Friday, May 11, 2012

It’s time to Pretend

We can remember pretending as children and how exhilarating it was to use our imagination to transport us to other places while transforming us into pirates, princesses and dragons.  As parents we know for our children pretend play provides a multitude of rich experiences that impact their moral, language, cognitive and physical developments.  Hard to imagine one type of play could benefit them so much. 

When our children engage in pretend play, they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through this cooperative play, they learn how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.

Typically pretend play is viewed as indoor, quiet fun.  Spring provides us with such wonderful surroundings.  The trees are in bloom, the grass is plush and the flowers are blossoming.  This is the perfect landscape for your children to enjoy some quiet fun outside amongst nature’s beauty.  With this in mind, we are featuring two of our exclusive pretend play educational toys with an outdoor influence to enjoy both indoors and out.  For your little girls who love taking their Today’sGirl Doll everywhere they go, we have the adorable scooter set.  Allow your 18-inch doll (Today’s Girl) to wheel around on her scooter with her friends.  It’s the perfect way to provide pretend play with the great outdoors.  For the rough and tumble boys who love to be so active our Everglade Patrol allows them to slow down just enough to fly overhead with the rugged seaplane and capture alligators from their swamp boat.  The fresh air and sunshine will awaken their minds and they will pretend to be different characters; "walking in someone else's shoes," which provides the important moral development skill of empathy.  And don’t forget pretend play helps your child understand the power of language.  By pretend playing with others, they learn words give them the means to reenact a story or organize play. This process helps your child to make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help them learn to read.  So think outside of the box and take some of your “inside” toys outside and discover how your children can learn and grow using their toys in a different way.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Get Those Bodies Moving!

Spring has sprung and summer is fast approaching! So outdoor toys are front and center! It is time to pull out the goals, balls and games for some fun in the sun. As moms we are always looking for educational toys for children that are fun and exciting. We also need them to be practical, cost effective, and most importantly hold their attention for more than 2 minutes! We are so proud at CP Toys because our educational toys challenge children’s bodies while learning about themselves and the world around them all while having fun. They also provide them the opportunity to experience rule following, teamwork, and sharing. Who says a soccer ball has to be regulation size? Our Portable Soccer Goal with Giant Inflatable Soccer Ball as well as our Giant Inflatable Basketball and Giant Bowling Set will give you just the right amount of silly and a whole lot of exercise and fun. Even better news; they are each currently on sale! Hurry fast so you can make your first days of summer vacation…GIANT FUN!

Giant Bowling Set

Get those bodies moving! Active play is so critical to children’s health, growth and development. Children’s brain development is directly related to moving their bodies. Studies show exercise in children improves memory and spatial navigation. The ideal physical play incorporates play with social interactions and problem solving. As these connections develop, a child's fine and gross motor skills, socialization, personal awareness, language, creativity and problem solving are improved.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Play Kitchens: More than Just a Cooking Class

Educational toys are all the rage these days. Toys that subtly help a child learn don’t have to be directly related to school, like number games or books. In fact, educational toys can help prepare children for responsibilities that come later in life. It seems like a lot of children just can’t wait to be a grown-up, and a play kitchen will serve as a stepping stone to utilize their maturity while still playing like the fun kids they are.

The Wooden Deluxe Kitchen is a solid fixture in any home, with shelf space for your child. The kitchen clock can be set for mealtime, and the timer will go off when the pretend food is ready. Kids can practice tidiness and hygiene with towels and aprons to hang on the rack and hook when finished.

Another great option is the Uptown Kitchen with Breakfast Bar and Two Stools. The play kitchen feels very natural with places to sit for your guests eager to “scarf down” the food your child pretended to cook. The play kitchen has a sleek look with desired dark wood and faux granite countertops. It’s as close to the real thing as you can get!

The best play kitchen for your child (and you!) is one that fits right in to the rest of your home d├ęcor. The very sturdy and wooden As Cozy As Home Play Kitchen comes with two pretend burners, turning knobs and cloth curtains above the sink. It comes with all the accessories you need, from food to dishes, silverware, blender, toaster and the works! Just like the others, pretend microwave and oven are included. Your child will feel like a professional chef in the greatest play kitchen with all the fixings.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Importance of Educational Toys in Early Childhood

Children from the time they are born are sponges when it comes to their ability to constantly learn through interaction and play when using an educational toy as foundation. These toys help promote a child to develop all of their senses, they will start to understand that there are colors, objects have different textures and shapes, and even help them start the process of learning the alphabet and numbers. By exposing your child starting from the time they are infants will ensure that they learn early and pique their curiosity to learn more the older they get and the more advanced toys they are exposed to.

Children from an early age are encouraged to have playtime, research has proven playtime to be vital when it comes to a child’s development at home. Children play in many different ways and toys allow them to become engaged with what they are playing with and in the end learn a new set of skills and logic through the toy.

When considering educational toys for kids the most important factor is to realize that there are many different types. Consideration must be made with regard to the fact that they are uniquely made depending on the child’s age and the pace at which they learn. This is especially important since children starting as infants learn in a sequence and attempting to provide them with a toy way beyond their means of actually grasping the education benefit will provide no use.

Infants, for example, are not as developed as toddlers and need an educational toy that will stimulate their touch, hearing and sight. Most toys made for infants are very colorful, bright and full of an assortment of shapes and textures. These types of toys introduce infants to a world they are not used to and build a foundation for their development. A toddler on the other hand is more likely to engage in pretend play attempting to mimic the grown up actions you do so providing them with toys that allow them to interact with your activities are most beneficial.

Whether your child is an infant or a toddler using a toy for education purposed is one of the most important things a parent can do, your child’s education is very important and every parent wants to give their child the knowledge and assets to excel now and in the future.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Educational Children’s Games

One of the most fun ways a child can develop and grow is through playing board games that have educational value. This engages the child; they are both having a good time with family and friends and learning about various things, depending on the game which they are playing.

One of the best and most enjoyable examples of an educational children’s game is Apples to Apples Junior. This game uses wild card comparisons which are fantastic at improving a child's creative thinking skills and vocabulary. 

Essentially, there is a category each round, and the child must simply pick the card out of their stack that they think best represents the category. This game is not only easy to play but is fast paced and will keep everyone on their toes.

Another award winning game that is also a favorite with the kids is Cranium Cadoo. With this game, kids either work on their own or within a group doing all sorts of various outrageous and fun filled activities. The kids draw, sculpt, and solve puzzles, and act, all the while using a "secret decoder mask" to discover hidden answers. The first kid to get four answers in a row wins.

Another game with educational value for preschool aged children is Boggle Jr. This game will help teach children both reading and spelling in a fun, affective way. It also teaches word recognition, grouping, sorting, and even sharing with friends.

There are also the more classic adult thinking games that have now been converted into children’s games, such as Pictionary Jr. and Scrabble Jr. Pictionary Jr. teaches children to think on their feet. It also strongly teaches communication skills and teamwork. Scrabble Jr. has the ability to greatly expand your child's vocabulary. With Scrabble Jr. your child will be forming long words while competing and having fun doing it.

One newer children’s game that has come out has to do with trivia. It is called Beat the Parents and is great for not only parent child bonding, but learning about pop culture and other historical events from a different age. Essentially, the children quiz parents about things in their day and time and vice versa for the parents. The game has had great reviews from both parents and kids.  

Educational Children’s Games are important for making learning fun and engaging for all kids.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Educational Toys: Making Learning Fun for Children

Making learning fun has been a topic of discussion within the educational field for many years. Children seem to be less focused on learning tasks, leading to case studies for learning disabilities, as well as showing more interest in video games and sources that provide very little in the way of educational purposes. However, learning centers are a teaching method that has found a way to make learning fun for children by using educational toys .

Learning centers vary based upon grade level, student needs, teaching styles and other factors. It is very likely that no two centers look the same, but will typically focus on similar goals. Centers are designed to reinforce prior learning in the classroom, challenge students with new ideas or skills and to allow student interaction and fun. Learning centers take a holistic approach to teaching.

Teachers likely take varying approached to implementing learning centers in their classroom, but they will typically include a few key elements. There should be 3 to 4 centers throughout the classroom, students will work in groups at each center, at least one center should include educational toys and students should be working on prior and new skill sets. How these centers will look more specifically, depends on how the teacher evaluates their students.

Educational toys are a great resource for making learning fun. They work great for classroom settings, as well as continuing learning at home. Because there are educational toys that really are fun, children will enjoy playing with them on a regular basis.