Saturday, December 29, 2007

Keeping the Pretend in Toys

In a previous post we talked about age appropriate gifts for kids and how important it is to make sure that your children get the right toys for their developmental levels. No one wants your kids to have more fun than we do, however we want your kids to always have their fun in the safest possible ways. Another concern many parents have, especially with the recent rash of major toy retailer recalls, is the overall safety of the toys their kids are playing with - most pointedly - the materials those toys are made from.

Getting your kids to eat their fruits and veggies is a challenge nearly all parents face. Making their food something they associate with fun and good times is a great way to get your kids to see those veggies on their plates in a whole new light.

The Pretend Play Veggie Set is is the health conscious toy that is realistic, durable, light weight plastic and perfect for pretend play.

Pretend play is a powerful way for children to learn and study after study has shown that kids learn and retain knowledge at greater rates when they learn through their own methods, largely including pretend play games.

Give your child a jump start on learning about their fruits and veggies with their own pretend play set and know you're giving them a great toy that is safe!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Did Your Child Get Age Appropriate Gifts?

The holiday season is one of the happiest times of the year, however it can also be one of the saddest when your child gets injured through simply playing with a toy they have received as a gift. Every year, injuries are reported by parents of children that are playing with toys that are beyond their age limits. Well-meaning friends and relatives may give your child a very fun toy, but one that can cause injury because the child just isn't old enough to be playing with it.

Much like you screen your child's candy at Halloween, make sure their holiday gifts won't cause any harm. No one knows your child better than you and even though a label may say "3-years old and up", your 3-year old may not be mature enough to play with a toy that launches objects or has small parts. If you have a child that still puts things in their mouth, put up toys with small parts or only let your child play with them under direct supervision.

Toys that make great gifts no matter what age are puzzles. Chunky puzzles are for little ones that are still prone to put things in their mouths and the few pieces are easy to learn and they don't find frustrating. Older children will enjoy more complicated puzzles and puzzles can either be a solitary or group activity and once the puzzle is done it can be done again or even race to put together the puzzle with a timer in teams.

Use these tips and make sure every holiday is safe and fun for your kids in not only the gifts they get but also the gifts you give!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ready, Set, Action! Playhouse Fun

With the cold days of winter here you kids may be spending more time inside than they usually do and when they do the walls of the house can seem more closed in and smaller than ever when you have a couple of bored kids in the house. Even if you live in the parts of the country that stay warmer during the winter months - there will still be cold, rainy days your kids are indoors.

Pretend play is a great way to pass the days and encourage group play, turn taking and stimulate imaginations - all they need is the right tools to do so. Something as simple as a play tent can do the trick. Nylon playhouses are a marvelous way to give your kids a place to play and create imaginary scenarios.

These pop up tent style play houses are perfect for providing hour upon hour of fun play. There's lots of space with mesh roof windows for plenty of fresh air, as well as roll-up windows. The tent is made of long wearing 70 Denier 190T polyester and combined with the Pacific Play Tents exclusive "G-3" patented pole system, the indoor/outdoor tent is a breeze to assemble with the color-coded tent pole system and attached connectors.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

There's Nothing to Do!

With the colder days of winter fast upon us -and your kids stuck inside the house during inclement weather - you'll be hearing "There's nothing to do" even though they have a drawer full of video games, a computer, a television, bookcases full of books and numerous toys - what they might need is some imagination stimulation that will keep their minds creating and therefore keeping boredom at bay - try art.

Kids love to create. Whether it's with clay you bought at the store or tried out your Mom's old recipe for making flour based salt-clay-doh for the kiddos to play with, painting or other artistic endeavor - your kids will love to create. Why not make it even easier with a central place to do it in?

An art station makes a wonderful place for just one or even a small group of kids to gather around the table and create to their heart's content. The KidKraft Art Table has has four storage compartments for art supplies and has a handsome natural finish. 

Be prepared for those winter blues when they hit and have an activity ready for your kids. Give the kids a theme and let each one draw a specific thought or feeling - it is so interesting what each child will come up with. Add an art table to your child's play area or bedroom - it will keep boredom at bay!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Give Your Child a Rocking Chair

Even in the modern day of video games, Wii, XBox, junior text messengers and other high tech inventions, kids still love to play and relax the old fashioned way.

Most kids will drop the video games to fast moving game of War with an old deck of cards or boards games still bring many children joy. The difference? Most people believe it's the actual "hands on" experience that you just don't get with video and computer games. A keyboard or a joystick needs to be held - but the experience can't be considered truly hands on.

Another once commonplace item that is making a comeback for kids is their own rocking chair. It's a great way to harness young energy and the majority of children are naturally soothed by a gentle back and forth rocking motion. When choosing a rocking chair for your child, make sure it is truly designed for a child as there are certain safety requirements for furniture for children such as the length of the rockers and the size of the space between the slats that won't allow a little head to get caught between them.

Another plus to purchasing a quality made rocker is that it will most likely last well past your child's young years and when your child is a parent of their own - their rocking chair will be ready to provide a ready seat to their own child.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Creating with Foam Blocks

Do you have a little one on your holiday shopping list that loves to build? Allow him or her to exercise a growing imagination with Wonder Foam Blocks. Instead of playing a battery toy that requires either staring at a computer screen or video game screen for hours or basically plays by itself', foam blocks are great for hand eye coordination, spatial recognition and just plain fun.

Appropriate for kids ages 3-years old and up. This amazing set of blocks comes with 152 pieces, the largest being 12-inches by 6-inches and 2-inches thick.

Wonder foam blocks are made in bright colors and not only help children maximize their learning of their colors and shapes, but are great toys that help with cooperative play in a group setting. Each child can take turns creating the structure. It'll be different every time and a game children will look forward to playing. These blocks are can be used in the bathtub! It's also easy to keep these blocks neat, when you're kids are done playing - the blocks fit neatly in their own storage bag that comes with this set.

Give your kids a fun gift that will light up their minds with all the new structures and creative buildings they can make, get them Wonder Foam Blocks this holiday season.