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Play Is Essential

PlayopolisToys is an inclusive place where all citizens of play, children and children at heart, including those with special needs, find engaging toys that delight the senses, invite exploration and discovery, and build skills. We’ve created a Pinterest board, Play is Essential, brimming with quotes, research, even two videos that support this belief.

When speaking of play, we’re referring to open-ended experiences emerging naturally from a child’s interest. It’s self directed, non-scripted, and creative. When children become engaged in play and are allowed time and space to “take it to the limit,” they grow their minds and their bodies, becoming creative and imaginative problem solvers. They develop cognitive, language, emotional, and social competencies as well as fine and gross motor skills. And they enjoy the process. They’re excited about what they’ve learned and eager to learn more.

Children delight in play and learn through play. They learn because they play. Childhood is a time of exploration and discovery, figuring out how the world works, and acquiring skills. The best play occurs when children have opportunity to assess possibilities and decide what to do. Freedom to choose allows children to pursue personal interests. Excited by possibilities, they delve deeper, become more involved, and gain insight and knowledge.

Provide opportunities. Observe. You’ll be amazed.

quote from Plato

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

 

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Identifying Infant and Toddler Toys to Avoid….

Having learned the types of toys that support healthy play, we now need to learn to identify the types of toys to avoid and why. Remember we are talking about infants and toddlers here. First, what about high tech toys and DVDs?

Some toys are very seductive for children and parents. Don’t be fooled! Toy companies make you think that you need special toys to help your child learn – watch out for these types of toys: High tech toys and DVD’s

Toy companies say that watching Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby and similar DVD’s helps babies get smarter sooner. But University of Washington researchers found that for every hour spent watching baby DVD’s, infants learned 6 to 8 fewer new words than babies who never watched. This is because as babies watch TV they are spending less time interacting with parents or engaging in creative play – two activities that promote learning.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no electronic media before age 2. These toys interfere with a young child’s developing brain.

Warning: Baby DVD’s can delay development! Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no electronics for children under the age of two, manufacturers claim watching Baby Einstein-type videos helps babies get smarter sooner. The Campaign for Commercial-free Childhood (CCFC) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) saying there is little research to support these claims and some research that finds these items can even delay development. In 2008, the FTC agreed with CCFC and told these companies to change their false advertising claim.

With permission from the Child Life Council, PlayopolisToys is pleased to share this most informative and thought provoking article with you, section by section. TRUCE Guide on Infant & Toddler Play, Toys & Media, reprinted from the Winter 2010 Child Life Council Bulletin.

to be continued next week…

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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TRUCE Guide on Infant & Toddler Play, Toys & Media

Soon after posting Throw Away the Script and Play, I received the Winter 2010 Child Life Council Bulletin. Imagine my absolute delight when I opened the publication and found a series of articles on play, toys, and media in Child Life Focus. One article, reprinted with permission from TRUCE, Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment, validated and expanded upon the points I had made in my blog. That was an awesome experience.

With permission from the Child Life Council, I am sharing this most informative and thought provoking article, TRUCE Guide on Infant & Toddler Play, Toys & Media, with you, section by section. I am eager to know what you think and invite your comments.

Let’s start a dialogue on play. What is quality play? Why is it essential to a child’s development? Let us hear from you, and if we post your comments, we’ll send you a coupon for $5.00 off any order of $50.00 or more.

And now for the article:

You want to provide your little one with experiences that will enhance healthy play and development. This guide will help you understand why quality play is vital for your child’s growth and what you can do to support it.

What is different about play today?
Creative play is being challenged because:
– Infants and toddlers are spending many hours in front of a screen.
– Many toys are marketed as educational when in fact there is no evidence to prove it.
– The increasing number of electronic toys, games and DVD’s often turns our infants and toddlers into passive players whose main activity becomes pushing a button.
– Toys are often linked to popular media characters. Branding toys for the very young means that when they are older they often want an item simply because it is linked to a familiar character, not because of the quality of the toy.

to be continued next week…

With permission from the Child Life Council, we at PlayopolisToys are pleased to share this most informative and thought provoking article with you, section by section.  TRUCE Guide on Infant & Toddler Play, Toys & Media, reprinted from the Winter 2010 Child Life Council Bulletin.

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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Made in the USA – Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix One-of a-Kind-Creatables are made in the USA of a unique patented wax and yarn. Accept no substitutes. Bright and colorful, Wikki Stix stick easily to each other and to smooth surfaces with fingertip pressure, yet are easy to change and re-position. Endlessly re-usable, Wikki Stix will not stain, melt, freeze, stiffen, dry out or break, yet they cut easily with scissors. Any trace of residue can be quickly and easily wiped away with a DRY cloth or paper towel.

Wikki Stix appeal equally to girls and boys and are an ideal travel companion. Many restaurants have replaced crayons with a packet of eight Wikki Stix and a playsheet. Parents often get caught up in the fun too. Actually Wikki Stix are ideal for stressed-out adults.

With no right or wrong way to play, anyone three years old and up can join in the fun. [Small parts make Wikki Stix not suitable for children under 3 years old.] Crafty children think up endless projects and enjoy hours of creative play.

Wikki Stix work well for group activities and as party favors. When hosting a birthday party, give every child a paper plate for making a mask. Their disguises become their favors.

At seasonal gatherings, bring out Wikki Stix and invite everyone to be creative. Provide seasonal cut-outs, blank cards or gift bags to decorate or simple line drawings on smooth paper for making raised-line outlines or challenge the children to create three dimensional creations using only Wikki Stix. Remember to have show-and-tell when everyone has finished creating.

Wikki Stix can be found in classrooms from preschool through middle school as hands-on teaching tools and are ideal for creating tactile graphics for the visually impaired.

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play