Terrific Toy Tuesday: Mommy’s Little Princess

2017-05-03 18.19.04“I look just like Cinderella, Mommy!” my little girl exclaimed as she twirled around in her new dress-up outfit holding her Cinderella doll she also just received for her birthday. In the past my daughter wanted to dress up as a chef, hair stylist, doctor and even an astronaut, but she was equally happy to dress up as a Disney princess for the first time.

Interestingly, some parents may frown upon the idea of their daughter playing with a Disney princess and may critique the “happily ever after” stories in a harsh manner because they feel that most of the stories demonstrate weak female characters who rely on men to save them. While there may be some validity to this, I say let kids be kids. I think we sometimes don’t give our children enough credit when it comes to thinking for themselves and not believing that every aspect of a fairytale is real or ideal.

There once was a time when there was no diversity nor multiculturalism when it came to Disney Princesses, but today they have come so far. With this in mind, some parents believe their child should only play with dolls that look like them . Even though I understand this line of thinking, I do not necessarily agree with it. Whatever doll my daughter wishes to play with, regardless of color, is absolutely fine with me, and she is still at that age where she has a certain level of innocence where she does not focus on color but just on the interactions and fun she has.

Whether it be a princess or doctor outfit, a Cinderella doll or Doc Mcstuffins, imaginative play is a wonderful way to engage learning while having fun! I’m glad Quinn loves her new dress-up outfit and doll.

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Up, Up and Away with My First Flyer

my-first-flyer“It’s flying, Mommy! It’s flying!” my three year old screamed with excitement. Just this past Halloween, my daughter was an astronaut, and with her love of aircrafts I knew she’d just love Little Tikes: My First Flyer. It was one of her favorite Christmas gifts and has proven to be one of her favorite toys because as with most children, they tend to move on to the next “big” thing leaving yesterday’s toys discarded, but not this one!

Almost every day after school Quinn will ask me or her father, “Can I fly my helicopter today?” It’s a cool little gadget appropriate for her little hands with a basic remote control that allows her to fly, steer and land the helicopter. Also, it took her no time to figure out how to use it. It comes in red or blue with white trimming and even has sound effects as it takes off and lands. Needless to say my husband, who is really into aircrafts and even has his undergrad degree in aerospace engineering, enjoys using this toy just as much if not more than my daughter.

While the regular price is just about $45, I managed to get it for just $26.99 from Toys R Us during one of those one day blockbuster deals. I did read some reviews claiming that it is flimsy or that the propeller breaks easily, but we haven’t had that experience at all, especially considering how rough and heavy-handed my little girl can be with her toys. Actually, for us this is not just a toy but it helps with coordination, direction and patience with flying, steering and landing the helicopter. I’d highly recommend My First Flyer to anyone who has a child expressing interests in aircrafts or just vehicles in general.

Here’s a little video to demonstrate the excitement my daughter had on Christmas day seeing the helicopter fly.

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Say Word!? There’s a Scrabble Junior for Preschoolers!

Six months ago I posted a blog entry about the game Scrabble and my daughter’s fascination with it. Then, a couple of months ago I stumbled upon Scrabble Junior. Though the game says, “Ages five and up,” I figured I’d still get it for my, now, three and a half year old because it was a good alternative to the version for older children and adults. As soon as she saw the game, she loved it and was excited to play. Sometimes, I modify instructions to games or let Quinn come up with her own way of playing when it is meant for older children, but she was actually able to follow the instructions.

You may be wondering, “Wow, your three and a half year old can spell?!” No, not exactly. This awesome game has a double-sided board. For younger children, the words are already spelled out. It is a matter of the players selecting the tiles to put on top of the words. The player earns points and gets to move across the board as he or she spells the complete word with the tiles selected. Whereas the other side of the board is played in the more traditional Scrabble way for  when Quinn begins learning how to spell and wants more of a challenge.

At first, I figured I’d hold back on spelling the words out to build up Quinn’s confidence, but I soon realized that I did not have to do this because she actually is good at this game and caught on to the concept quickly. She was even able to use some of the pictures to figure out what the words spelled. I just love games that are fun and educational, and Scrabble Junior fits that description. It’s a great way to not only get my daughter even more interested in learning to spell and eager to learn but for us to have a great time together! How did I not know that Scrabble Junior existed? Well, I know now and highly recommend this game, which is about $14 or cheaper if you get it on sale, to anyone with a young child who is interested in spelling or reading or if you are looking for a fun way to get a child interested and eager to spell and read.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Terrific Toy Tuesday: What’s Sand Without Sandcastles?

“Yay! Look at my sandcastle, Mommy! It’s perfect!” my little girl asserted as she cheerfully smiled and pointed at what she created with her big cousin. While most adults may go to the beach to soak up the sun, relax and maybe even read a book, it’s a summer playground or a kid’s construction site to create works of art and intricate buildings.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my three year old to the beach along with my sister and her kids. Even though she certainly enjoyed playing in the ocean and “catching waves,” she equally enjoyed playing in the sand. When I informed her that we would be going to the beach, she requested, “Can I bring my bucket, shovel and other toys to build a castle, please, Mommy?”

I recall having so much fun building sandcastles and trying to get them “just right” when I was younger with the accurate combination of water and sand. In helping Quinn and her cousin, I had to make sure it was all about them having fun and me keeping my type “A” personality under control. As long as it was perfect to them, it was perfect to me! This brought back such wonderful memories and is a great summer toy to ensure long hours of enjoyment at the beach.

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Remote Control Thomas the Tank Engine

“Full steam ahead!” Thomas the Tank Engine says as he moves forward after my little girl presses the green arrow on her remote control. She received this toy this past Christmas, and since we had a Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine this past Saturday at the Strasburg Railroad, she’s been wanting to play with it more frequently. This is a wonderful toy because it not only reinforces colors but it helps with her sense of direction with moving forward and moving backward and is a perfect size for her little hands. It also allows her to problem solve as Thomas gets stuck in a corner or is too close to another toy. “I need to have Thomas back up and turn around,” Quinn says. Another benefit is  that the batteries last a long time too because they have yet to be replaced, and it is not six months later. I wish I had something like this when I was younger.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Colorful Fruits and Veggies

“I have a banana, a lemon, corn, a yellow apple and yellow pepper,” my three year old informs me as she takes fruits and veggies from her basket. When she was just over a year, I purchased the learning resources farmers market color sorting set to help her learn colors, but they do so much more than that. Now that she is proficient with all of her basic colors, she likes to sort and identify the items based on what is a fruit and what is a vegetable. What’s great is that she has realized that apples come in multiple colors, such as red, yellow and green. The same goes for grapes and peppers.

Quinn likes to count up the items too. This is great because when it is time to put them away she will occasionally count them and say, “There’s supposed to be six purple fruits and vegetables, but there are only five. We’re missing one, Mommy!”

My little girl even wants to use them when we play in her kitchen or sit down for a meal she prepared. “Would you like a tomato and carrot, Mommy?” she will ask. Now if only we could get beyond pretending to eat healthy veggies and get her to try them in real life!

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Let’s Have Some Magmagic

“I’m building a train track this time!” my daughter exclaims. While I enjoy getting down on the floor and playing with Quinn, my husband, who has a STEM background, especially loves helping her with this attractive and educational toy: Magmagic. It’s a geomagnetic construction toy she received for her birthday. It comes with squares, triangles and a booklet for constructing different objects. My three year old likes building everything from rocket ships to three-dimensional boxes and of course, train tracks. Along with my husband’s help, she has built many of the examples in the booklet. It’s an excellent way to not only learn about shapes but how different shapes put together can make other shapes. For instance, my daughter informed me the other day, “When I put together these triangles, I can make a diamond shape!”

The other day, Quinn was leafing through the booklet and found a car she wanted to make but then realized that we did not have the shapes for it. My husband seemed a little disappointed at not being able to construct this cool car from the magnet pieces too, so I may need to order the set to create vehicles. This honestly is a cool toy for all ages as it stimulates creativity and critical thinking. I know my little girl is very happy to have received such an awesome toy for her birthday.

All the best,

Tanya