Nikki Bush collaborates with a number of specialists in early childhood development and education to design educational games that both teach and entertain children. Learning through play is the best way to learn, and learning should be fun.
Nikki Bush has developed a number of educational games including:
- Fun On The Run Box (The Bright Ideas Outfit 2006)
- Drop the Spot (Smile Education 2006)
- Throw & Blow (Smile Education 2007)
- Barbie Shop-A-Thon (Just Fun Toys 2008)
Her latest four educational games that were co-developed with drama teacher, Justine Heydra, were distributed & marketed by Just Fun Toys:
- Indahoo (September 2008)
- Sketch-A-Story (September 2008)
- Thomas’ Shape Station Game (December 2008)
- Collect-A-Shape with Barney (January 2009)
Nikki was also a judge in South Africa’s Toy of the Year Awards for six years and has judged the Innovation Awards at The Baby Expo.
FUN ON THE RUN BOX™ Available: R175
These fabulously useful boxes of tricks contain 25 activities to do when you WITH your children when you are on the Run, waiting in restaurants, doctors rooms, airports etc. Comes complete with detailed instructions as well as explaining the skills you are stimulating through play,in three diferent age catergories:
- Fun on the Run Box 1–3 years
- Fun on the Run Box 4–6 years
- Fun on the Run Box 6+ years
DROP THE SPOT Available: R140
A unique mouth-co-ordination game designed by Nikki Bush and speech therapist, Bronwyn Campbell for the development of good speech, based on the concept of sucking. Drop the Spot is for children aged 5 and up, but it is fun and challenging for both young and old.
It requires the players to suck discs onto the end of a special whistling straw and then drop them onto the correct spot on their playing boards in order to match the pattern on the task card they are copying. It includes colour, shape, number and letter patterns.
Drop the Spot works important muscles in the mouth, lips, cheeks and tongue through the actions of sucking, holding breath, breathing, swallowing, lip pursing and general mouth co-ordination. By doing this over and over, children are laying the foundations for good speech development.
THROW & BLOW (Sold Out)
Throw & Blow is another fun speech board game co-designed with speech therapist Bronwyn Campbell, for the 3 – 5 year old market that is versatile (can be played by 1-4 people) and unique – you blow your way through the game!
This game encourages children to identify and use all the parts of the speech tract required for good speech – the tongue, lips, cheeks, jaw and right down to the diaphragm. While sucking is a natural reflexive action that all children “know how to do” from birth, blowing is something that must be learnt, and is far more difficult for a child to do. Blowing is an essential skill young children need to learn in order to master the sounds ‘p’ and ‘b’.
Hence our game, Throw & Blow which requires players to blow their tokens around the board, picking up matching action cards and following the instructions. It is great fun for everyone, not just children in speech therapy.
BARBIE SHOP-A-THON Not yet available in stores.
Barbie Shop-a-thon is an entertaining and educational game for the whole family. It’s about problem solving, strategic thinking and planning. Throughout the game there are opportunities and penalties which not only help or hinder the player in completing their Shopping List, but also teach children about winning, losing, waiting their turn and dealing with frustration tolerance – the perfect antidote to the youth culture of instant gratification. Educational under the guise of fun.
INDAHOO Available: R150
This simple game gets people really laughing and communicating. It is a three-round addictive game using category cards (general knowledge) such as movie stars, movie titles, celebrities, famous places, famous authors, cartoon characters, book titles etc. The three rounds in the game consist of:
- a describing round
- a two-word description round
- a charades /miming round
The same cards are used in each round so it pays players to really listen to each other and take note (even to the opposition!). Once all cards have been used up the game moves into the next round. Each member of the team will have a chance to play each round. In a fast team a member or two may play the same round a second time.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS:
- Fun (highly entertaining)
- Simple (uncomplicated, few rules)
- Quick thinking (general knowledge)
- Quick talking (descriptive)
- Quick acting (charades)
- 10 years to adult
SKETCH-A-STORY (sold out)
Think, draw, tell, laugh like hell! One of the few games that really requires you to use your imagination by throwing stories or tales together in seconds.
This two-part game is played in teams of two. One member of each team is the drawer and the other the storyteller (they alternate with each turn). They have a time limit and have to be creative. The drawer draws the four items off the word card and the storyteller has to put together a creative sentence or tale using the four words drawn. For example: Father Christmas came down the chimney and stubbed his big toe on a pine-cone and then realized he had left the presents on the roof. (The words in bold are the ones that were on the card drawn by the drawer.) The team earns a point for each correct word used, moving forward the corresponding number of places on the board.
FEATURES & BENEFITS:
- hilarious story telling board game
- quick thinking
- drawing skills
- creative verbal associations
- 8 years to adult
COLLECT-A-SHAPE WITH BARNEY (sold out)
This super first shape and colour board game is beautiful and will satisfy any Barney fan. The game stimulates visual discrimination and matching skills which are important foundations for reading and writing. Playing board games also teaches children to take turns as well as to win and lose. This game is perfect for 3 – 5 year olds and can be played with 2 – 4 players.
THOMAS’ SHAPE STATION GAME Available: R150
3 – 5 year olds learn shape and colour with this beautiful Thomas the Tank Engine board game. It stimulates important foundations for reading and writing: visual discrimination and matching skills,as well as teaches children to take turns. Can be played with 2 – 4 players.