Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fun With Pretend Play Kitchen Accesories

It is certainly no secret at all that pretty much every child loves to dig in and play pretend. One of the most popular ways to play pretend is with faux food or dinnerware. Kids just love to get together for a tea party or lunch with their friends or even their own imaginary guests. If you happen to notice that your child is showing an interest in pretend cooking and/or dining, it may be a wonderful idea to get them a great set that they can use to enhance their playtime.

After children play with pretend play kitchen toys , you may notice quite a step up in the way that they play. Do not be surprised if you are awoken one morning with a tray of delights being served up by tiny hands. With all of the sixteen pieces that are included in this set, there are plenty of different ways that your child can use it to have fun.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Play Cubes Keep Kids Busy

Whether you are looking for a great toy for your daycare, doctors office or even for the play room in your home, you may want to look into something such as a play cube. Certainly, children just love to learn and explore, and with the right tools, they can have fun while learning and working their minds and sharpening their hand and eye coordination. You may not believe that such a great toy is available, however there are numerous options that can fit your space and budget.

If you have a busy waiting room the Anatex Sea Life Play Cube will keep kids busy while they wait. This is an interesting toy that is filled with all sorts of great sea life pictures, brilliant colors and plenty of moving pieces for hours and hours of fun and play. Children really enjoy looking at and learning about all kinds of sea life. 

Some of the cool things that kids can do while playing with the play cube include pushing around colorful beads around the rollercoaster maze top that is complete with gorgeous underwater artwork. In addition to that there is a nice pathfinder that is made with nine different painted pieces of sea life. There is even a crab paddlewheel, blowfish magnetic circle spinner and an octopus flipper. No matter who the lucky children are who get the chance to play with the sea life play cube, they are sure to enjoy every single minute of it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Toddler Educational Toys

Finding toys that both educate and entertain the infamously short attention span of a toddler can sometimes seem hard to find. Toddlers love experimenting. You can stimulate your child's mind for "what if" with a number of fun toys. Stacking toys build coordination and let your toddler consider "What if I stack these blocks higher?". Soft blocks that are easy for little hands to handle will teach hand/eye skills as well as thinking ahead to results; as in if he stacks the blocks too high, they will fall every time. 

Another fun toy for toddlers relates to common things your child sees you doing around the house. A pretend play kitchen toys made from sturdy wood will allow your toddler to make believe they have grown up duties to perform around the house too. This is a great set that encourages group play among several children and they can even pretend they own a laundromat.

Most toddlers love to look at books, have a book browser handy. It stacks the books forward instead of on traditional bookshelves so little ones that can't read yet can flip through the book browser and find the book they want to look at or have read to them by the cover. A mixture of both picture books and early reader books will hold the attention of most toddlers from cover to cover.

Toddlers are learning at lightening speed. Jump start your child's imagination by providing learning toys that really hold their attention!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Early Readers: Give them the Gift of the Written Word

One of the greatest gifts that a parent can bestow on their children is a love of reading. How much your child enjoys reading will affect their entire life. If your child associates reading with struggling and not really understanding what is being read - that attitude will color his or her school work and professional world all their lives.

Start Early

You can make reading a little easier by making it an enjoyable experience for your kids. First of all, start reading to your children when they are very young. You may not think that baby on the bouncy chair is actually listening to a word that you are reading, but in fact the baby is learning to listen to your voice and as he grows older he will look forward to the stories that you read.

Make a Time and Place

Make time to read with your child. If he goes and gets a book, if it is at all possible, put off whatever you're doing and make some time to read. If you need to finish something - do so but then read to your child. It only takes a little time and you're building a love of reading in the future. Additionally, give you child someplace to read. Whether it is in a cozy chair by a window or a area rug of their own to lay on and look at a book; make it a comfortable experience and you will teach your children a valuable relaxation technique of winding down through reading.

Use these tips to foster a love of reading in your children and they will reap the rewards throughout their lives.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Children Need to Play Outdoors

It's easy to see why so many children wind up not playing outdoors on a frequent basis. In many households the parents work and the kids go to school or day care until they are picked up by the parents normally after work which is about five or six in the evening and then home for dinner. Then, homework needs to be done.

The parents are exhausted, if it's in winter months by this point in the day the sun has gone down, and then the kids are firmly plopped in front of the television or video games for the night. The cycle repeats itself day after day and soon your kids aren't even thinking about going outside to play.

The weekend rolls around and normally everyone is too tired from the week. It's time to make some changes to everyone's schedule. If the week is too hectic to schedule some outdoor play, make it a must on the weekends and give your kids something to look forward to doing. Younger children enjoy playing in sandboxes with shovels and cars. Older kids might enjoy a game the entire family can participate in like horseshoes, touch football or put a basketball goal on your garage and play a round of hoops. 

Make one night a week a family night and snap off the television and have the kids help you make a special dessert and share it around a table and just talk or enjoy a fun game. You might find family nights and outdoor play happen more and more around your house when you have a lot of good choices of fun to have and it will make you much stronger as a family unit.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Parent's Frustration at Finding Educational Toys

You won't give it a second thought until you are a parent yourself, but then you realize that all toys are not created equal. Especially if you have a special needs child you will want to find toys that stimulate your child, encourage group play and also expand young imaginations.

Electronic toys certainly have their place and can be great teaching tools but their scope as a learning toy or imagination building toy are very limited as it pretty much does only what it was programmed to do. Imagine the limitations found in an electronic coloring book. 

Children need to be able to explore and open their minds and that is done almost exclusively through play. That's where many parents find themselves going back to old favorites from their own childhoods.

A simple acitivty table, a small box of crayons and some paper can let your child's imagine go wild. A group of children might create a storyboard together and then see how many different ways they can rearrange the drawings they make to tell their story another way. Another great pretend play toy is a simple puppet theater. 

Group activity and imaginations get to run free here. Encourage your children to work out problems and do plays about things they run into often with other children such as name calling or not sharing. The puppets can show ways to work things out in a good way and a not so good way.

Encourage your children to get away from the video games and online activities and learn to play by using their imaginations, it will open up a place that is even bigger than the Internet.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Traffic Signs Teach Safety Through Play

One of the best ways for children to learn is through play. Most children learn through repetition and one of the easiest ways for them to retain knowledge is through playing the same games over and over with their friends.

One such game that will not only help your children be safer, it will encourage group play and cooperation as well; is the Kids Traffic Signs. This fun set comes with six different signs that are large enough to be used with their bikes, trikes or other modes of backyard transportation.

The signs included are a stop sign, speed limit sign, railroad crossing, yield, school crossing, and a one way sign. Help your children set these signs up in the backyard and talk to them about what is expect at each sign. 

Let your kids "drive" around the backyard and practice stopping at the stop sign, you can walk up and pretend to be a driver with them and teach them how people take turns at stop signs to show you use the skills for taking turns all your life and not just elementary school.

The signs come on thirty-inch poles and are on a sturdy, non-tipping base to keep the signs from falling over and causing frustrations in younger children. The signs are weatherproof and made from sturdy plastic and are ideal toys for outdoor play.

Teach your kids to be safe and aware of the meanings of the signs they will see the most. Best of all, lessons learned through play are learned easier and rarely forgotten.