International Toy Fair

Little Pim Co. just returned from the International Toy Fair in New York City, where we had a booth. We spent four days meeting buyers, talking to owners of big and small book and toy stores across the country about the virtues of starting language learning at an early age. We also drank way too much coffee. We got to see lots of cool toys - everything from bugs that dance using solar power to magical flying fairies to the latest releases from the big toy companies. There were a few educational items I wanted to share that can help you introduce your children to a foreign language:

Lindenwood Blocks

These high quality hand-crafted looking blocks are available in numerous languages. Each set provides complete alphabets, numerals and animal pictures. The blocks are made from Michigan basswood with child-safe inks and are also perfectly sized for little hands.



Invented by a dad from Wisconsin who created Geopuzzles to help his three children learn geography.

I fell in love with the puzzle where the pieces are shaped liked countries (I was worried my one year old would swallow Andorra, but he assured me they couple countries so that no piece is smaller than one inch). This puzzle can provide a great way for you to teach your child where other countries are and what languages they speak there.


Kingka Sholeen Lou-Hsiao is a teacher and mother who was helping her two-year old son to learn Chinese when she had the idea to create a fun, hands-on way for him to learn his characters. Kingka is a memory game that teaches over 50 characters and is easy to play, even for parents who don't speak any Chinese.

Sholeen teaches in Montessori schools and the game has been adopted by many top preschools around the country.