Friday, April 27, 2007

Better Learning Through Sensory Toys

If you have a little one or a crew of little ones that enjoy going outside and getting dirty, did you know that such play can actually help them work on all of their different sensory skills, such as their visual and tactile senses? There are actually a number of great Sensory Toys that you can get for your child that will give them the same feeling of getting dirty outside, but in a much more controlled setting.

For a child who loves to dig and explore in a sandbox but the weather won't permit it all year round, investing in a sand and water tray might be a fabulous choice for you to make for your kids. A See-Thru Sand and Water Table is a great choice to make. This see-thru tub is deep but not so deep little arms and hands can't enjoy it and has a splash guard so it's handy to use inside or out.

The deep tub can either be filled with sand or water and let your kids experiment by floating toys one day in water and then digging and burying them in the sand the next. It will create firm memories of wet and dry as well as textures of sand and water for your children.

Your children may not be in school yet, but they are ready to explore and learn every waking moment. Give them toys that stimulate their minds and watch as they explore and create new imaginary worlds with a sand and water table.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Making Exercising Fun

If you're like many families, you realize somewhere between work schedules, school schedules and busy weekends, that your children aren't getting enough quality playtime or exercise. Exercise can come in many different forms. Encourage your children to play in ways that require them to be outside moving around. Riding bikes, jumping rope, even digging in a sandbox can be good fun that keeps your children moving. Adding some toys that encourage movement is another way to get your kids moving and exercising.

The Maze Balancing Board is a great toy that will not only get your kids moving, it will also help your children work on their coordination and balancing skills. Kids can work on improving their skills and if you have a few children to keep entertained, this is a great group activity for kids as they can create contests and see who can balance the longest or other challenges. The rubber top of the balancing board makes it easy for little shoes or feet to grip to and stay on.

A seesaw is another great toy that is good for two or more children. They can experiment with seeing how many kids on one side of the seesaw it can take to raise the oldest and largest in their group off the ground. Additionally, they will get good exercise by having to move their legs, balance to sit upright and continue move when the seesaw is in the "down" position.

Either of these toys can be used indoors or outdoors so your kids can work on staying fit all year round!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let's Play. Put down the Remote and Have Fun.

We all know how difficult it can be trying to keep a child entertained. And like most parents, teachers or care givers, you want to make them happy and hopefully get a little education thrown in there (whether the child is aware of it or not!).

No matter what age, there are toys and activities that will satisfy everyone. If you have a group of kids that are similar in age, it appears to be a little easier to satisfy all of them. Pretend play is a great activity. It will work if you have a group of little girls, they love to play house and there are so many great toys to go along with that. T

here are pretend kitchens and doll furniture for them to enjoy. Or, perhaps a group of boys would love to be pretend cowboys with the Barn set play yard or stable and corral set. And yes, it is even possible to find something that both boys and girls playing with together. Try the medieval castle set where all the lords, ladies and knights will have hours of fun.

Another great idea for fun whether boys, girls or a group of both is a puppet show. Set up the Floor Puppet Theater or maybe the Story Time Puppet Theater for the kids (allowing them to help also makes them feel important) then stand back and let them loose. The rehearsals alone will be great entertainment and chances are you will enjoy their performances as much as they will.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mom, I'm Bored!

"I'm bored"; "There's nothing to do". Every parent, babysitter or care giver has heard this at least once, and more than likely more times than they can remember, from a child in their care. An adult may look at them and think how can they be bored? They have a room full of toys and activities. However, kids need stimulation and with a little help, they can learn to use their imaginations, and have endless opportunities for fun.

Naturally, their age has something to do with their boredom, for example a school age child that has been inside a room all day probably needs something they can do outside or at least different from the "educational" atmosphere they have been in all day. For them you might try a playhouse of some kind. It could be a giant teepee, a princess castle or a space dome.

A child that is not yet in school might benefit from something a little educational that will keep them active yet also may give them that "big kid" feeling too. A play mat of some sort is a favorite among kids. They can be used indoors or outdoors, and can be left out or put away until needed. Perhaps you can add a group of soft blocks sets. There are many choices for kids that are age appropriate.

Having these types of toys and activities available will probably not let you avoid the "I'm bored" syndrome all together, but it will make it easier to satisfy that boredom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Should He Have That Toy?

It's tragic when a child is injured and it's even more so when that injury could have been prevented. Numerous studies have shown that a large contributor to childhood accidents comes when children play with gifts that are age inappropriate; or rather just too old for the child.

A child of three will be well past putting small parts in his mouth, however a two year old may still be inclined to "taste test" some of her toys. Make sure that any gifts your child plays with are within the realm of what he or she can play with safely. If your child is given a toy that is age inappropriate, you can either exchange the toy for something your child can use now or put the toy away for a while until your child matures enough to play with it safely.

If you're buying a toy for a child and you aren't sure exactly what to get, just stick to a rule that no child under the age of three should be given a toy with small removable parts or riding toys that go over 2 MPH. Items such as kids puzzles, sturdy books, durably made toy cars for toddlers and colors & shapes games are usually hits with the under three crowd and they are items they can play and learn with safely.

Make sure every toy that your child plays with is age appropriate and you'll keep every playtime a safe one and a fun one!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Fun of a Plasma Car

If you have been looking at riding toys for your child and you want to get your little driver something that will both "go" and is also lot safer than a mini-ATV, check out a Plasma Car.

A Plasma car requires no batteries or other power source, they are solely kid-powered. It's easy to operate too. All your child has to do is rotate the steering wheel from left to right and the car will move forward. It can also move in reverse and turns just as easily. Once your child learns the easy rhythm of operating Plasma car, you're going to have a hard time getting them off their new favorite toy to come in for dinner!

In addition to being easy to operate, the Plasma car is built to last through many fun rides. It is constructed from state-of-the-art, high-quality ABS plastics which make it both light and durable for your children to use. The Plasma car has six wheels, a comfy seat, footrests and an easy to grip steering wheel.

You can get a Plasma car in your little one's favorite color as it comes in blue, green, purple, and red. It's sleek like a race car and you don't have to worry as it doesn't go as fast as one. As with all riding toys, always make safety a priority and never let your child ride a Plasma car or any other riding toy unsupervised. This riding toy is age appropriate for children from three years old to twelve years of age and will hold up to 200LBS on its frame.

For more ride on toys, check out SensoryEdge.