If you were born in my generation, you’re probably all too familiar with the endearing Peanuts character Linus Van Pelt. You can easily spot him with his blue security blanket which he clutches with him wherever he goes. Linus’ character extends far beyond the comic strip though, as he personifies kids all over who have some form of object they’re particularly attached to. These are called comfort objects.
Comfort objects often take the form of blankets, pacifiers, or anything soft and cuddly such as an old tattered teddy bear. The kid brings it with him most anywhere. If you so much as try to pull that toy away from him that would launch the beginning of World War III.
Experts say that comfort objects play an important role in a child’s development. They give the kid a sense of security, and helps them better deal with their daily experiences and feelings. The comfort object soothes the child especially during situations when he’s separated from you, or when he’s going through some form of fear or anxiety.
Comfort objects are also called “transitional objects”, as they help a young child deal with the anxiety that comes with the realization that he and his mother are separate beings. The object acts as a bond which reminds the child of the “presence” of the mother even when she’s away. Gradually, the kid comes to terms with the fact that his mom will not always be physically beside him.
So here, I found the perfect comfort friend for my little boy. A cuddly, troubled-looking bear sent over by our friends at Hullabalu, a newly opened store offering high quality toys. I can’t remember now when was the time they contacted me, I was able to create an account and I viewed their wonderful toy collection – I made my youngest chose from one of the adorable plushies on site and he chose the Woe bear. Some weeks after we received a package and there goes our lovely Woe bear…all needing a cuddle. Since day one, my son has been carrying it around, while walking out, when shopping and even when sleeping – why not, when it’s the softest plush toy he ever had. He would always look for it like a precious part of him has been gone when it’s not in sight. It may take years before he would actually overcome this attachment but for now, I am seeing it as a good thing.
How about you? Does your child have a comfort object too? Whatever you do, don’t make it a battle when it comes to comfort objects and your kid. It’s a normal part of growing up, which aids in his emotional development. If he shows signs of attachment to a particular object, do encourage it by offering him that object whenever he feels upset or afraid. Normally, kids give up their comfort objects when they reach the ages between 3 and 5, so you shouldn’t really worry about it. Or maybe you need your own security blanket?
Learning while at play is one of the most effective ways of educating children. Most preschools and day care centers are equipped with a mix of Spartan and modern toys that are used as learning materials. Knowing the child’s interests and progress in school can help parents choose the right toys for their kids. Purchasing new toys for the kids on a regular basis ensures that children have fresh learning materials that they can use and keep boredom at bay.
Parents on a budget need not worry about the costs since some of the best toys and gadgets can be bought at a much lower cost through online coupon sites or discount shops. Simply go for online deals that mean the children stay happy. A popular choice among kids nowadays are electronic toys that are similar to modern gadgets that adults use in day to day activities. These toys make learning more fun with the integration of role play. Two of the leading brands in educational electronic toys are LeapFrog and Vtech. They both offer quality toys that often fall in the best selling list of kids, parents and educators. Leap Frog’s popular line up include: Leap Pad Explorer, Tag Reading System, Chat and Count, Learn and Groove, and Leapster GS Explorer. The VTech brand on the other hand has Tote and Go Laptop, Brilliant Creations Advanced Notebook, Write and Learn Touch, and V-Reader to boast for. Other electronic toys that you can consider for your child’s fresh stash are: Fischer Price Laugh ‘N Learn Learning Work Bench, Elmo’s World Talking Cell Phone, Alphie, GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope, Smart Gear Wonder Vacuum Rubik’s Slide, Loopz, and Scrabble Flash Cubes.
These electronic toys are definitely more expensive than regular toys but the learning experience that can be gained from these toys are worth the investment. Learning how to manipulate these toys can help them fare better in navigating through modern technology that we enjoy today. Some of the kids who grew up with exposure to electronic toys and gadgets are even better than some adults when it comes to operating and understanding the latest gadgets today.
For mothers, it is always a good feeling to see their kids playing around at home or in other places designed for recreational activities. Play forms a big part in children’s progressive growth and development. It is essential in forming their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
Seeing the kids having fun and in full gaiety is perhaps one of the best feelings a mother could have. But you perhaps also experience the dilemma tidying clutters around the house during their playtime. More often than not, I go after their mess and it has become very taxing indeed.
But recently, I learned that there are actually effective ways to address this problem with your kids’ clutters. Based on my experience, here are some tips on how to make your kids fix their own mess.
1. Provide them with cabinets or storage items.
In my observation, this was the most effective way to promote tidiness to your kids. Give them storage cabinets with bins in which they could put all the stuff they always use. Cabinets or chests like those at www.thefurnituremarket.co.uk are very functional. They are an ideal storage item because they are not only sturdy and well-built, but there are also some that are designed especially for kids which could further encourage your kids to fill them in with an assortment of stuff.
2. Explain the value of tidiness.
Tell them how important it is to be always orderly and neat and storing toys is one of those they should always consider. You may tell that if they do not place their toys in proper places, they may be broken, destroyed or even lose them. Worse, someone might step on them and get hurt.
3. Encourage tidiness by giving out rewards.
Tell your kids that every time they clean their clutters up every after play time, you would bake them special cookies or whatever their favorite food is. In my case, my kids are a great fan of scrumptious macarons, and so I prepare this sweet treat for them every time they clean up their rooms or tidy up their clutter.
4. Visit a toy shop and let them see how toys are organized.
Bookstores, toy shops and fun parks are three of top places my kids enjoy visiting. I noticed how extra sensitive they become whenever we are in a bookstore and they speak in low, move with care and actually sit in a corner without care. It goes the same in a toy shop, they would just look about and ask occasionally if they can buy a certain toy. Seeing toys carefully arranged on shelves and boxes is the best time for you to tell them that toys should be cared for too and that’s the best way to do it.
5. Be the best example.
Kids always follow examples. If they see you tidying up things at home, it is most likely that they will do the same. It’s a discipline for them and less work for you.
In this age of portable video games consoles, buying and giving traditional games as gifts may seem outdated or unappreciated by techie kids. Truth is, there are a lot more interesting and engaging games that kids who spent most of their time pushing those buttons will enjoy. Browsing an online store, I found a few toys that my kids would surely love; indoor and outdoor.
1. Sherlock for the little detective. Hubby and I enjoy reading mystery books and watching investigative TV shows and movies. Sherlock Holmes as a book and the film adaptation are both sure hits. My kids got that knack too, enjoying as we do; the anime Detective Conan (Case Closed). More than just a memory game, Sherlock tests a child’s ability to deduct.
Gameplay: As Sherlock goes around and searches the clues, every player tries to remember each of the eight objects hidden in a facedown circle of cards. Then, Sherlock travels from one card to another. Each time Sherlock stops at a facedown card, the player has to remember which object is on that card. Sherlock continues to move, as long as the player guesses correctly. If Sherlock travels to a face-up card, then the player gets to keep that card. The first player to collect six cards wins.
2. Automoblox Mini Hot Rod for the little car lover. The husband like to tinker with all things tinkerable. It could be the electric fan, his PCs, old toys and yes, mini-cars…there was an era when we would buy Tamiya RCs and other models and he would go about practicing with it after assembly.
To this day, his interest are with RC helicopters. My boys took on this interest and though theirs are not as complicated, lego toys and other building blocks I bought them get shaped into cars, plane and other vehicle they could think of.
Automoblox will be a sure boys’ favorite as it sparks the kids curiosity on how a car is designed…perhaps making them wonder too how they function. It is always good to make kids start early in life, in this case, to be fascinated with car mechanism.
3. Perler beads for the creative mind. My daughter loves this perler beads even as a youngster. She would use matching colors to make her favorite figures like cats, dogs, a girl in dress on a pegboard and make me iron them.
This bucket of a bigger version seem more appropriate for younger kids to teach them colors and counting too. The bucket comes with many colored beads both light and dark so kids have can make more out of them. Though these beads might not stick together like the smaller ones when ironed, I suggest it is still good to try.
4. Sledding fun. For kids down under, the Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge Snow Sled is perfect for the upcoming snowdays fun! This piece has been inspired by the Olympic sport of luge and coal shovel racing. I’ve watched video, a total of about 6 minutes using this plastic snow sled and I can that it is safe, easy to learn and use for a very exhilarating downhill sport!
Accordingly, its compact, lightweight feature and being very maneuverable in turns and its capability to handle all types of terrain make it a favorite even among adults. Its feet-first design make it easy for braking too.
We’ve always had the traditional sleds, I think this would be fun to try come winter!
Hubby came home 2 weeks ago with a complete set of angry birds plush toys. The kids were ecstatic…they’ve been bugging him every time on Skype to buy their bird with color choice and boy were they surprised that he did came home with all of them. (Except for the yellow bird and one pig which we found and bought in Nürnberg).
They were building up structures using Lego like those in the angry birds game. They would put the pigs up those structures and throw the birds one by one, just like how the game is supposed to be…you can even hear them imitating the sound effects – lol – both of the birds tweeting or the bricks falling down.
Playmobil, is Lego’s counterpart created in Germany. (The former being Denmark’s brainchild.) Just like Lego, Playmobil figures and sets – which could be assembled and disassembled help kids develop creativity thus widening their imagination.
Playmobil figures are dressed up according to the profession they represent; doctors, nurses or construction worker…the list goes on. Each figure is 7.5cm and easy to put together…having no names, kids are entitled to give them one and create their own figures.
We visited Playmobil Funpark recently…a 4th time for my two older kids and the first time for the little boy. He was surprised with the gigantic figures that were to be seen everywhere. Vikings, pirates, Native Americans, regular people, postmen will greet kids as they enter and enjoy the life-size figures that the park has to offer.
Settings or inspiration for the park, I guess, comes also from the sets that playmobil created for their figures. The pirate ship is a big hit for the kids…it’s docked in a small “pond” were kids could also go rafting…will post about that soon!