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Take Playtime Outside!

14 Jun

Summer is here, and along with it comes beautiful (or hot) weather! If you’re a fan of Kaplan Toys on Facebook, you might’ve seen the infographic we posted earlier this week from It’s All Kid’s Play on the benefits of unsupervised outdoor play for your kids. Some of them are:

  • Increased concentration and motor activity
  • Lower chances of childhood obesity
  • Increased feelings of self-worth
  • Less symptoms of anxiety, depression, and ADHD

These sound like all good reasons to get kids active and outdoors! But what will they play with? We’ve got a few suggestions for you.

26123

Let’s Take It Outside! Teacher-Created Activities for Outdoor Learning  (Item #26123, $15.95 right now on sale!)

This book has over 100 different activities, written for teachers (and parents and caregivers) by teachers, which have been classroom-tested as great outdoor activities! It has activities appropriate for every season that will help your child not only have fun outside, but also learn more while doing so! It is also available in eBook format.

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Shapes Bean Bags, (Item #82776, $19.95)

Use these shape bean bags with some of the activities in Let’s Take It Outside! Beanbag toss activities are great for fine motor and gross motor development, as well as for developing eye-hand coordination. They can help your children learn their shapes while they improve important skills for them to have! This also comes with its own set of activities for more beanbag tossing fun!

Many people go to the beach over the summer with their children–keep them occupied with some fun sand toys such as these!

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Diggers and Dozers, (Item #61146, $16.95)

These sand scoopers are easy for little hands to grip so they can move, dig and push sand around with ease!

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Jumbo Sand Rollers(set of 5: Item #30498, $22.95 $19.95 on sale now!)

Kids will have fun creating designs in the sand with this set of 5 easy-grip sand rollers. Use them on the toughest construction job to build roads and patterns around sandcastles, or use them with paint and paper to create unique designs on art projects!

70911d

Shimmer Shapes Alphabet, (Item #70911, $69.95)

Encourage your children to spell things out in the sand–if they press down enough, it will leave imprints in the sand! Or they can bury them in the sand for a fun game of discovery and exploration. You can even use the Diggers and Dozers from above! These multisensory letters are filled with colorful, sparkly liquid. Highly tactile, they can be used as stencils, hung on washing lines, or scooped out of water.

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Got any favorite summer toys? Let us know in the comments!

12 New Tools for Infants and Toddlers

28 May

We’ve got a lot of great new infant and toddler products for you to try out–and we’ve picked out twelve in particular that we really love!

Manipulative and Gross Motor Toys

1. Winkel™ Owl & Lion 30811set

(Birth & up.) Familiar with the original Winkel™ toys? This versatile set of toys has been updated to include friendly faces! These owl and lion toys are spun into shapes that are easy for baby to grasp! When you chill it in the refrigerator, it becomes a teething toy for older infants. Available as a set, or sold separately (owl & lion). (Set, item #30811, $26.95; $13.95  sold separate)

2. Puzzle Ball Puzzle Ball

(6 months & up.) This puzzle ball offers more than just squeakers, clickers, and rattles! It pulls apart to reveal three pieces: a rolling shaker and two activity toys. It helps develop manipulation skills, and it’s easy to put back together. (Item #30036, $14.95)

 

3 & 4. Flapping Owl Pull Toy and Rock & Stack Pull Toy pulltoys

(18 months & up.) These pull toys offer multiple options for your toddler’s fun! The owl flaps his wings when your toddler pulls him across the floor with soft felt and vibrant details to entertain your child. The Rock & Stack pull toy can be pulled across the floor by the string, or your toddler can move the wheels up and watch the boat rock! The animals can be switched around on board the boat, as well. (Item #s 62719 and 62720, $21.95 each)

Activity Gyms and Tummy Time

5. Gymini® Monkey Island Activity Gym 88178

(Birth & up.) Offer your baby a colorful and interesting world of investigation and interaction in 3 positions: on their back, on their stomach, and seated upright! With a baby-activated plush monkey (with 3 songs and lights), a tummy time pillow, and washable padded mat, this activity gym provides 18 developmental activities to keep baby active and learning! Batteries not included. (Item #88178, $69.95)

6. Treetop Friends Activity Gym 62220

(Birth & up.) If you prefer treetop friends, here is another activity gym for you! This gym features nature-inspired graphics and textures, with a tummy time pillow and birds, an owl, and a squirrel for children to play with, equaling up to 17 different developmental activities to help your baby grow! (Item #62220, $79.95)

 

7. Boppy® Tummy Time 62709

(2-6 months.)  Baby will have fun exploring the two developmental toys that come along with the Boppy Tummy Time! It features the SlideLine toy adjustment system so toys can be perfectly placed and moved to encourage tummy time fun.  (Item #62709, $19.95)

 

 

Board Books

8. Look at Me Bilingual Board Books (set of 4) 62768

(6-24 months.) For the dual language learners out there! Babies enjoy looking at other babies, and these board books are full of baby pictures! The books are easy for little hands to hold–and turning the page helps children develop eye-hand coordination. (Item #62768, $19.95)

 

 

9. Mini Masters Board Books (set of 4) 62749

(12-24 months.) Step into the magical world of fine art with this set of 4 board books that feature the works of four great artists: Degas, Monet, Matisse, and Van Gogh. These imaginative board books feature their beautiful paintings paired with playful, rhyming text. (Item #62749, $19.95)

 

 

Dramatic Play and More

10 & 11. Lion Cape Costume and Tiger Cape Costume liontiger

(18 months & up.) Lions and tigers (and bears, oh my!) in your home or classroom! Start your jungle adventures with these fun cape costumes–they’re easy to put on and made from easy-care, machine-washable fabrics. (Also available in horse and dragon options for fairy tale adventures!) (Item #s 30969 and 30971, $31.95 each–temporarily out of stock, but will be back soon!)

 

12. Smile & Ride Buggy 62750

(18-36 months.)  Your toddler will enjoy the ride in this fun push-around car! They will feel like they are really driving with a working horn to honk and wheel to turn! It includes a safety seat belt. (Item #62750, $43.95)

 

 

Let us know what you think! What is your favorite out of these? Which will you use this summer? :)

Five Fabulous Language and Literacy Games!

9 May

Whether you’re looking for games for emergent readers or for your older readers, we’ve got something to offer! We’ve handpicked five fabulous games that will help children build on key language and literacy skills like alphabet learning, phonics, rhyming, building words, and building sentences–all while having fun!

1. Alphabet Match Game
Alphabet Match Game

This puzzle game will help children learn alphabet concepts while promoting the development of early literacy skills. Each alphabet puzzle includes four wooden pieces–the lowercase and uppercase letters, a word that starts with the letter, and a picture of the word. It also comes with an activity guide that will give you new, fun ideas of how to use the game! (Item #70454, $69.95 55.95 SALE)

2. Syllabification Vocabulary Building Game 82668b

Spark your child’s interest in writing and spelling activities with this fun game that provides over 100 plastic tiles with root words (and derivatives of root words), prefixes, and suffixes! It will show them how words are made of chunks! (Item #82668, $34.95)

 

 

3. Rhyming Sounds Game 36318

Children will learn 32 different rhyming sounds with this fun game, which provides the players with a storage tray, 56 sorting tiles, and four category cards! To play, the children match the ending sound of the pictures with the corresponding rhyming object on the tiles. (Item #36318, $10.95)

 

 

4. Froggy Phonics Game62049a

Hop from lily pad to lily pad in this fun game to learn phonics! Players will use a phonics spinner and try to be the first to find matching words, and the first player to get to four matching words wins! Each board is double-sided for twice the fun! This will help build and reinforce reading skills. (Item #62049, $21.95)

 

 

5. You’ve Been Sentenced 87664new

For your older readers, You’ve Been Sentenced is a great sentence-building game using five-sided card with multiple versions of a base word. Players get 10 cards in a hand and try to score the most points by creating the longest grammatically-correct and sensible sentence! Any player can object to another players sentence, on either grammatical grounds, or if a sentence just doesn’t make sense. The defending player and the objecting player get to argue their points to the rest of the players, who form a jury. Half the fun is trying to defend, explain, and justify a completely ridiculous sentence to the other players. First player to reach 200 points wins.

 

All of these great toys are available through our website! Do you know any other great language and literacy skill-building games? Let us know in the comments!

Celebrate Spring with Plant and Insect Habitats

5 Apr

Looking for some fun, affordable ways to bring the outdoors inside this spring on those rainy days? Or ways to explore habitats and insects more closely for science homeschooling lessons? Here are some great learning-based toys we can offer you that can do just that!

1. Root Vue Farm Set

Root Vue Farm Set

This farm set is a wonderful way to observe the way plants grow! It comes with an acrylic viewing window that allows you to see the roots as they grow, a light shield to keep them growing healthily, a water basin and drainage reservoir, 3 packets of seeds, 8 grow-mix wafers, and a 16-page booklet with instructions and experiments! (Item #31325, $34.95)

2. Farmer’s Garden

farmer's garden

You can use this micro-farm to grow your own crops! Watch fruits and vegetables grow as you cultivate them–tasty treats like green and red peppers, green beans, strawberries, or lettuce! (Item #141179, $24.95)

3. Strange Plant Collection

strange plant collection

This collection of plants your children can grow is certainly out of the ordinary! Four seed packs come with this kit–seeds for space plants, eyeball plants, brain plants, and pitcher plants!–to provide your children with fun botanical oddities. (Item #00367, $24.95)

4. Sprout and Grow Window

sprout and grow window

This planter comes with see-through paneling, soil, pea and bean seeds, and a step-by-step guide, all allowing your children to watch the pea and bean seeds as they grow into something we can eat! Yum! (Item #24260, $19.95)

5. Insect Lore Ladybug Land

insect lore ladybug land

This fun habitat for ladybugs will allow your children to watch as ladybugs go through their life cycle! It comes with built in magnifying lenses to help children see the ladybugs better and an instruction guide! (Item #86390, $19.95)

6. Butterfly Glamour Garden

butterfly glamour garden

Set your dome terrarium up and plant your seeds, and then decorate it with stickers, jewels, marbles, pink gravel, and more! The plants that will grow will attract butterflies and hummingbirds with their rainbow-colored foliage and sweet scents, and comes complete with a butterfly that will call your garden home! (Item #141178, $24.95)

7. Butterfly Garden Set

butterfly garden set

For something a little more simple, try this butterfly garden set to observe 5 caterpillars transform into five butterflies! Included is a mesh habitat, feeding kit, care instructions, butterfly facts, and a coupon for live butterfly culture. (Item #17142, $19.95)

8. Antworks

antworks

A new twist on the old ant habitat! Antworks has been tested in zero gravity–how cool! It comes with the container and a non-toxic blue gel that will make it easy for children to observe ants digging a network of tunnels. (Item #22081, $19.95)

8 Fun Ways to Make Music

22 Mar

Do you have a budding musician in your family? Or do you know someone whose child loves making noise? For children, listening to—and making!—music is a very important step in their development and growth. It helps develop many different skills, such as listening skills, language skills, math skills, and more! It introduces children to rhythm, and can help relieve stress when things just aren’t going their way.

Making music gives children an opportunity to be creative, whether it involves shaking maracas while another friend is playing with a drum, or simply pecking the keys on their first piano. Here are some great toys children can use to create their own music!

Rainbomaker

1. Rainbomaker (8″)

The Rainbomaker creates a combination of sound and color that children will love! ($11.95, Item#94453 )

 

 

 

 

 

Learn to Play Piano2. Learn to Play Piano

The Learn to Play Piano from Melissa & Doug features 25 keys and spans two octaves! It’s a great first piano for little Mozarts. It comes with a songbook and a color-coded key chart to help children learn the keys. (On sale! $55.96, Item #00967)

 

 

 

3. Band in a Box Band in a Box

This kit includes maracas, a triangle, a set of hand cymbals, a tambourine, a clapper, and rhythm sticks to help your children create their very own band! ($24.95, Item #12774)

 

 

 

4. Zoo Rhythm Instruments (set of 7) Zoo Rhythm Instruments

This fun rhythm instrument set includes seven animals that your children might see on a zoo trip—in wooden form! It includes an elephant drum, crocodile guiro, shark bells, whale jingle, cow tone blocks, and more! ($79.95, Item #60721)

 

 

5. Ukulele (stripe design) ukulele

Use this fun Hawaiian instrument to teach children the basics of playing a stringed instrument! It comes with a pick to enhance playing! ($29.95, Item #141280)

 

 

 

6. Chimalong Jr.chimalongjr

This 8-note metallophone from Woodstock Percussion helps children learn about tone and pitch! ($39.95, Item #18004)

 

 

 

 

7. Wrist Bells wristbells

Wrist bells are a great addition to any band set your children might have! They can strap it on to their wrist with the easy Velcro closure and shake away! ($3.95, Item #1131)

 

 

 

wavedrum

8. Wave Drum

Create fun water sounds with the wave drum, like ocean waves, waterfalls, or rolls of thunder! ($21.95, Item #40791)

Seven Fun Foods to Play with in Nutrition Month!

11 Mar

National Nutrition Month is a wonderful way to celebrate the best healthy eating habits! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietics holds this campaign annually in March to promote the importance of making informed nutritional decisions, as well as  forming good physical activity habits.  With this fun collection of foods for children to play with, they will learn how to make eating decisions that are good for them!

62573

MyPlate Felt Set – This fun felt set shows realistic depictions of food that promotes healthy eating habits and aligns with the USDA’s MyPlate model.

Item#: 62573  Price: $19.95

30330

Healthy Gourmet Salad - This fun salad set comes with a great variety of vegetables, along with salad tongs, olive oil and vinegar, and pepper to help make a great salad for play time!

Item#: 30330 Price:  $24.95

46892

Food Groups - Arrange these fun foods from the four food groups to make a well-balanced meal!

Item#: 46892 Price: $19.95

30704

Mighty Mixer – The knob on top of the mixer turns so the beaters rotate! Lift the beaters up to set up the mixing bowl (or remove it when everything is all mixed up).

Item#: 30704 Price: $24.95

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Play-Time Produce Farm Fresh Fruit - These fabulous fruits are realistically sized, adding more fun to your child’s grocery and kitchen play time!

Item#: 18594 Price: $19.95

18595

Play-Time Produce Farm Fresh Vegetables - The vegetable counterpart of the Farm Fresh Fruits, these realistically sized vegetables will give more dimension to kitchen and grocery play, as well, and maybe even encourage your little ones to try these veggies!

Item#: 18595 Price: $19.95

141192

Eco-Friendly Salad Set - Great for pretend play! Toss the lettuce and veggies together to make a healthy salad.

Item#: 141192 Price: $19.95

Check out more great play time food on our website at KaplanToys.com!

The Best Books About Love for Kids

11 Feb

Children love to think about, talk about, and even read about love! With this extensive collection of books about love, children will learn about compassion, kindness, and friendship. To shop for more best-selling children’s books, visit us online at www.kaplantoys.com!

I Love Guinea Pigs

I Love Guinea Pigs

This affectionate guide  answers all the questions anyone’s ever had about guinea pigs!

Item #: 84379   Price: $6.99  Sale Price: $5.00

I Love My Mommy

I Love My Mommy

Animals in the wild love their mommies dearly and depend on them for many of the same things young children do. This adorable padded board book is the perfect addition to any toddler’s library!

Item #: 85075            Price: $6.95

I Love You the Purplest

I Love You the Purplest

This touching story will help children to understand the importance of friendship, the strength in a family, and how to deal with the feelings that they must face each day. This hardback book is a wonderful present for a young child!

Item #: 97682           Price: $16.99

TAGGIES I Love You

I Love You

Curious babies will love to touch and tug on the TAGGIES™ fleece blanket that covers this special book. This soon-to-be favorite also features eight colorful tags made for small fingers.

Item #: 88268           Price: $12.99

I Love Our EarthI Love Our Earth

This book helps young children appreciate the earth and understand how to preserve it for the rest of the world to enjoy.

Item #: 86808                 Price: $14.95

Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You

Guess how much kids will love this! This board book is a wonderful expression of love between a parent and child.

Item #: 93904                Price: $7.99

Full Full Full of Love

Full, Full, Full of Love

For the youngest member of an exuberant extended family, Sunday dinner at Grannie’s can be full indeed – full of hugs and kisses, full of tasty dishes, full to the brim with happy faces, and full, full, full of love.

Item #: 50370               Price: $3.99

Andy Shane Is NOT in Love

Andy Shane Is NOT in Love

In his fourth engaging adventure, Andy Shane learns about the delicate balance of old friends and new, and the special joy of bringing home a dog of his own.

Item #: 19870       Price: $4.99   Sale Price: $3.00

I Love You, Sun

I Love You, Sun I Love You, Moon

Teach your children how to love the world around them with this beautiful board book. The simple text and illustrations honor the little things in life!

Item #: 12258             Price: $7.99

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