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.

Kids, Reviews, Toy Reviews

The New Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Building Set by PLAYMOBIL

I have partnered with Playmobil for this feature. All opinions are my own

The New Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Building Set by PLAYMOBIL

Start your engines and bring your Porsche 911 GT3 to the race track! This little building project come with stickers, wheels, tools, 2 figures and lights! Just 3AAA batteries needed and those headlights will light up the dark track!

Features of the Porsche 911 GTS Cup set

  • Detachable roof.
  • The cockpit has room for one figure.
  • The boot can be opened upwards and has adjustable motorsport rear spoiler
  • Cool light effects (front, rear and interior lighting).
  • Auto power off function.
  • Includes two sets of wheels (with and without profile)
  • Lots of accessories and matching tools (e.g. for changing tires).
  • Includes command stand for monitoring the race.
  • The mobile spare wheel trolley offers space for 2 sets of tires.
  • Victories are celebrated with the included trophy and winners’ podium

Connect with Playmobil on their website and follow on Facebook with more fun on their YouTube channel

Buy it! The PLAYMOBIL Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Building Set is available on Amazon and at the PLAYMOBIL website

Giveaways, Open Giveaways, Reviews, Toy Reviews

Thames & Kosmos Drop It Family Strategy Game – Giveaway

I was sent product for feature. Opinions are my own

Welcome to the Thames & Kosmos Drop It Family Strategy Game Review and Giveaway

Do you remember Connect 4? Looks similar right? Not at all! Drop It has you dropping colored pieces but in a much more challenging way. In Drop It, you have a board and score cards. The idea is to build high stacks. The tricks are you cannot have 2 of the same colors or same shapes touch each other. It is more strategic than you think. One mistake and you sit out!

You can play as a team or individual. It is very easy to learn the rules, it’s just complicated which makes it engaging. Watch for the bonus circles too because it your shape hits one you get those extra points. You win by having the most points in the end.

Connect with Thames & Kosmos by visiting their website and following on Facebook

Buy It: Available on Amazon

The Giveaway

1 lucky reader will win their own Drop It Family Strategy Game. Enter below. Open to 18+ and US Only. Good luck!

Kids, Reviews, Toy Reviews

Balls and Bubbles for Summer Fun

I was sent product from the following brands. Opinions are my own

Summer fun

Your BBQ’s and Camping site will be a hit with the kids with these fun, new summer toys. Zing has become a well known brand in our home and they know how to create fun. With balls that bounce high enough to amaze and making bubbles with your hands the kids will be occupied so you can socialize.

The young kids (an even the older ones too) will be entertained for quite a while as they turn their hands into bubble wands. It is the Glove A Bubbles and they come in fun animal characters. You may want 1 for each hand per kid and really watch them get excited!

It is real easy and all you need is included. As you open the package you get a glove and a pouch. Set the pouch on a flat surface (the patio or deck works) and they dip and run and wave their arms. Tip: this is a great before-nap activity because they will be worn out.

This is a ball. Seems simple until you bounce it. Find some pavement and the kids can essentially stand a house or 2 apart on the block because it bounces that far. But the best part is that it doesn’t bounce and then go wacky all over the place. Once they get the hang of it they get a true long distance bounce right to each other. This is great basketball skill practice. The hand-eye coordination makes a fun drill with a ball.

Stock up and be the hit home this summer for the kids.

Connect with Zing: Visit the Zing website and follow on Facebook and YouTube

Buy It! Glove a Bubble and Metal Tek

Kids, Reviews, Toy Reviews

Jurassic Fans Will Love the PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex Building Set

I have partnered with Playmobil for this feature


June is Jurassic World month in this home. We have seen and love all of the Jurassic movies. My son is constantly reminding us about the new upcoming Jurassic film. I have neighbors, nephews and friends who’s kids all love dinosaurs and the Jurassic World series all the same. For dinosaur and even Jurassic fans, PLAYMOBIL® has the best set for you. It is called the PLAYMOBIL® Hidden Temple with T-Rex Building Set and is part of The Explorers series.

This Hidden Temple set is available at most retailers such as on Amazon as a Prime with 2-day shipping and Walmart to name a few. Recommended for ages 4+ and including 121 pieces this set moves and has glow in the dark features with included flashlight and opens the imagination up wide! The actual set is meant to be your research base inside the park.

Jurassic Fans Will Love the PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex Building Set

See the set in action in this short film from PLAYMOBIL® Dino Movie (it is adorable and the kids will love it)!

More features of this set include rubbing the map to reveal a hidden path, a functioning laser gun, T-Rex has movable arms, legs, and jaw allow for realistic motion. It also has functioning pulley to bring needed equipment up to the top floor plus use the included UV flashlight to reveal cool glow-in-the dark features, such as with the ruins crystal eyes, jungle plant, and more (you’ll need 1AAA handy for this)!

Connect with PLAYMOBIL® on their website as well as Facebook and YouTube for some fun films.

Buy it: Available on the website as well as Amazon and Walmart to name a few!

Kids, Reviews, Toy Reviews

The New 2018 Hess Toy Truck Mini Collection – Review

I have partnered with Hess Toy Truck for this feature. Product was sent and opinions are my own

Hess Toys Truck has just released their brand new 2018 Mini Collection of trucks. They all come with working lights and Energizer batteries so they work right out of the box. See them with lights on in my embedded Instagram post below.

Included in the 2018 Mini Collection of Hess Toy Trucks are the following!

Miniature Toy Truck and Racer

  • White articulated truck custom designed to transport the racer.
  • Truck features 27 lights and 10 wheels on 5 axles.
  • Chrome grille, bumpers, fender guards, wheel-covers, roll-bar, bed rails, cab step, and side exhaust pipe.
  • The white Racer features green accents, rear spoiler, and a speedy pull-back motor.

Miniature Fire Truck

  • A brilliant red likeness of one of the original fire engines from a Hess Fire Brigade.
  • 6 total lights, including a top-mounted red emergency light.
  • Rotating chrome fire nozzle mounted on top along with molded, fixed-position reel and side mounted fire hoses.
  • Fully chrome underside plus grille, bumpers, fender guards, and ladders and rear name plate.

Miniature Tanker Truck

  • The classic articulated Hess fuel delivery truck; a green tanker with a bold white wraparound, pulled by a solid green tractor on a red chassis and bright yellow fenders.
  • 10 bright red, free rolling wheels plus 8 total lights.
  • Chrome grille, cab exhausts, and tank ladder.

Connect with Hess Toy Truck and Buy your collection at their website.