One of my favorite new finds is the fabulous Thumball by Answers in Motion. These soft squishy "soccer" type balls come in several great styles. They are designed to encourage sharing, laughing, and learning. And guess what? Adults & kids LOVE them. The Original Thumball series comes in both a 4" and 6" inch size ball. The game is simple, throw it, catch it, look under your thumb, and react to it. There are several different versions of the Thumball, ranging from ice breaker types of questions to the young learner styles like abc's (great for phonics and letter recognition activities), counting, shapes and animal sounds. I especially love the "Who Are You" ball (a fun way for kids to get to know each other), the "Category Mania" (naming items in a particular category), and the "Ice Breaker" (great for adult events too). As a former teacher, this is my kind of activity. I took it to a class of sixth graders and they had a blast with it. They had lots of fun answering questions like "favorite Chinese food and best vacation." The balls are safe for indoor and outdoor use, and all items can be purchased directly on the Thumball site. If you are looking for a UNIQUE end of the year gift for your child's teacher, I can promise you that she will LOVE some Thumballs for her classroom. Seriously, I speak from experience, teachers don't need more coffee mugs!