Everybody loves to take a trip whether to Grandma’s house, sledding or the beach, so don’t leave your toddler out of the fun! Topper the pup is going on a trip. Chose from the destination cards–The Forest, School, Sledding Hill, Grandma’s House or The Beach–and invite your child to place it somewhere in the room or house. Now it is time to pack your suitcase with all the needed items for that location so find the appropriate Packing List and ask your child to find the cut out items that match the card. It’s getting warm out so we are going to the beach. Don’t forget your towel, bucket sunglasses, beachball and of course, sunscreen! Kids love placing the items into the cardboard suitcase that is just toddler-sized. Close up the suitcase and “travel” to your location, unpack and enjoy some pretend play in the sand and tossing the beach ball. When it’s time to come home, pack up and return. Toddler fun is all about being flexible and following their lead in play. Usually some form of the intended game is followed but then they veer off into creative play land with the game pieces, perhaps filling and dumping out the suitcase. As they lead the play, they are learning more, through naming vocabulary within a category, matching, planning, and moving their bodies! Add a little pretend play in there and now they are stretching those language muscles and doing some storytelling. This was easily one of my favorite new products for kids at the New York Toy Fair this year.

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