good way to teach kids to tell time

The Melissa and Doug Shape-Sorting clock is a wonderful toy that your kids will love. Although it is described as a shape sorting toy, there is much more to it than that, as it is a multifunction toy that will last a child a few years. The clock comes complete with an activity card which gives a few ideas of other games and ways that the clock can be used, which is quite handy to keep for future reference. The clock is crafted from solid wood which gives it a feel of quality. I love wooden toys then just have a different feel about them. The Melissa and Doug clock features twelve wooden blocks in various colors that are all different and more unusual shapes. Each of the blocks is numbered, and the clock face features all of the important information and markings that are needed to teach a child how to tell the time. The clock hands are different colors making it easy to distinguish the hour and minute hand. The clock hands are easily movable and the shapes slot in and out of the slots easily, as they are raised up making it easy for little hands to grab at the shapes. This toy provides a challenge to younger children, it is unlikely that a three year old will recognize any of the shapes or remember any of the names. However, at this age the focus will be more on the colors and matching the shapes into the corresponding slots. Some of the shapes are; quatrefoil, parallelogram, trapezoid, and some of the more common and easier to pronounce shapes are; square, oval, star and triangle. The clock is useful an educational tool to prepare a child for school. This toy has a lot of play value and educational aspects to it. As well as matching the shapes to the corresponding slots, the shapes can also be used to teach a child colors and counting, and they can be used to line them up in numerical order. There are many educational benefits from sorting and matching. As a child gets older it can be used to teach telling the time, and concepts of morning and afternoon. It generally takes a child a while to learn how to tell the time, and to understand the concepts of time. This clock is a solid well made piece of equipment that will last for a good few years. The Melissa and Doug clock is a nice toy that has many educational values, and is a brilliant tool to use for teaching about time. My kids love this clock and I hope yours will as well…Image



I’m super excited to share this review with you!  If you are a fan of Melissa and Doug toys then, no doubt, you’ve heard of their wonderful Trunki.  Trunki has been quite a hit they are a fantastic toy…

If you are have not yet seen or are familiar with them, trunki suitcases they  are ride on toys, luggage, and pretend play pals in one! Trunki is the greatest travel innovation since the wheelie bag in my option at least! Trunki allows children to scoot along on their luggage through the airport or train station. This lightweight, sturdy, carry-on sized suitcase serves as luggage, riding toy, and transport for kids on the go! At home, Trunki may be used as a convenient kid-friendly storage bin too! My daughter loves to take he doll on trips around the house in it. The trunki includes a tow strap, carry handles, secure catches, integrated wheels and stabilizers to prevent toppling over. Holds up to 75 lbs.Image


You can decorate you trunki any way you want with the stickers you can buy with them.  You can also purchase a saddle bag for them.  Trunki are great….

The trunki is great to give as a gift or any occasion you are heading to . Parents will love them as well it help keeps there kids entertained on trips and makes kids just a little more excited about going places. Please take a look at this you tube at the following page below. Tell me what you think of the trunki. Go to on the bottom of the page there is a you tube of this product.

His Toy, Her Toy

His Toy, Her Toy

I remember when my daughter was born. Visions of her and I dressed in pinks and purples sitting in her lacy pink room playing dolls danced threw my head. A year later my son was born. My husbands vision of sports, race cars, motorcycles,  and trucks went though his head like crazy not being able to wait to do these things with his little man.

Those dreams were simply that: dreams. Little did I know there are lessons for parents to learn about children’s toys and who our children will be. We as parents have say but at times not as much as we may think. Let me tell you my husband and I sure learned.

My daughter plays with dolls. I believe s rather play with clay and gets her hands dirty. She plays in the dirt, climbs trees and races her trucks around. Don’t get me wrong she loves to play kitchen and stuff also but when it gets down to it she rather do boy things.

My son plays with trucks and builds with blocks, he colors and plays with choo choo trains. He also plays house with my girl’s toys, rocking babies and feeding them. Its funny to watch.

There was a time my husband would bark to my son “Put down that doll!” until we came to the realization that play is really a child’s preparation for real life. Our daughter was learning sportsmanship and how to be a team player from all the sports she played. My son was learning compassion and parenting skills from those dolls. It’s amazing to me to watch my son with his baby cousin. I can see the compassion he has learned through us and his play, and I know some day he will be a good father. I see my daughter line up her friends and family for a game of kick ball. And I see how she has learned to take the lead and take charge. I know some day in whatever she puts her mind to see will be a success.

My message to parents is not to limit their child. Toys and sports are learning tools for life and they shouldn’t carry a gender. Yes there are some girl toys and some boy toys but what’s wrong if they share the toys. I encourage you to not make boy play with blue and girls to play with pink your kids with there toys and let them play with what they like they are just learning.

Toys are not just for fun

Toys are not just for fun

Toys that have different textures or make different sounds can be a great tool when trying to help your baby’s development. Try to encourage your baby to play, and make sure that toys have bright colors, varying textures and make sounds to stimulate and interest him or her. Making time to play with your baby is another good way to encourage him or her, and you do not necessarily need toys for this especially at the younger ages. He or she will most likely only be able to grasp a toy at about three months, but different sounds and colors should intrigue him. Playing with toys help a baby to develop senses and motor skills. The more you take the time to teach your baby the faster they will learn. Try to take an hour each day to teach your baby you might be surprised at the results. Some of my personal recommendations are toys with bright colors, toys that have words on them and puzzles are always wonderful for learning. Puzzles start for kids at such a young age the touch and feel puzzles my kids both loves. I hope this gives you a few ideas for teaching your children at a young age.Image


How much time should we spend playing with our kids?

It seems like parents today get too consumed with spending as much time as possible playing with their kids. Don’t get me wrong  of course I think parents should spend time with their kids. But is it really our job to entertain them?

I Personally, I don’t think so.Image

I feel that it’s vital to a child’s development to teach her to play independently. Parents are not always available to play or give undivided attention to our kids and a child who thinks he needs to be entertained constantly will be a very unhappy child indeed.

It’s easy to feel guilty for not spending more time playing with the kids. I give in to the feelings of remorse on occasion and then have to remind myself of several things:

One, my mom never played with us. Ever. Except for board games. My sisters and I didn’t think a thing of it. In fact, we spent many happy hours using our imaginations, making up games, playing elaborate versions of “House,” doing crafts and many other mind-engaging activities. She was doing “mom” things.

Two, parents in the past were far too busy working to have time to play with their kids at all, let alone time to feel guilty about it when they had to worry about trying to give their children shelter and food. Kids back then learned more responsibility for themselves than they do now, I believe.

Three, it’s actually good to make my kids play alone or with their siblings. It encourages imagination, independent thinking, resourcefulness and they don’t rely on me to provide their entertainment. This means that hopefully when I’m busy working or on the phone, they won’t be yanking on my legs, begging me for attention.

Actually, they all play well independently, some more than others. I’m not much of a “player” either, sort of like my mom. I love to spend time with my kids, I’d just rather read a book or play a game with them, or cuddle, sing or talk. But if I don’t always get to it, I don’t beat myself up about it. They know I love them and that they can come to me any time they need to. And when I hear the four of them running around downstairs, giggling and having a great time playing the game they just invented, I think I’ve been doing the right thing all along.

I think this is such an interesting topic, I’m going to write a query letter on it to send out to magazines. This means that I will be doing some research to see what the “experts” say. I’ll report back here with my findings.

In the meantime, what are your feelings on this subject? Is it our responsibility to entertain our kids?

Quality toys for the thoughtful parent

Quality toys for the thoughtful parent

Before my daughter, son and I had never heard of Melissa and Doug. Little-tykes? Sure. Playskool? Of course. Fisher-Price? Regularly. But I was a new comer  when it came to Melissa and Doug. I thought to myself are they any good? Are they well made? Are they going to last? Well here is my story of our first Melissa and Doug toy.

For my daughters second birthday her grandpa and grandma got her a wooden birthday party cake set. My first impression was “Oh! How adorable!” It looked like real wooden cake with lot of fun pieces to decorate the top. That all attached with Velcro. It had bright colors and playful drawings. I had no idea that the brand was as large as it was. I soon stumbled upon Melissa ang Doug at a used baby store that was local.  There were shape stacking toys, blocks, wooden kitchen sets, wooden train and pull toys. All were of the same high quality materials and design. There are, of course, a whole lot more items. I wouldn’t have the time to go into the whole list here. I was, and am still, though, impressed with the product. My kids love to play with them and 9 out of 10 times when they go to the playroom they come back with a Melissa and Doug toy.

My son is really rough on toys my daughter also is but not as much. Some other brands have given in to the torture, but all the Melissa and Doug toys have held strong. No paint chipping and no broken pieces. They’ve now been around for 20 years and you can find their toys all over the place. It’s a great investment for the little person in your life. If you try there toys I truly believe you wont be disappointed.

Educational Toys

Educational Toys How do you know a good educational toy when you see one? Phonics toys, flash cards, math games, educational videos and software. . . so many toys are packaged as educational, but what should you know to help you choose what’s most appropriate for your child? One way experts teach us to think about educational toys is: do they promote convergent and/or divergent thinking? Convergent Thinking This is the ability to learn facts, follow instructions, and come to a correct answer. This type of thinking is fundamental to a child’s education, especially because these days so many educational opportunities are tied to performing well on standardized and multiple-choice tests. Educational toys that promote convergent thinking lead children to deduce a single correct solution. A jigsaw puzzle only goes together one way; each math flash card has a single correct answer; the right color for a pink pig will always be pink in a preschooler’s educational video. Divergent Thinking This is the thought process that explores many possible solutions, creates new ideas, and solves conceptual problems. Divergent thinkers are often designers, engineers, managers and leaders of all types, and generally are good at thinking outside of the box. Many educators argue that all children need a strong foundation in divergent thinking as well as convergent thinking. Educational toys that promote this kind of learning are craft and arts kits, educational toys that teach scientific and music concepts, and even role playing and costumes that encourage children to imagine and socialize in creative ways. Construction Toys Are Among The Best Educational Toys Because They Promote Convergent And Divergent Thinking Good educational construction toys promote convergent thinking while simultaneously setting the stage for creative, divergent play. Children follow instructions to build the building or model on the box. While they are following the instructions, they are gaining skill with the construction pieces. Completing the instructions (convergent thinking) gives them a sense of achievement and reinforces confidence. Often, this experience leads them to want to build their own ideas (divergent thinking) with the same building pieces they just finished using! You’ve probably experienced that sense of pride and joy children feel when accomplishing a challenging convergent task, like completing a puzzle or finishing a LEGO model. Good educational construction toys harness that emotional energy and move kids right into divergent play. Of course, you have to be careful how you choose a ‘building toy’. So much of what’s available today are just ordinary educational toys masquerading as a construction toy. If the product you are looking at can not be easily reconfigured by a child to build their own ideas, it may help them with their convergent thinking, but it’s probably not a very good construction toy for teaching divergent skills