Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Small Footprint Big Fun: Wall Activity Toys

Wall panel activity toys are the perfect solution for places of business where lots of children need to be entertained. We've put wall toys in many peditric waiting rooms as well as adult doctors offices, car dealerships, hair salons, check cashing stores, and many therapy clinics. Keeping children happy in your waiting room doesn't have to be an ordeal. With a few simple additions to your toy collection, you can make time fly for every kid in your office. And while there is no official guide to finding the right toys for your office, some are definitely better than others. Wall panel toys, for instance, are designed specifically with a waiting room in mind and it shows. Here are five reasons why the wall panel will make a big difference in your waiting room.

1. Save Precious Space.

The reality is that no waiting room has unlimited space to work with and that means that it may take a little planning to make sure that every child is entertained in your office. Even larger waiting areas need to be designed with traffic control in mind. Wall panels can go a long way in helping you keep your floor clear from clutter. In fact you can choose to hang multiple panels along your walls instead of pictures and create an entire play area without ever putting something on the floor.

2. Brighten up the Room.

And trust me, with these panels on your wall, your room will have an instant kid-friendly makeover. They have vibrant colors and wacky designs that are sure to catch their eyes. You can find panels to fit a theme or simply mix and match to give your waiting area a unique look. So, whether you're looking for some friendly sea creatures to welcome your little guests or some zany mirrors that grab their attention, wall panels can help you achieve your vision.

3. Liven up Play Time.

But that first look is just the beginning, wall panels feature the kind of games that will keep kids occupied for their entire wait. You can find all kinds of games and activities that kids will love. Mess-free doodle zones, bead mazes and pathfinder panels are just of few of the activities that children can enjoy. And most of these games are best when shared with a buddy which means that the kids in your office will get an extra nudge in the right direction when it comes to making friends.

4. Keep those Brains Working.

No doubt that the kids will be enjoying their new found toys, but parents can also be happy knowing that their kids are developing important skills. The panel games will help develop visual tracking, logical thinking, fine and gross motor dexterity, sensory-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Toys like this can really let parents know that you care about their children's development.

5. Keep the Parents Happy.

Of course, safety has to be the number one priority with any toy you choose and that is another reason why wall panels work so well. All panels are self contained and have no removable parts. That means no loose pieces that can potentially harm a young child. They are made with non toxic materials and always designed to stand up to some tough wear and tear. And cleaning is also a breeze as wall panels can be cleaned with nothing more than a little soap and water. That means that you don't have to worry about them once they're installed, a quick cleaning here and there and they are ready to go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fold and Lock Storage Units: Safe, Sound, & Storage Stars!

Keeping classrooms organized is a tough task even for teachers with the best intentions. It's really hard to keep track of 30 plus kids at a time while making sure every supply, book, toy, or assignment is put back in its place. Options to keep a tidy class are cubbies, storage units with backs or open from both sides, and our new favorite the fold n lock

With schools beset by lack of funds, its important that when money becomes available that quality items are purchased instead of make shift items that will fall apart and prove dangerous to students. SensoryEdge features many storage units that arrive fully assembled with either long or lifetime warranties. Buyer beware, these units are expensive but the beauty of it is that once you buy one you're set for a good long time.

Maxi-Mobile Fold-N-Lock

There is a problem dear reader! When these units are delivered full assembled, they're not light. So you've got to be ready to get your fellow teachers and room parents to help get one of the storage units off the truck and wheeled into the class. The great thing is that many of the fold n locks are on casters so your only issue is making sure the unit is not damaged when it comes off the truck. Hopefully the driver will have a lift gate to make the transfer simple (we can only hope!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Preschool Furniture: Keeping Kids Busy and Organized

Teaching preschool typically requires having different items in the classroom than in any other grade. This is partly for safety, and partially because younger children clearly have different interests than older kids in most cases. Therefore, preschool furniture is something to focus on if you want to create the perfect classroom environment for your students. Consider some of the types available.

New item: Purple English Riding Beach Bag

One of the first items to have in your classroom is space to for children to sit comfortably. This means that tables and chairs should be low to the ground, but other than that stipulation, you have several choices when it comes to size and shape. You may choose among rectangular, circular, square, and horseshoe-shaped tables. When deciding on a shape for this type of preschool furniture, just consider how many children you want to sit at one table. You should also think about the amount of space in your classroom, as smaller rooms may call for just a few larger tables instead of several small ones. Many tables come with small chairs to match that also stack for easy cleanup. Additionally, you might think about obtaining individual desks with the chair attached already, like in many classrooms with older children.

Square Resin Preschool Activity Table

The next item of preschool furniture that you should think about purchasing should have to do with playtime. Most toddlers have tons of energy, and it will need to be released at some point during the school day. You likely include playtime or recess as part of the average day, so why not provide preschool furniture that you know is both safe and fun? This way, kids can always be within your line of sight as they will not necessarily have to go outside to play. A toddler loft can be the perfect solution.

Colorful Essentials 4-in-1 Play Kitchen

This type of preschool furniture often includes stairs leading up to an enclosed space where kids can play safely. Most lofts also include a slide to make coming down from the fun furniture particularly exciting. The stairs are typically padded, flanked by handrails low enough for toddlers to reach easily. Many lofts can hold many children, as well as a teacher. Some even offer storage space underneath, allowing teachers with little extra space to place toys under the loft. If you want preschool furniture that is both practical and fun, a toddler loft may be your best bet.

Virco Lift Lid Student Desk with Laminate Top

Before you make a list of furniture to purchase for your preschool classroom, think of ways to promote safety, fun, and learning. Tables and chairs are necessary, but this does not mean that you have to get the most basic kind. The same goes for fun preschool furniture, such as toddler lofts. Purchase the furniture that will both fit into your classroom and interest your students in particular.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Classroom Kitchens: Teaching Cooperative Play & Hours of Fun

If you teach young children, your classroom probably includes some toys that are perfect for stimulating the imagination. After all, those in preschool and kindergarten usually need several breaks during their day, and encouraging creativity is often a positive thing. For this reason, classroom kitchen centers are the type of classroom furniture that you should consider purchasing. Not only can they allow several children to play cooperatively at one time, but they usually fit perfectly into the corner of any classroom.

If your class consists of younger kids who may or may not be interested in classroom kitchen centers, you might try starting out with a basic product. This type is typically comprised of a simple sink and stove that are side by side. You may add toys, such as plastic dishes and food, as long as you believe that your students will not lose or swallow them. As you know, larger play items are usually safer at most preschools, so be sure to take the ages of your students into account when purchasing accessories for classroom kitchen centers.

If you think your students might get bored with a simple center, consider the purchase of more complex pretend kitchens. These are usually great for older kids who want a more realistic play center, such as several shelves on which to place dishes, or a refrigerator to put play food in. Of course, if you think your students are responsible enough to handle plastic or wooden play food and dishes, you can add them to the set so that playtime is even more fun than ever. This also means that more kids can play at once.

In some cases, you can start out with a simple center and then add to it. For example, you might begin with a single stove and sink set, and then add a wooden refrigerator or additional shelves when you think your students are ready to move on. You can usually observe their behavior around the set in order to decide. If there are several students interested in playing with classroom kitchen centers and not enough room, adding a few units to your classroom could be a good idea. You can even add more interesting accessories, such as a blender or coffeemaker. Kids of all ages usually have fun mimicking their parents in the kitchen as if they were older, which means that classroom kitchen centers of all kinds are likely to entertain for hours.

Most of the classroom kitchen centers you will find for sale are made of wood, though some are plastic instead. The majority include plastic knobs on the stove and faucets on the sink to make for the most realistic play possible. Most are set at heights that are perfect for toddlers and young kids, and are meant to be quite difficult to tip over. As long as the classroom kitchen centers that you see on the market include these traits, you will probably find them to be both safe and amusing for your students.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Joys Of A Step Stool For Toddlers

Life can be frustrating for little ones who aren't tall enough to see over the kitchen counter. When you're a toddler all you want is to learn how to do things by yourself. You want to pour your own juice, you want to get your own fish crackers

and in our house you want to desperately try to change the tv station. You want to be able to do these things, but you just aren't tall enough. Heck, you'd be happy to be able to wash your own hands in the bathroom without having to have somebody lift you up so you can reach the sink. As a toddler you know these things, and it makes life kind of frustrating.

Kid Sized Step stools
will help your toddler become more independent because more items are within their reach and they will be able to learn how to do more things for themselves. Create a splash around the house with a fun step stool that is colorful and practical. There are different types of step ups including single stepped step stools, two stepped step stools, step stools that come with built in storage, themed step stools and even personalized step stools. There are also a couple of "deluxe" stools that are more than simple step ups.

One of these "deluxe" step stools is the Learning Tower Step Stool which boasts a sturdy and special "non tip" construction design. This stool is actually more of a platform. This stool raises little ones up to the same height as the counter top which allows them to "help" with projects like making dinner. One of the greatest things about the Learning Tower Step Stool is that it is four-sided. It not only gives the toddlers a higher perspective but it has a railing on all sides to keep them from accidentally tumbling backwards off of the stool. The stool's "floor" is also larger than the average step stool, which affords the toddler room to walk around a little bit. It also makes a really good clubhouse if you toss a blanket over the top of it during play time.

Another "deluxe" step stool is the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper The that was made with easy storage in mind, as it's really simply to fold up and store in a small space. The Guidecraft Kitchen Helper features the same raised platform design as the Learning Tower Step Stool. It has the four sided railing and wider "floor" which will help your miniature kitchen staffer move around with more confidence.

step stools help kids learn to do things for themselves. With a step stool little ones can turn the lights on and off by themselves, they can reach the bathroom sink by themselves. This is mostly a good thing, in terms of your child's sense of independence, but you might want to think about possibly putting the yummiest treats on an even higher kitchen shelf from now on!