Sunday, November 06, 2005

Top 10 Discovery Toys Baby Gifts

About.com has a great list of the "Top 10 Discovery Toys Baby Gifts." Here they are.

Discovery Toys Hammer Away
Discovery Toys BusyTime Playbox
Discovery Toys Castle Marbleworks Play Tower
Discovery Toys Mesaure Up Cups
Discovery Toys Safari Land Sensory Playmat
Discovery Toys Tangiball
Discovery Toys Hide Inside Surprise
Discovery Toys Tot Rock Music Set
Discovery Toys Animal Sounds Book
Discovery Toys Super Yummy Teether


This a perfect list, as these are not only top sellers, but some of my kids' personal favorites. The Super Yummy Teether is great for the very little ones, it's got great texture and is really easy to grasp. The Tangiball and Hammer Away are perfect when they begin to toddle and get some gross motor skills.

And the Measure Up Cups are one of my all time favorite products, with tons of extra little features that you would never know were there at first glance.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Play is the Language of Children

From the Discovery Toys home page comes a great summary of what the company is about.

Good toys, books, games and software, carefully selected, can enhance and direct a child's physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth. Our product team custom designs many of our products to enhance and reinforce specific areas of a child's development.

Our child development specialists also select the best products available internationally with vendors around the world to assure that we always offer you a wide variety of toys that are appropriate and fun for children at each stage of their lives.


If you would like to learn more or purchase Discovery Toys, you can do so via my website here.

UPDATE: The Literacy Trust website has a great article on the importance of play in children's development.

Playing is the most natural thing in the world, but there's much more to it than just having fun. Jeanie Hurley investigates the role of play in development from newborn baby to boisterous pre-schooler to see why playing is never a waste of time.


...

Traditional building blocks and Play-Doh are far better for children's learning than high-tech educational toys and videos, experts have revealed. Psychologists are warning that many expensive games might actually restrict children's progress by stifling their creativity and hindering their social skills. American child development expert Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek believes youngsters spend too long in front of television and computer screens when they could be playing with basic toys. In a new book titled Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, she claims that so-called 'smart' toys fail to teach children to play imaginatively. In contrast, wooden blocks, crayons, costumes, paints and balls help them develop crucial lifelong skills such as problem-solving and perseverance. They also make it easier for parents to join in, which is vital for boosting children's learning.

Professor Hirsh-Pasek, of Temple University, Philadelphia, said: "Nowadays, toys we select for children have the hidden agenda of making them learn, but those toys do the opposite. They usually look for a single, correct answer to a problem because they are busy teaching skills. Today's kids don't need to be fed information through toys. They need to combine facts in innovative ways to become creative problem solvers. Well-meaning parents are simply being caught in an expensive trap. If parents really want to prepare their children for life in the next generation, they would be better looking in the least-travelled aisles in toy shops." Professor Hirsh-Pasek warned that parents are increasingly substituting activities such as reading, playing and singing rhymes for the easier option of placing them in front of computers or videos.

She added: "We learn best by having another person play with us. When parents have opportunities to play with children, they get more out of it. Children gain better reading, maths and social skills when adults play with them."

Her views are backed up by another expert, Matthew Melmed, who agreed that high-achieving parents who attempt to 'hothouse' their toddlers with educational software and toys could be doing more harm than good. Mr Melmed, executive director of the Zero to Three centre in Washington, which collates parenting research from across the U.S, said the trend was leaving children as young as three frustrated and prone to tantrums.

HHCS Read-a-Thon!

Heritage Hall Christian School is currently having a Discovery Toys 2-4-6 Read-a-thon to raise money for quality, lifetime guaranteed toys in their classrooms. If you would like to donate additional money in support of this effort, please feel free to contact the school at 765-213-2242 and they can give you more information.

Pledge money is being collected this week, and the orders will be compiled and placed at the end of the week. The top student will recieve a prize - the Super Marbleworks Starter Set, or equivalent product of their choosing!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Discovery Toys Product Award Summary

Discovery Toys products over the years have won quite a few awards. Below is a list that I came across on their website. The links on each one go to my website (http://shop.teachwithtoys.com) where you can purchase these award winning products if you are interested in doing so.

#1127 ABC BOX
National Parenting Publications Honors Award 2004

#2028 A B SEAS®
Great American Toy Test Top 15 Toys of 2004

#2374 BEARS, BOATS & BUTTERFLIES
Parent's Guide to Children's Media Awards
Parents' Choice Approved Award 2003
iParenting Media Award 2003
Great American Toy Test Award 2003

#1100 BOOMERINGS®
Links Baby Magazine Award
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Toys Award 2002

#2290 BRIGHT BUILDERS Starter Set
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Products Award 2003

#1680 BUSY BATH Activity Center
National Parenting Center Seal of Approval (1997)
National Parenting Center Seal of Approval (1998)
Ser Padres Festival De Juguetes (1997)

#1617 BUSY TIME Playbox
Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award 2001
National Parenting Publications Honors Award (2001)

#1756 CASTLE MARBLEWORKS® Play Tower
2000 National Parenting Publications Awards, Honors Award
CFCN Toy Test 2000 Winner (Calgary Toy Review)
Featured on the NBC's Today Show Toy Test 2000
National Parenting Publications Honors Award (2001)
Great American Toy Test Award 2003

#1218 CURLY & PALS
iParenting Media Award 2004

#2104 DISCOVERY SUB Water Resistant Flashlight
Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Children's Products for 2001
Parent's Guide to Children's Media
Award 2001
National Parenting Publications Honors Award (2001)

#2268 DRESS-A-PILLAR
CFCN Toy Test 2000 Runner Up (Calgary Toy Review)
National Parenting Publications Honors Award (2001)

#1217 FARMYARD FUN Puzzle in Puzzle
Great American Toy Test Award 2003

#2933 FIRE HOSE HERO Water Toy
National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval 2000
iParenting Media Award 2004

#2234 FLIP FLOP FACES Beanbag Toss Game
Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Children's Products for 2001

#1562 GIANT PEGBOARD™ Toy
Dr. Toy's 100 Best Toys (1997)
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Products (1999)
National Parenting Center Seal of Approval 1997

#1433 HAMMER AWAY! National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval 1998
Dr. Toys 100 Best Products (1997)
Parenting Magazine toy of the Year (1994)

#1195 HIDE INSIDE SURPRISE
Toy Tips Trusted Award from Toy Research Institute 2000
National Parenting Publications Gold Award 1993
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 1993
Parenting Magazine Toys of the Year 1993
Parent's Choice Award 1993
Parent's Magazine The Best Toys of 1993

#2031 I CAN WRITE
iParenting Media Award November 2004

#2888 IT'S A RINGER®
Parent's Choice Award 2004

#2328 KOOKY CATCHERS
National Parenting Publications Honors Award 2004

#2338 MAIN STREET PLAYHOUSE
Parent's Guide to Children's Media Awards

#1640 MEASURE UP!® Cups
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Toys (1998)
Dr. Toy's 100 Best Products (1998)

#3989 MICRO-LAB Microscope
CFCN's Toy Test Winner 2003

#3791 NET CATCH
Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Children's Products 2002
Parenting Toy of the Year 2002
iParenting Media Award 2004

#3169 NUMBER RINGS
Parents' Choice Recommended Award 2002

#1759 PLACE & TRACE®
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Products Award 2003
National Parenting Publications Honors Award 2003

#2930 PLAYFUL PATTERNS® Design Activity
Scholastic Parent & Child magazine’s Teacher’s Picks Award for 2000-2001
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Toys Award 2002

#1530 PROGRESSIVE PUZZLES
Parent's Guide to Children's Media, Inc. 2000

#3206 PUZZLED? Aha! Brainteasers
Dr. Toy Best Classic Toys Award 2004

#1038 ROLL and PLAY Activity Game
Dr. Toy's 10 Best Educational Products 2004

#2834 ROYAL TREATMENT King/Queen Ensemble
Great American Toy Test Award 2003
CFCN's Toy Test Winner 2003

#2833 ROYAL TREATMENT Princess Hat & Cape
Great American Toy Test Award 2003
CFCN's Toy Test Winner 2003

#1470 SNUGGLE TIME Activity Book
Parenting Magazine Toy of the Year (1994)
Dr. Toy's 100 Best Products (1997)
National Parenting Publications Award (1995)
Child Magazine's Best Toys (1994)

#1355 STACTIVITIES Activity Center
2000 National Parenting Publications Awards, Honors Award

#2871 STUCK-ON MARBLEWORKS®
Parents' Choice Approved Award 2003
Great American Toy Test Award 2003

#3871 SUPER™ MARBLEWORKS® Raceway Construction Set
Dr. Toy's 100 Best Toys (1997)
Dr. Toy's Best Classic Toys (1998)
Scholastic Parent & Child Teacher's Picks Award (2002)
Great American Toy Test Award 2003

#1035 TOT ROCK
iParenting Media Award November 2004

#4550 THE RIGHT MOVES Self-Teaching Chess
Set Dr. Toy's Best Classics (1997)

#2375 TUG-A-BUG Pull Rattle
Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products 2003
iParenting Media Award 2003

#2282 WACKY WILDERNESS Animal Construction Set
iParenting Media Award 2003
Great American Toy Test Award 2003
Family Fun 2004 Toy of the Year winner
#4246 WIZ KIDZ National Parenting Center Seal of Approval (1999)
Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Products (1999)

#3782 WORD FLIP CFCN's
Toy Test Winner 2003

#2010 WORKING TRIO Dump Trucks
Parent's Choice Approved Award 2002

#2116 WRITE, MAIL & DELIVER!
Parent's Choice FunStuff Award 2003

#3026 ZIP TRACK Flexible Speedway
Featured on the NBC's Today Show Toy Test 2000


UPDATE: Thanks to Myopic Zeal for the link! You guys are the greatest. ;-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Play Is Their Learning

Amy, over at the Mudpies and Paint blog echoes my sentiments exactly. I couldn't agree more.

play right now is their learning. With the right toys at their disposal, anything they pick up is a learning experience. One of those things that makes me so happy during the school day is when MB and I are working on something and I look up to see K playing with a puzzle, or matching up cards or sewing with the sewing cards. To watch EM explore blocks or or her board books. Other times, MB or I may hop and pull out a toy that ends up making the perfect manipulative. Truly though this isn't the most common occurrence, but it happens enough to make me happy with the way homeschooling with two young ones is going for us.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Super Marbleworks from Discovery Toys!

The Discovery Toys fall catalog has been shipped to educational consultants, and the new toys are great! One of the coolest is that they have added some new accessories for the marbleworks set!

The traditional Super Marbleworks Raceway Construction set, and the accessory set of extra parts, have been discontinued and replaced with some exciting new sets!

Marbleworks Start Set (Item 3875 - $29.99) is similar to the original set with 46 pieces.

The two brand new accessory sets are the Marbleworks Crank-It Up Accessory (Item 3816 - $12.99) and the Marbleworks Wild Ride Accessory Set (Item 3815 - $14.99).

There is also the Marbleworks Deluxe Set, which is a combination of the other three, and sells for $49.99 (Use item 8221 for a savings of $7.98 versus buying the sets individually!)

Check them out at my website on August 27th: http://shop.teachwithtoys.com

(Watch this space for more previews of new fall products, which will be available August 27th online!)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Buy Discovery Toys Products Here

If you are looking to purchase Discovery Toys products online, you can do so here!

Indiana Homeschool Blog

For those of you homeschool moms in central Indiana, you may want to bookmark this new blog I found today.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Discovery Toys End of Season Sale!

It's been a crazy few months, but I'm going to try adding some more content to this site occasionally.

Discovery Toys Matville PuzzletownDiscovery Toys is currently running their end of season sale! Many items are on sale, some up to 60% off!

One of my kids' personal favorite items, Matville Puzzletown, is being discontinued. Get 'em while they last! It's marked down from $29.99 to $19.99.

Discovery Toys Think it Through System TilesAnother favorite for you educationally-minded parents and grandparents out there is the Think it Through System Tiles! They're currently marked down from $16.99 to $9.99.

Also, check out the Discovery Toys Summer Sale that is currently happening, with lots of great kids' pictures books on sale, including Giggle Giggle Quack, Bear Snores On, and The Secret Shortcut.
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