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It’s that time of year again! The time of year children look forward to all year long. ..TOYS! GIFTS! SHOPPING! As parents we want to make good decisions on how we spend our money and the value we receive in return, especially when it comes to toys. If your house is anything like mine, the new toy can become “old” very quickly as the toy is no longer interesting or the kids have mastered or outgrown it.
Play is super important in children’s development. Many times though, a trip to the local toy store or an online shopping visit, especially over the holidays, can be quite overwhelming, for us parents. There are thousands of toys available, and each year more are added, how do you know what to look for? Which toy will be right for your child? Will you get good value for your dollars? What should you expect from the toy? Will your child be just as enthralled with the box the toy came in, the TV remote control or the pots and pans in the kitchen?
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you boldly and confidently “solve the puzzle” (sorry, couldn’t help it) of finding the perfect toy this Holiday and always.
- Determine the age-appropriateness of the toy- Every age and every stage of development requires different challenges and support. Evaluate the “fit” for your child in terms of age, maturity, developmental level and where their interests lie. It is usually suggested to get toys a little ahead of where your child is currently, so they have a toy to “grow into”.
- Evaluate the educational component/value-I think this is the most important consideration, apart from safety. What is the toy teaching? Look for toys that teach more than one thing and can be used in several different ways. This is referred to as “open-end” toys. This is why I love building blocks which teach ABCs, colours and spatial relations and are also used to build unlimited structures. Similarly, construction sets also support this open-end play concept of allowing unlimited creations and activities.
- Can the toys grow with your child? You want toys that have utility across several different age ranges. My one year old uses blocks which help with his grasp. They are colourful and visually exciting, and my eight year old is building forts with the same blocks! I think that’s good value for money.
- Look for problem solving opportunities-This is why I love, love, love puzzles! The best way for children to learn is with puzzles, and they are fun. Puzzles help to develop the all important logical and abstract “out-of-box” thinking. Puzzles, sorters and stackers are great options.
- Encourage imagination-Creative play is another important consideration. By about three years old, storytelling, dress up and make believe are a big part of playtime. These activities help formulate their ideas and build literacy skills.
In a nutshell, you want toys that support and augment the learning process with high fun factor. Happy shopping! What other tips do you have for selecting great toys? I would love to hear them. Share them in the comments below.
December 15, 2011 No Comments
‘Tis the season…well almost. The time of year children look forward to all year long. The excitement and anticipation of choosing their gifts and making their lists is upon us. But wait, I know, excitement for children can mean stress for us parents, as we manoeuvre the Christmas parties, family gatherings, shopping for the “perfect” gifts and everything else that’s involved with celebrating the season. Kid ‘N’ Play JA Toy Box makes your search and shopping for the perfect children’s gifts easier, quicker, less stressful and more fun.
Kid ‘N’ Play JA Toy Box is the new addition to the Kid ‘N’ Play JA family. We have done the “heavy lifting”. Reviewed the Holiday gift guides, compiled industry reviews, researched the award winners and HOT items, to offer a selection of fun, educational and engaging toys. We are proud of our collection of stimulating “Baby and toddler” toys, brain teaser and strategy “Puzzles”, challenging “Construction” and cool Science kits! Our “Creative play” section encourages imagination and storytelling which is an integral part of children’s development.
November is our launch month, so we have special promotions planned to kick off the Holiday shopping season. Our first promotion is FREE SHIPPING on purchases $US50 and more!!
December 15, 2011 No Comments