PRESCHOOL PREP: Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
It’s not only time for school-age kids to head back to the classroom, but for younger siblings to engage with fantastic toys in fun learning play!
Today I am highlighting the PAL Award’s latest winners for play with your babies, toddlers and preschoolers with tips on how to play with your child to maximize language learning fun! Parents are their child’s first and best teacher. When a parent joins the play they can bring up the language learning potential while enjoying a fantastically fun time!
NogginSeek by SmartNoggin (3 months and up, $16.99)
- Great baby toys were created by an outstanding developmental therapist, who knows what she’s doing.
- Look for a face on infant toys-babies talk more to faces.
- Newest product is NogginSeek, lots to talk about and describe. Use NogginSeek to teach object permanence: even though baby can’t see something (the balls) it still exists.
- Parent guide included with tips on learning activities and milestones birth to 1 year.
FunFlex Fog Mirror and Dancing Crab Set (0-18 months, $19.99)
- Fantastic new company, showcasing modular system–flexible arm, clamp and baby toy
- Bend the arm to the right angle for baby to see and play.
- Babies love faces and mirrors stimulating lots of vocal play. Again, describe what baby is doing with the toy.
- The best baby toys are ones that engage the child and give parents plenty to talk about, as they listen and learn language.
Alex Toys Woodland Wonders Activity Center (18 months and up, $145)
- The best toddler toys are those that have lots of features to explore, and describe so children take in rich vocabulary and description for later expressive language as they are learning to talk.
- 6 sides of learning plus the top–tell time, talk about pond scene, learn ABC’s, describe patterns and name animals.
Tiggly Shapes Got Talent by Tiggly (3-5 years, app $2.99, Shapes: $29.99)
- Unique option of playing app with physical shape toys–combines digital and physical
- Star invites you to join his game show, cute story that teaches shapes, a little geometry, math vocabulary and early literacy skills
- Sad Circle, confident Square and tough Triangle are given a series of challenges, who has the most straight lines?
- Kids create their own stories, dressing up the characters
Brio Countryside Horse Set (3 years and up, $64.99)
- Brio has brought us beautifully made railway systems for almost 60 years.
- Now they are adding play sets that encourage more comprehensive pretend play and story-telling
- Kids loved “Sky,” the horse, giving him a shower, feeding, transporting and providing a play area. After her shower I heard, “We have to put Sky to sleep. We need her blankie on.”
- Accessory pieces, gated road crossing, fencing, mountains, trees, and barn provide opportunities for flexible story themes.
- Practicing storytelling from 3 and up builds literacy skills for later reading and writing, when kids are called upon to generate stories and recognize the essential parts for good written language skills.
Dr. Seuss Thing Two and Thing One Whirly Fun Game by Wonder Forge (4 years and up, $16.99)
- Silly Thing One and Thing Two come to play when mother is away.
- Players distribute household items throughout the rooms and then wind up the launcher to let loose.
- Pick a card to create a mess or pick up by color
- Kids learn vocabulary, strategy, colors, following directions
- Kids love Kaloo’s stuffed animals which are perfect for pretend play.
- Little Penguin comes in this beautiful packaging that clever kids incorporated in their pretend play–became a bed.
- Got out the doctor’s suitcase to examine and treat their little animals.
- Kids who are a bit fearful of the doctor can work through feelings through play–shot was most popular–go figure!!