Reviewed for First Grade, 2008

Toot and Otto

Sometimes, it's the simple things that give us the most pleasure, and do the most good for our brains! This game is a cross between a three-dimensional word-search puzzle and the classic strategy game Connect Four, with quirky dogs, Toot and Otto, as the game's mascots. Two players choose to be either "Toot" or "Otto", and take turns dropping "t" and "o" letter tiles into open spaces in a vertical grid. Whoever spells their name first horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins. The game gets tricky because each tile you drop can be used by your opponent. In addition to drawing upon burgeoning strategic thinking skills, this game teaches the importance of letter positioning, and introduces children to palindromes (words spelled the same forward as backwards.) A great year-round boredom zapper. (Think Fun, $10)