AGES: 2 – 4 years

THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING MAGNA TILES

  • Promotes critical thinking 
  • Imaginative play 
  • Engages problem solving  
  • Develops cognitive abilities 
  • Pattern distinguishing 

As children develop their ability to create, play, and imagine, it is important to nurture those qualities in a fun and scholastic way. Engaging your toddler with toys that encourage them to think, solve and construct their ideas into reality is an effective method to accomplish this while embracing a fun and healthy environment.  Being able to take control and make decisions based on what the child’s imagination wants to create is just the start to what can be an efficient way to build cognitive abilities.

Magna Tiles give children the chance to imagine, plan, create, and express themselves in a creative and educational way.  At its most basic level, each tile connects to each other, forming a pattern or a shape, but it is important to distinguish what benefits it provides as well.  When playing with a toy such as Magna Tiles, a toddler’s imagination increases and opens the door to the many combinations of shapes and sizes they can form.  For each design that pops into their mind, there is a pattern of tiles that can make that a reality.  Alongside this, they get a taste of problem solving whenever they have to think through which tile to use to get them to their desired creation.  This promotes critical abilities of logicing through problems, aiding in cognitive improvement and the practice of essential motor skills.   

Being creative is not only fun, but it inspires toddlers to concentrate on an idea and to establish hand eye coordination through play.  Critical thinking with imaginative play is a great way to improve skills for further use at school and life in general.  It gives children the chance to independently make decisions that can lead to confidence building and healthy social skills.  Being able to provide children fun and efficient ways to learn and grow is always a parent’s goal and Magna Tiles is a great fun option to help them achieve it.

FEED THE WOOZLE COOPERATIVE GAME

  • Communication skills
  • Learning to share
  • Motor Skills
  • Counting

Board games, in the right context, can be excellent  educational materials disguised as entertainment. It is a great opportunity to pass time and build social skills with the entire family, with the added benefit of teaching children important life skills while having fun. Board games are designed to be played in groups of two or more, which allows people to comfortably sit down and create the space to talk and interact with each other. A fun game that brings everyone together and is worth considering, is Feed the Woozle. This game, and many others like it, help children develop their communication skills by the simple act of playing. Children get to follow the instructions and have to learn to work together to win the game. The goal for the players is to cooperate in order to be successful, teaching children the wonderful lesson of how to share while developing healthy social skills.    

Playing games such as Feed the Woozle Game aids toddlers develop their motor skills early on. The game fosters simple hand-eye coordination movements such as moving a spoon up and down and forward to feed the Woozle. Also, it is a good way to practice balance and moving their body through space, such as holding a spoon steady to keep the food in its place. Pretending to feed chocolate-covered flies and hairy pickles trains children to eat using utensils in a giggle inducing fashion. This type of play correlates with learning to eat by themselves in the real world and balance the spoon until it reaches their mouths, instead of the floor. Besides, who wouldn’t want to eat flies and hairy pickles?

Another feature of Feed the Woozle Game that applies to many other similar board games is learning and counting numbers. A child practices how to count while feeding the Woozle some snacks. Depending on the number of the rolled dice, the player must put that number of flies and pickles on their spoons. Throughout the game the child is constantly counting the snacks and turns. The repetition of counting in each turn is a good way to establish a good foundation for basic math skills.  Additionally, the game has three levels of difficulty that can be played – once the child has mastered a level they can go up to the next. Making a game more challenging as skills increase is perfect for keeping engagement high, and your child will continue to play and enjoy themselves for years to come.

THE BENEFITS OF DOMINOES

  • Helps to develop critical thinking skills
  • Bond with families and social groups
  • Reduces stress
  • Improve memory retention

There are many classic board games that can be useful in classroom settings and have been proven to be effective, if unconventional, tools for learning. Games such as Dominoes are great for translating critical thinking and memory exercises into real world settings, with ramifications applied for the decisions made. Children benefit from games like this because they present them with challenges that require creativity and thinking outside the box. Dominoes is a game that requires a high level of strategy and planning in order to win. How the game works, a player analyzes the board to deduct what Domino tiles the other players have left, based on how they played each round. The game forces the player to be constantly guessing their opponents’ tiles and strategizing to block their moves in order to control the board and win the game. This type of skill can later be applied to lessons such as logical reasoning exercises as well as working through mathematical equations.       

In Dominoes, it is vital that the player stays sharp in order to win the game. The concentration and focus required to play well benefit children’s memory retention. Dominoes has twenty-eight tiles to use in different combinations; the player needs to memorize and understand the usefulness of the seven they have in their hand in order to effectively understand their opponents play options. So, when it’s the player’s turn, they have gathered the essential information to anticipate their opponents in order to make strategic moves to control the board, and ultimately win the game. There have been studies that have found that playing Dominoes helps children improve their visual abilities and even assists in the development of photographic memories. The way a child builds their ability to memorize the Dominoes tiles can later be applied to schoolwork for example in learning the periodic table, or in any one of the unlimited applications in the real world. 

Another wonderful benefit of Dominoes is that it can be played anywhere. Dominoes is a game that can be played in any social setting, whether it is a family gathering, or at a party with friends, and can even be used as a fun break between study sessions. You can play in teams of two or individually, which plays into variations of strategy. It is a great tool for children to bond with older family members since there is no age limit either direction for the game.

Dominoes is a great opportunity for a child’s social confidence and skills to blossom. Unlike some other board games, in Dominoes players are encouraged to have fun banter and conversations in between plays. Playing Dominoes creates an environment where players are encouraged to talk amongst each other. People of all ages benefit from this type of healthy competition. The game is a great way to boost endorphins and reduce any stresses of the day. Plus, it is an activity that can involve the entire family where everyone can unwind and just have fun together.

TEETER POPPER

  • improves core strength
  • stability
  • leg strength
  • balance
  • coordination

An important aspect, although maybe not intuitive at first, of every child’s education is taking the time to do physical activities alongside their schoolwork. Studies such as the one conducted by pediatricians in the University of Illinois have shown that exercising after a lesson or homework helps children with retention and to do better scholastically in general. Exercising is a great way to balance schoolwork for any age, especially if you are able to take short breaks between classes. The Teeter Popper is a great toy to encourage that physical activity between breaks as well as playtime, anytime.

When looking for activities to get children moving, it is essential that they engage in a fashion that the entire body is involved. The Teeter Popper benefits a child’s core strength which helps create a healthy posture and more endurance while doing more advanced physical activities such as playing basketball or soccer. The ease that the Teeter Popper can be used during study breaks is great because it is not so intense as to exhaust the child, but instead gives a natural boost of endorphin fueled energy. Having this break and getting some light exercise in can kickstart learning as they can burn off the excess energy and come back focused and alert for their lessons.

A fact of modern life is that we tend to be in a seated position for long periods of time, which often leads to slouching and bad posture in general. The Teeter Popper is a great way to offset this because the child needs to stay balanced as they play on it. Engaging the legs in this way directly builds balance and strength, which is doubly great if they can’t go outside for a run at the time or prefer to be indoors.

Another benefit of a toy like this is its portability; it can be easily moved and removed so that it doesn’t interrupt study time or leave a messy home. The Teeter Potter can be moved or stored in any part of the house, so parents can decide when and where their child plays, and be able to watch over them as they practice and play. The Teeter Popper allows children to come up with fun and creative tricks to show off, which helps build creativity and their overall body coordination and stability. Often, we tend to focus on the more cerebral aspects of learning, but don’t discount the importance of physical activity during those study sessions to keep your kids focused on the topic at hand. Playing with toys like the Teeter Popper doesn’t take up too much time or space, and it exercises the child’s entire body in a fun way with the long term benefits of both their body and mind.

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.

SPIN ‘N’ SORT SPOUT PRO BATH GAME

  • Sensory development
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Teaches colors and shapes
  • Problem solving

With a little creativity and the right tools, children can turn almost any activity into an opportunity to learn and develop skills. You can even take learning to the bath time with games like Spin n’ Sort Spout Pro and others like it. There are a lot of toys available to just entertain your kids at bathtime, though it does take a little more research to find the right ones to serve as learning tools as well. Spin ‘n’ Sort Spout Pro helps toddlers to learn colors and shapes as well as keep them entertained for hours. The toy comes with many different activities built in for kids to do while they are enjoying their time in the tub. The child can have fun moving the spinning wheels around and each one has a different shape for them to recognize and learn: square, triangle, and circle. The layout of the wheels is setup so that the child can associate the shape with a color as each wheel is specifically designed to facilitate this. It also comes with cups to play with as well, each one having  a different function to help reinforce the distinction of colors and shapes.

The simple reality is that sometimes children just don’t want to take their bath. Parents often have to resort to using toys as a way to get them in the bathtub and distracted while they are getting clean. Spin ‘n’ Sort Spout Pro is great for keeping children occupied in the bath while working on their eye-hand coordination and motor skills. Every feature of the toy is specifically designed to incite the child’s curiosity to pick them up and move them around. They can interact with the faucet, moving it side to side, filling the cups, changing the wheels, and whatever else tickles their fancy.

Spin ‘n’ Sort Spout Pro’s design creates an environment where children can get creative and experiment with water flows. They can stack the cups to prevent the water from leaving the toy, exercising and encouraging their problem solving skills from an early age in “real life” application. The child can continue to develop their skills as they differentiate how water coming from the faucet affects the wheels and the cups and learn to anticipate cause and effects. This is great for stimulating the senses and brain development. A child’s imagination and curiosity is free to go where it wants to while playing with these types of toys. More than just moving pieces around, the toddler is processing and learning how to anticipate how their actions translate into the real world. Having fun using their imagination to come up with different construction designs for the cups and other components is a great way to spend an hour or two . With this much excitement and learning, bathtime will never be the same!

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