Infant Toddler Products, Kids, Parenting, STEM Learning, Toy Reviews

Age-Appropriate Toys and Play

Age-Appropriate Toys and Play

I just spent some time in NYC and it was part family vacation and part toy conferences. Included was a lunch at The Toy Association where we heard from ‘Safety Mom’, Joan Lawrence about toy safety standards. I share a lot of toy posts and videos on this blog and our social channels and after listening to the safety talk I felt it was worth it to take some time to share some toy safety information with you. Most of all you would need to know is available at The Toy Association website and in some of their online resource sites such as Genius of Play and a re-vamped toy safety site coming very soon!

I took in all the aspects of toy safety and two standards stuck out most that I will discuss! First, is toy storage! I have discussed the story of my cousin’s baby, Eddie who was in a drowning accident and is still suffering form the effects of his drowning.

When you have a pool, for instance, little ones are drawn to not only the water but the fun toys and balls around the pool. If those are left out, in or around the pool, the little ones will go after them all while forgetting the obvious such as not knowing how to swim or even noticing the barrier of water between them and the toy. This is the same for toys or bikes near a road. They become so tunnel vision around fun and play and may not notice the division between road and sidewalk or even forget that cars could be coming as they dart into the road for a toy or ball.

Moving indoors, you have fall and small parts issues. Properly storing indoor toys means avoiding tripping injuries, most of which happen to adults who fall over children toys. It is also worth noting that by properly storing the older kids toys helps keeps their smaller toys away from younger siblings who may not be at the proper age for that toy. This brings me to the second safety topic…

Age-appropriate recommendations on the toy packaging are for SAFETY! They are not about ability (per-say) or how smart you think your child is. It is an age printed on the packaging that has all the safety standards in mind. It may be due to sharp edges, moving parts, batteries or small magnets  that all pose dangers to smaller children.

So…follow the age-recommendations also found at Genius of Play from The Toy Association!

Birth to 6 Months: Remember that any toys should not be left in cribs or sleep areas. Also, once a child can pull to stand, all infant toys should be removed. As they grow stronger, these infant toys may give way under weight if used to pull up or break under stronger manipulation. Shop for toys with lights and sounds, colors: black and white or high contrast colors. Keep teething in mind with textured toys that may go into the mouth.

6-12 Months: Their motor skills are really taking off. Now they are ready for toys that stack, open & shut and even create banging noises. Once they start crawling, they love toys that move with them. This is the age to introduce their first ride-on that use their own feet to move. In the summer you can introduce the sandbox and bring out child-size table and chairs.

1-2 Years: They are always on the go now! Physical play that keeps them engaged is essential to keep them learning and growing. This is a fun age to introduce role-playing. Introduce them to puppets, toy kitchens, playhouses and some shape sorters and learning toys.

2 to 3 Years: Now they have gone from walking and running to climbing and jumping. Their eye hand-eye coordination skills are beginning to really excel and arts and crafts begin to be a fun new task at this age. Bring home the dolls and let’s start dressing and bathing them! They love balls and toys to chase at this age. Wagons and training bikes are great for outdoor play.

3 to 6 Years: Let the play dates begin (and sharing wars). So let’s find great group play toys at this age. From friends to active imaginations this opens up an entire realm of toy possibilities from age-appropriate board games, construction toys like larger Legos and Duplos and puzzles and non-toxic art supplies.

6 to 9 Years: They know everything now (well, if you ask them). Strategy and skill play is great at this age and there are so many STEM-inspired options these days. There are also fun classics for this age such as marble runs and kites for outdoor play. Find them arts and crafts sets, magic kits, building kits, action figures, bikes you can start to remove training wheels on, electronic games and more!

9-12 Years: With this being the top of the age scale it is very important to remember that by now (and even years earlier), they have toys with hazardous parts that may harm their young siblings! At this late age they have hobbies and enjoy crafts and building still at a more advanced level. Sports games and gear as well as strategy boards games and electronics are popular at this age. Just be careful about the electronics that connect them to the outside web world and maintain supervision.

Books Reviews, Children's Books, Education, Kids, Reviews, Reviews by Anthony, STEM Learning

Children’s Book – Max Goes to Jupiter (Second Edition): A Science Adventure with Max the Dog

I was sent a copy of the book for feature. Opinions are my own

Children's Book - Max Goes to Jupiter (Second Edition): A Science Adventure with Max the Dog

Children’s Book – Max Goes to Jupiter (Second Edition): A Science Adventure with Max the Dog

by: Jeffrey Bennett, expert astrophysicist and educator and Nick Schneider & Erica Ellingson

Here are some cool tips that kids will learn in the book that were shared with me:

  • How to find Jupiter in the night sky
  • The importance of Galileo’s discovery of moons around Jupiter
  • Why spaceships can’t land on Jupiter
  • The missions to Jupiter (Juno Mission, which is in space now, ends July 2018, unless extended!)
  • The possibility of a future “space elevator”
  • What the ocean is like on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons and could there be life?

Anthony’s Review (age 10):

Anthony thought it was a lot of fun learning about how a rocket works and orbits. He also learned a lot about Jupiter and was shocked to realize just how large our Universe really is in size!

Let’s learn some facts about Jupiter!

Connect wit the Author on his book page and on Facebook

Buy the Book on Amazon (release date June 1, 2018)

Books Reviews, Children's Books, Education, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, STEM Learning

Rocket: A Journey Through the Pages Book

A copy was sent for feature

Rocket: A Journey Through the Pages Book

By: Mike Vago

Need more ideas for the kids this season? How about a book that will take them on a journey through space. Follow the rocket with each turn of the page, around comets and planets and learn while they explore.

Rocket: A Journey Through the Pages Book

The book is for ages 4-8 and you can actually manipulate the rocket. It is 14 pages long and makes a great gift idea!

Education, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, STEM Learning

Pet Me Multiplication and Division Math Board Game for Kids

I have partnered with Logic Roots for samples and feature

Logic Roots Pet Me Multiplication and Division Math Board Game

Anthony is in the 4th grade and knee deep into multiplication and division, They have been working on dividing 2×4 digits and multiplying large numbers as well. Having tools to practice at home is crucial. The first week of class he was so bummed when he kept bringing home homework papers filled with 1×1 multiplication problems. “Mom! This is easy. Why do we do like hundreds of these problems every week?”

Last week as he was doing his multiplication homework I reminded him about how upset he was wit the redundant work he had the beginning of the year. “The reason you did those over and over again was to make multiplying 1 digit at a time easier. Now that you are multiplying 3-4 in one problem it makes it faster and bit easier to learn to solve.” Now he got it.

division practice

It’s a lot of work sorting out those long division and multiplication problems at this age. Pet Me is here to help. It makes it so much more fun to practice math then those boring white sheets of papers with letters in black to solve with a pencil. He still has to do his homework sheets but just before bedtime we do our “fun” learning time.

math game

Pet Wonderland is full of adorable puppies, kittens and parrots. The theme of the game is a walk in the park. You will win many hearts as you feed them and meet them all. The goal of the game is to win the most hearts. It is about dividing food and love up equally.

Other players check the math and make sure each player is distributing evenly to the animals they encounter. Then sometimes you get an uneven equation and have remainders left over. It is all about landing on spots where the animals are not already adopted (fed) and claim them with hearts earned.

Pet Me game

Pet Me is one of several math games by Logic Roots and is great for ages 8+. There are more choices for this age and younger. You can find math sheets too for age-appropriate and subject practice.

You can buy on Amazon too!

Gift Guides, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, STEM Learning

Kids Outdoor Toy for the Holidays

I have partnered with Stomp Rocket® for this #HolidayGiftGuide feature and received product

Kids Outdoor Toy for the Holidays

Kids Outdoor Toy for the Holidays

A Kids Outdoor Toy for Christmas? Rain, sun or snow when that toy lights up and soars through the air after jumping on a pad the kids can care less the season. Even I have had a blast (pardon the pun) with the Stomp Rocket. I had it set up in minutes and it is always ready to pull out and play with now.

[bctt tweet=”Kids Outdoor Toy for the Holidays #HolidayGiftGuide Stomp Rocket” username=”3sonshavei”]

LED rocket toy

This is the Stomp Rocket® Ultra LED. It comes with 4 rockets with a small switch to turn on LED lighting. Great for the long nights at the campground and summer evening fun as well as when we lose the sun early in the winter days.

There are 2 other Stomp Rockets – Stomp Rocket JR with foam rockets that glow in the dark and Dueling Stomp Rocket® with a launchpad that allows 2 rockets to launch at once. The dueling launchpad is great for siblings and multiple kids at play together.

You can find Stomp Rocket® toys at many retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond, Toys R Us, Amazon to name a few.

You may also like:

Education, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, STEM Learning

STEM Building Kit for Kids

I have partnered with Brixo and samples were sent for this #HolidayGiftGuide feature

STEM Building Kit

With toy and educational products focus turning to the incorporation of STEM play, none have quite the features as the Brixo building blocks kit. The STEM building kit for kids makes a fantastic gift idea. Why?

STEM Building Kit for Kids

STEM refers to Science where we build, observe and experiment. Technology in early play ca be found in products that use bluetooth or smart device contact. Engineering in play is when you incorporate robotics and LED lighting/sound. Last, Math is about concepts and results. Brixo has all of this in one kit. They will have so much fun they forget they are actually learning!

[bctt tweet=”STEM Building Kit for Kids with @brixotoys #HolidayGiftGuide” username=”3sonshavei”]

In the video above, you see Brixo building in action. These bluetooth-enabled electric bricks are LEGO compatible. With Brixo, your blocks can now move, spin, light up, and more. Anthony is going on 10 and his LEGO’s have been in a tote hardly touched for about a year as he grew out of the LEGO phase a bit. Now with this Brixo kit the tote is down from the racks and he is building again.

The kit comes with all you need to bring your bricks to a STEM life. Then once you use the kit which allows you endless building possibilities, you can download the app to control the creation. Build a car and use your device to move it and now your child built there own remote controlled car. Use your device and app to power a windmill or make lights turn on in a village and have moving platforms. Whatever your child decides to build will now move, light up and become a controlled masterpiece. Buy your now at http://brixotoys.com/