Over the past couple years I’ve watched the kiddos learn and play together and thought more about their toys. Some of course they use all of the time, others, seem to get dumped out and never played with. I reflected on some of my favorite toys as a kid:
- legos were the clear winner
- “miniatures” as my siblings and I called them (strawberry shortcake and Disney figurines)
- anything we made: paper money, our own lake outside, treehouse, soup from mud outdoors, etc
I thought some more and remembered some wonderful toys and music that had come from discovery toys. I asked my mom how to purchase them but she didn’t know. I looked online and didn’t get far. It seemed like I would have to use discovery toys as a standard and look with them in mind.
That was until I saw my friend Sally at the library selling discovery toys. I was so excited to go home with the catalog and let the kiddos see what interested them. Meanwhile, Sally suggested I try a blog party to get the word out and invite other friends looking for quality toys to join in.
Sally gave us some toys to try out…and it has been so much fun! Here is a quick review:
the busy farm – we have worked with this one for hours already. It teaches and practices their skills in color identification, sorting, early math, early reading, logical problem solving, and working together.
The builder found his own way to enjoy the animal farm. This morning, he was playing again and the dancer asked to play too. I encouraged her to eat first but she insisted on having an animal…I reminded her to eat her oatmeal and saw the builder choosing a duck and handing it too her. Then he went back to his pile and pulled out the rest of the ducks for her. 🙂
playful patterns – another favorite of the kiddos. They loved trying to use the colored shapes to make a design. I loved watching them find several ways to make a square from smaller rectangles or triangles. In the end they sort the colors to put it away. Wonderful visual and spatial learning.
progressive puzzles – these are some of the best puzzles I’ve seen. The piece patterns are underneath to guide them, and it comes in different levels of difficulty. The builder and dancer loved putting them together and were so happy when they could do it without my help. I love the words alongside the animals for early reading practice and alphabet recognition.
motor works truck – I’ll admit I was not pleased when the builder took the entire truck apart. I guess that is part of learning. After a long session I finally figured out how to put it all back together…next time he will have to give it a try. 🙂 Great for fine motors, critical thinking, and spatial development.
friendship island – we played this fun game during family home evening last night. It has two levels of questions so your older and younger kiddos can get something out of it. I think the best part is listening and learning from each other’s ideas and suggestions as to friendship. Here are some of the fun ones we encountered…the builder was asked what to do if a friend at school keeps ignoring you…the card suggested finding a new friend to play with…the builder thought he better go tell his friend sorry. One of the dancer’s situations was “what do you do if you think your friend has taken your markers?” (an appropriate question…) She immediately answered, “pray!” We liked that answer. 🙂
giant pegboard – another favorite at our house. The kiddos have sorted shapes and colors, built towers, cakes and found all sorts of ways to use the board and pegs. Today we’re going to string them during preschool. Great for color and shape recognition, fine motor skills and developing their imagination.
Here are a few on our wish list:
If you are interested in purchasing discovery toys, email Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her directly: 435.654.0841
Here is a link to the catalog, november bundle sale, and holiday gift sets or you can download them from the box.net widget on my right side bar.
This blog party is a trial run, and I don’t expect to get anything out of it. Should we raise enough money to purchase something I will give it away on the daily delights! My main goal is to spread the word and encourage quality developmentally appropriate toy giving this holiday season. 🙂