Tag Archives: games

Ways to Celebrate President’s Day at Home

16 Feb

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When it comes to favorite holidays, President’s Day may not get a lot of attention, but it can be a great way to have some educational fun with your little ones. Because February hosts Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s birthdays, a federal holiday was declared in 1971 to not only celebrate these two great leaders but also to commemorate all American Presidents jointly. Let’s get patriotic and excited for a day full of fun and learning opportunities!

Get Educational

This holiday is a great opportunity to teach young children about who the president is, as well as talk about two popular presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. For children 4 years and up, we suggest getting comfortable and reading Greatest U.S. Presidents. This book examines the lives of 4 presidents in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Don’t forget to also share some fun facts about First Ladies and their achievements. Maybe your little one will find a new hero!

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President for a Day

Let your child become president of the house for the day. They can wear a cool hat like Lincoln and offer up suggestions for dinner, a family game night or an evening movie. Don’t forget that the President doesn’t make all the decisions alone; the rest of the family has to vote or agree on it first!

Patriotic Crafts

President’s Day is a great opportunity to introduce American history in a unique way, so consider making Lincoln’s Hat Cookies or even playing President-themed games like President Coin Sorting. President’s Day is also the perfect opportunity to revisit some of your favorite patriotic-inspired crafts like popsicle flag sticks

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Jam Out

There are dozens of patriotic songs that have been written through the ages, so share some of your favorites with the kiddos. Some old 40’s and 50’s tunes are super fun to have a dance party to, as well as more contemporary jams! We recommend “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters, “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus, and “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde.

Stay Encouraging

Remind your children that they can shoot for the stars and that if they want to be president some day then they can. After all, every president was once a young kid, just like them!

America’s been around for 241 years. That’s a lot of history (45 presidents worth)! So introduce your children to the basics of the nation they live in while having fun and getting creative.

Making Valentine’s Day a Delight

10 Feb

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Valentine’s Day is traditionally about romantic love, but celebrating familial love is always way more fun! Keep on reading for fun and simple V-Day activities that you can do with the whole family.

Make a Valentines Mail Box

Turn an old shoebox into a mailbox just for love notes. Cut a small rectangle in the lid, and then have kids use markers, glitter, stickers, etc. to decorate their mailbox. Place the box outside of their bedroom door just like a real mailbox and drop off little love notes every now and then. Encourage them to leave valentines for their siblings or for friends.

Make A Lovable Craft

There are dozens of simple and fun Valentine’s Day crafts out there on the internet to do with your little ones, but we recommend this adorable V-Day mouse! Whichever craft you choose, spending time getting creative with your little valentines is sure to be a good time!

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Make some V-Day Goodies

Baked goods are a staple during Valentine’s Day, so bake some simple sugar cookies and let the kids decorate them with icing and sprinkles. Or opt for a slightly healthier option and top strawberries with whipped cream or dip apple slices in caramel or chocolate spread. Get creative and cut foods into hearts!

Have a Valentine’s Story Time

After dinner on Valentine’s Day, gather the family and snuggle up on the couch with a good Valentine’s Day themed book, like Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool. Some quality family time is a great way to end the day!

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Valentine’s Day isn’t just about candy and roses. It’s about sharing the love of those around you, and engaging kids in family activities is the perfect way to do just that! You can even do all of these in the evening, so work doesn’t have to interrupt family time. So take the time to hug your kiddos and spend some quality family time this V-Day!

5 Ways to Make Warm Winter Memories with Your Kids

17 Jan

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It is incredibly easy to get the cold, winter blues when the excitement of the holidays has past. Exchanging warm nights filled with family traditions, cheer, and enthusiasm for nights of snow and cabin fever can be tough on little ones. Here are some ideas that you can implement to help combat the melancholy of winter while building precious memories.

Family Photo Sharing Time

Whether you store them in a dusty crate in the attic or in carefully designed and organized scrapbooks on the shelf, looking at family photos can provide an excellent night of indoor entertainment. Your children would love to see the adventures of your youth, important events such as their favorite uncle’s wedding, and even their baby pictures from the not so distant past. If you have fully adapted to the technology age and prefer your photos digital, have no fear! This gives you a fantastic opportunity to invite the grandparents over who are sure to have a few photo books sitting around. Plus, there is nothing like reminiscing past summer vacations to warm up a cold winter’s night.

Reinvent Family Movie Night

Often the go-to staple of family time, especially during the winter, movie night can easily become predictable. Why not reinvent it? Instead of watching that cartoon adventure that you can quote word for word, watch old family films that are sure to be crammed full of memories and stories. If you do not have access to home movies, why not start a collection now? Whip out your cell phone and record your little ones answering questions. You can even host a mini family “talent show” then relive the memories by watching your new film at your next family movie night.

Favorite Food Night

Nothing can lift a mood like giving your child their favorite food. Next time you plan your family dinners consider hosting a family favorite food night. Simply create a meal including at least one favorite food item from each family member. For example, if your favorite food is Italian and another member of the family favorite food is Mexican, perhaps you can enjoy a dinner of spaghetti tacos or something less intimidating such as pasta top with taco meat and queso cheese. Yum!

Family Game Night- Winter Edition!

Playing in the snow is a must do in wintertime. Time to make it a family affair! You can, of course, stick to the “snow day staple” such as snowman building, snowball fighting, and sledding. If you are interested in changing up your snow play, try building snow animals instead of snowmen. You can even play traditional games such as “Tic Tac Toe” and “Hot Potato” but instead with and in the snow. If your house is lacking the white, fluffy, wet stuff; consider artificial snow, all the same fun with less hassle and no need to shovel the driveway!

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Product Spotlight: Super Snow Bucket (1.5 lb.)

Create snow at anytime, in any climate! Simply add a tablespoon of Super Snow powder to a quart of water and stir. The more it’s stirred, the more it shines and sparkles. Super Snow expands to more than 100 times its size and lasts for weeks without rewetting. Makes over 15 gallons of snow.

Family Fitness

Cabin fever is hard to defeat when the temperatures outside make playtime a challenge. Family fitness is a great way to combat both post-holiday calories and winter restlessness. It can be as simple as pushing the couches aside and stretching as a group or as planned out as a group exercise session. You can even choose to involve your little ones into your already existent home fitness routine, such as having them count your push-ups and “hold down” your feet during sit-ups. Use classic games like “Simon Says” to creatively morph simple exercises like jumpin’ jacks into family fun!

Have other family activities that you use to form special memories and chase away the winter blues? Share your ideas with others and us by commenting below.

Making Math Fun for Summer!

28 Jul

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Teaching math to your kids isn’t always the easiest, especially if children already have the mindset that math “isn’t fun.” However, with the right toys and a little imagination, math can be as fun as you make it! We have five ways you can incorporate math into everyday learning, so that children will find it fun!

1. Make It a Movie Night!

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Movie nights are always a fun way to spend summer evenings, especially if you have good company and snacks ready to go. Why not add math learning to the mix with Count ‘Em Up Popcorn? This popcorn-themed sorting game will leave kids entertained as they build number sense and recognition. It’s a great way to put restless energy to good use as it keeps little hands busy during the movie!

2. Create a Play Store!

Want a fun way to teach simple addition and subtraction? Create your own play store! Whether it’s your child’s stuffed animals, storybooks, or frequently used household items, allotting price tags to different items and putting your child in charge of the Teaching Cash Register is a great way to teach money sense. Furthermore, it’s a fun dramatic play experience that can lead to fun-filled family interactions!

3. Take Shapes on the Go!

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Taking a road trip for the summer? Put those hours to good use by bringing along shape sorters! The Counting Shape Sorter and the Multishape Sorter (9 Pieces) are both great toys for taking in the car to teach math skills as children roll along! Children will learn colors and shapes all while developing problem-solving skills as they count pieces out onto the appropriate pegs.

4. Encourage Sorting for Nature Finds!

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Sorting is a great skill for toddlers to learn as preschool approaches. Enjoy the season by taking the concept outside! Go on a nature walk with your kids and have them collect small items for sorting. Items can vary from shiny rocks, to acorns, to fallen feathers. Once you’ve finished your nature walk, bring your child’s finds inside, come up with categories, and ask them to sort the items into Sorting Trays. Once finished, ask children to count how many items they have in each category for addition math learning.

 5. Cool Off with Number Fishing!

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Spending your summer days by the pool or lake? Take along the Giant Fishing Set for bonus math learning! Children will build hand-eye coordination as they snag different numbered fish and total their catches! Ask children to sort fish into even and odd numbers or multiples of five for addition math learning.

We hope you’re finding time for math this summer with your kids! What’s your favorite way to make math fun? Let us know by commenting below or sharing on our Facebook page.

Indoor Winter Play for Restless Kiddos

23 Dec

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Are your kids getting the fidgets, brimming with restless energy? Waiting for Christmas break can be quite the undertaking for young children, especially if cold weather is keeping them indoors. That’s why we want to make sure you have options when it comes to keeping children learning, moving, and having fun! Here are a few indoor ideas for encouraging movement in children during winter months:

Parachute Play!

This activity should inspire cooperative play, build gross motor skills, and work on children’s ability to follow directions to make snowflakes dance.

Having a parachute ready for children to play with is always a great option to encouragement movement, inspire giggles, and create fun from whatever theme you’re teaching. Cut out a couple of snowflakes and bring in winter properly—with lots of laughter and indoor snowfall! Here’s how:

Related Books:

What to Do:

  1. Talk to the children about snowflakes and how they fall.
  2. Show the children the parachute, and ask them to help lay it out flat on the ground.
  3. Ask the children to stand around the outside of the parachute, hold it with both hands, and lift it into the air.
  4. Take out the snowflakes and toss them into the parachute. Invite the children to shake the parachute to make the snowflakes dance.
  5. Challenge the children by having them move to the left or right while making the snowflakes fall. Or have the children make the snowflakes jump slightly or jump very high.
  6. Talk with the children about how all of this requires them to work together.

Pro Tip:

  • Have children practice the moves with an empty parachute first. Direct them to move the parachute up, down, fast, slow, high, low, and so on.

Don’t have a parachute? Never fear! Find your own parachute along with related resources here:

https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/40794/kaplan-12-rainbow-parachute?c=1%7CKTAP16

https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/13018/parachute-play?c=1%7CKTAP16

https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/40534/a-world-of-parachute-play-cd

Source: Learn Every Day About Seasons 

Masking Tape Fun

Tape your floors to create racecar tracks and more for children to play indoors!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to masking tape! Whether it’s taping tic-tac-toe to the floor, taping a track for cars to follow around the house, or creating a hopscotch course, tape is a great way to encourage gross motor skills. Best of all, it doesn’t leave a mess!

Extra: Do your children love cars? Tape three circles to the floor to form a bull’s-eye. Encourage your children to sit the proper distance away and try to roll their cars into the smallest circle. Who can get the closest?

Pro Tip:

  • Blue painter’s tape works best for hardwood floors while masking tape is best for carpets.

Resources:

-https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/82152/family-cars-set-of-3?c=20%7CKTVC08

-https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/88003/little-autos-set-of-4

-https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/142701/wow-friction-powered-turbo-twins?c=20%7CKTVC11

Source: http://www.savvysassymoms.com/blog/wintertime-indoor-activities-for-kids/

Spider Web Obstacle Course

Children will feel like superheroes as they practice balance and dexterity moving through spider webs! 

String yarn in different directions to zigzag across your hallway and create the perfect obstacle course for children! Kids will have to get creative as they weave their way through the course trying not to touch the strings. For more resources to build your indoor obstacle course, check out the products below:

Source: http://www.savvysassymoms.com/blog/wintertime-indoor-activities-for-kids/

5 Brain Teasers for Your Beloved Brainiac!

9 Jan

Go mental with the best of Kaplan Toys‘  brain teasers and mind benders! Join the experts at Kaplan Toys as they count down their favorite brain games and toys for kids of all ages!

#5: Y-Ball®

Put it together, then take it apart and design something else! The inspiration for the Y-Ball® is the skeletal truncated icosahedron, an orb-like geometric figure long admired for its beauty, more commonly referred to as a soccer ball.  Use it in a creativity workshop, use it as a meditation aid to free your mind or just PLAY with it! 14 years & up.

Item #: 00308

Price: $29.95

#4: Magnetic MightyMind

This magnetic playset has 32 colorful design shapes, neatly contained in a storage tray with numbered programmed puzzles cards. Encourages and entices a child to think, build complex designs, and solve puzzles without assistance. Builds confidence. No reading required. 3 – 8 years.

Item #: 00849

Price: $21.95

#3: Pentago Multi-Player

The object of Pentago is to create a row of five game markers in any direction before your opponent does. Each move consists of placing a marker and then twisting one of the game blocks. 2-4 players. 6 years & up.

Item #: 00534

Price: $29.95

#2: Knot So Fast

Knot So Fast is an innovative new game that tests who can tie a series of knots the fastest. Be the first player or team to finish tying the knot shown on one of the 40 challenge cards, and call out “knot so fast” then move the tug of war knot forward 1 notch. Helps spatial development and manual dexterity in younger players. Includes 40 challenges, tug-o-war card holder/score keeper, 4 color ropes and 2 rings. 8 years & up.

Item #: 00604

Price: $19.95

#1: Rush Hour® Game

Escape the gridlock with this world renowned sequential movement game. Set up the game board according to pictures of traffic jams displayed on different challenge cards, then slide blocking cars and trucks out of the way to create a path of escape through the congestion. Rush Hour® was voted one of the “Top 25 Toys of the Past 25 Years” by Parent’s Choice Magazine.

Item #: 87859

Price: $19.95


Great Games to Add to Family Game Night

16 Dec

Spice up game night with these family-friendly favorites! Join the experts at Kaplan Toys as they count down their favorite family games, that will have you saying, “Game on, Grandma!”

#5: Spot It™

This fast-paced party game will train your eyes to look for a match to your card and spot it! Race against your opponents as you try to find a match for every card. Be careful though, every card only has ONE match! A sharp eye and a bit of speed will aid you on your way to becoming a master matcher! For 2-8 players. 6 years & up.

Item Number: 00252

Price: $11.95

#4: Set Game

Improve pattern recognition, visual perception and critical thinking skills with this fast-paced game! Shout “SET!” and everyone checks to see if you have discovered the three cards that form a SET from the twelve laid face up on the table. The dealer lays out three more cards. The search starts again. There are no turns, which improves time on task. 6 years & up.

Item Number: 87675

Price: $12.95

#3: Bananagrams

In this unique word game, players use tiles to create words crossword-style. The first player to use all their tiles is the winner. With multiple ways to play, this game is perfect for beginning spellers, as well as more advanced players. No pencil, paper, or board required. 7 years & up.

Item Number: 18011

Price: $14.95

#2: Quirkle

Mix, match, score, and win! A strategy game based on color and shape rather than letters. Qwirkle is as simple as matching colors and shapes, but well planned strategy and tactical maneuvers will help you win the game. Earn points by building rows and columns of blocks that share a common shape or color. 108 wooden blocks. 2 to 4 players. 6 years & up.

Item Number: 00536

Price: $24.95

#1: Apples to Apples, Jr.

Apples to Apples, Jr brings the hilarious card and party game to younger players. Players will delight in all the crazy comparisons, while expanding their vocabulary and thinking skills at the same time. The game is as easy as comparing apples to apples. Just open the box, deal the RED APPLE cards to each player, and you’re ready to go! 9 years & up.

Item Number: 92213

Price: $21.95