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There are many kinds of children's educational toys, each specializing in a certain subject matter (like Math or Science) and working according to a particular age group. Because of the growing demand for educational toys, toy manufacturers have taken great effort and time to come up with new innovations almost every month.

Before, finding the right educational toy was so easy, because there were so few of them. Now, choosing which one to get for your child is similar to the experience of a kid lost in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Perhaps the most popular of children's educational toys are those that deal with science. Children that hope to become chemists, geologists and doctors someday can now get themselves toy kits that simulate the experience. Future astronomers can get to practice their "profession" with telescope kits. Future vets are able to learn more about animals and how to care for them with animal kits.

There is a wide range of play sets and devices to tickle a child's hunger for exploration and discovery, which include the likes of microscopes, dioramas, binoculars, chemistry sets, insect and bug habitats, robotic sets, electronic devices, and others.

Whenever we say the term "educational" and partner it with "toys", it almost always has this boring ring to it. Without adequate knowledge about the value of educational toys, a lot of us would think that these products are just a waste of money because kids won't be able to appreciate them, and say it's for nerds. This is where we are wrong. Educational toys foster learning AND cater to a child's creativity. These toys are so well designed and carefully developed that they insert "learning" into the picture without the child realizing that he or she is actually "studying".

This doesn't mean, though, that educational toys are out to dupe kids into studying. It simply means that toys do not only stimulate kids' senses and motor skills, but also have the capacity to feed their intellects.

With the birth of educational toys, learning has transformed into an activity that is fun, and not just confined to the four corners of a classroom. Schools have started to incorporate educational toys to their teaching methods, especially to preschoolers, because of this.

With educational toys, not only children, but also parents, are changing their minds about the importance of toys as educational tools. Sure, they may come with a hefty price tag, but the expense is all worth it. Besides, the growing demand for them will surely bring their rates down in a few years. Before we know it, educational toys will be accessible to everyone.

About The Author

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In case you didn’t know, it’s ridiculously hard work having a baby.

It’s nine months of worrying, eating for two and drinking for none, reading enough books to qualify for one’s Ph.D. in obstetrics, and enduring however many numbers of excruciating painful hours of labor.

What else could be nearly as stressful? I think finding the perfect Baby gift is a close runner-up! The task gets increasingly difficult if you are not a knowledgeable, experienced mom or grandma yourself; and the ante gets upped if you are buying for the second or third-time mom who already has all the basics.

Case in point: I know a neighbor on her third baby. She has everything her new baby needs. More than everything; as her house is full of new and gently used items piled up in teetering stacks in every available corner. When friends suggested throwing her a shower, this "new" mom practically snapped. The last thing she wanted or needed was another mound of ‘stuff’ that a seasoned mom knows she really won’t use, no matter how cute or costly it is. Take note; don’t let this happen to you.

For the first-time mother, or the experienced pro, what a Mom really wants is something useable.

When shopping for a gift, or gifts, ideally you want a mix of perishable, practical, and whimsical items. Giving a gift they will actually use and appreciate will make you a legend among your friends. Collect a few of the prettiest and most practical things you know the new mother needs. Every new baby needs onesies, sleepers, socks, washcloths and bibs. Once you have a no-nonsense basic gift in hand, then feel free to add a personal or whimsical touch. A small keepsake of some kind is always appreciated.

Being the mom of two baby boys myself, it meant that we received enough blue teddy bears to overrun any magical picnic in the forest. I ended up re-gifting most of them to every available boy baby I could find over the next few years. Please, step AWAY from the giant, carnival-sized stuffed animals.

Remember Mom is a person too. She knows that her baby will take priority above all, but it’s still nice to let her know she is loved and appreciated as a person. Add something sweet for her, whether it’s an edible chocolate treat, or scented bath salts, just to let her know she’s special.
These days, there are unlimited varieties and terrific value for your money in giving a gift basket. It is a versatile, gorgeous, and practical gift that delights every person who receives one. They can be tailored to occasion and baby gender, and showcase a bountiful array of thoughtful gifts.

You can find baby gift baskets online, shop by theme and price range, and find a high quality selection of premium items in a beautifully presented gift basket. It absolutely saves you precious time shopping several different stores for each item, and it saves you the cost and inevitable headache of buying paper and wrapping the gift yourself. Many companies will deliver the next day.

So, need a practical and pretty gift for baby? Try ordering a luxurious, beautiful gift basket.
Not such hard work, after all.

About the Author:
Vivi Andris is the owner of Amor Gift Baskets,where you can shop for gift baskets for any occasion including baby gift baskets.

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image by Will Bragg

In recent times an immense interest has been shown towards teaching pre-verbal hearing babies sign language. Parents, baby-sitters as well as daycare centers have now adapted to teaching babies with easy to learn and remember signs. Even though in early days it was believed that teaching sign language would delay and harm the speech of a baby, latest research has now shown that it is the contrary. Teaching sign language to babies actually enables the baby to speak early as well as it increases the intelligence level and helps develop cognitive skills of the baby.

One of the most popular reasons for the acceptance of baby sign language is that it minimizes the frustration that babies and caregivers go though while communicating with each other. This is especially beneficial for daycare centers since it enables the caregivers to easily understand and meet the needs of the children and minimize the stress and frustration they face each day. Also this in turn provides the caregivers with more available time for activities which enhances the progress of the child. Another advantage of teaching sign language to babies in daycare is that it enables the baby to communicate his/her needs, thoughts or questions and answers with ease, thereby naturally reducing the amount of irritated screams and cries at the center.

It is not hard to teach baby sign language to infants/toddlers. Previous experience or qualifications are not required. But patience, commitment and consistency are the main factors required in teaching babies sign language. As a caregiver you can easily learn simple and everyday used signs by the help of a sign language book or website. Usually signs such as “milk”, “eat”, “sleep”, “more” and “no” are the ones which are popularly used with babies. After you are fluent with the signs you can start teaching them to the children under your care. Starting with one sign and being consistent is the key to success. Always remember that you should speak the word out loudly while signing it. This enables the child to easily understand as well as say the word as well.

It is believed that signing can be taught to babies as young as 6 months of age. An important fact to remember is that the baby would not be able to sign back at you as soon as you teach him/her. Also in the first stages the signs the baby shows will not be as accurate as the ones you have taught him/her. This is where you need to be patient and committed. Keep on signing with the baby and ensure that you are consistent. Every time you say out the word make sure that the baby is able to clearly see the sign as well.

Baby sign language is the best and easiest way to communicate and bond with all children under your care and help them develop their speech. is one of the largest Baby Sign-Language Networks worldwide. Their Kindersigns Instructor Business Opportunity includes everything you need to start your Baby Sign Language Business including learning modules, class materials, web site and email.

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Can anyone tell me are these big kids or small teenagers?

If you are in contact with this age group on regular basis, you most likely would agree that it depends on the day and situation. Well, really the hour.

So the dilemma for Christmas gift giving becomes finding a Christmas gift for this age range that does not offend their 'grown-upness' but still plays to their childlike tendencies. After all, a nine year old is still a kid.

To help you sort through some of thinking behind finding the right gift this group, I have put together a few tips for you.

1. Buy Gifts that Give the Kids Permission to Play

There are some very fun toys out there that are targeted towards more advanced role-playing. Two examples would be -

1. A helmet with voice activated noises and lights, yes very cool.

2. Deluxe model transformers: these have additional features that younger kids would not know how to play or would break. Playing swords with a helmet that has lights everywhere would be great fun for all ages. Anything that flies or moves would be great interactive gifts.

2. Creative Gifts

So much fun to shop for! You can find just about anything you can dream up for this age group in the creative thought line.

Block Building Set

There are block-building sets with motors so your creations actually move. You can build Lego or other Lego type toys into transforming robots. My nephew loves his 'creature' like this and will tell you about his dad and him building it. K'nex and Magnetix (if you do not have small children or pets in the house) are tons of fun.

Science Experiments

I found lots of science type experiments that the kids would have a great time doing. Whether it is stargazing, exploding volcanoes, or watching a larvae to butterfly you can find an activity that is specific to the interest of your child.

3. Interactive Family Games

This age group tends to be very self-critical and desperately needs the reassurance of adults in his/her life. Interactive games are a great way to strengthen these relationships.

Board Games

A fun board game I found was Gobblet. Although I have not played this game personally it looks like a fast moving fun game. I highly suggest at least one gift that is not an electronic enable a different type of family interaction.

Game Systems

And course there are game systems very targeted at this age group, so depending on the system your child has you may want to consider a new game. My family as a Nintendo wii so I am looking at the Mario driving game.

4. Electronics

Each family will have to make their own decision about the age appropriateness for their children. Very popular choices in this age group: cell phones, digital cameras, Nintendo ds and game systems: Sony ps 3 and Nintendo Wii.

No mater what you decide for a gift it is important for the child to feel special and loved. Choosing a gift that compliments their personality will let the child know that you notice them. Possibly consider a short note to the child to put in with your gift telling the child how much you love them and one or two special attributes you have noticed. Even if during gift opening that note seems unappreciated you can be assured that your note will be saved long past Christmas morning. Because aside from all the gift hype at Christmas, deep down each child just wants to know that they are loved and special.

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Educational Toys and Life Skills
Educational toys not only promote developmental skills in children. They also help children acquire and improve essential life skills. Creativity, self-confidence, independence, responsibility, and integrity can all be cultivated through the use of carefully selected educational toys.

One hallmark of educational toys is how well they support creative, open-ended play. A tray of wooden food can inspire a child to spend a whole afternoon running a pretend restaurant or planting and harvesting crops on a pretend farm. A set of blocks can be turned into a tower, a road system, a fort, a car, or even different animals. And the possibilities for a pound of modeling clay are endless! The more time a child spends exploring all the different things a toy can become, the more developed the child's powers of imagination will be. This fosters an open-mindedness to new possibilities that will help the child think of creative and innovative solutions to any challenges he or she ends up facing as an adult.

One way to build self-confidence is through play that encourages a child to assert him or herself. Singing, performing, and acting in front of an audience all help children assert themselves both in the planning stage and during an actual performance. Children also learn to assert themselves by acting out scenarios or performing informally with peers. Open-ended toys such as musical instruments and dress-up clothes and props encourage this type of play.

Taking risks that pay off will also develop a child's self-confidence. Susan G. Solomon, author of American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space, notes that "Children need a chance to take acceptable risks, learn cause and effect, make choices and see consequences. If they don't learn to take risks, we'll lose a generation of entrepreneurs and scientists." To take such risks, children must develop powers of risk assessment and decision making so that they can be sure that the risks they plan to take are, in fact, acceptable. The act of riding and controlling large toys such as bicycles requires children to calculate physical risks. The logic needed to play certain strategy-based board games like Monopoly, chess, and checkers involves risk assessment such as whether or not to invest in a property or risk one piece for a future, greater gain.

To improve their ability to calculate risk, children should also develop their decision-making skills. Science and engineering kits can help by requiring children to use observations and directions to make decisions about how to run an experiment or build a working machine. Puzzles and building construction sets can also hone this skill.

In general, allowing children to direct their own play and be in charge of what to do during their free time helps them become more self-sufficient and resilient. In particular, certain educational toys foster skills such as problem solving, taking charge of a situation, and leadership. One aspect of being independent is being able to solve a problem on your own. Working with a construction toy system allows a child to explore different solutions to the challenge of building various items. Logical challenges faced on your own, such as figuring out how to use a set of pattern blocks to replicate certain complicated patterns, also build problem-solving skills.

Another aspect of being independent is taking charge of a situation. This can be as simple as providing your baby with two toy choices and allowing the baby the autonomy to make his or her own decision about which to play with. Beyond that, you can also encourage the development of independence by allowing your child to direct what roles you will take on when playing with your child or letting your child be in charge of how a toy will be played with. Providing your child with open-ended play sets such as farms, fire and police stations, pirate ships, tree houses, and train stations creates a situation where your child can control what scenarios he or she will act out that day.

A third aspect of being independent is taking a leadership role. While unit blocks and communal building sets of oversized hollow wood blocks, huge foam blocks, or sturdy cardboard blocks can foster cooperation skills, they can also offer opportunities for one child to lead others in a positive way to build a specific construction that that child has in mind. Educational toys can also help children become self-motivated and self-directed so that they can lead themselves to accomplishments without always relying on outside support and affirmation.

To become good citizens, all children should develop a sense of personal, societal, and environmental responsibility. In general, trusting children to take good care of their toys, to play nicely with them and put them back where they belong when play is done, can begin to foster a sense of responsibility. At the most basic level, a chart such as Melissa and Doug's Magnetic Responsibility Chart can help a child keep track of his or her personal obligations. Beyond that, specific toys can develop other kinds of responsibility.

When a child is provided with an open-ended toy such as a construction set that must be assembled by the child, he or she will take on the personal responsibility of following the directions and making sure the toy is put together correctly. This will train the child to take a sense of pride and personal responsibility in any future jobs he or she is expected to do. And, when a child takes care of a doll or pretend pet, he or she also develops a sense of personal responsibility for fulfilling his or her obligations to someone else.

Role-playing of obligations can extend to creating a sense of responsibility to society. When a child pretends that he or she is a construction worker or a doctor, that child is practicing taking on adult responsibilities that must be fulfilled if people are to live together in communities. Such role-playing socializes the child and allows him or her to get used to the idea of becoming a contributing member to such a community once he or she is grown.

Finally, science kits that encourage children to study the earth can educate children about why people must take care of animals, land, resources, and so forth. Plus, toys that are crafted from sustainable materials (such as Plan Toys) or bioplastics (such as Green Toys), or designed to use recycled materials (such as the Uberstix Scavenger sets), encourage a respect for the conservation of natural resources. This in turn leads to a developed sense of responsibility for caring for the environment.

Educational toys can also help children develop integrity. Using costumes and props to role-play situations such as customer and server can help children practice politeness and manners. Acting out scenarios such as taking care of an injured doll or animal can foster compassion and empathy. And playing competitive games fairly by taking turns and following the rules develops a child's appreciation for right and wrong.

The educational benefit of toys for child development cannot be underestimated. The childhood pursuit for play and discovery continues into adulthood. Children develop fascination about their surroundings from playing with toys and continue to pick up hobbies late into their adult life.

About Kids Toy Club
Kids Toy Club is an online provider of educational toys that is dedicated to adding value to the money its customers spend. Understanding that educational toy purchases are an investment in a child's future, Kids Toy Club makes the effort to provide quality products and useful information about the relationship between toys and child development.

Today's parents feel pressured to use technology to begin their child's education in utero. For example, the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System promises to "give your baby a headstart" by playing rhythmic patterns to help stimulate early learning. It is time, therefore, to step back and evaluate the true value of toys that incorporate technology to teach.

Toys that are formed from high-tech electronics embedded with semiconductor chips are generally known as edutainment toys. The quality and substance of their play may be limited by the number of buttons a child can push. Some promise to challenge a child by allowing him or her to interact with the educational content to learn it. For example, V.Smile offers a Baby Infant Development System aimed at introducing interactive learning to kids 9 months to 3 years. They can watch educational videos with this system or push buttons on a tray to influence what is happening on a television screen.

Some older toys are also adding electronic bells and whistles to appeal to the current technologically sophisticated generation of children. Dolls now interact with the Internet. Wooden Brio trains make electronic sounds and can be controlled by infrared remotes. The classic Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack now also comes in a Dance Baby Dance version whose center rod lights up and plays songs when the rings are stacked on it.

Open vs. Closed-ended Toys
An open-ended toy encourages free play with an unlimited number of outcomes. For example, a building set can be used to construct a variety of different structures. A closed-ended toy, on the other hand, has a limited and often soon exhausted number of outcomes.
Not all closed-ended toys are bad. After all, a stacker is a classic closed-ended educational toy: it can only be put together correctly in one way. However, to solve a stacker, a child must develop and use logic and fine motor skills. The child benefits from the repetition of playing with the pieces of a stacker, manipulating them with his or her fingers over and over and thinking about how they fit together until the solution is mastered and then repeated for pleasure.

A closed-ended edutainment toy, on the other hand, may only require a child to press a few buttons. Eventually, it leads to a dead end and the child grows bored and tosses the toy aside. As Martha B. Bronson notes in The Right Stuff for Children Birth to Eight, although a child can have a rich play experience with any toy, basic, open-ended toys encourage this type of experience more than rigidly programmed toys with only one or two functions do. This sort of edutainment toy is not timeless. It is meant to be replaced sooner rather than later by the next big product in edutainment that uses the latest in technological innovations.

Often people assume that toys that use new technology are more innovative and educational than non-technological educational toys. In fact, childhood specialists such as Jane Roberts (president of Young Media Australia, a consumer advocacy group), question how educational and interactive high-tech edutainment toys really are, noting that "[p]ressing buttons and having items do things for you is fairly limiting in terms of how children learn." Furthermore, many traditional toys are themselves becoming more innovative about stimulating a child's imagination and creativity without having electronics in them. For example, the blocks in FoxMind's Cliko game can be used for a variety of games that are challenging to children and adults alike.

Negative Impacts of Edutainment Toys
Overall, parents might not want to encourage children, especially younger ones, to use too often edutainment toys that involve televisions and computer screens. The authors of "Effects of Preschool Television Watching on First-Grade Children," found that preschoolers who watched more television than their peers did worse in school and were not as well socialized when they entered first grade. Researchers Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis found that babies watching Baby Einstein DVDs and videos scored lower on language skills than babies who had never watched them at all.

In addition, Allison Sloan notes in Shopper's Guide to Healthier, Greener Toys that computers and television sets emit EMFs, "invisible forcefields whose possible health effects, from headaches to sleep disruption to cancer, are the subject of heated debate." Children's developing brains are in the greatest danger from such outside influences.

A final caution about edutainment toys is that they can foster in children an acceptance of a disposable consumer culture. A timeless toy such as a set of wooden unit blocks will hold up under heavy use for generations and can be played with at the same time by children (and adults!) of a variety of ages. Edutainment toys, on the other hand, are usually played with by only one child at a time, and they generally have a shorter playtime and life span. Children quickly master and get bored of them, or their high-tech components break, rendering the toy useless, and then they are discarded, releasing toxic chemicals and metals into the environment.

What Parents Can Do
As technology and the Internet permeate society and people's lives more and more, it does make sense to introduce children to computers and other inventions that they will need to use as they grow older. A toy is not necessarily bad or useless because it incorporates technology. That said, smart parents should examine the stated purpose of an edutainment toy, evaluate how and what it teaches, and determine if their children could receive equal or greater value from a simpler, classic toy. Roberts warns against the dangers of a parent using high-tech toys as babysitters, substituting interaction with a machine such as a single-player computer game for what should be "the best learning for young children-real-life experience when they model, create, explore, and develop their own initiatives through play."

For more resources on quality educational toys visit Kids Toy Club.
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image by Dawn + 2 girls

One of the largest toy makers in the world, Hasbro, has introduced a set of new games to help teach preschoolers manners. The NOODLEBORO games "let you nurture kids’ social skills naturally through multi-sensory play". Each game comes with a storybook and an audio CD so kids can see, hear, play and then live each NOODLEBORO life lesson.

In the first game, the children try to have a picnic but pesky ants keep getting in the way. They must have good manners and say 'please' and 'thank you' to get rid of them. In the second game, the kids run a pizza shop but must learn to listen and pay attention in case the customers order such things as stinky socks as a topping. The third game centres around a carnival and the social skill being taught is sharing. The children must collect as many sharing stars as they can before the park closes. The players are not rewarded for a particular dice roll but rather for listening carefully, sharing tokens with friends and saying "please" and "thank you."

These are all important skills that young children must learn. I'm not sure if learning them through this type of game is a 'natural' way to learn, but perhaps it will give parents some confidence in teaching these skills if they can put it in a context that the children understand and have fun with. The important thing is to reinforce these qualities at home from day to day. There is no point playing games where the child is encouraged to be polite and think of others if there is no reinforcement outside the game, book or the CD.

I have written in a previous post how puzzles can help young children develop important hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Puzzles are a fun way for children to solve a problem and to enjoy a picture or design at the end as the solution. They get a very real sense of accomplishment when they have put all the pieces together on their own.

This puzzle goes a step further than most puzzles for young children. Made from sturdy wood, the puzzle is actually in three layers and each layer is a step involved in growing a garden. As the child constructs the puzzle, the story emerges.

In the first layer the child sees a young boy and girl carefully planting seeds into the earth. The sky is blue and birds fly merrily up above. In the second layer they see that their efforts are paying off! The plants are growing, but there's still more work to do. Weeds need to be taken out and the plants still need watering. Finally, in the last and topmost layer, they can barely see the children! After all of their work, the sunflowers are growing tall and strong.

With twelve shapes in total, this puzzle teaches colour, shape, size, sequence, and problem solving. Children over 2 years will love the bright colours and chunky pieces.
For more information on where to buy, go to Right to Learn Toys

Marklin - The Toy Giants

image by ec2808

One of the oldest giants in the toy producing market is the Germany based company Marklin. It is known world wide for its high tech toys and also for model railroads. The company was established in 1859 and since then it has become like a synonym for model railways. Marklin produces almost every famous model railroad. It was because of them that the gauges for toy trains were later adopted by the international standards. They made the O gauge, HO gauge and Z scale. The only gauges not made by Marklin are wide gauge and the N gauge.

Trix is yet another brand name for Marklin. They are together the leading manufacturers of the HO scale model operated on DC. However the earlier models of the company are also widely accepted by many, the latest invention has gained a tremendous favour by the people.

With the beginning of the new millennium this company made a step forward. Apart from manufacturing model trains, the company took an initiative to produce sets for mechanical constructions. They also produced many lithographed toys. The company is very well known for the Marklin system as well which basically refers to the techniques used by them. The system uses a rail that is hidden in the roadbed of small studs while the outer rails are electrically connected. Hence, just the two outer trains are visible having simple wiring and one train is invisible. So it is actually a three train system.

Marklin had collaboration with Motorola in 80's and introduced a revolutionary concept of digital train systems. A two train DC Trix is the one that is enabled with digital command control system. It basically consists of a chip, Marklin k83. The component is responsible for controlling the model train. It is because of this only that the signals are flashed in green and red colour. K84 is a component used instead of k83 sometimes.

As the time has passed, the company has truly gained a reputation in the toy market. The company is immensely popular because of its wide range of products. The product packaging is stupendous as well. Every detail of the product is well arranged and consists of all that is needed. Marklin has always been available easily in every market and now making a mark online.

Education experts worry that American children are falling behind in science and math skills. But parents can instill an interest in science by capitalizing on children’s natural curiosity. Science isn’t a complicated, difficult subject – it is all around us. Here are ten ways to find science in everyday life and share science with your children.

1) Astronomy. Look up in the sky – there it is. Stars may be out of reach to little ones on the ground, but learning about them isn’t. Use the Internet, or find books that show the constellations, then spend a warm summer evening star gazing. If you have a planetarium in your neighborhood, pay a visit. If not, go to to find photos, video and lots more.

2) Zoology. Animals are everywhere! Go for a nature walk and see what you find. A trip to the pet store can also be informative. Visit the zoo for a close-up look at animals, and check beforehand to see when you and your child can enjoy a lecture or feeding time.

3) Entomology. Or the study of bugs, in layman’s terms. Bugs are also everywhere. Try an ant farm, or bug collecting kit.

4) Geology. Rocks are pretty easy to find, as well. Check some books out of the library, then go for a hike and try to identify different kinds.

5) Anatomy. The human body is an exciting mystery! Did you know that the adult human has 100 trillion cells, 206 bones, 600 muscles and 22 internal organs? There are lots of interactive games, diagrams and photos online. Check them out!

6) Aeronautics. Build paper airplanes and conduct a contest to see whose design flies fastest and farthest. Read a book about the Wright brothers, while you’re at it.

7) Botany. Head to the nearest nursery and have a look around. As long as you don’t try to show up on a warm Saturday in the spring, one of the horticulturists might give you some personal tips. Take home a couple plants and care for them – watch them grow.

8) Cartography. Dora the Explorer has this one covered. Help your little ones make maps of the house, the neighborhood, their hometown. Get out other maps and do some exploring!

9) Paleontology. I’ve never met a four-year-old that wasn’t fascinated by dinosaurs. Check out some books or websites, play with dino play sets, bury “bones” in the sandbox and dig them back up!

10) Meteorology. When my children were preschoolers, we kept a weather calendar in the kitchen to be updated every day. We spent time lying on our backs in the grass, watching clouds. There are some great books and Internet resources for weather. Try the National Weather Service, or, where you can check out Doppler radar and see weather details for the entire planet!

Science doesn’t have to be complicated. Help your child discover the world around him. Find some interesting things to learn about, then do some research together!

Learning maths certainly doesn't need to be boring for your children in view of the wide variety of Educational math toys that are available. Make the learning of this essential skill fun and exciting. Take advantage of the many toys that have visual and moving elements, to make math more real. The learning patterns from using these educational toys have been proven to help children improve their counting abilities. And you kids with love all those educational toys!

Choosing the right educational toys and games for your children at a young age will make sure that they start out in live with the right learning environment. In order to learn, it is important to stimulate your child's creativity, curiosity, and discovery. All this can be easily achieved by making use of the educational crafts, games, puzzles and toys.

It may seem a difficult decision at first to decide on which educational toys and games to choose. Try starting out with a simple book or educational toy, and then slowly progress to more complex educational toys, music activities and puzzles. Attempt to create a fun environment for your child to learn in. Do this by taking note of your child's interests - if he or she is into monsters and dinosaurs then based your decision on choosing the educational toys on this fact. This will make sure that your child's interest remains with the toy.

Learn simple addition through play to encourage children to become familiar with numbers and slowly introduce them to math concepts, such as basic addition, counting and sorting. With some simple research into a child's ability level and toy quality, you should have no trouble in locating a variety of educational math toys to spark interest while at the same time reinforcing the importance of learning mathematical concepts.,

Top Toys 2008

The "Top Toys Awards" are presented each year in New York at the American International Toy Fair. There is a variety of categories from infant up to the older children. The best and brightest toys of the year are picked. The Toy Industry has chosen the following top toys 2008 in each category.

The toy that took the best toy of the year from all categories was the TMX™" Elmo from Fisher-Price®. Elmo has three tickle spots, which are located on his toes, tummy, and chin. Tickle him and he'll start to laugh. It's easy to see why this was one of the best of the Top Toys 2008.

The girl toy of the year is made from Hasbro Inc., and it is the Butterscotch Pony from the FurReal Friends collection. Every girl dreams of having their very own pony and now they can, with the realistic sounds and movements of this lifelike little pony.

The boy toy of the year is the Spy Video Car made by Wild Planet Entertainment Inc. This small remote car has a built in infrared camera so spying on siblings and friends is great fun. You can see that top toys 2008 for both boys and girls are fun and educational.

The top game of the year for both board and CD Rom is Cranium's Zooreka. The whole family can enjoy this game, by building your very own zoo. Every move keeps the players thinking. Wait, there's more than just building a zoo, there's also danger lurking at every move in this game of chance.

There are some great choices if you are in the market for a new toy, but wait - there are more top toys 2008, so let's carry on.

The best outdoor toy for the year was a tough pick but in the end, it was Radio Flyer's Fold 2 Go® Trike. This compact handy trike can go anywhere. It comes fully assembled and folds for easy storage or transport. Now you can take your child's trike to Grandma's house. The low center of gravity makes it very stable.

Educational toys are always a popular choice and this year the toy that was chosen for providing the best skill development was the Small Globe™ 2.0 made by Oregon Scientific. It comes with 30 activities and you can make use of the cordless smartpen to navigate through all the learning activities. Your child will learn countries, populations, currencies, leaders, and so much more.

Every child needs a good activity toy and this year one of the top toys 2007 in this class was the Moon Sand™ from Spin Master. Moon sand is the new play dough. It never dries out and it can be used repeatedly, and it expands to twice the size of the package. It'd designed for ages 3 and up and your kids will find hours of playtime here.

In our modern world, electronics are important so this year the Digital Camera from Fisher Price ® is the top pick in top toys 2008 placement. There's a lot of high technology in this Kid tough camera that will keep the imagination flowing.

We've covered just a few of the top toys 2008 choices, however there are others, and what's important when buying your children toys is to buy quality, well built products, that stimulate, and help your child grow.