Why Learning Toys?
Introducing and modeling FUN learning based toys early is truly "FUN"- damental!
- We pledge to provide all families ways to allow space in any environment inside the home/learning center to outside in nature; a way to instill healthy independence, safe exploration and ways to allow a experimental teaching model for all children. Supporting a positive connection and a way to feel like a needed and capable community member. Resourcing evidence based learning approaches paird with experience and tested methods.
- Developing brain - The Executive Function is referred to more and more and reenforced by providing more insight to its importance for children in early developmental phases.
Children do not naturally have a high executive function, much like empathy, these traits must be presented in an environment that helps to develop and teach these important foundational traits.
- Nature vs Nurture - Important traits that don’t typically come natural: self-control, discipline, flexibility, and creativity. Individuals with high levels of executive function have longer concentration span and memory and are able to solve and stay focused on complex problems with reasoning and the ability to plan - those with low levels of executive function are more impulsive, lack patience & perseverance, and have limited attention spans.
Gross motor skills deal with the coordination of large muscle groups and are responsible for activities like running, walking, etc.
Fine motor skills are those that require the ability to use and coordinate small muscle groups. important for writing, shoe-tying, buttoning, and zipping, among other things.
- Sensory activities - Often involves using and building fine motor skills by exploring toys and other objects using pinching, pouring, and lacing movements. Our Hide Away Helper Bins are a wonderful way to support these skills and important play activities.
These activities are important to all children, especially have specific therapeutic advantages for kids with autism, ADHD, sensory impairment and/or sensory processing disorder.
- Senses & Sensory play - often involves using and building fine motor skills by exploring toys and other objects using pinching, pouring, and lacing movements.
*Proprioception sense, refers to awareness of one’s body. It helps us know where body parts are relative to one another and tells us how much force we need to exert when holding, pushing, pulling or lifting objects.
*Vestibular sense, also known as our movement or balance sense, allows us to maintain balance while engaging in activities.
*Our Hide Away Helper Bins and Stocket Pocket products help provide support for these sensory activities - below are a few examples/items to uses:
Sensory bins: Add dried rice, beans, beads, and little toys to a plastic bin and watch your child be delighted for hours. There are limitless ways to create different sensory bins, including fun themes. You can offer them tools to scoop and serve.
Whipped cream (edible) or shaving cream (non edible): This is a great sensory experience that you can do in the bathtub or outside. Add a few drops of bath paint to swirl in assorted colors, or drive toy trucks through the foam and create new patterns and explore.
Dough: Playing with dough, either the toy store version or homemade (salt dough), is a wonderful sensory experience to develop fine and gross motor skills. Infuse the dough with scents for extra sensory input.
Finger paints: Playing in paint provides loads of enjoyable sensory and motor interaction for kids to explore and get artistic. They can create new forms, express their feelings, or create works of art. Bathtub paints are good options for mess-free sensory activities. Use yogurts with small amount of food safe food coloring to ensure safety for young children that still put items in their mouth.
Blow bubbles: Kids love to play with bubbles or blow into whistles and pinwheels, anything that moves with air. These are great teaching tools for breath support and control.
Sandboxes: Sand provides a wonderful tactile experience that allows babies and big kids to play freely and get messy. Children enjoy digging in the sand with their hands and feet or using tools that develop their motor function and hand-eye coordination.
Go on a walk: Nature spotting and exploration provides sensory play in everyday activities. Encourage your child to touch leaves, grass, dirt, or flowers. Talk about what you see – the colors, textures, and sounds.