Toys and Gifts For the Family + Reviews
Wіth cell phones quickly bесоmіng thе norm іn modern society, thе issue оf whаt age children ѕhоuld hаvе thеіr оwn cell phone hаѕ nеvеr bееn mоrе hotly debated. Indееd, іt hаѕ bесоmе quite common tо ѕее young toddlers, barely able tо talk, play wіth thеіr parents' cell phones wіth еаѕе.
Thе еаѕе wіth whісh children саn learn tо navigate thіѕ technology puts mаnу adults tо shame, but thаt ѕаmе accessibility іѕ аlѕо whу parents ѕhоuld bе vеrу careful аbоut giving thеіr child a cell phone аt tоо early аn age. Wіth thаt іn mind, whаt dо parents need tо consider bеfоrе giving thеіr child a cell phone?
Do Thеу Need One?
Whеn considering whеthеr іt іѕ appropriate fоr уоur child tо hаvе a cell phone, thе fіrѕt question уоu ѕhоuld аlwауѕ ask іѕ whеthеr thеу need a cell phone. Sоmе children аrе mоrе independent thаn оthеrѕ, аnd wіth parents working lоng hours, іt саn bе prudent fоr уоur child tо bе able tо contact уоu аt a moment's notice. If уоur child needs access tо a cell phone fоr safety reasons, thеn уоu ѕhоuld nоt hesitate tо рut ѕоmеthіng іn place.
Are Thеу Responsible?
It саn bе vеrу difficult tо bе objective аbоut уоur оwn children, but whеn іt соmеѕ tо owning a cell phone, parents аnd children need tо bе оn thе ѕаmе wavelength. Sоmе children аrе far mоrе responsible thаn оthеrѕ frоm a young age аnd саn bе trusted wіth a cell phone. A cell phone presents risks аnd dangers tо children including accessing inappropriate content оn line оr talking tо people thаt thеу shouldn't bе. At a basic level, cell phones аrе just huge distractions – ѕоmеthіng thаt іѕ nоt limited tо children. Yоur child muѕt bе responsible еnоugh tо uѕе thеіr cell phone оnlу whеn required.
If уоur child needs a cell phone ѕо thаt уоu саn stay іn contact wіth thеm, аnd thеу hаvе demonstrated thаt thеу саn bе responsible wіth оnе, thеn іt mау bе appropriate tо introduce a basic cell phone аt a reasonably young age (10 – 11). Hоwеvеr, fоr mоѕt children, thіѕ іѕ simply nоt necessary. Mоѕt 10-year-old children hаvе nо need fоr a cell phone, аnd just bесаuѕе thеіr friends mіght hаvе a cell phone does nоt mеаn thаt уоu ѕhоuld cave аnd buy оnе fоr thеm.
Thе teenage years аrе generally accepted аѕ аn appropriate age tо introduce cell phones, but еvеn thеn, caution ѕhоuld bе taken. If уоur child shows аnу kind оf irresponsibility оr іѕ spending tоо muсh tіmе оn thеіr cell, dо nоt bе afraid tо tаkе іt away. Ultimately, different circumstances wіll dictate аt whаt age уоur child needs a cell phone, but аlwауѕ ask уоurѕеlf thе questions; dо thеу need оnе, аnd аrе thеу responsible?
4 Best Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers
When it comes to buying holiday gifts for children, there are few more rewarding ages to be buying for than toddlers. Toddlers are full of energy, full of enthusiasm and full of curiosity. They will welcome any toy and give it a chance, but if it doesn't engage with them then it will quickly be discarded!
When buying gifts for toddlers, it's important to remember that toddlers are at an age whereby they want to push their limits. They are exploring the world around them, and exploring their own capabilities. If you cater to this need for exploration, you will never go far wrong with your holiday gifts! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
The joy of a ride on toy is that, despite what stage of development a toddler is at, it can still offer tremendous fun and rewarding playtime. When considering a ride on toy, you should always look for one that is well balanced and sturdy. Consider the interests of the toddler and try and choose an appropriate style of ride on toy. If in doubt, go for something with a trailer or a space under the seat for storing other toys.
When considering gift ideas, no matter what age of child or what time of year, books are never a bad idea. A love of reading needs to be cultivated at a young age, and by offering engaging and fun stories to toddlers, you can instill within them a love of books. Always consider whether the book you are buying is age appropriate. If it's too simple, the child won't be challenged. If it's too difficult, the child will not be interested.
Arts & Crafts
Toddlers are explorers, and anything that allows them to be creative is always a good idea. Arts & crafts don't have to be expensive or particularly distinctive – a coloring book and a box of crayons would suffice. The idea is to encourage the toddler to use their imagination and be creative with their play. Older toddlers might be able to handle more advanced toys or projects, but for young toddlers, something as simple as finger painting can be a wonderfully positive experience.
The world is one big puzzle to a toddler, so it's no surprise that puzzles should be considered a suitable holiday gift. Puzzles help children learn for themselves, and encourage various skills from critical thinking to hand eye co-ordination. Children enjoy puzzles once they have a chance at working out the solution, so always make sure you aren't making the task too difficult, but aside from that, the more puzzles the better!
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper
Company: Fisher Price
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper was listed on Amazon for $14.99 USD brand new.
The Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper is one of those toys that every single child has probably seen and played with at one point in their life. In fact, nearly all adults have probably played with a version of this exciting and fun toy.
While this toy does not look exciting to most adults, it is certainly is one of the favorite toys for most little ones. A toy that is going to be played with for a long time. This toy was actually created in 1957 and is one of those toys that you can be sure to see around for a long time.
Key Features of the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper
- Toy features bright colors
- Easy to grasp handle that allows for young walkers to first be able to hold onto the handle and push it along
- When pushing the toy, it makes exciting popping sounds for your little one to enjoy
- Helps encourage your toddler to walk and eventually helps encourage them to run
- Toy's sound increases when your child walks faster, which can encourage little ones to try running for the first time
- Exciting toy that you can trust since it has been around for nearly sixty years
- Dimensions 5.5″ x 22″ x 7.8″
- Recommended age 1 – 2 years
What Makes the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper a Great Purchase?
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about this toy is all of the exciting thoughts that it is going to bring up about your own time as a child. You will start to notice that it reminds you of the version that you played with when you were a child. Although this one has been updated some, it has not changed much.
* Helps Your Child Learn to Walk: When your child has the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper, they are going to want to walk around. Toddlers who are just beginning to walk will really enjoy that they can make popping sounds as they walk with the popper. As they master the art of walking, they are going to be excited to notice that the popper changes pace with them and becomes even more exciting.
* Promotes Developmental Skills: The Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper is one of those toys that promotes healthy developmental skills. It helps your child work on basic hand and eye coordination. It also helps your child to learn new skills as they are walking, like how to walk and hold onto something and push at the same time. These are all skills that are important for your little one's development.
* Safety In Mind: This toy has been created with safety in mind. It is made from high quality plastic and is strong enough to withstand all of the abuse that your toddler puts it through. This means that you are not going to have to worry about it being broken or cracking open and the balls falling out. So there is little risk to allowing your child to enjoy this fun and exciting toy.
* No Lights: In today's electronically inclined world, there are few toys that have not jumped on the battery powered lights and sounds bandwagon. This toy is one of those toys that does not feature lights and is still a high quality toy.
* Not Safe for Non-Walkers: This toy is not the safest toy for non-walkers. It is also probably not the best for beginning walkers who could easily fall over. This toy could get out of hand with little ones who might not be completely steady on their feet yet.
The Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper is one of those toys that your child is going to fall in love with. While the sounds might annoy you a bit when they are running all over the house, nothing will take away from the joy on their little faces.
This is definitely a toy that everyone has seen and one that most have grown up with. A favorite toy for generations that you can now purchase for the favorite little one in your life.
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TOMY Jumbo Jamboree
Company: Tomy Toys
TOMY Jumbo Jamboree was listed on Amazon for $32.99 USD brand new.
The TOMY Jumbo Jamboree is a brilliantly designed fun and playful toy that your toddler will love! Push the Jumbo Jamboree along to hear him play his five different musical instruments as a one man elephant band, or separate the pieces and play with each musical instrument separately!
The Jumbo Jamboree has a saxophone for a nose, jingle bells for ears and a body made up of a xylophone, a harmonica and a drum! Easy to separate and color coded for simple reassembly for your child, the TOMY Jumbo Jamboree is sure to entertain your young kids for hours on end!
Key Features of the TOMY Jumbo Jamboree
- 5 different musical instruments
- Easily separated and put back together
- No batteries required
- Dimensions 8.7 x 6.7 x 11.8 inches
- Recommended ages 12 – 18 months
What Makes the TOMY Jumbo Jamboree a Great Purchase?
If your child is interested in musical toys, then he or she will absolutely adore the Jumbo Jamboree. When it says one man band, it really means it! The design is very well thought out, and when pushed along the elephant's trunk wiggles and its tail beats the drum.
The Jumbo Jamboree can make quite the racket, so don't expect this to allow for much quiet playtime – quite the opposite! The pieces are relatively easy to separate so children can quickly learn how to break the elephant down into its parts and put it back together.
As for the individual musical instruments, there's a nice range to keep children occupied. The trunk saxophone is more like a horn, and one of the more challenging instruments for young children to make a noise from. On the other hand, the jingle bell ears and drum are instantly usable for even very young children. The harmonica makes a lovely loud pitch, although it is slightly monotone, while the xylophone is a real delight. The pleasing thing about the range of instruments is that they cater to children of all abilities.
If there is one frustration in the TOMY Jumbo Jamboree, it is in the packaging. Many children take great joy from opening a new toy and taking it out of the package, but that won't be an option here. Parents should have scissors handy to ensure they can free the Jumbo Jamboree from its prison like packaging! It is, thankfully, a minor frustration in an otherwise excellent musical toy. And as with any good musical toy, there is far more chance of the parents getting tired of it before the children!
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Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo
Company: Sesame Street
Brand: Sesame Street
Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo was listed on Amazon for $59.99 USD brand new.
Bringing the beloved Elmo from the television screens to your play room, the Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo is an interactive, cuddly toy that will bring hours of fun and education to your kids!
All Day Elmo features two styles of play to accommodate either toddlers or pre-schoolers. In toddler mode, All Day Elmo is a reactive toy that encourages interactive play. Children can see simple cause and effect actions from Elmo as he reacts to being tickled, squeezed or hugged. In pre-school mode, Elmo is far more than just a responsive toy. Coming with 8 different games and over 150 responses, All Day Elmo is a fantastic learning aid for toddlers of any age!
Key Features of the Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo
- Explore basic cause-and-effect play like tummy-tickling in Toddler mode
- Includes 8 interactive games
- Offers over 150 responses
- Dimensions: 6 x 10 x 21 inches
- 4 ‘AA' batteries required (included)
- Recommended age 18 months and up
What Makes the Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo a Great Purchase?
The first thing you will notice when you take All Day Elmo out of the box is just how top heavy he is. As a whole, Elmo is light and cuddly, but the majority of his weight is in his head. For young children, this can be problematic. All Day Elmo is a large toy, which is to its credit, but young children can struggle to hold him upright. Older children will have no such issues, but it is unfortunate that his weight could not be more evenly balanced.
That being said, Play All Day Elmo is still an incredible toy. It is well made, and incredibly responsive. Elmo will interact with children and recognize what actions they are taking. If he is upside down, he will tell you. If he tells you to jump with him, he will react when you do. There is no questioning the build quality here – All Day Elmo is a toy made to be played with.
For younger children, a simple squeeze of Elmo's nose will start him singing a song, while putting him into pre-school mode opens up a wide range of interactive games. Some toys of this style can suffer from a limited number of responses, but thankfully All Day Elmo has no such issues. His responses are varied and situational dependent, and children won't be able to help but play with him.
Play All Day Elmo is a terrific toy for young children, and although fans of Sesame Street will adore his likeness, children who are unfamiliar with the character will grow to love him just as much.
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