Games the involve matching are usually the first we play with beginners, games of Lotto, Go Fish, and Concentration are still basic fare for preschoolers. What do they learn from such games? More than you might think. Matching skills are important for the kind of visual discrimination readers need. Instead of starting with letters, and the fine differences between letters like b vs. d or n vs. m, preschoolers do better with picture matching that ask them to match colors, shapes or objects. Slightly older children are ready to move on to more complex matching.
Tags: pretend play, language, imagination, symbolic play
Posted: 2013-12-12 17:57:29
By: Joanne Oppenheim
As language develops so does the ability to use words for imagining. With older toddlers you begin to get a preview of the emerging power of playing with pretend. Suddenly the little driver will be delivering packages to you or in the toy kitchen he'll stir up a batch of pretend cookies for you to taste. Dolls, plastic dishes, and vehicles are perfect props for that sort of play. Such toys not only fuel budding imaginations, they build language and story telling skills. Small settings with tracks, buildings such as a house, store, or garage empower such play. But watch the age labels on your choices, since many are designed for kids who are three and up and past the stage when they mouth their toys. Here are some toys for beginning pretend play:
For the toddler on your list the choices are all about active on-the-go play. This is the time when locomotion is the driving force of their waking hours. From cruising to toddling to running, their objective all sublime is motion! Here are a few top picks that are ready to rock and roll with them. Click here for six great choices:
Choosing Dolls to Fit Your Child's Developmental Stage
Posted: 2013-12-12 22:00:54
By: Joanne Oppenheim
While the toy companies vie for the honor of introducing the Doll of the Year, for parents and grandparents, the best choice for that honor needs to connect to your child's age and stage. As I recall, when Stephanie, your toy guru, was a preschooler she had--click here to continue.
Posted: 2013-10-11 16:50:06
By: by Joanne Oppenheim
Licensed toys are often short lived. Many are more like souvenirs of a movie or TV series. Since the toymaker has to pay extra for the license, they are often a bit pricier and as the movie fades, like most toys de jour, they tend to lose their appeal. The truth is, a Mickey Mouse puppet is no more educational than any other puppet. It may be easier for a child to play scenes with characters they know, but a puppet made from a paper bag may invite more original story-telling, language, and imagination than premade characters. As with most things, we are not absolutists. We prefer to look at the toy itself rather than the license.
Many of the top toys of the year are not just fun, but they provide your kids with valuable play experiences that can help build their language skills, confidence, ability to weave stories, follow instructions, and stay with a challenging task. The good news is that many of these toys will not break the bank. Click here to take a look at just a few of our favorites for the year.
Maybe it seems like yesterday when that baby first came along and filled a special place in your heart. Can it be a whole year has passed? Finding a toy that "fits" the 12-month old baby can be challenging. Some babies are already up on their feet and toddling while others are still considering the possibilities. Choose gifts that build confidence rather than pushing them. Here are some good choices to consider.
Posted: 2013-06-13 17:12:32
By: by Stephanie and Joanne Oppenheim
Planning a family reunion can be daunting. It sounds fun in theory - but making sure the day is a success requires some advanced planning. Knowing how your family plays well together is also key. Are you like the Kennedy family that enjoys a competitive game of football on the lawn or is a calmer game of bocce more your speed? Here are some suggestions that will engage a multi-generational crowd with something for everyone. You can watch Stephanie's segment from NBC's TODAY SHOW below and Click here to read the complete article.
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