Monday, January 8, 2007

Not Bubble Wrap? But a Bag of Rice?

Teaching Tools: Top Toys to Inspire a Love of LearningKids learn through play, so it's important to give them access to the kinds of toys that will spark their imaginations and encourage curiosity. But don't think you have to rush out and buy a fancy toy bristling with computer chips, bells, and whistles. Here's a list of low-tech options to fit budgets big and small.What's the top tool for learning at any age? Books! Start your baby by reading to her from books filled with bright colors and rhythmic language, then make sure your growing child always has age-appropriate books within easy reach. Try to read together each day, and as your child gets older, allow him to choose books that reflect her interests. Here's our list of other great tools for learning through play:
ToddlersNesting Cups or Boxes: Buy or make your own set using plastic containers or cardboard boxes decorated with markers and stickers.Hammering sets: These inexpensive toys let kids hammer pegs or balls through holes and teach them about spatial relations and cause and effect, while letting them expend some of that boundless toddler energy.Sandbox: Once your child is out of the "everything in the mouth" phase, he's ready for the sandbox, which provides endless opportunities for experimentation and creative play. Buy one, or make one out of railroad ties or boards. Secure the ends together to make a box. Fill the inside with sand. Old spoons, and plastic containers make great shovels and buckets. Cover it tightly when not in use. (No backyard? You can make an indoor "sandbox" using a big plastic tub and a huge bag of rice from the discount supermarket.)
Related Links:Get more tips on inspiring a passion for knowledge in our article• "Raising Kids Who Love to Learn." >>Copyright ©

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