Brian Moore

THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING WITH MARBLE RUN

  • Promotes engineering and building
  • Enhances creativity
  • Engages problem solving
  • Develops cognitive abilities

As children grow, it is important to be able to teach life skills and encourage mental development in a fashion that is both effective, but also fun. If your child is not engaged in what they are doing, then their attention will roam, and they will miss out on the benefits you are trying to give them.

Games like Marble Run give children the ability to construct, create and play with countless tracks and pieces that stimulate their need for a creative outlet alongside the ability to problem solve.  The sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities with games like this. Being able to create new structures that will guide each marble on its path is both fun to do in the moment, as well as imparts a feeling of satisfaction in the physical building of something new.  Each piece placement is a new decision that gently challenges the child to follow a sequence of events, and it is up to the builder to decide what pieces work best together to create their vision and which ones get in the way. All these attributes create a great way to teach problem solving while having fun. When one-piece doesn’t match well with another, it puts the child into a situation where they must engage their cognitive abilities to formulate a solution to getting them to their goal.  The more something like Marble Run is played, the more it engages their memory about what worked last time, helping guide their decisions and creativity about how the sequence should go next. 

A great creative outlet, building piece by piece a structure that guides a parade of marbles is also a magnificent way to introduce your child into various motor skills that can teach basic engineering concepts and cognitive skills in a subtle but efficient way.  Anticipating how to use gravity      to your advantage, each marble slides down connecting paths that      eventually lead to success as the marble makes its way to the finish line.  Since each pathway the child adds to the structure follows the laws of gravity, it allows children to begin to instinctively anticipate situations where they have to adapt to avoid the marbles getting stuck in one sole place before reaching the goal.  Helping children organically build mental and physical skills is obviously a goal of all parents.  Being able to do it while providing countless hours of fun is a great way to keep toddlers mentally active while having fun.

LEGOS

  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

It is safe to say that Legos have become a cherished part of most people’s childhoods. Beyond being fun to play with, there is a reason behind finding Legos at day-care centers and schools everywhere. It is widely agreed that having visual and tactile aids helps children have a better understanding and learning curve in general. For teachers and parents, Legos and other types of building blocks are very flexible in that they can be used to teach children both inside the classroom as well as playing at home. They have been at the forefront for developmental education for many years. Legos and other types of building blocks ignite the imagination of children to find the solutions through creating structures and new fun worlds.

Legos play can be applied to a wide variety of different subjects such as math, science, grammar, and history. The toy benefits every subject, bringing the lessons from the textbook to the real world. Educators recommend using this type of toys in STEM programs. In math, the Legos can be a fun way to teach adding and subtracting, fractions, geometry, etc. In science, Legos can be used as models for engineering and experiments. In grammar, the different color of the blocks can be useful for children to identify the structure of a sentence’s subject, verb, and predicate. In history lessons, the Legos can be used to reenact important scenes, helping children visualize and engage their imagination on the subject which helps in memory retention. The important thing is to keep your child engaged in the subject with hand-on teaching methods.

Legos are great for team building exercises for kids at an early level. With guided supervision, children can work on a project together. They develop communication skills as they talk amongst each other to come up with ideas to create the final product. Legos reinforce the skills of sharing and communicating with other children or adults, which will help the child when they go to school and start doing group projects and engaging more socially. It further develops their communication and social skills.

Children’s imagination can flourish playing with Legos, or other quality building blocks. The mental skills used to first create the ideas in the mind, deciding where to place the blocks to make their vision real, and how to solve any challenge they encounter while doing it, are some of the skills a child develops while playing with Legos. It stimulates their senses and motor skills as they are envisioning their goal and manipulating the blocks in the real-world building process. This kind of activity is extremely beneficial for children’s learning potential as it’s been proven many times that working with your hands helps acquire and cement cognitive knowledge in an actively learning environment.

YETI SPAGHETTI

  • Promotes patience and turn taking,
  • problem solving
  • Counting

A good way to teach children about patience and the social grace of taking turns is through playing board games. Using board games, like a game of Yeti Spaghetti, in teaching has been proven to be a great tool for children because they are actively learning in a fun engaging manner. This silly game is a fun way to test and teach the players patience skills as they wait for someone to make the wrong move and let the Yeti fall. Since Yeti Spaghetti is designed to be played in a group environment, your child would be interacting with, as well as, copying the behavior of the other players as they wait for their turn and anticipate taking a spaghetti out of the bowl. Parents can take this opportunity to teach how to gracefully act when one wins, or possibly more important, when they lose. Finding opportunities where children will have fun and the adults can be assured everyone will be entertained for hours can be a godsend when stuck at home.

The premise of the game is easy to understand, and it has the added benefit of making      kids laugh while they are learning. It is a good tool for teaching children without the pressures and stress of following a teaching plan. Children benefit from board games by focusing on solving the problems and anticipating next moves, such as  picking the right spaghetti straw to grab and using their cognitive skills to decide what is the best strategy to win. Even better, your kids will be spending less time using their tablets and computers alone by themselves and sitting down and playing together as a family.

But above and beyond being a simple game, board games like Yeti Spaghetti can be useful for schoolwork with a tiny bit of ingenuity. Children can learn how to count out loud using the spaghetti straws, helping master speech and early math. Also, for subjects in science, it is a great tool for helping explain advanced concepts such as gravity and others. Once enough spaghetti straws are removed from the bowl, your child will experience what happens when the Yeti does not have a solid ground – a very direct example of gravity in motion! Furthermore, this can lead to experiments, as children can come up with different structures and strategies to keep the Yeti from falling. It is a great way to introduce them to engineering skills and the ability to anticipate the results of their actions at an early age.

PRETEND AND PLAY CASH REGISTER

  • Number recognition.
  • Fine motor skills.
  • Trading and sharing.
  • Color recognition.
  • Problem solving

Do you remember how hard math was growing up? How can a person buy seven apples but only need three? For children who are starting to learn about the subject, getting a grasp on numbers and math can be intimidating. A good way to get your children on a good path to learning their numbers and starting to solve math problems is to turn it into a game. A great technique to get them to learn in a fun way is to use toys like pretend cash registers. You can start slowly and easily learning the numbers first, and then graduate to doing basic math with simple adding and subtracting and build from there. This greatly benefits the potential for learning because this takes abstract concepts and applies them to actual objects in a non-threatening way to help them better understand numbers and how to use them.

A toy cash register not only introduces children to basic math problems, but also familiarize them with the concept and importance of money, two very important skills they will need in life. Cash register toys are designed to mimic the real thing which can help the children to jump start their imagination. Plus, it is a great opportunity and super fun to pretend to be a customer while your child gets to pretend to be the adult. You can easily create different scenarios where the cash register would be handy such as a grocery store using items in the kitchen or a clothing boutique with items from your closet. Children learn through these scenarios the concepts of trading goods in exchange of cash, as well as how to be polite and thankful of other people. Definitely a great tool to teach concepts of sharing and how to get along with others from the earliest of ages.

Recognizing the numbers on the cash register buttons is a great for intellectual development, and it benefits the child’s motors skills as they push the buttons to record the purchase. Developing hand-eye coordination with the action of grabbing the money from inside the register and pushing the buttons is easy and fun. The colors on the toy money also help differentiate different types of paper money and coins, as well as makes it easier for them learn their colors. Associating a number with a different color benefits them to understand the different values of money, but more importantly, it helps develop advanced cognitive skills that help further math and other skills at a young age.

remember that you are speaking to a parent who has concerns for their children in specific. They have taken the time to seek out options to help their kids be both entertained as well as learn important concepts in a tangential, no pressure, fun way.

SEE AND SPELL LEARNING TOYS

2 YEARS

  • Improves vocabulary skills
  • Enhances phonetic capabilities
  • Critical thinking
  • Develops cognitive abilities

Introducing children into the world of spelling and grammar may seem difficult and overwhelming, but when paired with a toy that can provide these skills in an entertaining way, learning becomes smooth and natural. Being able to introduce these topics at an early age can create a healthy educational environment for your toddler that will benefit them their entire lives.

See and spell learning toys create a visual and linguistic environment that can lead children to understand the alphabet more efficiently. Toys such as these give examples of animals, objects and common words that children at a young age can identify in a fun way; this helps lead to an improvement in vocabulary and their motor identification skills along with it. Each exercise or word becomes an opportunity to think critically and make decisions based on improving memory recall and developing skills. Hands on toys such as these open doors to reading at a young age and encourages children to constantly identify patterns outside of playtime. Identifying the alphabet is everywhere, car rides and weekend getaways can become learning experiences when viewing signs and pictures daily. See and Spell toys can be the start to better and better language skills in a fun and educational way.

There are several toys that can help growing children focus on both the written and phonetic aspects of vocabulary. Teaching the child to identify and choose each letter as they move into the spelling of actual words, and pronouncing them accurately, helps improve confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Being introduced to basic phonology at this age can improve speaking skills and help avoid lisps, stutters or other speech impediments. This directly links into the cognitive abilities that can be enhanced through this method of learning. Getting a head start to what will be further introduced in school will benefit both the child and the parent throughout their childhood. Reading skills and linguistic capabilities are the cornerstone upon which an excellent educational foundation is built, and efforts at an early age will benefit a child’s entire life.

MR. PENCIL ABC BAG PACK

  • Learn the alphabet
  • Develops language
  • Creativity
  • writing

How to teach your kids their ABC’s before they start school? There are many educational toys that teach the alphabet, but the Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack has the National Parenting Product Award for its ingenuity. Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack is designed to teach children the alphabet in a fun way through different activities. From basic recognition of the shape of the letters to how to spell words, the Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack is a great tool for aiding in learning how to read and write. Focusing on different activities such as sounding out the letters and how to accurately write the letters, children can get a head start in school.

Benefits of having a Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack are numerous and immediate. It prepares your kids for schoolwork and it stimulates learning from an early age. The toy’s colors, sounds, and music keep children entertained and engaged in the activity. The advantages of this toy, and others like it, are that it uses different learning techniques to reinforce the letters recognition. Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack has an activity that involves animals with each letter of the alphabet that helps associate the letters with words, aiding in memory as well as general recognition. The alphabet is carved in one side of the backpack to help your kid trace both uppercase and lowercase letters. The letters are modeled in blocks and in buttons which help children interact with the letters using all their senses. The seven activity modes in Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack are great guidelines on how to tackle writing and reading practice in a loosely structured, though effective way.

The backpack is light which means children can carry it like older kids do when they go to school. Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack features a board where your kid can draw, helping encourage their creativity in other ways. The drawing board is great for encouraging your kid to learn words and further develop motor skills through images they made themselves. Helping encourage children’s imagination as they draw and write is a great way to have fun while continuously advancing their abilities.

There are great opportunities to utilize this type of toy in other ways such as to come up with fun bedtime stories incorporating your child’s drawings, limited only by your own imagination guided by theirs. Additionally, the music featured in the game can help children with the sounding of the letters and you can make songs to sing along with your kids. Your kids will never get bored.