Monday, November 23 --Thanksgiving a time for pot luck
I love Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love autumn, all the colors, all the wonderful different ways you can set your table. Thanksgiving in our house is one of the only holidays where the menu is not solidified by years of tradition. Besides the turkey, we do different recipes each year. Thanksgiving is also a great holiday for pot luck--ask people to bring a dish and it all goes together no matter what people bring.
Therefore, since everyone is busy this week with Thanksgiving, I thought I would give you a pot luck listing of toys. These are some of my favorite toys that just didn't fit anywhere else in the 50 Toys in 50 Days series.
Today, I thought I would remind you of my favorite toys from last year. I am trying hard not to repeat any toy this year, so you are missing out on some pretty great toys. Here is a list from 2008's 50 Toys in 50 Days, with a link back to the original article. Continue Reading..
Tuesday, November 24 --Saying thank you
I have noticed that our children do not know how to write any more. Yes, they still teach handwriting and cursive in school, but our kids do not practice it. They use the computer for writing everything. My own daughter has gotten to the point that she cannot think and write an essay using paper and pencil. Her mind just doesn't work that way. Give her a computer and you have an award winning essay.
In my mind this is fine. The most important thing is the ability to create, not the tool you use. However, I have explained to her that there is one very important exception. You have to hand write thank you notes. Continue reading…
Wednesday, November 25 Little People celebrate the holidays
Growing up, my siblings and I loved to play with Little People by Fisher Price. We would make huge cities in our basement. We would use our blocks to connect our different houses and other Little People buildings we had.
Now there are even more choices for Little People. They can celebrate holidays. Look at the different sets that are available. There are more Christmas sets then I listed. To find those, click on the Amazon box to the right of the blog posting and search Little People Christmas.
Have fun using your imagination to play out tons of holiday scenes at your house this year. Look at more pictures of Little People celebrating holidays.
Thursday, November 26--Teaching emotions through toys
Happy? Smile. Sad? Frown. Kimochis help children identify and express feelings and help parents understand the thoughts their children try to communicate. Kimochi is Japanese for feeling. Each interactive Kimochi has a pouch to store its feelings, felt cushions in bright colors with a facial expression on one side and the name of the emotion on the other side. Children learn by placing the cushion that best matches their feelings into their Kimochi and sharing the experience. The process calms, comforts and instills confidence. When kids can communicate their feelings, they cultivate confidence, kindness, self-awareness, self-control, resiliency and gratitude.
Younger children can use Kimochis to learn to identify feelings. Older children can use the Kimochi to work through communication challenges, and learn to express and navigate their feelings positively through puppetry and play. Kimochis are a fun toy, but also an evergreen TOOL that families can use as their kids grow. Continue Reading..
Friday, November 27--40 positive children's books with people with disabilities as characters
Here is a list of 40 books that have at least one character with a disability. All of the characters with disabilities are portrayed in a positive light. There are characters who have autism, down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, visual impairments, hearing impairments, speech delays, dyslexia, spina bifida, synesthesia and who use a wheelchair.
The books range from picture books appropriate to preschoolers up to and including books for middle schoolers. They are in an age appropriate listing. It is very difficult to find what age a book is best for, therefore, I used multiple sources some of which used grades, while others used ages.
I have not read all of these books myself. I created the list by using the winners of the Dolly Gray Award and the Schneider Family Book Award. I also used books from lists compiled by Sandy Lahmann, Cherl Pesto at Disaboom and Mary Anne Prater & Tina Taylor Dyches from Teaching Exceptional Children.
All of the books are available new at Barnes and Nobles. There are many additional books on the above lists that you might find at your local library, but are not currently being sold by Barnes and Nobles. The two award programs also have books for young adults that I didn't include.
I hope you find the list helpful. I would love to know if you what other books you have read in this genre. Happy reading! Read about the 40 books
Saturday, November 28—Ways to keep toys on the wheelchair tray
Every parent has experienced of
playing the wonderful game babies play. The one where they drop a toy or napkin
or whatever and then dropping it and then expecting you to pick it up; just to
have them drop it again. When they drop it again, they give you that little
smile that says "Your Turn".
It is a great game that makes every parent smile, the first couple of times you play it. But after 16 years of Samuel dropping his toy on the floor and then looking at us to pick it up--it gets old. We went looking for solutions to having always having to pick his toy back up.
Velcro has become our friend. We have put two pieces of Velcro on his tray and then put it on the back of all his toys in the exact spot to match the tray. We use very heavy duty Velcro--Velcro Industrial Strength.
One of his favorite toys that we attach to his tray is Hasbro Playskool Busy Gears (seen above) It is easy for him to hit the main button. He gets great effect with a music, lights and the gears moving. The music is short so it isn't a toy that drives you crazy.
Another way to keep a toy on the tray is using a suction cup. TheWhoozit Table Top Toy adds the suction cup for you and again provides a lot of sensory experience for your child. It includes bead rattle, mirror, peek-a-boo star, and ribbon tags. Read about more ways to keep a toy on the chair.
Sunday, November 28—Great family owned toy stores
As you can see from the side of the blog, I am promoting some specific toy stores. I thought I would take today's blog and let you know why I like these companies.
Fat Brain Toys is a small family owned business started by Mark and Karen Carson seven years ago. They decided to start the company when they could not find what the toys they wanted for their own children. Mark and Karen have the same philosophy that I do that toys should be of high quality, open-ended, playful and educational. You will not find licensed, violent, or cheaply made toys on their site. After I made my list of toys I wanted to highlight in this year's 50 Toys in 50 Days series, I found that almost all of toys I selected could be purchased at Fat Brain Toys. Read about the read of the family owned toy stores, I recommend.