Serious Brain Heath Part 3: Developing Brains, Active Minds

February 8, 2013 10:37 by rob

Early childhood is a pretty important time for a person [first understatement of 2013]. It's a time when much more than strengthening or sharpening skills is needed, children are currently in the process of developing all those skills! The more stimulation and interaction provided for these skills, the stronger their potential becomes. carries a wide selection of puzzles, games, and activities designed to engage the mind and strengthen these developing skills. Created by some of the most innovative and experienced minds in the market; they're full of fun from beginning to end, the fun just happens to be good for developing brains. The puzzles feature bright colors and visually exciting images to keep their attention, while larger and thicker pieces meet their motor skills on their level.


Assembling puzzles and playing with these interactive games helps to foster abilities like spatial recognition, attention and focus, as wells as encouraging positive feelings of achievement. It's entertainment with a benefit, both to growing minds and budding self-esteem!


Farm Sounds – Start puzzling early with this block puzzle filled with farm fun! The two pieces are cube pieces covered in half pictures of cheerful farm animals. When they are placed correctly in the included tray, the two pictures match up to show a Cow, a Pig, a Sheep, and more, but you'll also be rewarded with the sound that animal makes! (2 blocks, recommended for ages 2+)


Transport Trio – Chunky wooden pieces painted in bold colors interlock on top of each other within a sturdy wooden frame to form a playful and layered image of a jumbo jet, a car, and a sailboat. Not only does this help with spatial recognition as the child learns how the shapes fit, it also introduces sequencing. (8 pieces, recommended for ages 3+)


Spanish Alphabet (Alfabeto Español) – With bright colors and interactive sound, little puzzlers can learn the 27 letters of the Spanish Alphabet as well as a bit of simple vocabulary; engaging all the usual motor and visual recognition skills, this puzzle can play an effective role in early language development. (27 pieces, recommended for ages 3+)


Happy School Bus, Make 'Em Move – Just like in the song, the wheels on the bus go round and round! The fun here is just beginning when the puzzle is completed; you can turn the bus wheel like it's really rolling along, spin the soccer ball, and even make the skateboarder flip! (24 pieces, recommended for ages 4+)


I Learn: To Add & Subtract – This puzzle set includes several basic jigsaws that incorporate the flash card method for teaching basic arithmetic. Their clever design also shows concrete examples for the math with visual representations that are laid out as the puzzles are pieced together.



Read Rob's other Brain Health Blogs:


Serious Brain Health Part 1: Is a Healthier Brain Just a Checkmate Away?

Serious Brain Health Part 2: Puzzling Makes Brain Health Not So Puzzling

Serious Brain Health Part 1: Is a Healthier Brain Just a Checkmate Away?

November 27, 2012 16:15 by rob

(image source: 1)

Chess is a game of strategy and skill; unique in a world of games that incorporate chance or luck in some facet, Chess challenges each player to better their mind if they want to see victory. The intricacies of strategy run so vast and deep that it has gripped some of the more brilliant and prodigious thinkers of humankind, and to achieve mastery of the game is to enter an elite group.

Competition and victory are attractive parts of the game, but there are significant benefits to be acquired simply from the study and practice of Chess. Evidence indicates that learning Chess, especially from a young age, develops strong character and improved social skills.

(image source: 2)

Playing Chess can raise the IQ, foster resilient brain health to stave off Alzheimer’s, increase creativity and a host of cognitive skills, as well as develop a stronger ability to use foresight and plan efficiently.


If you’re new to the world of Chess, take a look at No Stress Chess. This super interactive set enables a newcomer to learn the game as they play, which is a much easier and more efficient way to learn than reading pages of instructions, tips, tricks and advice. There are action cards that prompt you through different aspects of the game, a double-sided board that features hints and help on one side as well as a blank side for standard play, and an extensive set of rules and instructions.

Or maybe you’re a long time Chess player looking for a bigger challenge? Consider escalating the intensity of your Chess game to a full on Chess War with the unique Chess 4. Without altering the core nature of the game or the fundamental rules, Chess 4 manages to offer an innovative style of gameplay to this historic standard; now you can play with 3 or 4 players, play in teams or a free-for all!

Whether you are a long time Chess enthusiast looking for new flair for your board or new styles of play to keep your skills sharp, or if you are just getting your feet wet in this ocean of mental strength and development, there is a set for you here at Serious Shops.


David Bronstein, a Chess Grandmaster, once said, “the most powerful weapon in Chess is to have the next move.”

I think that notion has a wider application to life in general. Having a ‘next move’ – appreciating each new moment and every new day as opportunities to expand your mind and experience – is an invaluable asset. Your future is always ahead of you, the rest of your life is always yet to come, and what it looks like is up to you and each choice and you make along the way.

My next move is to the open road; to pursue the infinite and unpredictable range of possibilities and potential that life offers; to take each new day as the opportunity to learn something new, see somewhere new, or meet someone new and remain open to a life that is ever-changing.

What will you do with your next move?



2. Visits the New York Toy Fair 2011

March 5, 2011 12:19 by kelly

A couple weeks ago, we bundled up in our winter gear, piled into our car, and headed up for a day in the Big Apple to see what’s new on the puzzles, games, and plush horizons.

The New York Toy Fair is always exciting, and this year was no different!
TF11 treated us to amazing Lego sculptures:

Mega Blocks creations:

giant flexible balance beams:

TV-screen backpacks:

life-like bobblehead dolls:

and the "world’s largest puzzle":

a 32,000 piece jigsaw!

We’re happy to have discovered several awesome games and new jigsaw puzzle lines which we’re anxious to add to our websites in the coming weeks and months. Make sure to check back often, we’ll be featuring our newest items on the front page of!

Oh happy Day - the Plasma Car is here!

November 22, 2009 23:51 by kelly

When the Plasma Car arrived here at Serious Shops, we felt the need to actively test it out before offering it for sale.


This was of course, solely to be certain our customers would be happy with their purchase.  Okay, who am I kidding? We couldn’t resist racing a futuristic looking muscle-powered scootmobile around the warehouse!  We don’t think you’ll be able to resist either… one ride on the Plasma Car, and you’ll be hooked!


We all gave it a good number of tries out in the warehouse – from the smallest weighing in around 40 lbs to the biggest weighing in around 180 lbs. Adam currently holds the record for fastest trip around the warehouse at 26.2 seconds!







The best part of the Plasma Car is the adaptability to different riders.  Little to big can ride; no matter how short (or long!) your legs are – with no adjustment required.  The Plasma Car holds up to 200 lbs; so Mom, Dad, and kids can enjoy – you just need to be able to turn the wheel! The ride is smooth and super-easy to control – just lean to turn & put your feet down to stop!  Exercise has never been this fun!


It’s cooler than a big wheel, safer than a scooter, and more fun than both combined! We’re sure you’ll love it as much as we do!

The Multicolored Multitask

August 21, 2009 15:21 by ryan
YouTube user JRefleX93 solves two Rubik's Cubes while beating Ozzie Osbourne's "Mr. Crowley" in Guitar Hero on Expert difficulty (with a very respectable 77% score):

Now if someone can pull that off with the 5x5 Cube I'll be really impressed. I won't even mention "Through the Fire and Flames"- oops, too late...