Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby-conscious Retrofits Hit Home For New Parents

Most parents fear too much TV will harm their children. But they couldn't have predicted how the idiot box is injuring offspring all over the country. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal regulatory board, children climbing on shelves and tables seriously injure themselves 8,000 to 10,000 times per year. And one specific type of injury—TV collapses—is on the rise. Kids furniture is often small and bottom-heavy so toddlers can't do much damage. But modern televisions are completely front-heavy—tough, heavy screens mounted to flimsy plastic stands—and very easy to tip.

Hidden dangers and accidents keep parents up at night and, thankfully, are easily preventable. Parenting publications have examined certain simple retrofits that can help protect the modern home. These are not your old plastic socket covers and sink-cabinet pull-latches. A few DIY additions can give you peace of mind that, no matter what your baby gets into, they get out of it ok.

Tie Back The TV: Most modern TVs can be mounted or fastened to keep it from tipping. Others can be placed in an entertainment center, behind closed doors. One thing parents should never do is place their new flat screen on a low, free-standing table that a toddler can climb onto.

Think Like A 2-Year-Old: Babies are very tactile in their explorations. They want to touch everything. And no room in the house has more soft things than the bedrooms. According to the owners of Safe And Sound Babyproofing, a Calgary-based retrofit service, most parents buy expensive baby furniture, shake it a bit to find its stability and think it is ok. But if you think like a 2-year-old, the best way to reach high places is to stand on the bottom drawer of any dresser. Most dressers, when put up against this test, will tip over. Checking your baby furniture before you buy against these safety concerns will save you many headaches in the future.

Mind The Blinds: A surprising number of children are strangled each year by mini-blinds, Safe and Sound reports. Children play with them, get them wrapped around their necks and choke. One simple fix is to install a cable wrapping hook that lets you tie back your blind cables when they are in use. This 50-cent piece of plastic can save you tons of worry down the line.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Buying a Play Kitchen May Help Your Child's Development
If your child comes home with an imaginary friend or wants to pretend he's in a fantasy world, it's probably not a good idea to discourage it. Children have had pretend friends and played kitchen for a long time and this may help their growth. According to numerous studies, imaginative and pretend play aid in the cognitive development of children. These children are more adept at functioning in a social setting and conceptualizing complex ideas. There are multiple reasons for this.
Pretend play allows children to play with one another and act out in a role. This encourages children to engage in social interaction and learn how to act with others. It creates empathy within the children because these children who are playing pretend are acting like someone else. They are putting themselves in someone else's shoes, which may help them accept differences in others. One WSJ article chronicling a few studies on early childhood development stated how those with autism don't usually pretend play and were less able to function in a social setting. Researchers are figuring whether there is a connection here.
Moreover, educational toys like a play kitchen help your children make sense of reality. It's hard for children to understand how things work. A play kitchen allows the child to become an active participant. He or she can run wild with his or her imagination and pretend it's a real life kitchen with ingredients and cooking pans. Once the child uses his pretend kitchen enough, he will be able to apply what he experienced to what he sees in a real kitchen. Toys that support pretend play and imagination are beneficial tools to foster this growth.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Importance of Reading to Children

Reading to your children is a primary element in helping their development, in forming a close bond with them and directing them towards personal and academic growth. Reading to your children is a healthy habit that you are able to form from the time they are born; studies have shown that infants are soothed by the sound of their parent's voice. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) "strongly recommends reading to children every day, starting after they are first born," because "reading stimulates the development of the brain, language and a closer emotional relationship with a child." As children develop, the reading process will become more interactive as they can follow along and begin asking questions for understanding.

Unfortunately many educators today are experiencing that children from various backgrounds are coming to school having never been read to before. It's not just children from lower income homes, but children from privileged homes as well who are spending more time in front of the television set, not interacting with their parents and siblings on a regular basis. Parents play a significant role in either encouraging or hindering child development.

Research has shown that children who are read to on a consistent basis are more likely to succeed academically. Children who are read to are able to form abstract concepts, they develop their imagination (rather than having the television do so for them), and build a broader vocabulary. So why is it then that many studies are showing that parents are spending less time reading to their children?

There can be a vast number of legitimate reasons why reading to your child can be difficult, primarily because finding the time together is hard. A few ideas might be to find a few stories on tape or CD and listen to them together while driving, to read while putting your child to bed- it's often helpful to read stories that you enjoy as well because you'll enjoy reading, or look into educational toys and interactive books. You might need to get creative to find time or ideas to read to your child with, but the benefits of doing so will last a lifetime.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Importance of Educational Toys That Promote Arts and Creativity

Children who are introduced to the rich experiences in learning through interacting with artistic elements typically develop a number of skill sets important for lifelong learning. However, the No Child Left Behind Act has put more emphasis on students learning math and language, than to focus on specialty classes such as art and music. Still, 91% of schools in the country are teaching the arts, though all don’t receive the same funding for their programs.
The reality is that all schools aren’t created equal. It’s important that parents help to facilitate learning within their homes. Many educational toys promote arts and creativity, which can help your child round out the learning skills they might not be while in school.
There are a number of skills and abilities that are proven to be more developed in children who are involved in the arts. Some of which are: visual-spatial abilities, self-criticism, reflection, critical thinking and the ability to apply what they’ve learned from mistakes. These are skills that are important for lifelong learning and development, yet are ignored to certain degrees because of teaching to the test practices in the classroom.
Providing your child with educational toys that encourage arts and creativity gives them the opportunity to build upon these skills and areas. There are a number of studies that even show children who take part in the arts usually test with high marks on standardized testing. Allowing your child to create and further develop crucial learning skills will only benefit their learning abilities. It is important that your child has the ability to interact with educational toys which promote the arts and creativity.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Benefits of Active Play for Toddlers

The term “toddler” is used to describe young children between the ages of 1 to 3 years. During these early years there are many cognitive, emotional and social developments which help to mold a child into their future selves. In this phase of their life, environmental and learning factors are crucial for reinforcing positive and healthy growth in your child. Active plays games and educational toys are a great way to assist their development process.

As we age, our idea of being “active” is often associated with playing sports or working out at a gym. However, being physically active for children comes through their ability to play. Through play, children begin to build a foundation for learning by interacting with other children, adults and the world around them. Play is able to improve various aspects of a child's well-being, physically, emotionally and socially.

By providing opportunities for our children to play, we allow them experiences in which they can learn and develop. It's important that parents consider the environment they are introducing their children to, as well as the learning factors they will be exposed to. Active toys help to develop muscles, coordination and movement skills, while educational toys for kids help to reinforce opportunities for learning.

A nurturing environment helps to facilitate healthy development in your child. Help your toddler experience unique learning and development opportunities by providing them with active and educational toys.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No Batteries Required

Your Kids Toys Don't Have to Put You in the Poor House
If you are at the store or shopping online and buy battery operated kids toys for your children, you should know that the marked price is not the price you will ultimately pay. You will be paying for the price of the toy along with a lifetime of batteries.
Batteries are not very cheap. A three or four dollar pack of batteries may not seem like much at first, but over time, it adds up. Some toy companies are nice enough to include the first set of batteries with the toy, but the lifetime of AAA batteries can be anywhere from twenty to thirty hours. If your children like the toy, which hopefully they will, that's not a very long time.
A twenty dollar toy may end up costing over a hundred dollars. If you buy several toys at this price, you could be digging yourself into a financial hole. There is another way, however. If you don't want to sacrifice your children's happiness as you try to cut some of the extra spending, you should consider buying toys at CP Toys. We offer a variety of fun and educational kids toys that will engage their imaginations and not tie up your check book with battery costs.
What can you find at CP Toys that won't require batteries? You can find many games and puzzles that will help with their problem solving skills and keep your children occupied for hours. We have toys conditioned to help your children with the arts, sports, and pursuits, as well as classic toys that you may have grown up with. Shop CP Toys today and discover a world of battery-free possibilities.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How Kids Toys Help Students Learn Math

When I was a child, I was taught my ABCs through a system of puppets designed as the letters. For example, Mr. H was very hairy, so I associated the "h" sound with hair. After we practiced pronouncing that sound, we got our reward: the chance to play with Mr. H, the puppet. Learning through traditional teaching methods followed by interacting with a toy that resembled what we learned was an excellent way for me to learn because I got bored easily just listening to my 83 year old kindergarten teacher speak for more than a few minutes. I was young and eager and could not sit still for a moment. Interactive learning helped bridge this gap and made it possible for me to learn easier.

More and more classrooms are utilizing interactive learning because it gives younger students the chance to play around with the kids toys, objects, or software so that they make some sort of connection. For example, 1+1=2 may not make any sense to a child, if he doesn't have any contextual understanding of what these numbers stand for.

However, if you put one bead and add another bead, the child can see that there are now two beads on the table. No two children learn the same, so having more than one style of teaching offers the greatest opportunity to help children learn the basics. We are increasingly becoming a visual and interactive society. We read through a combination of image and text and see more movies than read books. Our teaching pedagogies must coincide with this shift. For some students, they can learn by just listening to the teacher. For others like me, it's easier to learn through playing with software or toys. Whatever the case, passive and interactive learning are both necessary methods to help children learn the basics.