Wow, lots of “news” to report here. As of the end of December, I said goodbye to all my amazing families and kids that I’ve worked with in my speech therapy practice to start a new chapter in Play on Words. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every child who taught ME so much and will always put a smile on my face, as I remember them. Please stay in touch! As I said goodbye, some moms cried and kids were so sweet in their expressions as a 7 year-old said, “I’m so sad you’re going.” I even got invited to sleep over next Halloween by my 4 year-old friend!
Since we will be moving to Wisconsin this spring (and winter in North Carolina), it is an opportunity to spend more time on our PAL Award, searching, recognizing and sharing with you the best toys, books and games to encourage language development through play. The toy industry is exciting because it’s based on kids and play. What could be better? As companies send out catalogues with their new 2016 products, we’re getting ready for the Toy Fair in February. I like Hape’s quote, “Children don’t play to learn, they learn because they play.” Already I see the potential for rich play with Hape’s “High Seas Rocker,” a teeter totter in a tugboat, that could provide hours of pretend play
on the ocean or Educational Insights’ “Once Upon a Craft” bringing stories to life as kids read a book and then decorate crafts to re-tell the story with puppets, characters and props. STEM focused products are hot, particularly aimed at girls. I obviously like the ones that have a language building component like Build and Imagine, and a new company I will look forward to meeting, Wonderhood Toys. Their Grand Hotel and Corner Shops sets are great settings for imaginative play.
Stay tuned, I’ll be giving lots of previews as we ramp up to the Toy Fair!