Toys to Teach Diversity at Home

11 Jan

Diversity: “having different forms, types, ideas” or “having people who are difference races or who have different cultures in a group.”

Sending your child from home to school opens them up to a variety of new ideas, different cultures, and peers of different races. One way to encourage, support, and prepare your child for a transition that instills openness and acceptance of differences in classroom is by using learning resources that teach diversity at home. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we have a compiled a list of our favorite toys and books to help you promote diversity in your children from an early age:

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 1. Kuddle Dolls 

Especially for visual learners, one of the best ways to teach diversity is through being inclusive in toy selection. These huggable fabric dolls offer a variety of different races to help celebrate diversity!

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 2. Emotiblocks 

Teach children to become familiar with their emotions while instilling tolerance, empathy, and racial diversity. You will have fun asking your children to describe what they see as you discuss different features of the board characters.

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3. Learning to Get Along Book Set (Set of 6)

Many times teaching diversity not only entails recognizing it in the community, but learning social emotional skills to know how to respond to those differences. The Learning to Get Along Book Set presents real-life situations and concrete examples for you to read-aloud and discuss ideas with your children on how to properly respond to each.

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4. International Food Collection 

One fun way to embrace diversity is by integrating it into kitchen play! Teach dramatic play and diversity at the same time with the International Food Collection as you introduce foods from around the world! It’s a great conversation starter about different cultures.

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5. Friends Like Me Differing Abilities Puzzle Set (Set of 4)

 Embracing children with special needs and varying abilities is an important part of acceptance in your child’s peer group. These puzzles are an engaging visual aid for showing real images of children with differing abilities. Use them as the perfect opportunity to discuss diversity with your kids!


We’re curious! How do you talk to your children about discovering diversity in the classroom and community? Let us know by commenting below with learning tools and questions your children ask about diversity.

Easy Ways to Make Indoor Snowmen!

6 Jan

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Winter is here! Whether you have snow outside or you’re looking for indoor activities to keep children engaged, we have the perfect pastime for you and your little ones—snowman building! Snowmen (and women) are the perfect go to as they can be built in many ways, both indoors and out! Even if you don’t have snow this year, here are some of our favorite ways to build indoor snowmen with your children:
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1. Coffee Bottle Snowman

 Incorporate recycling by reusing empty coffee creamer bottles for snowman building! Simply pull out the markers and cotton balls to get started. This is a fun activity that builds fine motor skills, takes creativity, and produces an adorable snowman your child can display around the house! Best part? It doesn’t melt!

Source: http://frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtail.com/fine-motor-skills-build-a-snowman/

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2. Giant Block Snowman

Break out the blocks to make this giant block snowman! Put those holiday boxes to good use by selecting four boxes of varying sizes. Whip out the white wrapping paper and encourage your child to start building! Children can select whatever accessories they want to add to their snowman as well as draw a face and buttons! This is a great way to incorporate block play in children’s indoor snowman building.

Source: http://b-inspiredmama.com/diy-giant-snowman-blocks/

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3. Shivery Snow Paint Snowman

Encourage children to use all of their senses as they get creative with snowpaint! This is a great activity for creating glittering snowmen on paper. Find the Shivery Snow Paint Recipe here and start creating a sparkly indoor snowman that your child can put on display!

4. Cupcake Snowman

 Do you love baking? Involved children in the process by making snowman cupcakes! This is a great way to teach cooking skills, inspire creativity, and create a warm tasty snack for a cold day!

Find instructions for making your tasty snowmen here: http://www.examiner.com/article/create-a-marshmallow-snowman-cupcake


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Don’t forget to enter our Spectacular Snow Down contest on Facebook! Simply take a picture of your child’s finished snowman, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, and share it with us here for your chance to win our Snowman Prize Pack! Contest rules found here. Good luck!

Top 5 Allergy and Asthma Friendly Toys for the Holidays

15 Dec

As a parent, your child’s safety is one of your biggest concerns. That’s why having children with asthma or allergies can make simple decisions like toy selections for the holidays a lot more crucial than the usual “anything cute, cuddly, and education-oriented goes!” At Kaplan Toys, we want you to be confident that when your child cuddles with a soft toy, pesky dust mites and other allergens are not irritating your child’s symptoms.

We offer a range of allergy and asthma friendly toys that will allow your children to cuddle with confidence and allow you to rest easier knowing the toys have been tested and designed to be suitable to your child’s needs. If you’re shopping for the holiday, here are our top 5 asthma-friendly toys:

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1) Asthma & Allergy Friendly Floppy Monkey 

Need baby’s first friend? This fun Floppy Monkey is great for tagging along and cuddling in the car! Toys with the asthma & allergy friendly certification mark are an ideal choice for children with asthma and allergies.

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2) Asthma Friendly Developmental Plush Toy – Giraffe 

Reduce allergen levels during play while providing baby with a loveable companion! This 12″ plush toy is Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly™.

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3) Asthma Friendly Blanky Set (Set of 3)

This animal friends set of blankies is certified asthma and allergy friendly and safe for cuddling! With three different colors, these soft blankets are made to withstand frequent machine washing to keep allergen levels low.

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4) Buddy the Asthma Friendly Bear 

Buddy is ready for big hugs! Babies will love this soft bear that allows children a toy to hold on to for nap time that is designed for frequent machine washing and soft, cuddly play!

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5) Comfort Cuddly Rattles (Set of 3)

Need a new classroom favorite? Want to make some music at home with your little ones? From the very first hug, these soft plush rattles will become a favorite. Certified asthma and allergy friendly.

Different Ways to Use Light Stax!

8 Dec

Looking for a cool new toy for your child for the holidays? Do you have a little builder on your hands? Light Stax are one of our favorite new toys that we think you may just love! These glow-in-the-dark blocks not only allow for practicing budding engineering skills, but they are a fun night light for children who may be afraid of the dark! Here are a few different ways you and your child can play with Light Stax:

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1. Bring Animals to Light!

Light Stax allow children to bring animals to life as they light up their favorite critters! The power base lights whatever structure they come up with as they boost creativity and imagination!

Source: http://www.mommytodaymagazine.com/toys/light-stax/

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2. Build a Colorful Night Light!

Put building skills to the test then use the finished structure as a custom built, self-dimming nightlight in your child’s room!

 

 

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3. Create Creative Patterns

The entrancing colors allow for patterning as children learn about sequences and color identiication. Patterns only limited by color and imagination!

Source: http://coolmomtech.com/2015/02/light-stax-electric-light-blocks/

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4. Pair with LEGO for Tiny Adventures!

Incorporate Light Stax structures into LEGO kingdoms to bring lights to character’s mini-cities! The block set is always fun and adaptable to incorporate into other building sets!

Source: http://www.mdiaus.net.au/blog/connecting-with-light-stax/458


-Need a set of Light Stax for your little builder? Find all of our Light Stax sets here and don’t forget to apply the holiday code MISTLETOE for 15% off $50+! Offer runs through Dec. 15th!

-Need more ideas for how to build with Light Stax? Follow Light Stax Facebook page for more glow in the dark adventures!

5 Ways for Your Elf on the Shelf to Make Mischief!

1 Dec

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Are you familiar with Elf on the Shelf? If you’re looking for a new tradition to incorporate into your family for the holidays, Elf on the Shelf could be the perfect toy for you! Need ideas to get started? Here are five of our favorite mischief poses for your elf to be found in:


 

The Elf on the Shelf Legend: The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition includes a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the scout elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning. 



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1. Marshmallow Construction Worker!

Call in the construction trucks and break out the marshmallows for a little marshmallow mischief with Elf on the Shelf! Browse our selection of construction trucks to get started.

Source: http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Elf-Shelf-Ideas-20839402#photo-33037733

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 2. Minion Maker!

All you need is a bunch of bananas and a sharpie and your elf can enjoy the company of makeshift minions! Not a bad way to promote a healthy snack!

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/160300067963983267/

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3. LEGO Revolution

 The Elf on the Shelf isn’t the only one who gets into trouble at night! Let the LEGOS join in on the fun by building a mini-display of Gulliver’s Travels! Browse our LEGO sets here.

Source: http://www.poofycheeks.com/2013/11/20-fun-elf-on-shelf-ideas.html?m=1

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4. Toy Photo shoot

Give your elf a camera and set up a photo shoot! This is always a fun idea, especially when you take a few toy photos for children to look through in the morning.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507710557965913318/

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5. Egg-celent Holiday Surprise!

Incorporate your elf in the kitchen by having it leave a holiday message on the eggs! This is the perfect transition to diving into cooking fun with your little one

Source: http://www.poofycheeks.com/2013/11/20-fun-elf-on-shelf-ideas.html?m=1


 

Don’t have a scout elf yet? Start a new Christmas tradition with Elf on the Shelf! https://www.kaplantoys.com/store/trans/search.asp?tbSearch=elf+on+the+shelf&searchButton=

 

Kid’s Edition: Finger Foods for Thanksgiving

25 Nov

Whipping up recipes for Thanksgiving? Don’t forget to include young children in the process with a few fun finger foods they can help make. With a little creativity, simple snacks become a fun way for children to learn nutrition, math skills through measuring, and how to follow directions in the kitchen! Here are five of our favorite Thanksgiving snacks for kids to make:

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1. Turkey Shaped Cheese Platter

Encourage children to work on sorting skills as they use a little creativity and a lot of cheese to create a turkey-shaped cheese platter! Find out how here.

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2. Caramel Apple Nachos

Break out the apples and caramel for a tasty treat the whole family will enjoy! This is an easy (and healthy) snack that’s perfect for children who are eager to help out in the kitchen. Directions here.

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3. Owl S’mores

Make these adorable Owl S’mores with a couple of graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate chips, yellow candy melts, and candy corn! They’re sure to be a family favorite! Find out how to make them here.

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4. Fruity Turkey

Get creative with different fruits to create this adorable fruit turkey! Kids will work on fine motor skills as they cut different fruits in half and put on the final touches with shaped carrots!

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5. Turkey Pretzel Snack

Break out the pretzels and peanut butter for some turkey fun! This is a cute idea to keep little hands busy as they create their cute turkey snack. Find instructions on how to get started here.

Build budding culinary skills in your children by investing in a starter kitchen set! Browse our selection here.

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Don’t miss even more ways to get creative in the kitchen with Cooking Art! 

Top 10 Toys for the Holidays!

17 Nov

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The holidays are fast approaching! Looking for sweet deals on gifts for your kids? Then you don’t want to miss our Top 10 Toys for the Holidays! Children learn through play and these toy selections are a great way to foster early learning. Don’t miss this year’s latest and greatest picks for hands-on learning:

145100a.jpg1. Adora Baby Time 16” Baby 

Have a new big sister in the family? The Adora BabyTime dolls are great for little parents in training! This adorable baby is decked out with a soft blankie, feeding bottle, and a pink newborn onesie!

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2. PlayDoh Fun Factory – Classic 

Take Play-Doh play to a whole new level with the Play-Doh Fun Factory! Create fun shapes, crank out spaghetti noodles, or construct I-beams for building purposes! Don’t forget the included storage tray for holding all of the shape plates when not in use.

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3. SpinAgain Stacking Toy

Teach colors, work on baby’s fine motor skills, and watch as a sense of wonder is instilled in children as they see the SpinAgain Stacking Toy wobble and spin! This colorful toy encourages hand-eye coordination and baby engineering skills.

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4. Roominate Townhouse

Foster engineering skills in your young girl with the Roominate Townhouse! This award-winning line of wired building toys teaches STEM skills such as problem solving, spatial and fine motor skills, self-confidence, and creativity in girls! Get started building the perfect townhouse!

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5. Light Stax Illuminated Blocks Set 

What’s better than brightly colored building blocks? Blocks that glow in the dark, of course! Use Light Stax as a custom night light with three different light modes: flashing, fading, or solid. Want to build a robot? Flower? Creations are only limited by creativity!

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6. Mario Thwomp Ruins Building Set 

Does your child love Mario Kart? Bring the game to life with the Mario Thwomp Ruins Building Set! Build Mario & Yoshi figures, two Karts, Thwomp obstacles and let the battery-powered motorcar racing begin!

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7. Sprinkles Recordable Build a Bear

Looking for the perfect companion for your infant or toddler? Sprinkles Recordable Bear offers the perfect way to record personalized messages to celebrate occasions, milestones, or simply leave silly messages for your child! Just hold down the heart-shaped button and record up to 10 seconds. Great for parents who travel and want to leave a sweet message young children can replay!

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8. Crane Lift

Put building skills to the test with the Crane Lift! Practice construction site planning with this fun engineering set for budding builders. A great way to weigh toys already in the toy bin!

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9. Kids First Physics Lab

Challenge your child with this beginner physics kit! Launch experiments with actions ranging from racing, rolling, flying, falling, crashing, balancing, and spinning around! Follow step-by-step instructions for completing each model and learn the basic laws of physical mechanics.

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10. Snap Circuits Arcade

Not sure how to teach STEM to your children? Check out Snap Circuits Arcade! This building set teaches children about electronic circuits as they work with a base grid. Includes more than 200 projects and 30 components as well as an internal Microcontroller pre-programmed with interactive games!

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