Tag Archive | "toddler educational toys"

Best Toys For Toddlers With Special Needs


Children love toys. However, finding the right toys for toddlers with special needs can be a little tricky. Here are some ideas that work for a variety of children.

Cognitive Development

Deluxe Nesting and Stacking Blocks by Melissa & Doug

Composed of 10 colorful, sturdy blocks, each marked with 2 or 3 letters, this toy can help a toddler with special needs learn the alphabet, sequencing skills and size differentiation. It is made of first-class, heavy-duty cardboard that is lightweight yet strong. It is easy to assemble so little fingers will not have a hard time grasping them. It is also very easy to clean.

Fine Motor and Gross Motor Development

Busy Balls Terrific Textures by Playskool

Busy Balls Terrific Textures is the perfect toy to stimulate your toddler’s sense of touch. The balls are small enough making it perfect for little hands to grab and roll, promoting hands-on play and exploration that helps boost gross motor skills. It is composed of 5 balls (Bumpy Gears, Dimpled Pop-up, Grooved Wobbler, Smooth Paddle and Wavy Disks) with different colors and feels that encourages sensory and visual development.

Oball by Rhino Toys

This lightweight ball is ideal for toddlers with special needs because it aids in the development of gross and fine motor skills. Its various colors and textures can also help toddlers with visual, tactile and sensory problems. Oball is robust and flexible and PVC and phthalates free, making it very safe for toddlers to use.

Go Baby Go! Poppity Pop Musical Dino by Fisher-Price

Poppity Pop Musical Dino is like an all-in-one toddler toy. It allows toddlers to place and release a ball which pushes toddlers to crawl after the objects. The balls are equipped with 8 amusing tunes and funny sound effects that help toddlers focus, strengthening their vision and sensory skills. Because toddlers will try placing all sorts of objects in it which do not fit, they will begin to understand the concept of cause and effect.

Laugh and Learn Learning Piggy Bank by Fisher-Price

There are 10 colorful coins to place in the slot which develops a toddler’s grasping skills while learning about animals, colors, counting and sizes at the same time. Toddlers will also laugh their hearts out as they press the piggy’s snout and open the door because of the music and sing-along songs.

Speech and Language Development

Learn and Groove Alphabet Drum by LeapFrog

A toddler with special needs can greatly benefit from this upbeat and educational toy. It has 3 learning modes – Alphabet (for every tap of the drum, a toddler is introduced to the alphabet in both English and Spanish which enhances his vocabulary), Music Play (the infectious music allow toddlers to freely explore music, encouraging free play and creativity) and Dance Along (the interactive play hones motor skills as toddlers crawl, dance and tap with the music).

Magic Mic by Toysmith

Magic Mic is the perfect toy for toddlers with speech problems. Children can just sing or speak into this echo microphone and they will hear the sound of their own amplified voice, exercising the vocals which is very difficult for children with autism.

Children with special needs take more time to develop. But with the help of these toys, they can start building skills while having lots of fun!

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Tips For Buying Books For Toddlers


Reading books improve a toddler’s overall development. But with all the choices available, how on earth do you choose the best ones? Learn how to choose books for toddlers by keeping these tips in mind.

Tip # 1: Choose books your toddler will enjoy.

Reading should be fun so choose books for toddlers your little one will enjoy. Better yet, let him select which books he likes. Go to your local bookstore together and have him browse through the wide selection of children’s books available. Have your toddler flip through the first few pages. Your toddler can tell you if the words are too big or if there is too much text.

Tip # 2: Books should be age-appropriate.

It would be useless to buy short chapter books for your 3-year old kid. Choose picture books and board books instead. They are great for beginner readers and the short stories and pictures will keep your little one interested. Plus, your toddler will even try to make up story lines to go with the pictures. Books that relate to your toddler’s life are also recommended. Books about potty training, going to school or welcoming a new baby are great additions to his library.

Tip # 3: Look for appealing illustrations.

Choose toddler books that display large, colorful images of simple objects. Your toddler will notice the pictures in a book before he starts hearing the story. Pictures will provide the first indication of the meaning of the book, and when you read to your toddler, he will be looking at the illustrations, pointing at brightly colored pictures and observing many little details you would never notice.

Tip # 4: Select books with the three R’s.

Toddlers enjoy books that have rhyme, rhythm and repetition. Go for books with easy to follow story lines and those that repeat the same words and phrases over and over again. He will love the structure and since he can predict what word comes next, it will be easy for your toddler to memorize.

Tip # 5: Choose books with different themes.

While it is perfectly fine to pick books that interests your toddler, buying books with subjects your toddler knows little or nothing about is a great way of broadening his knowledge and opening his mind to the world out there. Buy books about fairytales, fables, families living in other countries, animals, planets, stars, moon, sun, dancing, sports and so on.

Tip # 6: Consider your toddler’s attention span.

It is common knowledge that children have a short attention span. So start with books with short, simple texts that can be read in just five minutes. Once he is comfortable with these, move to longer picture books which may have to be read over more than one sitting. Just make sure to pick books that are interactive and encourage exploration (e.g. books with flaps or books with touch-and-feel texture pages) to hold your toddler’s attention.

Tip # 7: Check book reviews.

If you are still confused which books you should buy your toddler, why not read newspapers and magazines or surf the web. There you can find a comprehensive list of toddler books with highly acclaimed reviews.

Tip # 8: Make sure books are durable.

Opt for books that can withstand being chewed up, thrown around and stepped on by your curious toddler. Toddler books made out of laminated cardboard are your best option especially if he is not quite the expert when it comes to handling things with care.

Books will be your toddler’s best friend throughout his growing years. So expose him to books early, choose wisely, invest and see how books will improve the quality of your precious one’s life.

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The Best Toddler Books To Buy


Toddler books make playtime more fun while boosting a child’s development at the same time. The benefits they give to toddlers is one-of-a-kind. Below are some popular toddler books you must read to your tot.

Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman

A classic children’s book that is easy-to-read with appealing texts and pictures. Go, Dog, Go is one popular toddler book parents swear by. Each page features illustrations of dogs both average and good looking. Your toddler will have fun figuring out which dog goes where while absorbing basic concepts such as colors, sizes and relative position (e.g. in and out and above and below).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This is about a little green caterpillar that eats its way to becoming a butterfly. This beautiful board book will entice your toddler with its vivid pictures. Plus, it allows your little one to turn the flaps and poke his fingers through the caterpillar holes while teaching the basics of counting at the same time.

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Hailed as one of the all-time favorite children’s book, The Napping House is an oversized board book that is perfect for lap reading. It records a dreaming child, snoring granny and other sleepers until they are interrupted by the “wakeful flea”. This book will surely keep your toddler guessing what will happen in the end. The pictures in this book are striking and beyond amazing while the story is very comprehensive and at the same time humorous so expect your toddler to laugh from beginning to end.

Fast Food by Joost Elffers

You know you are not supposed to play with food right? But with this book, your toddler will have fun picturing the wacky fruits and vegetables. The text is short and snappy with simple verses and easy rhythm for trouble-free reading. Plus, the vibrant colors of the characters will surely capture your toddler’s attention. Most importantly, it will encourage your little one to start a healthy eating habit.

Goodnight Max by Rosemary Wells

This is a touch and feel book that features tons of different textures your little one will truly enjoy. This book has texts that are pleasant with a rhythmic style that is complemented by attractive, colorful pictures. Your toddler will have fun touching the interactive touch spots such as the lace curtains, soft blanket and spilled water.

Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters by Dav Pilkey

These two adorable dogs will not only steal your toddler’s heart but your heart as well. Big Dog and Little Dog are easy to identify and full of character. It is illustrated with just a few bold lines that are very pleasing to the eyes. This book has a very charming plot with a one sentence per page so you can move through quickly or pause to admire the dogs’ sweaters or talk about dogs with your toddler. This book also teaches your toddler about empathy which is beneficial for his emotional and social development.

Hide-and-Seek Elmer by David McKee

Elmer is a patchwork elephant who speaks in rhymes. The bright colors of this book not only catches you toddler’s attention but it will also teach him colors. He will enjoy lifting the flaps and seeing animals behind them. It is like playing a game of hide and seek which your toddler can easily identify with. Plus, looking behind flaps helps your toddler work on his motor skills and in boosting his memory skills by figuring out what animal is on what page.

Exposing your toddler to books is the way to teach him skills he needs to fully develop. So start investing in toddler books and see how much your toddler will flourish.

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Why Buy Eco-friendly Toys For Your Toddler?


More and more individuals are becoming environmentally conscious. A lot of environment friendly products are available – from food to clothes to bags to toys. Yes, toys. During the past years, a lot of manufacturers are offering Eco-friendly toys. Here are some reasons why you too should make the big switch.

Eco-friendly Toys Are:

Safe

Eco-friendly or non-toxic toys are safe for your toddler and for the environment. Your little one has a tendency to put everything he comes in contact with into his mouth. In addition, rough and tumble play and his natural inquisitiveness can often times lead to the disassembly of his toys causing him to be exposed to unknown elements. The usual toys often contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which is often labelled non-toxic. But in reality, PVC generates dioxins in the manufacturing process which contain softening substances like phthalates, considered to be hormone destructors. But with Eco-friendly toys, you do not have to worry about him encountering harmful materials which can jeopardize your toddler’s health since all green toys are non-toxic.

Because Eco-friendly toddler toys do not contain chemicals such as pesticides, plastic and other poisonous materials, they are less likely to be tossed aside decreasing their chances to wind up in the local landfill. In this way, you help decrease the pollutants in this world.

Durable

Unlike the usual plastic toys which you instantly need to dispose once it cracks or breaks, Eco-friendly toddler toys are made from durable, natural materials assuring you that they can withstand the hard play habits of toddlers. Examples of Eco-friendly toddler toys include wooden toys and cotton toys. They are so tough that they can be passed down from one generation to the next.

More Effective In Developing A Child’s Imagination

Researches have proven time and again that the best toys that can maximize the creative side of a toddler are Eco-friendly toddler toys. One good example are toys made from cotton and Eco-friendly books. They are colorful, versatile and are great tools for free play. These types of Eco-friendly toys encourages creative play such as pretend play or role play which stimulates your toddler’s mind to think beyond what is presented in front of him.

Helpful In Boosting A Child’s Skills

Eco-friendly toys like wooden toys will have some educational or developmental benefit. Wooden puzzles can help develop hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills boosting cognitive development. Sorting games such as bead sequencing sets can teach your little one memory and reasoning skills while push toys can improve his motor skills.

Affordable

Toys are your toddler’s first playmate, making them a very essential part of his childhood. An expensive toy does not always mean it is the most durable. So make the most out of your money by opting for Eco-friendly toys. They are very affordable and you can choose from a wide array of choices such as stackers, rock crayons, puzzles, trucks, balls and many more.

It is possible to take care of your toddler while caring for the environment at the same time. With the help of Eco-friendly toys, you help nourish your precious one to be the best person he can be while saving Mother Nature from further distraction.

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The Benefits of Educational Toys to Toddlers


Toddlers require constant stimulation. The best way to supply this is by giving them toys that are entertaining and educational. Educational toys have been proven to be useful in honing a toddler’s overall development. Whether it is a puppet or a simple box, these toys can benefit your toddler in so many ways.

Toddler educational toys can…

Boost Sensorimotor

The first phase of toddler development is the sensorimotor phase. At this phase, your toddler begins to comprehend that things remain even when they are out of sight and out of reach. Since your toddler uses his senses to explore, toys like rattles help him recognize sounds. So even if there is no visible rattle around, he is able to distinguish different sounds from a doorbell, drums or from a person yelling.

Advance Cognitive Skills

Building blocks teach your toddler cause and effect. Jigsaw puzzles can develop your little one’s problem solving and reasoning skills. While flash cards introduce him to various topics like the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes. These toys enable your toddler to develop rational thinking and to see whole-part relations which in turn enhances their visual spacial consciousness.

Hone Motor Skills

Educational toys also help in developing physical activities like walking, running and jumping. These toys help your toddler grasp, pick up and follow directions, a great way to  improve his dexterity skills. And with their bright colors, stuffed animals and sounding wheels, your toddler will surely have a grand time pushing his wagon so he can hear the sounds it makes. A toy with plastic rings on a pole teaches your child maneuvering skills as he tries to place the rings onto the pole until such time he finally masters the skill.

Shape Hobbies and Interests

As your toddler continues to advance, his capacity to think abstractly also increases. Educational toys like coloring books and story books allow your little one to think outside the box. For instance, he can mimic his favorite character by creating his own toy plane or perhaps building a castle with his stacking toys. Slowly, he gets to realize his personal aesthetic tastes. Hence, less time is spent on playing with toys and more time is dedicated to doing fun yet educational activities that hone his hobbies.

Create A Strong Education Foundation

Educational toys do not only keep toddlers occupied during their playtime, they also help shape the early childhood education of children. Studies have proven that 50 % of children’s intelligent quotient (IQ) increases when the right stimulation is given throughout the first six years of their life. So even if your toddler has learned some natural skills like grasping and talking, his educational toys can further enhance his skills. With the help of books, your toddler learns how to talk in phrases and construct simple sentences. While constant clutching of toy blocks increases his agility which are essential once he starts preschool.

Assist Toddlers With Disabilities

Toddlers with special needs can learn how to handle their disability with the help of educational toys. For example, a toddler with ADHD can benefit from toys that have sounds and colors. A book that has his favorite nursery rhyme catches his attention so he can dance and sing a long for a few minutes. While the colorful illustration engages him so his concentration level increases.

Promote Good Social Skills

Instructive toys help your toddler develop social skills. For instance, toy blocks teach your toddler the importance of patience and understanding. Once he learns these skills, he gets to interact with his peers in a friendlier manner. He will no longer hit or feel bad if in case his playmate took his toy or scream when he gets removed from a game.


Melissa & Doug-Leading Designer of Education Toys

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