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All Aboard! Train Fun for All Ages

30 Jun

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All aboard the choo-choo train! Does your child love to play with trains? Although they may seem like basic toys to keep your child occupied, trains can actually boost your child’s development. The following are ways playing with trains can benefit your child’s developmental learning.

Teaches Traffic Safety

Playing with trains can increase your child’s traffic safety awareness. Your child will learn that cars cannot cross train tracks when the level crossing is down to indicate that a train is coming. The LEGO® DUPLO® Town Push Train Set has a level crossing as well as a car to demonstrate this traffic safety concept. Additionally, playing with trains on the Thomas & Friends™ Zipbin® Toybox Playmat™ will help your child visualize and understand traffic safety rules between trains, automobiles, and people. This play mat displays train tracks, roads, businesses, a hospital and more. Your child will love exploring traffic safety in a fun way.

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Strengthens Fine Motor Skills

Encouraging your child to play with trains will also strengthen his or her fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the control of the movements children make using the small muscles in their hands and fingers. These skills are important to many of life’s everyday activities, such as eating with silverware and tying shoelaces. Building a toy train set involves working with small objects to create the set, which develops fine motor skills piece by piece.

Develops Engineering and Problem-Solving Skills

Playing with trains also helps develop engineering and problem-solving skills. Building train sets requires innovative thinking and determination. Your child will learn to use his or her engineering skills to design and build train sets. Additionally, when a problem arises with the train or track development process, your child will use problem-solving skills to fix the issue. The Smartmax® My First Animal Train Set requires engineering and problem-solving skills because not only do children build the train set, they are also faced with the challenge of magnetism. Your child will love using engineering skills to build and problem-solving skills to understand how magnets attract and repel.

The skills learned from pretend play with trains are transferable across many age groups. Accelerate the developmental growth of your child by encouraging him or her to play with trains. Your youngster will appreciate learning from these classic toys!

Fun Ideas for Family Staycations

22 Jun

shutterstock_40209769Are you looking for enjoyable and affordable ways to entertain your child during summer break? Consider having a staycation and making your home the hangout. Staycations can be just as fun as vacations if you are equipped with fun games to play and have exciting activities planned. The following are cheap staycation ideas for your family this summer.

Family Game Night

Include family game night in your summer staycation! Playing games as a family is fun way to bond. Consider playing Claws, Jaws, & Paws during your game night. This two to six player game is simple and entertaining, and your family will love playing it together. Exit Games are also perfect for game night. These strategy games, including Secret Lab, Pharaoh’s Tomb, and Abandoned Cabin, are ultimate brainteasers. Tenzi is also perfect for family game night. Your family will be hooked on this speedy game! Game night is a fun family staycation idea that your family will love.

Minute to Win It Competitions

Host Minute to Win It competitions at your house. Consider having a bubble popping competition as the first Minute to Win It activity. Turn on the Mr. Bubble® Double Bubble Blower Machine and have everyone see how many bubbles they can pop in one minute. We suggest having a couple of rounds so that each participant can have a personal counter to keep tally of the amount of bubbles popped. The person who pops the most bubbles in each round wins. Then, have all the winners compete to see who the ultimate bubble popper is. Another game we recommend is seeing who can build the tallest tower possible in one minute with Click Builders. The person with the tallest tower wins! A final Minute to Win It game we suggest is stacking and unstacking a pyramid with Speed Stacks Rapid Stacking Game. The participant who finishes unstacking his or her pyramid first is the winner. These games are perfect for many ages, so invite all your family and friends!

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Dance Parties

Everyone loves dance parties! Get your children moving and grooving with a dance party during your summer staycation. What’s a dance party without music? Make and build your own speaker with the IllumiCraft™ Light-Up Cell Phone Speaker Dock STEM Kit, then turn up the tunes! You can even download Kidz Bop 25 to your cell phone to play the biggest hits through your speaker. The next most important part of a dance party is the lighting. Jazz up your dance party room with the LockerBrightz™ Geometric Room Light. The whole family will love the good music, good lighting, and good times.

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Backyard Campouts

Make a backyard campout part of your family’s summer staycation. First, you’ll need to pitch a tent right in your backyard. Your family can spend time telling ghost stories and making s’mores by a fire. However, it will get dark outside, so make sure you are prepared with outdoor lights. You can even put BugBrightz™ Magical String Lights in a jar to make your own lantern. Your children will love exploring new adventures with you during your backyard campout this summer.

Make this summer one to remember with family game nights, Minute to Win It competitions, dance parties and backyard camping. The memories your family will make participating in these affordable activities will prove to be priceless. Your child will love enjoying fun family staycations this summer.

Do you have any family staycation ideas to share? Let us know by commenting below!

 

 

Sensory Play for Rainy Days

3 Mar

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Rainy days don’t have to ruin all the fun! There are plenty of creative ways to play and enjoy the day indoors! Keep reading for some new, fun ways to pass the time while waiting for the sun to return.

  1. Indoor Sandbox. Sand isn’t as messy as you’d think, especially if you use kinetic sand, such as Shape It! Sand. It never dries out, so it’s always ready to build another sandcastle. It’s also great for sensory awareness and development. Put out a large blanket or get out a kiddie pool and have some beachy fun indoors!
  2. Inside Rug Skating. Tear out some magazine pages, step on them, and you instantly have rug skates! Let your little ones slide and glide around the house without the mess or danger of real skates.
  3. Button Jewelry. Let kids make themselves or a loved one a button necklace or bracelet. All you need is some string and some colorful buttons, and soon your kids will be making the latest in craft jewelry trends!
  4. Wiggly Eye Silliness. Take some Wiggly Eyes and stick them on random items around the house. Surprise each other by secretly sticking them on things when the others aren’t looking. It’s sure to make the kids laugh until their bellies ache!
  5. Mini Picassos. Up the craft ante with a variety of art supplies and encourage kids to be super creative. For example, the Sensory Collage Kit allows kids to experiment with different collage materials as they create their own works of art. Having more than just paint and paper can help them engage with descriptive vocabulary and develop sensory awareness.
  6. Dance in the Rain. Why not go with a classic and head out into the front or back yard for an invigorating dance in the rain? Play your kids’ favorite music and maybe even include some water blasters to get even more soaked! Of course, always be aware of thunder and lightning in your area, and stay safe.
  7. Hot Cocoa. What cold, rainy day isn’t made better by a warm drink? Whip up some hot chocolate (marshmallows are optional, of course) for a special treat after lunch or dinner!

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Whether it’s a thunderstorm or a little drizzle, rainy days can bring out the blues in everyone. Blow those blues away with these engaging indoor activities that are creative, physically active, and just plain fun! Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more innovative and exciting ideas and activities.