Guest Blog

GuestBlog

Guest Blog - Would you like to have a blog post on PittsburghMom.com? This is your chance! We feature some of our users-turned-bloggers on this guest blog. If you're interested in submitting a guest blog post, please email Heather at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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From the People that Bring you Babal and Bilibo

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in Guest Blog

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Once again I am raving about the Active People's Toys. I think what they say on their website describes the why they are great. "Discover the wonderful toys of ACTIVE PEOPLE! Always on the cutting edge with innovative concepts and surprising ideas, ACTIVE PEOPLE has been making and selling toys for over 20 years.Toys that get you moving, toys that engage your imagination and creativity – toys for mind, body and soul..."

Active People Toys for Preschoolers include the Babal and Bilibo that I blogged about seperately. Here are there other preschool toys. If the toys are not available at letkidsplay, I have listed other toy stores where you can find them. I have not personally used these websites, so you will want to check them out.

Bilibo Pixel is a set of 36 chips in six colors and an elastic cube where they can be inserted to create a custom color dice.Influence the odds by including as many chips of your color as possible or hide small treasures or messages in the cavities behind the chips. Make the chips jump like tiddlywinks or flick them with your finger and aim for a Bilibo Mini as target. Use them as game pieces, play currency or even add different faces with a marker. Bilibo Pixel encourages the discovery and invention of new games. Combined with Bilibo Mini it will inspire countless ideas and creative fun for the whole family. Some play ideas are included. This is available at letkidsplay website for less than $10.

SAKOL – Discover the expressive power of 5 wooden Velcro blocks!Sakol’s potential is far greater than that of just a building toy or construction set, especially if children have the stimulating guidance of adults when they first begin to play. Simple and surprising tasks get the creative process rolling. Velcro offers new, organic ways of constructing, and nuanced possibilities for expression. Touch the models: with your eyes open, with your eyes closed; with the left hand, with the right hand, with both hands. Sakol stimulates the senses, engages the imagination. You can find these at http://www.sparkability.net/sakol.html. 20 piece set for $27

Mikido is the junior version of Kiwido designed for kids up to 8 years. It sports shorter tails and lighter soft bodys which make it much easier and safer for kids to learn the basic Kiwido moves. But Mikido are also fun to just throw in the air like colorful comets. Mikido come with six funny faces which can be collected. You can this at http://yourstageinc.com/mikido.html for less than $10.



In addition to Bilibo we discussed there is also Mini Bilibo. A racing beetle, a spinning top, a boat in the floods of the bath tub, a treasure trove, a game piece, an exotic shell, a designer's seat for Barbie, a cup for snow balls... The junior version of the award-winning Bilibo easily matches its big sibling's versatility. In the hands of children the colorful shells turn into anything and everything. The open-ended toy stimulates the imagination and becomes an indispensable accessory for countless new games. Available at Letkidsplay.

We are done with Active Toy products, so stay tuned for what great toy will be described tomorrow.

Mara

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Make Gardening Fun

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in Guest Blog

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According to the Better Health Channel website, children can learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence by spending time in the garden tending plants and growing their own food.

Most children enjoy being outdoors and love digging in the soil, getting dirty, creating things and watching plants grow. Children learn from growing things. People of all ages can enjoy gardening but children, in particular, will have lots of fun and gain special benefits. Gardening is educational and develops new skills including:
  • Responsibility - from caring for and tending plants.

  • Understanding - as they learn about cause and effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants etc).
  • Self confidence - from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown.
  • Love of nature - a chance to learn about the outdoor environment in a safe and pleasant place.

  • Reasoning and discovery - as they learn about science, botany, nutrition and simple construction.

  • Physical activity - that is fun and productive.

  • Cooperation - including shared play activity and teamwork.

  • Creativity - finding new and exciting ways to grow food.

  • Nutrition - learning about sources of fresh food.



So plan on gardening with your kids next spring and to make it more fun buy them these absolutely cute watering cans and gardening sets from Insect Lore. The gardening set includes kneeling pad, kid's gloves, hand shovel and hand cultivator. You can choose from Dot Ladybug, Webster Spider, Buzzby Bee, Flutter Butterfly, or Manny Mantis. Each one is more cute than the other.




 


I'll tell you more about Insect Lore's science toys and materials tomorrow.


Mara

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Sale on Preschool Toys

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in Guest Blog

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Amazon is having a sale on some of the preschool school toys that I talked about earlier. There are a lot of PLAN toys on the list. There are some things that I wouldn't buy, but go check it out as there are some good deals. Sale on Great Preschool Toys

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Butterflies, Ants, Ladybugs, Frogs...bugs, bugs, bugs

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in Guest Blog

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This blog is a little harder to write than some of the other ones. I would purchase everyone of the toys I talked about before, but not these. Not because they aren't great--they are!! I just don't like insects or moving things. I was lucky in that my child agreed with me. The picture above is the life stages of a butterfly, which you can watch with a Live Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore.

If your child loves bugs, go no further, you have found the perfect gift. You can buy caterpillars that turn into butterflies, you can buy larvae that turn into ladybugs, or you can buy tadpoles that turn into frogs (frogs that can live for 30 years). If your child, would love to watch these animals grow, Insect Lore has the best products. I found it very helpful to read the parent reviews on these products. As usual, the parents had very wise things to say about when you should buy them and the process of making it all work.






If you don't want to grow an insect, but just want to look at what is already outside, you can buy bug jars, a bug catcher that lets you humanly catch a bug--look at it and then let it go, butterfly nets, and so much more. The picture is of a bug catcher.

Insect lore has books and posters about insects and their life stages. They also have life size puzzles of bugs.

So for all those bug lovers out there--go right to the Insect Lore (November 21) category on my website. You will have tons of choices to make any bug lover happy all year!!

More toys tomorrow.

Mara

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Rubbabu Vehicles

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in Guest Blog

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An alternative to plush, Rubbabu toys are made from natural rubber foam and are covered in bright, colorful flocking. The Rubbabu cars and vehicles have wonderful visual and tactile appeal. They are easy for a child to grasp, they feel great, and they won't hurt your walls as they roll around the room.


According to Dr. Toy, "All Rubbabu products are unique and loved by children of all ages. The toys are super colourful, velvety smooth and soft to the touch, yet sturdy enough to handle years of abuse. Other great products in this new and excellent line include My Animal Farm, Rubbabu Ball Assortment, and Tic Tac Toe. The products are all safe and well made and offer a lot of play value."


Rubbabus are made from natural rubber foam, with raw materials sourced from the finest companies in places as diverse as Switzerland and the United Kingdom. They are brightly coloured, non toxic, biodegradable. If you are looking for toys that do not hurt the environment, you have found it right here.


In the Letkidsplay Store, you will see all of the Rubbabu Vehicles. They also make balls and other games. The Balls have won many awards, however, I am having trouble finding them. If you have a child with special needs who loves tactical items, may have trouble holding on to things, and likes bright colors, you need to do a search for these balls--they are wonderful.


More tomorrow.

Mara







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