5 Cool Benefits Of Toys For Kids

5 Cool Benefits Of Toys For Kids

There are many benefits of toys for kids. Over the years, both child development psychologists and toy experts work hand in hand to determine the impact of today’s toys in the development and growth of children. Many of the outcomes of these studies have been carefully integrated into the continuing design and manufacture of more developmentally appropriate and responsive playthings. These help ensure kids will be growing and developing to their optimum. Here, we present to your 5 really cool benefits of toys for kids.

  1. Encourages creativity and imagination.

There are a lot of toys that do a lot in stimulating children’s creativity and imaginative thinking. The very first toys, for instance, were predicated on the enhancement of children’s imaginative abilities. Why? In the past, the toys that children played with were nothing more than ordinary objects that have been modified a little bit to be called a plaything. It was not unusual to see kids playing with mere blocks of wood. These may seem odd by experts agree that it is in the simple objects that children are actually stimulated to use their imagination to fill in the gaps as to what the object really is in their minds. This is why many of today’s toys are also leaving quite exceptional reality gaps in their designs so that kids will have to imagine what the gap is. Similarly, if kids can imagine, they can also create. That’s why creativity and imagination almost always go hand in hand.

  1. Develops their visual-motor coordination and balance.

Since toys are physical objects that kids will have to hold and physically manipulate to play, the mere act of holding these toys already helps kids master their visual motor coordination. When they try to play with these “objects” they invariably use their sense of balance and kinesthetic sense to make sure everything is stable. Of course, this also calls to fore their spatial intelligence or their ability to interpret the relationship between space and the different objects within that given space.

  1. Enhances their divergent problem solving and thinking skills.

There are many cognitive processes that playing with toys are known and proven to develop and enhance. One of these is kids’ ability for divergent problem solving. Divergent thinking is very different from convergent cognitive processes in that the former operates on the principles of causality and prediction. It also requires a strongly analytical skill and the ability for deductive reasoning. The idea is for kids to understand that in any given problem or situation, there can be as many infinite number of possible solutions that are simply waiting to be explored and applied. This requires a fair sense of experimentation where children will have to use logic, prediction, hypothesis-testing, and problem solving to understand the implications of their answers. In simple words, divergent thinking allows kids to come up with as many possible answers to a single question, operating squarely on the principle of “what-if”.

  1. Boosts their language and communication skills.

Toys can also help kids develop their speech and language skills. Toys, such as activity cubes, that teach the alphabet, numbers, shapes, forms, and even animals and plants are effective tools in introducing younger kids to these words. Over time, they begin to use these words in simple phrases and sentences to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

  1. Helps in the development of more positive self-concept.

There are playthings that allow kids to feel more confident about their abilities, especially if they have accomplished something. This essentially leads to the development of a more positive idea or concept about the self. In other words, they will be happier and more content about what they have discovered about themselves.

There are many cool benefits of toys for children. In fact, many successful adults today won’t be where they are if not for the toys they played with in their own childhood.

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

I can’t believe it’s almost Mother’s Day! Winter has flown by and now spring is in full bloom. You still have plenty of time to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. If you are like me, coming up with a great gift idea every year can be a challenge.  Here are some great gift ideas surely to put a smile on mom’s face!

Flowers

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

There are always great deals on flowers for Mother’s Day. You can never go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of roses, lilies, or tulips. Many of the main stream florists will put out coupon codes especially for Mother’s Day. Search the web for the flower special for Mother’s Day and you’re sure to find great discounts. You can also never go wrong with a local florist. If you have a trusted shop you’ve used in the past, call them and ask if there is a repeat customer discount, or any other special discount available for Mother’s Day.

Breakfast in Bed

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

What mom doesn’t like to have breakfast in bed?  This is a very simple way to show mom how much you appreciate all that she does for the family. Have your dad help you make a simple breakfast items such as pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and orange juice.

The most important thing about this gift is to not let mom do any of the work. If you are the husband, make this the first thing she sees in the morning. By now, hopefully you know what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Make the start of her day relaxing, tasting, and special! Men, you will have to wake up early to accomplish this. Take the time and make an effort to make this gift extra special for her!

A Spa Day

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

We have several local spas in the Dayton area that are top notch. They often provide special services for moms around the Mother’s Day holiday. All it takes is a phone call or a visit to local spas to find out what deals they have. I recommend scheduling her a massage and a pedicure. This is a gift that Mom will surely love and can use anytime she’s ready. Plus, it gives her time to herself to relax without the husband or kids for a while!

I’ve given my wife a spa day gift before, and it’s always been one of those gifts she almost always immediately uses. Be creative with the services you choose for her. Don’t be afraid to call and ask about the spa’s most popular services. Many spas offer monthly or annual memberships. This is a great opportunity to schedule these appointments for her ahead of time and all she has to do is show up. Great, huh?

Maid Service

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

OK, this may be one of the more expensive gifts to get mom for Mother’s Day, but can truly be something that she really enjoys. No mom will tell you she would not enjoy having a maid service come do a full cleaning of the house. Prices for maid services will depend on the size of your house, and the level of detail work you would like to have done. One good idea for this gift is to make it a surprise. Schedule the cleaning for a time when you know she’ll be out of the house, and when she returns home she’ll come home to a clean house. An instant Mother’s Day success!

One piece of advice for you if you do choose to hire a maid service to surprise your wife or mom is to call several companies to get comparative rates. Some companies book out well in advance, so know what you want and when you want it weeks before Mother’s Day. Some companies also only stay for a minimum. Decide what you want cleaned (I suggest the dirtiest spots in the house (kitchen, living room, bathrooms, KIDS’ ROOMS!)

Kids can contribute too!

It’s very important for dads to include the kids in with gift-giving on Mother’s Day. It’s easy to factor them out of the decision since they don’t usually have a lot of money saved for a gift. Gifts from kids can be personally-made free gifts that mom will love.

With the vast variety of social media networks out there, there are even more and more opportunities to give mom an electronic gift. There’s a great Mother’s Day song on Youtube that moms will surely love. Dads, help your kids craft a special email that falls into mom’s email box on Mother’s Day. When she watches the video, she’s sure to have a melted heart and a giant grin on her face.

Pinterest also has such a great selection of ideas. Simply perform a search for Mother’s Day gift ideas for kids, and you’ll be presented with more than you could possibly imagine. The key is to let your kids do the work and let them present it to mom on Mother’s Day. My mom always told me that the gift she loves the most were the gifts that my brother and I made for her. We don’t have to spend a lot of money to show mom how much we appreciate her. Just kids make from the heart are the ones that mom will treasure for years and years to come.

Don’t procrastinate

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

If you’re like any man, the tendency is there to procrastinate. The key to finding great gifts at a great price is to continue searching for the best coupon codes and the best services weeks before Mother’s Day. A lot of merchants put out their Mother’s Day products at least a month in advance. Do your research, decide what gift are going to buy, and don’t wait until the last minute.

Speak back

Are you a mother? What have been your favorite Mother’s Day gift? What ideas do you have that you could share with the readers today? Let us know in the comments below. I look forward to reading what you have to say!

Outdoor Fun With The Kids

It’s getting to the time of the year when we can spend more time outdoors with our children. After all, the last few months we have been locked inside doing activities such as crafting and cooking. And while it can be educational and fun for kids, it can leave you longing for a bit of outdoor fun. Thankfully, now is the time where we can get some sun while having some fun. However, a lot of dads get stuck on what to do with their children. Therefore, here are some outdoor activities that your kids, and you, will love!

Go for a day out cycling with the kids

Now is the time to dust off those bikes as it’s a perfect time to do some cycling with the kids. After all, you can go out and enjoy the sun while taking in the local views. And biking is definitely something the whole family can get involved in. You can all get on your bikes and then follow a planned route. You can even stop for some lunch half-way at a park which is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. And a bike ride is a great chance for you to bond with your kid. After all, you can talk while you are biking around the local area. And having something you both enjoy doing will ensure you get plenty of quality time together. Moreover, cycling is an active sport that will help you all to stay fit. Therefore, there is a ton of benefits for your health too!

Outdoor Fun With The Kids

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Take the kids on a hiking adventure

You can also enjoy the outdoors while having a great family day out by going hiking. After all, it can be a fun day out for the whole family. You get to enjoy amazing views while getting fit at the same time. And it’s the perfect way to enjoy the sunshine with your family. Of course, if you are going hiking, you need to make sure the kids have all the kit they require including a good pair of hiking boots. In fact, you can look online on websites like the FamilyFuntures site to ensure you get everything you need for the outdoor activities. And the kids are bound to love hiking so it can become a hobby you all enjoy doing together. To finish off the day with a bang, you might want to camp overnight. After all, you can all have fun around the campfire telling stories and singing songs. And the kids will love spending the night in their own tent!

Spend some time gardening in the yard

You don’t have to even leave your property to have some outdoor fun. You can head outside in the garden for a fun time doing some gardening with the kids. You might be surprised how much the kids actually enjoy digging and watering the plants. And if you set tasks such as planting certain flowers or vegetables, it can be a fun experience for all. In fact, the kids will love watching the fruit and veg growing over time. And then it can ensure they are more keen to eat them when they are fully grown!

And remember heading out to the park can be a fun activity for the whole family during the summer months!

Guest Post: So your kid wants a dog? Here is what you need to know

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Children with pets not only grow up to have amazing memories with their pets, but also learn many important lessons in life. If your kid wants to get a dog, there are some sacrifices to be made and some important questions to be asked. Here is what you need to know before getting a dog.

Is your kid ready?

Ask yourself whether your child is comfortable around different animals. Don’t use your future pet as a therapy for the fear of animals. If your kid is afraid of dogs, they will likely make more mistakes around dogs and potentially put themselves and animals in danger. Also, your child should know how to respect animals and how to behave around them. They need to be able to understand they shouldn’t hit or disturb the animal. If your kid still can’t understand that, you should wait.

Benefits to your kid’s life

If your kid is old enough to take care of a dog, it’s good to know how many benefits your child will get from that relationship. They will always have a friend in their dog, and someone to confide in and talk to. They will lead a more active life, with more exercise and activities. According to many studies, your kid will have a better immune system and fewer allergies, and thanks to being more physically active, they will have better blood pressure and be more fit. Having a pet can be a great responsibility because your child will get to experience what it’s like to have obligations and duties towards another living being. This builds up character, self-esteem, empathy and compassion.

Pick the right dog for your family

Choosing a pet is not to be taken lightly. You should know in advance what kind of dog you want and how much attention you are willing and able to devote to its grooming. Think if you want a small puppy or an adult dog. Puppies need more care and training, but will grow up together with your kids.  Consider the size of the dog as well. Can you keep a dog that weighs 50 kilos in a small apartment? Can you set aside 2 hours a day to go hiking with a hunting dog, or can you spare money and time to care for a dog that demands daily grooming? Do you have enough patience to train the dog with your kids? These are all the questions that should be asked when choosing a dog.

How to make the house pet-friendly and safe for kids

Another thing you should know is that you’ll have to make some changes around the house. Before a new puppy arrives, you will need to clean the house thoroughly so that the pup can be safe during the period of adaptation. Move all valuable and fragile things and make sure the dog can move around freely. Next thing is to go shopping for dog supplies. You will need food, bowls, toys, brushes, shampoo, leashes, collars and many other things before the puppy arrives. This allows you to relax when the new member of the family finally joins you. You will also need to pay extra attention to the places your puppy and your kids share. For better hygiene in your kid’s room, get colorful kids rugs that are high-quality, and easy to vacuum and clean. Don’t allow your dog to wander wherever it wants and make sure you monitor your kid while playing with the puppy. This is important, especially during the first few months.

With having a dog comes great joy, but also great responsibility. As long as you are ready, get a dog and provide your kid with a true friend.

Blast From The Past #1

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A trip back to the 1980s

I’m taking a fun trip down memory lane today back to the 1980s!  I was a kid during this fun decade and thought I’d share one of my favorite memories of those days.  You see, back in the 80s, we didn’t have cell phones, social media, or internet access. If we wanted to have fun, we’d either go outside for hours upon end, or we’d make up fun games in the house.

Growing up in the 1980s was interesting.  I grew up in rural northwest Georgia.  There was a whole bunch of NOTHING to do in that small town – especially for a kid.  The summers were scortching hot and staying outside for hours upon end was out of the question. Luckily, we had a lot of shade in our yard so we were able to combat a lot of the sun during hot parts of the day. If we wanted to have any fun, we’d either have to beg to go to the playground, or we’d have to be creative.  Most of the time, we chose to be creative.

My brother and I were always creating our own fun. From soap on the trampoline to riding our bikes down our driveway, jumping off, and falling into our neighbors ditch (yes, we really did that!), we made living in a small town fun in our own way.

When the weather was bad, we found ways indoors to have fun. We did have the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), but half the time that thing didn’t work, which meant we were coming up with super fun thing to do around the house.

My Closet Radio Station

1980s

My younger brother and I decided one day that we were going to create our own radio stations using our small cassette recorders we had gotten for Christmas. When I look back at this idea, I realize now how super creative we were for kids. I had 2 small closets in my room with just enough space for me to make it into a studio. I cleaned out everything in the bottom of one of them (because what little boy’s closet ISN’T ever messy??) and moved all of my gadgets into it to make my radio station come alive.

I can still remember the fake call sign I gave it – KJLA.  I would record myself talking about funny stuff I had seen on TV, or try to tell stupid jokes. When I was ready for music, I’d switch the cassette recorder over to the radio setting and record the music onto the cassette. When the song was over, I’d come back in and talk some more. It was so much fun! I even incorporated skits from Saturday Night Live and made my own versions of them.

My brother also created his own station called K05 – Jonathan’s radio station. In all honesty, his was better than mine. He always had funnier things to say than I did, and he made me laugh. We would compete back and forth as to which one of us had the better radio show. I think he won on that category.  I can remember sitting in the closet doing my radio show and hearing him one door down screaming and yelling on his radio show.

One day, we got the idea to come together to do one radio show together.  We came up with this bit called “Blurt-ins.”  The idea behind blurt ins was that we would suddenly switch to a radio station and no matter what was playing, we’d blurt in with snarky comments. Blurt-ins were funny and challenging because you had to be ready to make a funny comment at whatever was on the real radio at the time. My brother was great at it. I, on the other hand, was not. He could come up with funny comments in the blink of an eye!

We must have done our radio stations for years after that. I can remember always listening to my broadcasts over and over again. To be honest, I don’t know how many cassette tapes we ended up using to make our radio stations come alive, but they cost much more back then than they do today. We usually re-recorded over them after a while to make room for new shows.

Carrying on the tradition

1980s

Now that I have 4 kids of my own, I really should be carrying on the tradition. Not just by creating a radio show with them, but helping them come up with fun activities they can take part in and make their own.  Use the iPhone or iPad to make a modern-day version of my radio station. With video almost everywhere today, why not take it a notch further and do your own YouTube show with your kids?  This day and age, podcasts are all the rage. I haven’t made a podcast before, but there’s a first time for everything.

With today’s highly available technology around every corner, our kids don’t really have the motivation to do creative things like we did back in the 80s, but that doesn’t mean we can’t recreate it. We need to encourage them to explore their imaginations.  Kids today stay in the house most of the time.  Time spent outdoors playing and imagining has been taken over by Xbox, TV, cell phones, Facebook, etc. Set limits on these devices and encourage them to come up with fun things to do to spark their imagination.

I’d give anything to go back to the 80s and put on my radio show again. A simple idea one of us had turned into hours and hours of fun. There was no sign of Facebook or Twitter for years to come.  We found ways to keep ourselves occupied and it was a blast.

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Join my Parenting Bloggers United Facebook Group

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My Kid Just Said

My Kid Just Said…#50

As most of you know, my 2 year old’s name is Cooper. He really sounds like a Boston native whenever I ask him to say his name. Maybe I ask just to hear it???

Me to 2 year old:  I’m daddy, who are you?

2 year old: I’m Coopah.

Me: Hi Coopah!

2 year old: Not Coopah. Coopah!