japanese invented it ages ago, and it's still in play today.   This toy's got staying power. 


As a Montessori family and a circus arts family, we're particularly fond of wooden toys and low tech, high skill games.   This one is easy to start with and challenging to master.   We'll have a personal video & pixs once my kids get a bit better at it.   So far, the only drawback for beginners is the ball is pretty solid and heavy.  My youngest got overzealous and went a bit gonzo with it and got a bruise on her hand.   So it can be a bit painful to miss.   If you have tots in the house, any toy with a wooden spike on it is probably not a stellar plan.   Other than that, my 9 & 12 year old kids think it rocks!  

Cat & Mouse has a good range of gorgeous wooden Kendamas in an array of colors for spring.   Pick one while you can!

Click here for more of ChiIL Mama's past, photo filled Cat & Mouse Game Store coverage.

Here at ChiIL Mama we dig Cat & Mouse Game Store for those hard to shop for tweens & teens.   Sure they carry merch for little kids through adults, but most of the other small, local toy stores are far more tot centric.   Cat & Mouse is the big cheese of the non chain, indie toy stores, for skill toys, brain building games, roleplaying games, and other fun stuff.   They also have an on line site, so even if you're not in Chi-town, you're still in luck.

This was my go to spot when my son turned 12 in March and said "surprise me".   Store owner, Linda, was helpful and knowledgable in pointing out a plethora of possibilities, so surprise me didn't turn into disappoint me.   

We bought him a new, fast spinning diablo and some better sticks, and an awesome cooperative fantasy game, Castle Panic.

Here are a few of our family favs we've either bought, won, or gotten at ChiTAG to review over the years:

Spot It
Chocolate Fix
Bananagrams (and their whole line)
Top Trumps

We highly recommend checking out Cat & Mouse's free, weekly workshops.   Here's the scoop on their regulars.    Check their website for special events and more.

YoYo University with Ben Conde (all skill levels)
Every Friday, 4-6pm
We're so happy to welcome YoYoJam team leader Ben Conde to Cat & Mouse, where he offers yo-yo lessons every Friday afternoon from 4-6pm.  Ben is one of the most talented offstring players around, and brings a lot of style and energy to his performances and competitions.  Whether you're completely new to yo-yoing or an advanced player who wants to work on some skills, Ben will be able to help you out.  Just stop by the store any Friday afternoon to get schooled in the art of yo!

YoYo University (beginner and intermediate levels)
Every Saturday, 11am-12:30pm

Join us every Saturday morning when one of our yoyo experts (Ben Conde and Mikayla) will be on hand to give lessons to beginning and intermediate players.  There's no need to RSVP and no charge for the lessons.  Just drop by any time during the session and we'll have you throwing like a pro in no time!  If you don't have a yoyo yet, don't worry.  We sell many different styles of yoyos in all price ranges, and we'll be happy to recommend one that's just right for you.

YoYo University Incentive Program
Ben Conde and Cat & Mouse have teamed up to create a yoyo educational program that will help players of all levels advance their skills.  >> Find Out More!
Monthly - Chicago YoYo Club
Cat & Mouse is happy to support the Chicago YoYo Club, a group of players who meet mothly at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library
Over the past 80 years yoyo play has progressed to a level never imagined, and Cat & Mouse Game Store is happy to support a variety of events for yoyo enthusiasts.  All ages and skill levels are always welcome; whether you're just learning the basics or progressing to advanced tricks, our gatherings are a fun way to get to know other players and learn something new.  We hope you can join us for these fun events!
Join the Chicago YoYoers on Facebook for event reminders and announcements.

Weekly Events
Tuesdays Game Night, 6:30-10 pm
Fridays - YoYo University with Ben Conde, 4-6 pm

Saturdays - YoYo University for Beginners, 11 am-12:30 pm

Upcoming Events
5/18 - D&D for Kids, 3-5 pm > details
5/19 - Netrunner League, 1-5 pm > details
6/1-6/2 - OFFSITE - YoYo Fun at Do Division > details

Disclaimer:   Thanks to Cat & Mouse for giving us a Kendama to review.   All opinions are our own.

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