Tag Archives: building

Dramatic Play for Spring

24 Mar

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It’s finally spring and with the change in seasons comes more opportunities for young children to get out and enjoy some fresh air. There are plenty of games to play outside, but the best ones inspire children’s creativity as they act out dramatic play. We have a few ways your child can enjoy the sunshine while also using their imaginations to transform into something new! Without further ado, here are four dramatic play games for spring:

1. Better Fly, Butterfly!

There’s nothing more magical than the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly! Have your children act out the transformation with their very own set of wings. The wings are a great addition to books full of early science learning, such as From Caterpillar to Butterfly and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and will help children become more invested in the stories being read.

2. Get Your Grill On!

Since March is National Nutrition Month, encourage your child to pretend to make their favorite healthy foods on the Pretend Play BBQ Grill. The grill is a great way to teach children proper nutrition and build fine motor skills as children let their imaginations flourish, combining all of their favorite ingredients! (Even if they probably wouldn’t work so well in real life!) For a book of simple recipes you can cook together with your toddler in the real kitchen after playtime, don’t miss The Budding Chef.

3. Build Something Brilliant!

There’s nothing like working on a construction project outside, whether it’s in the sandbox or on the patio. Have your child grab their Construction Worker Dress-Up and head outside to build. The No Ends Construction Set, Bricks, Blocks and Rock Builders, and the Giant Polydron Set are all great outdoor building sets.

4. Go on a Safari!

Every child is a little adventurer at heart! Foster your child’s love of new experiences by helping them gear up for an outdoor adventure! Grab some binoculars for bird watching, a critter cabin for new friends found along the way, and an Early Science Explorers Set to get children started. Creating a sensory box afterwards of items found is always a great tool for science learning at home.

We hope you and your children are enjoying the start of spring! Feel free to share your favorite spring activities with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Toys to Develop Your Little Girl’s Leadership Skills

25 Feb

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One of the key areas educational toys occasionally overlook is building leadership skills in young girls. Many times toys that emphasize building, engineering, and taking up roles of leadership are primarily geared toward boys. That’s why we want to introduce a few toys that will encourage your little leader as she prepares to take on the world!

Building Leadership in Girls:

Building projects are a great way to emphasize leadership and utilize ingenuity as girls bend toys to their imaginations! Not only are they great projects for her to work on with others as she uses communication and leadership to direct the building efforts of peers, but they can also allow her to engage in open-ended play to build whatever delightful structures she can imagine! As she builds, focus on expanding the following leadership skills:

  • Visualization: have her set a goal for what the structure will look like. It’s important to know what progress needs to be made.
  • Following through: this is the building process. Ensure she understands that working with dedication to meet her goal is something that can be applied beyond building.
  • Effective communication: building with peers is a great way to learn how to make herself heard. This is the perfect opportunity for her to direct peers, while also stopping to listen to their ideas and coming up with the most effective way to reach their combined building goals.

Here are three of our favorite building toys for girls:

1. Tinkertoy Building Set Pink

This pink Tinkertoy Building Set makes for easy building as girls can snap pieces together to build anything from castles, to cats, to flowers and more! Bendable rods allow for even more creativity as builders create their own Tinkertoy world!

2. Straws and Connectors 400 Pack

Encouraging builders to dabble in science, the Straws and Connectors 400 Pack allows girls to construct their own unique creations. The straws allow for easy manipulation in building arches and tubes to outline your child’s contraption!

3. GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine

Build spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem solving in young girls! This construction set teaches builders how to make movies as they learn how the Zoetrope is important in engineering.

-Find even more toys from GoldieBlox here.

Books to Inspire Success in Girls:

Finally, reading about girls who go out and achieve their dreams, whether it’s on a soccer field or in the classroom, is a great way to bolster girls’ confidence in their own abilities. Here are a few of our favorite reads to provide examples for girls to succeed:

What are some of your favorite toys made specifically for girls? Share with us by commenting below or posting your thoughts to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaplanToys

The Top Toys for Boys (And Girls!) Who Love Building

9 Dec

Have a child that’s fascinated by do-dads, gizmos, and whozawhatzits? The experts at Kaplan Toys are counting down their favorite toys for boys (and girls!) who love building! Sound like a little rascal you know? Trim down your shopping list in just a few clicks!

#5: Brick Block Set

Develop coordination and motor skills with these cardboard blocks! This brick block set is comprised of 44 pieces: 28 small bricks (6″ x 3″ x 3″), 8 medium bricks (6″ x 6″ x 3″), and 8 large bricks (12″ x 6″ x 3″).  2 years & up.

Item Number: 33316

Price: $46.95

#4: Magic Briks

These unique unbreakable blocks are so easy that even the youngest children can build! Soft bristles interlock when pushed together and stay attached until they are pulled apart. Set contains blocks in lots of shapes and sizes, plus wheels that really turn. 70 pieces. 3 years & up.

Item Number: 46263

Price: $26.95

#3: Totter Tower

A fantastic building activity that helps children develop a sense of geometry and spatial awareness, as well as hand-eye coordination. The distinct angle of the bamboo pieces create endless possibilities for making exciting shapes and structures. Play with it as a game or construction activity. Includes 24 angular bamboo rings and an activity guide. 3 years & up.

Item Number: 89253

Price: $39.95

#2: LEGO® My First Fire Station

The brave firefighters are on their way to put out a fire in their little firefighting cars. They have a lot of tools, like a ladder, fire axe, and fire hose, to help put out the blaze. DUPLO® bricks, figures and elements are colorful, safe and sturdy for little hands and big imaginations. 60 pieces. 2 – 5 years.

Item Number: 00762

Price: $29.95

#1: LEGO® Creator Street Speedster

Cruise the city in this sporty green speed machine with doors that open. Rebuilds into a hot rod or a speedy race car. All vehicles have opening doors, tons of details, and a green and white striping pattern. A cool 3-in-1 building experience. 165 pieces. 6 – 12 years.

Item Number: 00691

Price: $12.95

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