A kid’s work is play. And toddlers and preschoolers learn primarily through exploring the world around them. A few high quality toys, like the gorgeous sustainable, fair-trade toys available from Plan Toys, are enough to spark their imaginations. The tactile feel of real wood, the non-toxic, bright colors, and the open-ended nature of these toys make them perfect for flexible, young minds.
Plan Toys sent us three items from their catalog of Developmental Toys for Preschoolers and they have quickly become favorites in our house: Animal Domino Memory Game, 30-Piece Construction Set, and Stacking Tree.
My personal top pick is the Animal Domino Memory Game, a perfect back-to-school brain booster. You can use these tiles as a classic memory game, taking turns flipping the blocks. The chunky, convex blocks are easy for little hands to grab and turn over. This game helps build logical thinking as children try to remember where they last saw an image.
And the fun does not stop there. Turn the blocks on their sides to practice balance, line them up, and knock them down like dominos. We show them to my one year-old to teach him animals and colors. And if he decides to chew on one, it will not disintegrate in his mouth like a cardboard tile. With my three yearl-old, we discuss the essential characteristics of each of the stylized animals. She also enjoys creating repeating patterns, an essential early childhood education task.
Another great puzzle is the Stacking Tree. This is perfect for curious preschoolers because they can make up their own puzzles.
Stack the tree in size order or reverse size order or discover the concept of symetry with a tree that tapers at either end. However your child balances the rods, he is building hand-eye coordination.
Three year olds are also ready to recognize subtle variations of colors and sequence these in shade order. Ask your child to compare the different greens to hues in nature–limes, grass, pine trees, emeralds, and more–and use the opportunity to introduce color vocabulary. Talk about the diversity of the natural world and then get out and find some real trees.
We’re also excited about the 30-Piece Construction Set, a great first vehicle construction set. The little wooden screwdriver allows children ages three, up, to design almost any vehicle they can imagine. If you have a younger baby around the house, just be careful with all of the small parts.
Children who enjoy building models will have fun trying to replicate the different pictured designs or creating their own.
Construction sets are perfect for advanced youngsters as they learn to create and resolve their own challenges. Encourage creative thinking by asking children to name their vehicle or build a vehicle to suit a specific “job.”
We love playing with these toys that will grow with our children and stretch their imaginations. Unplugged, open-ended, and highly interactive, these Plan Toys make me and my husband want to join in the fun.
WIN IT – REQUIRED ENTRY: Check out PlanToys Developmental Toys for Preschoolers and tell us which toy (besides the three featured here) your child would like most and why and you will be entered to win a set of the three toys from this review (ARV $90 TOTAL).
Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each additional entry):
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Contest ends August 24, 11:59 PM EST. US Shipping Only. Winner chosen with Random.org.