Sunday, January 31, 2016

How to Build the Best Toy Box for your Child

Toys are not cheap! Well, of course you can buy plenty of cheap and frivolous toys. Most likely they will get played with once, teach a child nothing or break easily. Been there, done that. I'd rather build a toy box for my child that is filled with less, but more focused on high-quality, high play value toys.

The longer I have been in business as the owner of FUNdamentally Toys, the more I believe that toys really are an investment in your child's future. While there's been a lot of hype and focus on playing on tablets and phones, when it really comes down to it, the REAL DEAL is toys kids can physically experience - games, puzzles, dolls, Legos, arts, crafts, balls, books and more. Stuff they can grab in their hands, see, feel, hear, smell and even taste.

Physically playing with toys is one of the most important ways that kids learn about life. They explore and expand mental, physical, social and emotional skills and abilities - all while having FUN!

At FUNdamentally Toys, we take our role seriously in helping parents make smart toy choices for their children. That's why we have introduced SPARK - a monthly selection of eight great toys and games that meet a criteria to teach, encourage and support Seven Major Areas of Childhood Development.  
1. Physical Development encompasses fine and gross motor skills - hand-eye coordination, strength, balance, control, coordination and patience - from baby’s first grasp to riding a bicycle.

2. Cognitive Learning involves conscious intellectual activity (thinking, reasoning, memory).  Cognitive learning skills are the building blocks of life that help children develop their mental muscles and confidently manage everyday tasks and problems from basic to increasingly complex. Skills in this category are: recognition of color, shape, size; the ability to count, sort, sequence, match; pay attention to details; solve problems; develop memory, concentration, focus; and much more! Older children and adults can experience Cognitive Enrichment through playing with toys, puzzles and games that keep their brains sharp and nimble. 

3. Language & Communication Skills are gained when children play and interact with toys and others. They develop communication skills in speaking, listening and picking up social cues.  Look for toys, games and books that offer opportunities for vocabulary and sentence development, storytelling, reading, listening and cooperative play. Open-ended and pretend play with dolls, puppets or dress-up clothes sparks the imagination and helps children express their emotions and feelings. 

4. Creative Expression results from curiosity, exploration and discovery during play. Exposure to arts, crafts, science, music, movement, building or nature through toys and games paves the way for individual creative expression. Not just limited to the artistic sense, the development of creative expression in terms of ideas and imaginative thinking are necessary in all walks of life.
5. Sensory Awareness:  Life is viewed, heard, tasted and felt in many ways and from many different directions. Playing with toys develops, refines and nourishes the senses of sight, sound, small, taste and touch. Tactile, hands-on, interactive play is extremely important to childhood development and learning about the world.  Sensory toys such as teethers or stuffed animals can provide physical comfort, help children cope with stimuli and be of therapeutic benefit, especially for special needs children.

6. Social & Emotional Interaction:  Toys that require playing and interacting with others teach important life skills such as taking turns, listening, cooperating, working as a team or learning to handle conflicts.

7. Relaxation & Fun during play is necessary for the release of energy and reduction of tension. Play can be independent or with peers, siblings or the whole family. Time spent playing provides entertainment, laughter and bonding, in addition to learning.
We look forward to helping you build the best toy box for your child with SPARK toys and games. Buy five FUNdamentally Toys SPARK items during 2016 and get $25 off your sixth SPARK purchase. We'll automatically put your name into our SPARK CLUB and keep track of your purchases.
Debbie Scholl, Owner
FUNdamentally Toys

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