By: Kristy C.
This years annual winter event was a huge success. On December 12, 2018, over 130 people came out to the James E. Richmond Science Center to attend The Playful Parent’s Elf Workshop. I was excited to see so many families show their support in raising awareness in the importance of learning through play. The event was a kick start to help raise funds to keep The Playful Parent a free resource and start phase one of providing mobile community programs. The Playful Parent hopes to provide quarterly or even monthly events that advocate learning through play in Southern Maryland.
THE TWELVE TOYS OF CHRISTMAS
I want to take a moment to the thank our sponsors. Twelve different toy companies donated toys in order to make this program a success. Instilling a love of learning is of great importance; these toy companies were hand selected because they believe in the power of play. Each company listed does a remarkable job at providing entertaining toys that aren’t only fun but are educational too! The goal of this project is to help parent’s invest in toys that help their children play, learn and grow! Here is a look at the company’s that were hand selected by The Playful Parent to partner for The 12 Toys of Christmas. Each company sent a copy of their toys for the Elf Workshop to test out and giveaway as prizes. Let’s give them a huge round of applause.
The Playful Parent is a huge fan of Blue Orange because they make games that are high quality and very durable. These family friendly games are easy to learn and fun to play! Many of their games are designed to help children build important skills such as dexterity, memory, math, logic, and cooperation. Our favorite games by Blue Orange are Happy Bunny and Battle Sheep.
ETA Hand 2 Mind is one of the leading companies in creating toys that promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math.) The Playful Parent is a huge fan of investing in toys that help children STEM skills. This company partners with other great publishers and companies such as McGraw Hill Education and Learning Resources. We were excited to have the Magnets! set to toy test at the Elf Workshop and have found Bob’s Books to help my boys with literacy skills.
Kiwi Co makes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) accessible, engaging, and fun. Their goal is to inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, and makers. My kids get so excited when their kits come in the mail! Try a KiwiCo Kit for FREE by clicking here!
It isn’t hard to see how Educational Insights was voted by the kids at the Elf Workshop as the number one toy company of the year! Educational Insights makes toys fueled by kid-powered play! Educational Insights toys inspire creativity, imagination, good sportsmanship, and out-of-the-box learning. I could go on and on about all our favorite toys by Educational Insights; Design & Drill, Geosafari Jr Talking Globe and The Sneaky, Snack Squirrel game are at the top of the list.
Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty is somewhat new to our house. However, something my kids fell in love with right away. At first glance you may think that putty is more of fidget or sensory toy; however, it really is more than that. I love that the creators of thinking putty have an amazing site that shares activities and lessons to use putty for science, art, math, and so much more! Explore this link to discover new ideas and tips and tricks such as writing with light, making your putty dance and other cool experiments.
Wacky Links are a fun DIY kit filled with bright, colorful tubes and connecting charms that can be linked in an infinite number of ways to create jewelry and so much more. Wacky Links® are great because children can build, wear, and share anything they can dream of. I think most parents will agree it’s great to have toys that require creativity and imagination rather than batteries! There are fun kits of all kinds whether your kid loves dinosaurs, princess or cars; there is a kit for every interest.
DAY 7- LEARNING RESOURCES
It’s easy to see how Learning Resources was voted number at Elf Workshop; Learning Resources is know for making innovative, hands-on educational toys that are trusted by teachers and parents and loved by children. I could go on and on about Learning Resources for days. This is hands down one of my most favorite toy companies. My boys love Beaker Creatures and Botley the Coding Robot. The Playful Parent and Learning Resources agree on the importance of the power of play. “Kids learn by doing, which is why toys and games are the perfect tools for teaching. Educational toys and games allow children to wonder, discover, and explore the world around them through play.”- Learning Resources.
MindWare is an award-winning creator, manufacturer and distributor of “Brainy Toys for Kids of All Ages.” Their goal is to make the world smarter through playful learning. If you frequent our local library you probably have seen and love a lot of the toys by Mindware. Our favorite toys by Mindware are the Megna-Tiles and Science Academy Kits.
Highlights have been around since I was a kid; I have such great memories of getting this magazine in the mail when I was young. This company makes more than just magazines for children though. They have amazing activity books, puzzles and games that encourage children to practice math and literacy skills in a fun way. My oldest son loves sitting down and working in his Big Fun Workbook!
Antsy Pants has created engaging build and play kids playhouse kits that are designed to let kids’ imaginations run wild and get kids and families creating, imagining and building together. The sky is the limits with these kits. You can pretend to be a pirate and sail the seven seas or make believe you are a princess in palace. These kits provide limitless play.
DAY 11- GOLIATH GAMES
I love Goliath Games because they promote family bonding and provide hours of endless fun! We own a closet full of board games for kids ages 1 to 100 and we own and love a lot of Goliath Games. Anytime we host a board game night in the community, you can bet we will have a plethora of Goliath Games in toe. Some of our favorite games include: Domino Junior, Build or Boom, Jumping Jack and Doogie Doo.
My First Lab has the best microscope and science kits to help kids discover, learn and grow. My First Labs believe in helping children foster skills for the future. By supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)-based learning at My First Lab®, they empower children to develop the skills they need today to help them become well-equipped leaders of tomorrow.
Thank you again Blue Orange, Hand 2 Mind, Kiwi Co, Educational Insights, Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty, Wacky Links, Learning Resources, Mindware, Highlights, Antsy Pants, Goliath Games and My First Lab for your donations. I look forward to working with you in the future.
FACEBOOK FAN CLUB GIVEAWAY
One lucky fan will win a Cloud game by Blue Orange Games and A Engineering Kit by Learning Resources. The winner will be randomly drawn on December 19, 2018 at 12 PM. To enter:
- LIKE the post
- COMMENT your favorite toy from the article
- SHARE by tagging a friend.
- This giveaway is not Facebook affiliated.