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Benefits of Children's Educational Toys and Games

Did you know that toys and games are vital to the total development of children? Yes, they are. These toys are not only made to provide fun and entertainment to children, but they serve other purposes as well. To learn more about its benefits, read this article.

As the famous saying goes, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." This holds true to children because play is not simply made to white their time and to provide entertainment to children, but also to boost learning and development. These toys provide firm foundation for learning and education, thereby giving children a good start early in life.

Despite the existence of millions of toys and games in the market, the values they provide remain the same. By nature, children are inquisitive and curious and giving them the right toys to touch and to play everyday can keep little tykes interest all day. If you do not furnish them toys to keep them busy, they will amuse themselves by cutting, folding, tearing things. Because of their curious nature, you should keep all the dangerous things inside your house, like staples, scissors, pencils and important files. The best way to keep them busy is to provide them with the right toys to play with.

To boost their learning capacity, it is the responsibility of parents to give their children the right educational toys.

Benefits of educational toys to children:

1. Innovativeness and creativity - When playing with toys and games, they can develop perception, intuition and reasoning. By giving them the right toys, they learn to draw, to paint, to use crayons, to use a pair of scissors and many more. By playing with educational craft materials at an early age, they become creative and they explore their creativity by drawing different shapes and sizes or by cutting things out of paper.

2. Cognitive skills - These toys can help them connect to their thought process and can develop their capabilities to think freely. Toys which help children boost their cognitive skills include puzzles and number games.

3. Motor skills - With the right toys and games, they can develop their motor skills along with their cognitive skills.

4. Fun and enjoyment - If your child enjoys the toys he plays, he will keep playing the game. Enjoyment is an essential component when choosing a toy or a game for your child. Make it a point to consider his interest when buying a toy for him.

5. Soft skills - By giving them a well-guided play, they can develop softer skills like:

* Social activities - By mingling and interacting with other children, they learn social values, principles and sentiments.

* Language skills - When they play with language-based educational toys, they are quick to learn fundamental language skills.

* Emotional development - They learn to face situations, like losing a game to a friend or winning a game. By exposing them early to real-life situations like this, you can help them grow emotionally. They learn to accept challenges, to overcome them and to gain mental strength.

Because of the invaluable things, practices and lessons children learn from play, parents should give them the right educational toys suitable for their age and interest.


Don't Forget The Beach Toys!

Beach Toy Necessities for All Ages - My kids are always ready for a day at the beach. The beach bag with our toys has a designated spot in the garage and it's loaded first by my teenager. When you announce to your kids that you are going to spend the day at the beach, more often than not, the first thing that comes to mind for your child will not be the sound of the water or the feel of the sand, but how many sand castles he can create. It is equally important to older kids and adults that we have our favorites ready to go at a moment's notice. The movement of sand and water with our tools, a Frisbee to toss or ball to swat are absolute essentials for the trip no matter how long we plan to stay. When checking the trunk or SUV, be sure you've included these with the beach towels and beach chairs.

* Sand shovels and buckets - There are different types and models of bucket and shovels available in toy shops or in the convenience stores near the beaches. During the off-season, your favorite online beach supply will have a variety of shovels and pails as well. There are shovels that are made from plastics with either a short or longer handles made of plastic or wood. There are shovels too made from metal which cuts through wet sand easily, be careful giving these to very young toddlers. Sturdy plastic will last for many seasons with just a quick rinse after your day in the sand. As for the buckets, there are plastic buckets with strong sturdy handles which can hold scoops of sands that are usually heavy when wet. You can opt for plastic rake too as this is quite safer than a shovel since it can hurl less wads of sand! Shovels and rakes with sturdy rubber handles provide better grasps for your artist child at work with the sand. Older children may pay attention to the designs a shovel or rake make in the sand as a deciding factor. Depending on the level of creativity, a shovel and rake combo may be necessary for the job. Sand molds are also available either purchased separately or as set with a bucket and shovel. What usually matters most for kids is what design to choose for their sand castle or how to totally cover the adults with sand.

* Sand molds are also readily available in the beach toy section. These are particularly attractive to the budding sand castle architect. Included in a sand mold set should be several sizes and shapes of molds which stow in a bucket that doubles as a larger mold. Small shovels and sturdy scoops complete the package. What usually matters most for kids is what design to choose for their sand castle or how to totally cover the adults with sand.

* Water toys, floaties and inflatables - A trip to the beach would not be complete without water. What better way to enjoy the water than with a water pistol, Super Soaker and a flotation device! All shapes and sizes are available and for the flotation device an air pump is a must, either the manual type or the electric that plugs into a car lighter. Check these devices out for an extra feature which allows DEFLATING as well. This is especially helpful for easy storage of the flotation devices. This can be a perfect time to bond with your favorite young person and share with them many buckets of laughter and great fun-filled moments. A day of sharing beach toys will have you both looking forward to the next trip to the beach.


Buying Pre-School Toys - A Parents Guide

There is no doubt that pre-school children love to be around other children and therefore enjoy sharing many kinds of activities. In fact, child development experts comment that pre-school children learn the most when they are playing. With this in mind, it makes sense to get the best pre-school toys to support their growth and development. This guide offers useful advice to parents looking to buy toys for children aged between three and five years of age.

Product Quality: All pre-school toys should be built properly, safe and suitable for the age of the child. It is always advised not to rush into impulse buying, but instead to read online product reviews.

Product Type: The best pre-school toys by far are those toys that allow the child to use their imagination, such as pretend play, art supplies or construction toys. You might also want to consider look at buying toys that support motor and physical development.

Educational Toys: Although it has already been said that pre-school children learn best through play it is still a good idea to try and educate your children informally and as hands-on-as possible through their toys.

Shopping Online: The internet offers a number of advantages when it comes to buying toys, such as a better selection of products, reduced levels of stress and better deals, it is therefore worthwhile to consider this option once you have made your final decision.

Recommendations: Being a parent is never easy, so always ask for recommendations from friends and family before making your decision. What's more, remember that no matter how popular a particular toy is it still may not be the right one for your child.

Parental Role:

A parent has an important role when it comes to buying the correct toy for their child. For example, a parent is usually their child's first and often best playmate, so choosing the toy is only the first step, in actual fact independent research has highlighted that the most developed children come from families where the parents have been directly involved in their play.

Here are four tips to help you become more involved during your child's play.

1. Observer: Watch your child very closely in order to determine his or her skills as well as their favourite activities.

2. Follow: Join in and play at the child's level. Over time you can add to the complexity of the play, but always let the child select the direction of the play.

3. Be Creative: Remember your childhood and let go of any of your adult preconceptions that there is only one way to play with a toy.

4. Enjoy: Playtime should be fun, make sure it is! Don't use playtime as a way to test or develop you child's skills. Instead, it should be a time that the both of you can enjoy and share together. If you think of it as work, then please leave him or her alone. Whereas you should think of it as having fun with your child while they are also learning some new skills.


The Magic Of The Stick Hockey Table

It may be snowing outside, but among the spectators the excitement is generating warmth. The music and bright colored lights are creating a heated atmosphere. The players are gliding across the white rink, twisting and turning with the agility of athletes. The crowd roars its encouragement, urging on the players as the action begins on the stick hockey table.

The venue for the encounter is not the local arena but a suburban living room. While some people try to recreate the atmosphere of a real stadium through endless video games or television sports channels, others have discovered a different type of home entertainment. The players stand ready for action.

The quiet gathering at home or the dinner party with neighbors will never be the same again. When the visitors are tongue tied and the conversation is dull, the hockey table provides a chance to break the ice. The chosen teams line up ready for action while the spectators sit or stand around sipping their drinks. The small talk disappears as everyone focuses on the encounter.

Also known as rod hockey tables, the games come in shapes and sizes to suit all tastes and budgets. The rink has realistic markings and the length may be chosen according to the space available. The players are operated by control rods, sliding back and forward or rotating to strike the puck.

Many of the familiar sights and sounds of the stadium may be experienced on a smaller scale in the living room. An electronic scoreboard keeps the players and spectators informed about the score and the periods of play can also be measured accurately. The games may be equipped with colored lights, music and sounds of the crowd. An automatic roar goes up each time the puck enters the net.

For the protection of the game and players each table is covered by a resistant plastic dome. The games are often referred to as dome or bubble hockey tables owing to this characteristic. The table may be on legs or a pedestal designed robustly to ensure a level playing surface during the play. Most tables are capable of withstanding normal wear and tear from over-excited teenagers or adults.

The stick hockey table allows the participants to reach a level of camaraderie never achieved at the office party. By the end of a game shyness and reserve are forgotten. The breathless players may share a drink of victory or commiseration. The evening is a success.


Collecting Toys As A Hobby

Someone who has a toy hobby is usually an adult. After all, all children collect toys - the more the merrier for them, but a person who has a toy hobby usually collects one type of toy - like, say, train sets or a specific make of train set. These adults retain their childhood absorption with fantasy. They are not childish, but are childlike while they begin talking on the topic of or playing with their favourite toys.

Some toy hobbyists like to share their hobby with children, frequently grandparents come into this category, and some toy hobbyists do not, frequently single men who are scared that children may damage their often valuable collection.

These collections of toys can become very valuable, because people tend to collect the toys from their youth, so a grandparent is usually collecting toys from fifty or sixty years ago.

A favourite toy hobby for women is collecting antique dolls or dolls from other countries. Occasionally this interest in dolls will spill over into an interest for dolls' prams or dolls' dresses and they may begin to make dolls' clothing and even their own clothing. Some women and some men too get into manufacturing dolls and even dolls' houses.

Rag dolls are a distinct favourite both for the collector and the crafter because they are easy to make and easy to mend. Teddy bears could also be put in the category of dolls. Many homes have a small collection of teddy bears if there have been children brought up there and it is not strange to see hundreds of teddy bears on shelves dotted around a house.

Lots of older men collect train sets or model cars. Hornby, Marxs, Marklin and Lionel come to mind for train sets and Matchbox and Dinky for small but detailed, die cast model cars. Tonka is famous for larger, maybe less detailed, model trucks, but people liked to play with their bulldozers, trucks and earth-movers as children.

More modern toys that have become collectible include Beanie Babies. Beanie Babies are childlike representations of babies. So there are baby kangaroos, baby elephants, in fact babies of every type of animal you can think of and each one has its own separate personality.

They are inexpensive and lovable and there are hundreds of them - exactly the combination that some collectors desire. Teddy bear collectors frequently have a couple of Beanie Babies as well.

Other popular toy hobbies are flying radio-controlled, powered model aircraft and racing motor-powered radio-controlled cars and trucks. There are also hobbyists that collect or and make radio-controlled boats. Some collectors of radio-controlled aircraft, boats and vehicles may not like being referred to as toy hobbyists, but it is what they are after all.

Wooden toys have always been popular too. A hundred years ago and further, all toys would have been manufactured of timber, especially those of the working class and there are still a lot of parents and grandparents who like to give or manufacture wooden toys themselves. A toy hobby is a great pastime for those who remember their childhood fondly and never really got out of the habit of playing.


Recycling Children's Toys

Is it possible for children to have too many toys? I think that there probably is a case against children having as well many toys. I grew up with four younger brothers (about two years between every one of us) and our largish shared bedroom was lined on two walls with shelves from floor to ceiling with toys and each Christmas there were sacks full of even more playthings that we did not have any more space for.

I was the oldest, so you would think that I could pass my baby toys down the line once I had no use for them. That worked while my brothers were actually babies, but as their consciousness began to expand they liked to play with what I was playing with and so all the toys that I used from, say three to eight years of age were ignored by my brothers as they leap-frogged past those years and went straight to year eight and nine with me.

But we never got rid of those five years worth of overlooked toys or any other toys either. This would have been in the Fifties and Sixties and I do not believe that recycling was fairly the buzz word back then that it is today.

My parents did not throw them out, we only squirreled them away on the top shelves, which we could not reach anyway. I assume that after sitting up there for ten years they were eventually thrown away but I do not know as I had already left home by then.

The point is that those redundant toys were not doing anyone in our family any good and they were taking up space. It would have been far better to have given them away or not even to have bought some of them in the first place.

We always had to have 'one each' so that there would be less squabbling. So, we had items like five plastic trumpets, five tin xylophones, five plastic guns, five of this and five of that and we hardly ever used them after Christmas Day. We liked to play together at board games like Monopoly, Risk and cards and although I, being the oldest, won nine times out of ten, my brothers never seemed to mind.

We also had a train set, Scalectrix and a big box of Lego. We would spend all weekend creating various scenarios with combinations of the train set, a roadway and Lego houses and Lego railway platforms. OK, these three toys were probably expensive, but they were quality, versatile, could be used in combination and, in a way, were educational. These were the toys that we kept on the bottom shelves.

What I am saying is that more is not always better and in the case of toys, more can be merely a waste of money. Instead of all that junk on the top shelves, which was often donated by aunties and uncles by the way, it would have been better to get us a new bridge for the railway set or a new chicane for the Scalectrix or another box of building blocks for our Lego set.


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