Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gear Up For Summertime Camping Trips And Sleepovers!

When the warmer weather starts to roll around, it is only natural that families will begin to plan their outings and camping adventures. In addition to that, you may even find that your children will be invited to more than one sleep over during the summer months. Because the summer is filled with so many activities and memorable things to do, it is wise that you get a jump start on shopping for all of the gear that you need ahead of time. This way, you will not have to run around and look for anything at the last minute!

Kids Sleeping Bags

Certainly, when it comes to the comfort of your child during camping trips and sleepovers, the best thing that you can get is a nice slumber bag that they can take along. 

The Cricketzzz Sleeping Bags is just right for any little girl who likes to spend nights in the tent with the family or off to watch movies for the night at a slumber party with friends.

  • Minky fabric inside and out
  • Includes Velcro straps for easy carrying
  • Filled with 8 oz. extra thick poly fiber
  • The YKK zipper allows you to completely unzip the bag and turn into a bed topper
  • 100% cotton outside -100% polyester inside
  • Machine washable gentle cycle - tumble dry low
  • Manufactured in the USA
Dimensions: 28" x 70" 

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bring Creativity Outdoors with Easels

To a child, often times there is nothing that is worse than having to sit inside on a nice day. Any time that the weather is cooperating, you may want to think about bringing the kids out for a little bit of an activity. Sure, they can always hit the yard and run around wild for a bit, or you can look into getting them involved in something a little bit more creative.

The next time that you are looking for a nice way to get the kids outside for a healthy adventure, think about taking an easel and some various painting supplies along with you. With a hearty supply of water based paints, utensils and a nice easel to use, there is no limit to the kinds of incredible paintings that a child can create outdoors. You can even work along with them and help them pick out different items around the perimeter of the yard that they can try to paint.

Do you have more than one child? No problem! Look into one of the mulit sided easels that are available for purchase and both of them can get in on all of the fun and creativity. Such a good time out in the fresh air is sure to get all of their creative juices flowing. The only thing you will have to worry about is collecting all of their supplies and utensils at the end of the day to make sure that they get back inside. Otherwise, the water based paints will be safe for plants and outside animals around your home in the case that anything gets spilled.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Power of Pretend Play

One of the most powerful ways that your child can learn is through pretend play. Study after study has shown that children learn faster and retain that knowledge when they indulge in pretend play.

It's also a fabulous way to encourage growth of their imaginations, something that is sorely lacking in a lot of the toys of today. Video games have their place, some teach children their letters, numbers and more. Plus they are good for hand and eye coordination. The downside is that a video game is only programmed to do so much and there is zero room for expanding the imaginations of your children.

A simple set of blocks can be built into a small city, making castles with a princess to rescue from a dragon and other scenarios. Hand puppets are also a marvelous way for the kids to make up stories, play school and practice the things they've learned. If you have an older child in school that has learned her A-B-C's, by playing with younger children they will pick up what she knows and retain that knowledge even easier than if they were in a classroom.

Pretend play with everyday scenarios is another way children can learn important life skills. Something as simple as a pretend play kitchen will let your kids whip up meals, play house, or throw a glamorous dinner party. Some kids like to pretend they have cooking shows and they can also practice important kitchen safety skills such as washing hands and being careful with "hot" pots.

Pretend play can go a long way towards helping your children learn important skills as well as indulge in group play. If you don't have pretend play toys for your kids, add at least one to your children's favorite play area and watch their minds grow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Outdoor Activity is Fun!

With childhood obesity at an all time high, it's very important for your children to run and play in order to get the necessary exercise their bodies need.

Children that don't get adequate exercise can become lethargic, overweight and become candidates for Type II Diabetes. Making your child's outdoor excursions interesting. 

Make time to play with your kids every day. Instead of plopping in front of your computer or television screen after work, take a little time and go outside with your kids. Play catch with a ball, throw a Frisbee or make a fool of yourself with a hula hoop.

If you run a preschool or daycare, the high quality climbing toys by Feber are a good option. Built to last with fun colors, these made in Spain molded plastic toys are always a kids magnet.


Another way to make it fun is to give your kids a special place of their own to play. Nylon tents and pretend play teeppes are always fund and keep kids engaged.

The Super Duper Play Tent is a very fun play place that helps protect kids from the heat and gives them a chance to tell stories with friends. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stimulating Your Special Needs Child

When you have a special needs child, they have the same needs as most other children, just a little more, well special. Keeping your child stimulated will go a long way to boosting his development. Depending on what your child's challenges are, there are a number of ways to help him both have fun playing and being a kid as well as learning, growing and developing new skills.

Motor skills are important to develop in your child. Special needs children can have fun and practice important physical tasks such as zipping, buttoning and lacing. It can be translated into skills the child will use to dress him or herself.

Another fun way to teach balance, walking and crawling skills is found in Soft Play Furniture and Toys by Childrens Factory. There are seven shapes that fit tightly together and they are made from soft, safe material. This is a great way for one child or a group of children to have fun crawling, running and develop their gross motor skills. There is a tunnel to crawl through that will teach children to think of the outcome of going in one side and coming out on another.

This is a good sized play set and measures 24h x 72""w x 88"-inches. This is a fun way for children to spend the day playing and they'll never even suspect they're learning!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Toys for Children with Autism

If you have an autistic child, you know it can be a real challenge to reach your child and also keep him entertained. Toys that stimulate are always good choices for autistic children.

There are many types of autism and depending on the type your child has, there can be a lot of different toys that will both stimulate him to learn as well as have fun playing. Some children enjoy bright colors and toys that make noise and other kids simply have hearing that is too sensitive for bright and loud toys.

Physical activity is always welcome. All children build up energy and good physical activity is a great way to work it off. A toy such as a stone walking maze that features soft, foam "stones" on a mat is a great way to let your child practice his coordination as well have fun crossing the stones both fast and slow. You can even make it a challenge and let him time himself or just let him enjoy leisurely jumping across on one leg and then the other. Stair stepping toys are also good coordination builders and children can create all sorts of games with them.

Magneatos are a fun activity for many children. They are blocks but they don't need to fit together in only one manner such as Legos. They are magnetic and can be stacked and built up in a myriad of different ways. This will encourage your child to play his own way and the bright colors and ability to arrange the blocks will appeal to him. Many autistic children enjoy putting objects in order and these magnetic blocks make it easy and fun to play with.

Autistic children love to play and run just like any other child does. You can further their development by making their toy choices functional and fun for them.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Crafts And Activities At Their Level with a Kids Table Set

There are so many times that as a parent you wished that you had a better place for all of your children and their friends to be able to enjoy various activities and craft projects. Right now, you probably try to section off a portion of the kitchen floor or set up the entire kitchen table or breakfast bar in order to let them create and explore. Unfortunately, this is not always the best way to keep such a mess contained. It is a given that a good portion of your things and furnishings end up with paint on them during more than one occasion.

When you want to make sure that you have a nice little way to let your children explore and play, you could find that the best thing may be a great little table and chair set that happens to be just their size. Such a table and chair set will allow them to sit down, keep things at their level and feel free to play and create with their siblings or friends and have a really nice time. All the while you will not have to worry about your expensive tiles or kitchen table getting covered with glue, paint or glitter!

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Perfect Room For A Princess

When you really want to give your little girl the world, you can always begin to transform her room into a beautiful oasis that is fit for a princess. If she is like most little girls, then she is already into anything and everything that has to do with pink, princesses and fairy tale endings. There are lots of wonderful things that you can do in order to make her room into a room that any princess would adore.

To start off with, you cannot go wrong with adding all sorts of wonderful lovely pastel colors that she is fond of. Perhaps she is a big fan of pinks and purples. You can always paint the walls in her favorite colors or even add a nice border with tiaras and a princess theme. You may even want to think about checking out some wonderful options for throw rugs that will fit the princess theme and really bring together the look of the room.

As you get ready to change up the furnishings in the room, you can think about getting her a beautiful vanity table and stool set. This is the perfect accessory for the room of any little princess where she can sit right down and brush her hair in the mirror, play dress up and pretend that her prince is on his way to pick her up for the ball! Adding the right touch of imagination and whimsy to the room will definitely make for a princess fantasy!