Chain Letters is hooking the toy industry awards and insider reviews that spell success!

Patch Products - Chain Letters


Patch Products introduced word game Chain Letters® in the summer of
2013, and already the game has earned four high-profile awards! It’s also caught
the attention of the toy industry and key game reviewers. Some might call it a
chain reaction!

Chain Letters has been named one of Dr. Toy’s
100 Best Products of 2013 – a noteworthy list to be on! It has also earned The
National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. Additionally, it’s received a
Parents’ Choice Recommendation and has won the Tillywig Best Family Fun Award!

Toy industry insiders Chris Byrne and Jim Silver got in on the action
and filmed a humor-filled review of the game for Time to Play Magazine. You can
check out the shenanigans for yourself here:

Perhaps Jeff Bogle said it best in his review of
Chain Letters for his website Out With the Kids: “The board game with
no board blends the delicacy of Operation, the nervous energy of Jenga, and the
vocab requirements of a Dabble or Scrabble, while also demanding mental agility,
focus, patience, a dash of gumption, and a bit of physical strength to hook
letter after letter with your dominant arm raised in the air and the letters of
your masterpiece (ooooh, that’d be a good one!) cascading down towards the
orange pile of I‘s and A‘s remaining on the table.”


-by Mary

The newest iPhone has been announced. Time for a “mobile manners” refresher.

Apple has revealed its newest iPhones, which will be available for purchase soon. As everyone flocks to the latest and greatest in technology, it’s important to remember those mobile manners!

Etiquette expert and board game inventor Aimee Symington shares some useful tips:

Top 3 Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for Adults

  • People come first! If you are talking with someone in person and your cell phone rings, or a text pings, don’t immediately look away from the person you’re speaking with to answer it! If you do, you are showing that the person who’s calling/texting is more important than the person you’re with. It’s very rude and people will be offended.
  • In restaurants put the phone on vibrate and keep it off the table. The table is not the place to put your phone while eating in a restaurant. Put it away, place it on vibrate so it doesn’t ring and irritate other diners, and then only talk on the phone away from the table.
  • Be aware of others. We hopefully remember not to talk on the cell phone when we are at the movies, in a library, in a place of worship, or in a meeting, but it is also offensive to talk on the phone when others are sitting next to you and can’t avoid having to hear your whole conversation. So, next time you are taking on your cell phone while in a bus, in a doctor’s waiting room, in the airport lounge, or other similar places, remember to talk softly to avoid bothering others, keep your conversation short, and be aware of the language you use in case there are kids nearby.


Top 3 Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for Kids

  • Make house rules that no one is allowed to use their cell phone at the dinner table. This includes not leaving the table during a meal to answer the phone.
  • Use it for good not evil. Kids should not make calls before 9:00 am or after 9:00 pm. They should not use it to say anything mean to or about anyone else. Using a cell phone and texting is a privilege that can be taken away if they misuse the phone by hurting anyone’s feelings. If kids have smartphones, then they need to learn about internet safety, and learn the importance of not sending any pictures or information to others that they wouldn’t want the world to see.
  • The cell phone goes away during homework and family time. If your child is always “plugged in”, they cannot concentrate on anything or anyone else.

Patch Products: Giving back to the local community

{Come this weekend to Festival on the Rock! Sept. 6-8}

Another year sneaks up on us, as we pack up and prepare for the Toy & Game Sale at the annual Festival on the Rock celebration. We have been involved with Festival on the Rock and the Toy & Game Sale for 5 years now.

Our partnership started when the Town of Beloit was looking for an additional event to help raise money to bring improvements to our local parks. We were eager to join and thought this would be a great way to give back to the community. Patch has become a huge part of the Festival, as we donate all of the products sold at the Toy & Game Sale (Patch games and toys are sold at the event at wholesale prices!) – along with the many employees who help out by volunteering their time in different ways and on different projects.


Each year, we display and sell 200 different types of toys and games under a huge 7,000-square-foot big-top-style tent. As the years have passed, the buzz about our low prices, amazing selection and family atmosphere has spread throughout the local and surrounding communities making it a must-attend event. You’ll see people of all ages carrying large boxes overflowing with products with smiles on their faces, talking about the deals they scored and their now-shorter Christmas lists.


Bryce Patch, co-owner of Patch and Festival on the Rock chairman, has said he thoroughly enjoys being a part of such a great event; the company’s family values and giving spirit continue to thrive at a community event that strives to give back to those who support us.

Happy shopper

-by Erin

Family time is important time away from technology

Get away from gadgets.

Seriously. Just for a few minutes, put down and step away from the iPhones, laptops, iPads, Kindles, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Tumblr and Google.

Why is time away from tech important? Because when your iPhone loses its charge, when no one’s posted anything interesting on Facebook and you’ve somehow managed to lose your mini tablet, your family will still be there and want to engage with you.

And plus, you’ll be rewarded with seeing happy faces like this one, after the family behind the blog introduced Go Ape! to their family.

We think we’re engaging and being “social” by being on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, SnapChat, etc. But what about the original meaning of social?

Back-to-School time: our Chain Letters Lesson Plan is a great way to make spelling and vocab fun!

Patch Products - Chain Letters

Recommended Grade Levels: 2nd grade and up

Subjects Enhanced by Play: Language Arts

Applicable Concepts, Skills and Strategies: Vocabulary development,
grammar identification, creative writing, cooperative teamwork, self-confidence
Objectives: Students will identify words along with their definitions and parts of
speech, use words in oral and written forms and explore rhymes.

Materials needed:
• Chain Letters game(s)
• Scratch paper

Warm up:
Familiarize students with the game play by dumping the letter hooks in a pile and
asking them to hook words. Start with one letter and use that hook to hook
another, then another, and so on. They must keep letters upright and try not to
drop any. It’s a fun way to spell words, think ahead and practice fine motor skills!
Ask students why they think some letters are worth more points than others. Talk
about how some letters are used less frequently than others, making it more
difficult to form words, therefore deserving higher point values.

1. Spelling Practice
Have students work individually or in groups. Each student/group should have a
pile of letter hooks. Stand in front of the class and call out a letter. Ask the
students to spell a word using that letter with the letter hooks, hooking them
together. You may make it a race to see who can spell a word first, or just an
activity to practice spelling. Once everyone has hooked together a word, write the
words on the board for everyone to see. If any words were misspelled, discuss
the correct spelling You may choose to check and keep track of who spelled the
word correctly, or keep it merely as a practice activity and allow your spelled
word on the board to act as the students’ correction.

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BIG news: launching new sock monkey line!

We are so thrilled to currently be launching a new collectible soft doll line called Planet Sock Monkey. We took the classic, beloved sock monkey and infused it with personality. We think people of all ages are gonna LOVE this fun and fantastic new line.

Planet Sock Monkey Group Shot1

We got the product into people’s hands for the first time ever last week at the MomSelect Swag Suite in Chicago, as bloggers converged on the city for a conference. We were THRILLED at the positive reaction our fab new monkey friends received!

Check out this great write-up from Chicago area writer Cristine Struble:

-by Mary

Perplexus or Bust! A first-hand account of a Patch employee’s experience with Perplexus.

Growing up in southeastern Wisconsin during the 1980s, I fondly recall hearing my father share amazing stories of fishing monstrosities he caught back in the day.  My eyes would open up as big as saucers while he described epic duels with fish so big they nearly dragged him out of the boat.  The drawback is to catch these big fish one must drive to far-away Canada.

Fast forward to a family gathering in 2013 and my Dad discussing how this year it would be fun to go on an epic Canadian fishing trip once again.  I excitedly signed up to join the merry band of “fishing men” that included my Dad, brother-in-law, nephew, and family friend and we  set out driving early one Friday morning with our sights set on Ontario.

While awaiting my eventual driving shift during the exhausting 14 ½ hour drive to Canada, I strategically had positioned myself next to my 17-year old nephew in the back seat of the van.  He likes playing games almost as much as I do (thank you, Genetics)  and I had packed a few traveling games that I thought might be able to pass an hour or two while making our way up North.

The first item I pulled out was the Perplexus Original I had recently purchased while working here at Patch Products.  My nephew asked what the unusual looking “ball-thing” was and I told him it was our new maze game and that we “simply” had to get this marble around the barriers to the number 100.

He proceeded to grab it from me with a confident look on his face that seemed to sarcastically communicate, “Really Uncle Dan, is this the best game you could pack for this trip?  I could do this in my sleep.”

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Attn teachers: Another fun lesson plan for you. Now you can Farkle Around AND learn something!

Patch Products - Farkle Around

Using the Game in Classrooms to Promote Math, Probability
and Risk-Taking Skills

Recommended Grade Levels: 2nd grade and up

Subjects Enhanced by Play: Math

Applicable Concepts, Skills and Strategies: Probability, Computation,
Risk-Taking, Quick Thinking, Cooperative Teamwork and Self-Confidence

To understand the concept of probability, work cooperatively and develop
quick thinking skills
• Classroom lessons
Materials needed:
• Farkle Around games
• Paper and pencils

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