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Educational Kids Toys

Before fancy electronic equipment and computer chip generated toys, kids toys were crafted using simple shapes, materials and mechanisms which taught children how to use their hands and thus learn through playing. Though many children want and covet the new, high-tech toys of today; plenty of educational toys for kids are available which combine the benefits of old fashion craftsmanship with learning. The best kids toys are those which entertain, keep a child engaged and teach at the same time. Though not all toys can do all three things at once, those that do quickly become a child’s favorite and all of the non-educational toys seem to get routinely passed over as children naturally crave to learn new tasks, movements, ideas and experiences. You can use this natural ability and desire to become educated when choosing toys for kids by opting for those with a learning aspect to the toy itself.

 

Older toys from the past, such as simple stacking blocks and building sets not only provided for hours of entertainment, they were also beneficial in helping children learn how to create things with their hands and solve problems by making pieces fir together. This also explains why toys such as blocks, puzzles, construction sets and balls have been longtime favorites of parents and kids alike. Not only does a child learn how to work with their hands, they learn basic and advanced critical thinking skills while playing. This type of learning through play has proven to be beneficial, so much so that even schools use play as a form of educating.

English: Soap bubbles

English: Soap bubbles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Educational toys for kids are available for young babies and toddlers all the way through to preteen age children who typically want something a bit more challenging. Babies can benefit by playing with toys which help teach hand and eye coordination, problem solving skills and basic sounds and speech. Older children benefit by using toys which help hone and diversify their knowledge of strategy and logical thinking. In fact, some of the best educational toys for children are so much fun for a child that they actually do not even realize that playing with the toys is beneficial to them.

 

Kids toys, though ultimately deemed fun by the child playing with the toys, is something that can be useful when you need to provide something entertaining for a child to do. Though kids sometimes prefer high-tech toys which allow for the child to simply play and not think, the educational toys for children which are fun and engaging bring about a renewed sense of energy as the child becomes thoroughly engaged while playing. The right toys for children are those which are age appropriate, built well and give the child something to do which grabs and keeps their attention for an extended period of time. In choosing toys for your children, or to give as gifts, you need to make sure the toys allow for the child to learn and grow through the experience of playing with the toys. When this happens, the child has fun and benefits from playing and the parents and caregivers get a good feeling of providing an educational experience for the child which is fun as well.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6777780

 

By Dragutin Filipcic

 

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How To Transform Your Garden Into The Perfect Place To Play

English: Airplane climbing frame This climbing...

English: Airplane climbing frame This climbing frame is in Abbey Estate’s Small play area shown in1086053 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is often said that children spend too much time in front of the television. Of course the key to avoiding this is to make sure you offer them a fun alternative. There are plenty of garden buildings available to help your children enjoy themselves, in particular playhouses and climbing frames.

Playhouses 

Wooden playhouses are great for providing children with their own special place for playing. Whether it’s used as their own little den for quiet games, or as a base from which their more active games can develop, a child’s playhouse often becomes a favourite place to spend time.

Playhouses range from child-sized idealised homes, generally more suited to quieter play, to army-themed bunkers allowing for more active games. The majority of playhouses are similar to garden sheds in construction, featuring tongue and groove panels held together by a framework, making them solid and long lasting buildings.

While the basic playhouse is a small garden building on one level, there a few different layouts found in the more impressive playhouses. Often you will find playhouses that have an upper level which is reached by a wooden ladder or steps and makes children feel even more as though they have their own little house. There are also playhouses that sit on a raised platform giving children a high vantage point over the garden that is really enjoyable.

Of course, it is always important to make sure that children are safe while they are playing and most playhouses are designed with this in mind. The glazing used is generally either Perspex or polycarbonate rather than glass because it is far sturdier. When glass is used it is always best to ensure that it is toughened glass which crumbles into smaller and less dangerous pieces when it is broken. Standard glass generally breaks into shards which could prove lethal for a child.

Climbing Frames 

Climbing frames are a fantastic way to keep children active and having fun outdoors. Most climbing frames have a slide and generally are highly customisable, coming with a range of extra modules, components and accessories.

The wide selection of climbing frame modules allows them to be tailor-made to suit the garden and the children who will be using the frame. Some of the most common add-on features are swing modules with a range of different swing seats on offer. There are also climbing modules featuring rock walls or climbing nets. And you can buy a combined playhouse and climbing frame, perhaps linked by a bridge of some kind of to make a very special play area.

There are lots of extra accessories that can be added to climbing frames including telephones, telescopes, steering wheels, basketball hoops and climbing ropes. With so many options available, you can be sure that every climbing frame offers plenty of fun for all children.

As you can see, with so many variations available in both climbing frames and playhouses, it’s easy to find just the right place for your child to play.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7328477

By Gavin R Graham

Top 5 Parenting Tips For Toddlers

baby learning to walk

baby learning to walk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Toddlers are now walking and exploring every part of your home. They are testing boundaries in every sense of the word. There are many things going on in their lives at this time. Here are some tips that might just help you through it.

They are curious about everything. So they will attempt to get into everything. Make sure things you don’t want them playing with are far out of reach. That way they are free to roam the house and explore while not damaging themselves or anything else.

  1. It is the responsibility of the parents to guide their children in this world. Make sure you show them what is appropriate and lead by example.
  2. Their communication skills are not yet complete but they are learning very quickly. Be careful because they will copy or repeat anything you say. They are learning vocabulary, tone, facial expressions and many more things regarding communicating and the only place they are learning this off is yourself and ones that take care of them.
  3. Put covers on everything you see. Toddlers are prone to making a mess of everything in their path. Couch covers, tv covers if yours is within reach and anything else you wish to protect.
  4. Take them through everything you are doing. In order for them to learn the right way to do things you must show them. This means everything from going to the toilet to showering, making dinner, watering the garden and everything else you do during the day or night.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3580739

By Adam P

Top 5 Parenting Tips For Babies

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture).

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parenting babies can be a daunting task as you may find it hard to communicate with them. Babies do actually communicate but they do so in different ways. These tips will hopefully make it a lot easier on yourself and baby.

They didn’t come here to manipulate you. Babies will cry but only to get your attention to help them with something. They aren’t out to annoy you. They either want a changed diaper, they are too hot or cold, teething, stomach/wind pain or may just even be scared.

  1. Close contact is essential with a baby. They want to be close to their mom or dad. You can never be too close to them. It doesn’t turn them into dependent babies, it teaches them that if they are need comfort someone is there for them, hence they tend to be more confident in exploring the world.
  2. Let them explore the world around them. Don’t keep them in a playpen, baby proof your house and let them crawl around. It will keep them entertained more than any toy and help them practice crawling, which in turn helps them develop many more neurological connections.
  3. Talk to them like an adult. Babies will only learn language if they can hear it. So if they only hear baby talk that is all they can learn. Introducing them to adult conversation early will help them pick up language a lot faster.
  4. Your babies health is most likely one of your biggest concerns. While everything is new there is a tendency to panic about most minor things. Remember that billions and billions of children have gone through the first years of their life and survived in sometimes much worse conditions than we live today. So while it is always important to keep an eye on your babies health and speak to your health care practitioner should you have any concerns, you will most likely have little to worry about.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3580707

By Adam P

Introducing ABC and 123

Alphabet

Alphabet (Photo credit: james.swenson13)

From the moment baby is born, his brain is starting to work overtime. We are wrong to think that all they do during the first weeks are eat and sleep and fill the diaper. Every interaction we do with the baby stimulates his intelligence. Little by little he recognizes mother’s voice and touch. He knows when it is time to feed him or time for bath. It is important to stimulate the baby’s brain as early as the first weeks to brace them up for more exercises the following months. Introduce those colors and sounds. You’d be surprise how early they will interact and know the ABCs and 123s.

Teaching them alphabets and counting does not require any age. As long as you think they can comprehend already, then you will know it is time. Make your nursery feel like a pre-school room. Attach alphabet posters on the wall. The more colorful it is, the more your child will notice the pictures. Show her books about numbers. Do it with a little story. You can do this in the morning when the baby is all up for a little chat and play with mommy. Recite the alphabet while you point each letter. But do not overdo it for it might stress your little tot. You can increase the time of play every day. Just be sensitive with your baby’s needs. It might tire him a bit. So you will know it is time for bath when he is not paying attention anymore.

Don’t get tired saying the letters or the numbers every day. Just a little attention from them would mean so much in the stimulation for intelligence. Do not frustrate yourself when the baby is not cooperating for that day because there might be other thing that interests him. Always be alert of what caught your baby’s attention. It might be the colorful building blocks on the other side of the room or just the nursery rhyme with a video playing in the television.

Every child learns with a different pace. You cannot expect yours to be the same with the other’s intelligence. Genetic and environment is very important. However, with moms as persistent and supportive as you are, child will learn faster and easier. The use of flashcards and posters are a big help in stimulating baby’s brain. Sing him songs, bring him around. Different people and places will catch his attention and make his brain work. Count things in front of him when you are working around the house. Do not bother yourself if he is not listening. Just recite the numbers and the alphabets. You see in a few more months, you will be surprise at how much he knows.

It is often requires a lot of time and effort on the part of mom and dad in stimulating every child’s social and intellectual development. It is during the toddler years that the child needs all the support he can get. Introducing the basics in education will turn out to be a lovely activity if not pushed too much by parents. Remember that you are not only honing his intelligence, you are also developing his emotional skill. You don’t want to sacrifice his trust on you by being too aggressive.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7013477

By Isabel R

Great Toys For the First Three Months

Congratulations on your new baby! Newborns may not seem like they do much at first, but they are constantly learning by using their senses. New babies soak up information like a sponge and they do so by looking, touching, and hearing. Seeing your baby learn new things on a daily level can be exciting! Great developmental toys for infants can help your child grow their senses and assist them in learning about their environment.

Rearranged my toy shelf

Rearranged my toy shelf (Photo credit: Andy Woo)

A great toy for your baby’s first three months is an unbreakable mirror. The mirror helps your newborn become aware of their surroundings without having to go far. This gives your little one some entertainment while acquiring important tummy time. Babies love to look at faces and the mirror allows them to see their face up close and helps their eyes to focus. You might find your baby actually talking and laughing to themselves in the mirror.

In the first three months, infants will adore toys with bright colors and funny shapes. Toys with bright patterns will help your baby distinguish certain objects from each other and hopefully promote them to reach and grab. Toys that encourage movement is very important! Funny shapes and textures help them to expand their realm of touch and you may even catch your infant trying to “figure it out”.

Soft toys are also great for newborns because they are easy to hold and can be very entertaining. Baby rattles and squeaky toys do wonders for increasing their sense of hearing and motor skills. The crinkle textured toys really fascinate babies and offers them a different sound that can grab their attention. Soft toys are also good for soft baby gums which can come in handy when your infant needs an oral fixation. Do not worry parents, putting toys in their mouth is a good thing and helps them get a better idea of their surroundings.

Scientists believe that when a baby is born there are certain neurological connections that are not yet formed and playing with toys helps connect the dots. The learning process for your newborn in the first three months can actually be very complex. Skills must be learned in a certain order and build on each other. There are not just one or two types of toys that are going to pave the proper brain paths that your baby will need for their senses. Soft toys are good for strengthening hands and fingers. Mobiles are great for the eyes and sight and music toys train the listening and hearing senses.

The first three months of your newborn’s life are crucial in sensory development. With each milestone your baby has there should be a toy that can help your little one reach the next neurological step. Playing is your infant’s full-time job and they need the right tools to get the job done! Newborn toys can help offer your child a multi-sensory familiarity of their environment that can build onto the next stage of infancy. Parents should be looking ahead for more developmental toys such as an activity table to prepare your baby for the next three to six months.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2721971

By Jim K Ford

Educational Toys – The First Learning Tools That Are Available to Our Youth

meccano 2+ educational toy

meccano 2+ educational toy (Photo credit: fsse8info)

With the introduction of an educational toy to a child, the world of learning is opened up. A child has the natural desire to learn new things and explore possibilities. This is why the introduction of educational toys at a young age is so fundamental to a child’s early developmental years.

These toys that a child can learn from come in many different shapes, sizes and kinds. There are the first ones that are the ABC wooden blocks. This will expose a child to the written language that will also be fun to play with. With this exposure they will begin to recognize the different shapes of the letters. Soon they will be able to sound them out with help from a loving parent.

The next toy should be the 123 wooden block set. This introduces the numbering system. This is an easy concept that children find fun learning.

With a child’s age increasing, so does the complexity of the education. Puzzles are a great way for a child to recognize shapes. The pictures on the puzzle let them visualize what is being made. It helps the little minds develop to figure problems out. The simple early puzzles are basic but important. A 12 to 18 piece is great to begin with. In time, they will be able to piece together 24-piece and 48-piece puzzles.

Educational toys are not limited to just the basics. There are educational toys that are made for children reaching up and into their early teens. But without a solid foundation of the basics, a child cannot advance to their fullest potential.

Choose each educational toy for your child carefully and help them to achieve their fullest potential.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4227953

By Mark Y. Salmon

The Importance of Baby Toys in Your Baby’s First Year

English: Image of a baby sleeping in a Babygym...

English: Image of a baby sleeping in a Babygym Svenska: Bild på en bebis som somnat i ett Babygym (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the time babies are born they start learning new skills and their brain begins evaluating and storing understanding. Baby toys are the ideal items to help a baby develop these new skills and stimulate development in dexterity and brain function. Because babies initially spend most of their waking time lying on their back lovely bright mobiles suspended above them will encourage eye co-ordination and promote hand and leg movements as they are stimulated by the movement of the toy.

Your baby is naturally born with a grasp reflex. You only have to put a finger into the palm of the tiniest baby to see this at work as they will surprisingly grip it firmly. Toys which usually can be grasped such as rattle or soft toys can help this grasp reflex develop as your baby discovers to hold the toy and move it around. Such grasping toys should have a variety of surfaces including hard, soft, ridged or rough to provide the baby with a range of touch sensations.

As your baby grows older and becomes more mobile, other toys can be introduced to strengthen this new found skill. Toys that move on their own accord or change shape when handled are preferred at this stage. A string of large coloured wooden beads can be manipulated between their hands or a ball which makes a sound when moved is likewise appealing to your baby. Baby toys which can be easily pushed and retrieved are a good idea, such as toys on wheels that can be pushed away and pulled back by way of a string or handle.

Babies will quickly start sitting unaided and begin to examine their toys in more detail, shifting them from hand to hand and offering them for others to see. They will babble happily at their toys as they play thus helping advance their speech development. Bricks and blocks can provide hours of fun with its bright colours and attempts to build encourage the growing dexterity of the baby. Simple picture books can be introduced for educational purposes and also be an interactive device between the parent and baby.

Once baby starts to crawl everything is within their reach. At this time baby toys that have a push and chase element can retain baby’s interest and a great source of fun. Your baby is now increasingly able to manipulate toys and the idea of taking something apart followed by putting it back together provides great fun. Thus, toys like blocks or beads that clip together or a box with slots for things to go through are much valued. Your baby will also enjoy hiding and re-appearing or something as simple as a play tunnel can provide hours of crawling through and sitting in out of sight. Such toy will help enhance awareness of space and self-confidence within your baby.

When babies reach the end of their first year they must have acquired significant milestones aided and encouraged by their suitable baby toys. Simultaneously their mental and physical development has been much improved by the play and experimentation with sound, touch, colour and movement which these toys provided. Baby toys help build a solid foundation during your baby’s first year and will develop their physical coordination, social interaction and mental aptitude.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6722263

By Kathie R. Dionisio

Developmental Toys for the First Five Years

Waldschattenspiel, game for children of walter...

Waldschattenspiel, game for children of walter Kraul from 1985. It is to play in the dark and the shodows play a great role. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First time parents are often uncertain about the development of their child. They are not always sure how to encourage their child’s growth in the many areas that need their gentle guidance. That’s why developmental toys can be so useful in those first five years of a child’s life. Before they go off to school and learn, they must learn the basic milestones of their young lives. From crawling and walking to talking and counting, social and motor skills and finally reading and listening, children have so many things to learn. Parents can help them learn these skills with the aid of educational and developmental toys and games.

Year One

In the first year of baby’s life there are so many things to learn, visual, audio and tactile skills and then physical fine and gross motor skills.

Some great toys for babies to develop their visual, audio and tactile skills are soft toys with dials and buzzers, squeakers and patches. Rattles with bells and books with bright colours and shapes and bold lines.

As baby gets older and wants to move, toys like play mats with bells and texture pads and hanging toys are great to develop rolling and grabbing. Walkers and jumpers are great for strengthening legs and balance.

Year Two

In the second year a baby learns to walk and talk and develop higher motor skills with hands and feet.

Balls are great for two year olds, to kick and push around. Wagons are great for pulling and pushing. Blocks are good for stacking and building. Shovels will help them discover sand and soil. Two years old love water play and a water table is invaluable in the summer months.

A two year old will love to hear stories and songs from books and will appreciate finer detail in pictures and colour.

Year Three

As a child grows, their ability to pretend and use their imagination really starts to develop. Brands like Fisher Price and Little People are great for toys that provide props for role play and scenarios.

A three year old is better able to hold a pencil or crayon and will love to scribble and draw on paper and chalk boards. A three year old also begins to imitate mum and dad, and may like to use a toy telephone or pram, or drive a car or put things in a bag or basket.

Three year olds like to get busy in the garden or at the beach with shovels and buckets.

Year Four

A four year old has become rather proficient at many things like walking, running, jumping and dancing. They will enjoy ball games and out door games like sand pit and wading pools and sprinklers.

At four children love to dress up and play out their favourite character or scenario, so providing some simple costumes and props will encourage lots of role play.

A four year old might like to use an instrument to play along to their favourite song. They like to blow bubbles and get a little more sophisticated in their craft activities. Perhaps providing safety scissors, glue and glitter will allow some creative energies to flow.

Year Five

Once a child is five they will learn to read and write. Books become very important to school age children and they provide the opportunity to practice their new skills.

A five year old can now participate in more complex activities such as board games and computer games, more complex puzzles and experimental play such magnets and science based kits.

Girls might become more interested in their appearance and they might like to explore role play with barbies and doll houses and jewellery making kits.

There are a wonderful variety of toys to suit all children at an age, just try and choose learning toys that encourage active rather than passive participation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4963759

By Chang C Lim

Cat Toys – How to Choose the Best Toys For Your Cat

Plush Toys, Cat and Mouse.

Plush Toys, Cat and Mouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does your cat walk around as if he is looking for something to do? Does he have a toy box full of toys but doesn’t play with them? What is wrong that all those toys just don’t excite him?

Well for starters, every cat has his own unique personality. Each cat has different preferences about food, cat litter, favorite scratch places, beds and even toys. Some cats need to be coaxed into play. Play releases energy, stress and provides healthy exercise. Lazy cats left to their own devices will sleep and eat, resulting in becoming overweight. While fat cats are cute they are not healthy.

Try playing with your feline friend using several different types of toys. Balls rolled across the floor, little mice tossed over his head across the room or toys that jingle or rattle. Try different types of toys until you find something that arouses your fur baby. He needs to run and play. Playing is your cat acting out his natural instinct to hunt and release energy.

Something should be of interest to your kitty to play with. Try interactive toys such as a mouse or other toy attached to a string or cord. Drag it around in front of him and in back of him. Let him see it and then drag it into areas where he can’t see it. Cats are always interested when something goes out of their field of view but they saw it go somewhere! Most kitties’ interests are peaked when they are watching something that is moving and it goes behind something. Just as a cat would watch a real mouse run to and fro and run behind something. Pole toys are an excellent play activity that not only encourages your cat to play, they also help to create a bond between you and he (or she).

When kitty has toys that fail to get him to play, possibly he or she is not interested in the types of toys that are in his toy box. Battery operated toys are available that move or make a noise that is irresistible to cats. Rotate the toys so he thinks he has new toys all the time. Place catnip toys in zip lock bags to keep the catnip scent fresh. Kitties that are house bound need exercise, we need to encourage them to play and use their muscles. Laying around and getting fat is not good for your fur baby. Ask any veterinarian and they will confirm. Prevent your cat from becoming overweight by encouraging them to stay active.

There are so many types of cat toys available these days. Understanding your cat and what excites him or her is the first clue in purchasing toys that will be played with. A cat can never have enough toys!

Cat Toys For Less offers you an ever-growing selection of fun cat toys that will keep your special friend busy (and active) for hours. Keeping your indoor cat active helps prevent health risks such as obesity.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6978141

By Jackie Rosetti