Toy Review- Hape Lacing Vehicles

I was searching for lacing beads online when I came across this beautiful product.I am in love with wooden toys and that is my small effort towards a greener earth.One look at the product and I knew what I wanted to do with these beautiful wooden cars.

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My son is not a car freak but he loves cars and when the package arrived he was more than happy to see the beautiful  colourful wooden cars.

These lacing vehicles are from Hape and I was so happy to find it in amazon.Priced at Rs599.00,its a set of 12 lacing vehicles which includes cars, ship, trees, cloud and stop sign.It came with a lacing red thread.

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Review- Priced at Rs 599.00 I expected the cars to be little bigger in size but then as lacing beads the size is good.The lace is not good quality wise whereas the quality of wooden lacing vehicles is very good.

Its non toxic and a nice product for colour recognition,lacing,couting etc.I find it a very innovative lacing idea.

Rating-3/5

As you know when I review a toy I also mention the various ideas the toys can be used so that the kids doesn’t lose interest easily and quickly.So this time also we didn’t keep ourself limited to lacing but we had more fun activities with these lacing vehicles.

1.Lacing– Fine motor skill can be fun and at the same time challenging for the toddlers.This can keep them busy for a long time but with lots of motivation as inability to perform a particular task can make them anxious.

My son tried many times to lace the vehicles but the lacing thread has small hard ending to lace and and it doesn’t pass through the vehicles completely.For an 18 months old the lacing thread is not suitable but the product is ideally for 3 yrs and above.for older kids it is good and lacing can be done with little concentration.

2.Stacking– The most common and fun activity for a toddler is stacking and knocking the stack down.

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Check the video at the end of the post to see how Nirvaan enjoyed stacking and knocking it down.

3.Counting– The cars can be used for counting in a fun way.While lacing the child can count till 12 and then you can remove two and ask how many are left and similarly addition.

4.Colour Sorting– This time to make the colour sorting fun I made a parking lot with different coloured parking slot.  Nirvaan was not able to sort the cars by its colour but with prompt he was able to put few cars to the right slot.But he had fun parking and taking the cars out of the parking lot.

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5.Free Play– I staged this free play for him.I cooked a story about a farm near the river with cow and horse in it and he had a fun time driving his car through the farm.

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Check how Nirvaan enjoyed Playing in this short video

You can buy these Lacing vehicles online by clicking the pic below

Disclaimer- This is not a sponsored review.The product has been purchased by me and review is based on my experience with the product.

Toy Review- Fisher Price Baby’s First blocks and Snap-Lock Beads

As you all know we have adopted montessori and I set the Montessori shelf for Nirvaan it becomes very difficult at times to keep it rotating as he gets bored with the same toys.So usually I prefer toys which are more open ended and can be re used for different activities.Today I will be reviewing two of the toys which we keep in our tray and I will suggest few activities that can be done with these toys.

Fisher Price Baby’s First Block


A sturdy Cylinder shaped sorter with three 3D shapes.

Price-Rs 299.00

It has 12 blocks ,4 each of cube,cyliner and triangular pyramid. As the blocks are 3D i have mentioned the 3D names.

All the blocks are of different colours with 4 Green,4 Blue and Four red blocks respectively.

Age-6 months plus (But we started using at 9 Months)

How we use it for multiple activities

  1. Shape sorting box– The is what the toy is basically meant for, the child can sit and put the cubes in the respective shaped holes.​
  2. Colour Matching Activity-As I mentioned it comes in different colours and has three primary colours it can be used for colour matching or sorting activity.
  3. Learning 3 D shapes– The blocks are excellent and can be used to teach the 3D shapes.
  4. Building blocks– The blocks can be used for free play and let your LO fuel his/her imagination by making different structure from the blocks.

The quality of the product is excellent.Colour are bright and appealing.

Drawback- The only drawback of this toy is that the lid is too loss and can be removed even by 7-8 months old baby.This makes it really difficult to be used as shape sorter box.The lid should have been tight so that the little one would need adult to open it.My son opens it and instead of putting the blocks in respective shape he simply puts them into the container.

I use cello tape to seal it while playing.

Rating- 4/5

Fisher Price Snap Lock Beads


12 colourful beads to snap together.

Price-Rs 199.00

Age-6 Months plus (We started using at 11 Months)

These are bright coloured snap beads which are excellent for fine motor skills of the little ones.

How we use it for multiple activities

  1. Snap and Lock – This is what the toy is basically meant for initially when we started, Nirvaan was only able to snap it.It was only at around 13 months he stared locking them together.
  2. Colour Matching-Again the beads are so colourful and bright I use them always for colour sorting and matching activities.
  3. Play Dough Tower- Another activity that we love doing is making a tower of these beads over a play dough base.It makes for an excellent fine motor activity.And I love the way Nirvaan says oo oho when his tower falls down.
  4. Necklace Free play – This is just for some fun we make a necklace and balance it on our neck without breaking it while the little one without an invitation accepts the challenge of breaking it.

Drawback- Few beads are lose and open quickly rest it is an excellent product.

Rating -4/5

Hope these ideas will help you make the most of the money invested if you already have these or if you plan to buy.
Here is a glimpse of colour marching activity 


 

 

 

Book Review-Usborne Touchy-feely books

The best way to introduce a toddler to books is through the touch and feel books.You might have introduced books earlier like when they were infant during the tummy time but the real test is when they are one plus and you try making them sit and enjoy the book.Today I will be reviewing the Usborne Touchy feely book’s that’s not my series.

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Written by Fiona Watt

Illustrated by Rachel Wells

  • The book 16*16*2 Cm and is pretty handy for the toddlers.This is supposedly the ideal book size for the young toddlers as they can hold and flip through the pages comfortably.This is a board book with 5 pages and 10 illustrations.
  • The book has patches with different texture the first reaction of my baby was to touch the patch and in every page before he asked me to read it.
  • The illustrations are big and colourful and easily attract the attention of the toddlers.Even the fickle minded would sit down for a while and check because the illustration is bright and the patch is big to explore.
  • Every page has a big illustration with 8-10 words
  • The book starts with thats not my pirate/monster/reindeer etc as its hat is too soft/its neck is too fuzzy/its eyebrows are too bushy ,and the patch is the texture mentioned.FullSizeRender 2.jpg
  • Its great for the language development of the young toddlers as they learn new words and the context of the usage of those words.
  • Great sensorial activity and toddlers experience different texture and the name of the texture they feel.
  • The book ends with thats my pirate/reindeer/monster etc
  • Its a great book for the starter if you have a one plus toddler and you have not started with books yet this series is highly recommended.
  • The only negative with the series is their pricing I checked quite a few online portals and was shocked to check the pricing but finally got the cheapest at flipKart,priced at Rs 550 (Approx).

Is the series worth going for ? Yes it is; buy one or two in the beginning and if your baby develops a liking go for more.

Overall a delightful read for the young toddlers with catchy illustrations and a must for first timers.

My Rating -4/5 one mark less for pricing.

Montessori Toy Series-The Basics and about the Series

Hope you guys are enjoying the Montessori toy series every friday.If you have not checked it yet then click the link below to check the series .

Montessori Toy Series-Coin Slot Box

Montessori Toys Series -DIY shape Sorting Stacks

Montessori Toy Series -DIY Colour Wheel

Today I will be discussing about the basic of Montessori and how we got started with it.Well we started pretty late when my baby was already one and I regret not starting it earlier when he was like almost 6 months, but there is always a beginning .Honestly I was not aware about the concept of montessori and how amazing it is.In my quest to keep him busy I stumbled upon this amazing philosophy By Dr Maria Montessori and how beautifully she has made learning easier for the little minds.This method includes learning through cognitive power through direct experience like-seeing,hearing,touching etc.

Benefits of Montessori –

  • It makes the child confident by valuing the child as an individual.
  • It develops the coordination and concentration.
  • Child learns to care for his surrounding.
  • Child learns to be independent from a very young age.

How it is helping Us?

It has made our  learning easier and fun.Now there is no stopping to everyday learning that we achieve through this method of parenting and learning.We don’t sick the usual market bought products but instead we try to Montessori by using things which are already available in the house.To make the method more effective I make things myself for the little one as I have mentioned in the previous posts in this series.Simple logic behind is to make my child learn to value things and he will learn to make things himself while he grows up and will take creativity to another level.

About The series

Every Friday I will be posting things related to Montessori like

  • DIY Montessori Toys
  • Toys we play to learn (Montessori toys either DIY or otherwise)
  • Different games
  • Product reviews

And much more ,stay tuned and watch this space for more.Do let me know if you wish to add something in this series in the comment section below and I will try to include it.

Treasure hunt for kids Under 5

So the christmas is over and we are gearing up for the New years party.Party’s are fun but if you are the host and you have at least 5 kids below 5 to be entertained, the fun factor becomes more of fear factor.Our concept of party is that all the guest should be entertained even if they are kids.So this year for our new years party we are planning a treasure hunt for the kids.Here are few ideas and tips for organising it

  • Define the area choose the area which is mostly free of breakable things like we choose the kids room for the treasure hunt or the guest room.Living area and kitchen are a big no for us because of accidents and off course I love my nick knacks on display and cutlery.

Once you have decided on the area plant the clues, make the clue fun by making a simple riddle or a rhyme like

I thought you were far: But you were coming in a car : things are bought from bazaar:guess whats hiding in the star::

Among the gifts I lie:you look away as you are shy:Pick the one which is different:let me see if you are intelligent::

Try to make it interesting but choosing rhyming words.Select the place you wish to hide your treasure clue and then search for rhyming words and let your imagination go on a ride to your own childhood.

  • Make the treasure box with things the kids would love to get like chocolate, colours,clips and hairbands, small cars,biblets etc.

Decorate the treasure box and cover it with layers of wrapping.It will be fun for the kids to unwrap at the end.Keep a note on sharing in the treasure box to make them learn the importance of sharing as the real treasure of life is sharing the happiness which we take ages to figure out with the clue god gives us.Let them learn the secret of happiness at young age.

Montessori Toys Series -DIY shape Sorting Stacks

Stacking is one of a very important milestones that a baby/toddler can achieve easily if guided by a toy.Once your baby has learnt stacking next you can start with stacking the shapes ,today I will be posting a DIY montessori toy which will aid the baby to learn shapes .

Materials Required

Cardboard

Glue gun

Straw

Foam

Scissors

White paper

How to

Cut the card board into any shape as you desire I have made a square cardboard.Cut two pieces and glue them together for a stronger base.

Cut the straw with the help of a knife into equal pieces ,I have kept the middle one bigger but you can keep it of same length as others.

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Paste a white paper on the base so that the colours and shape will come out.The colour of card board is little dull

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Glue the straw pieces on all the sides and the middle with the help of a hot glue gun.

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Cut the foam in various shapes you desire.You can use different colour foams for different shapes as well.

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Cut a circle of a size bigger than the straw opening so that the stacking and removing will be easier.

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Put one size as sample in each straw, you can paste is as well, it will make the base more stronger.

How to introduce it to the toddler-

Don’t expect your baby to learn it in a day or two be patient.Introduce the child to stacking the shapes in the straw first .Once they can stack it in the straw give them the shapes one by one in order and prompt them to put it in right straw.Le them enjoy while you do it for them in the beginning and in no time they will learn to stack the different shapes in respective straws.

My baby is currently 14 months old and stacks the shape in no rhyme and order.He simply enjoys putting it in the straw.

Hope you enjoyed this DIY in the montessori toy series.

Montessori Toy Series -DIY Colour Wheel

Now that my baby is already one and shows lot of curiosity to learn I decided to make some toys which he can enjoy at the same time learn new things.This one is Colour wheel and the easiest that I could have ever thought of.

Materials required

Cardboard

Glue

Scissors

clothespins

acrylic colours

A4Size white paper

How to 

I have identified some basic bright colours that catches babies attention and are easily identified by them as this is the first stage of colour recognition ,later on more colours can be added but to keep it simple I have used only four bright colours.

Cut The cardboard into a circle ,I have used two and pasted them to make it stronger.

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Paste the A4 Size paper and cut it to cover the whole cardboard in a circle.Paste it on both the side as we will colour both the sides.

Divide sections to be coloured.

Start Colouring the sections and make sure you colour the same section with colour on the opposite side as well.

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Take clothespins and colour them with the colour matching the one on the wheel.I have coloured only two clothespin each for the colours, you can make more.

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How to introduce it to the toddler

First You need to play it by loudly telling the colours you have matched the clothespins with in the wheel.

Let your baby learn to clip the clothespins first matching can come later.

The more you do ,more the baby will learn how to match and can differentiate the colours and will gradually start identifying.

This is my DIY series of Montessori toys that I will be doing for my baby who is currently almost 14 months old.Watch the section for more Fun DIY Montessori toys.

YOUTUBE Kids-Need of the hour or just a way to glamourise the addiction

Google recently launched one of the app for kids- Youtube Kids for kids between 2-10 years.This app majorily provides solution to the parents who are fighting the battle of parental control over their kids internet addictions.Not that it will help in getting rid of the addiction but at least the content the kids watch can be controlled.

You tube kids comes with many feature which was the need of the hour with increased exposure of kids to technology from an early age.My one year old loves to babble with siri,we take it lightly and make fun but deep down I know it will be so difficult for me to keep him away from the phone or tab, not because he is showing interest but because I am addicted to my phone.He is going to take it from me.He thinks its quite normal to constantly gaze the phone as everyone around does that.I am going to have a hard time I know but for now lets discuss about this particular app.

You Tube Kids has a parental control where you can set limit ,You can set timer which will limit the kids viewing time after which the app stops working.This is a great feature this can be used for rewarding the kids by increasing the time in exchange with good behaviour or grades etc.Another feature of parental control is that the search button can be disabled; which can limit the exposure of the kids to wider space.This is an amazing feature specially for Kids of younger age group.To access setting passcode is required which the parents can set, this will add as a double security for older kids.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_2c9fThe you tube app has its own censorship where words like sex,nude,violence,murder will result in “try searching for something else”.But google warns parents still to keep a parental control as it is automated and search can be wider than the obvious search terms.

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Lets throw some light to the advertisement part.The google said that the app could not be advertisement free as they are providing the app for free hence to incur the cost,they need revenue from the advertisement.The kids are the most vulnerable target for any marketer as they believe what they see, parents will have a hard time in this matter.

Coming back to my concern of over exposure of kids to gadgets and addiction.This app will help the parents fight their kids addiction upto a large extent.But lets talk about a real life scenario where you hand over a 3 year old your phone so that he stop throwing the tantrum and gets busy.Aren’t we making a generation dependent on gadgets which only knows how to play football over phone.The solution is with us, as a parent it is our duty to make our kids understand the beauty of each and everything they come across.A phone, tab,laptop should not take the maximum time of their day, they should appreciate other things around them like playing with friends in the evening to borrowing books from the library.Lets make a better generation not an over dependent one.

Leaving you with the image which rightly explains what I wanted to convey You tube kid did it beautifully “handling you the controls”

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BABY WALKER -AID OR DAMAGE, A MOM’S HONEST OPINION…

Does walker really aid in walking ….As a parent all we want is anything we offer to our baby should not cause any danger.Everyone wonders why  I haven’t bought a baby walker yet ,when I consider buying stuff for my baby as priority.There has been many reasons for me not opting for a walker.Walker does seem like a convenient way of keeping my baby busy but it does come with a cost(not the monetary )

1.When the baby gains mobility and starts walking with support the chances of him meeting with an accident when on walker increases three folds.Hence you can’t rather should not leave your baby unattended in a walker.

2.The walker doesn’t help in achieving the milestone.Yes contrary to the fact it does not. Your baby will start walking when he is ready physically and that completely depends on his speed of achieving milestones which comes naturally.Some baby start walking at 8 months and some at 14 months. Walker has nothing to do with it.

3.For the babies to walk they need to practice and strengthen their upper and lower leg muscles.walker makes their work easy and the desire to practice and strengthen the muscles takes a back seat.

4.Often the baby who are kept in walker skip their developmental milestone like crawling, standing on their own and walking with support and straight away start walking resulting in weak leg muscles.

5.Babies love walker no doubt about it as it makes their job a lot easier and that is what as a parent you want to but if something made easier has a long-term impact on the overall development of the child the short-term happiness should be ignored.

I never thought about all this honestly and was of this opinion that walkers are safe it was only when my baby was 9 months and I started considering one for him.It came to me as a shock a simple gadget that we consider an aid or a thing to play can be so risky and impart a long-term damage to the babies.This damage no wonder is not evident and very well ignored by all of us I guess.That is the reason walkers are so common and whereas a car seat which is a necessity is ignored completely.

Next time you browse for a walker and feel guilty consider some alternatives of walker like a play station table which your baby can drag make sure it has less mobility or for that matter no mobility.

The best will be taking your baby out to a park for some fresh air and walk.I know today it seems difficult with us working and busy lives that we have.but believe me no walker can beat the time you play with the little one his walkie game.If you do it even twice a week that is more than enough. Let your baby cruise freely at the house that builds confidence in them to walk on thier own.This is the time your baby needs supervision almost at all the active time as they can reach out to objects which were earlier out of their reach like a table ,shelf etc so consider baby proofing your house again rather toddler proofing your house.

 

IDEAL TOYS FOR THE FIERCE CRAWLER

 

Since the day my baby started crawling I have been on my toes stopping him is just not possible. The only thing I can do to baby proof my home is to sit with him and play. This was while playing i realised how babies get bored with old toys and are on a look out every time for new things. Well actually I cant afford to buy new toys everyday and don’t have the patience to hide the toys so that it fades away from the memory and is new when introduced again.

So ……..

There are few things that the baby likes and loves to move that’s the main thing baby needs to be on the move to perfect the skill of crawling.My baby did the army crawl for almost a month before he started the real crawl. Army crawl didn’t stop him from exploring he was equally active.The kind of toys which would keep your baby busy during the most active part of his days are the moving toys.Yes the toys need to move as well along with mumma 😉

I have shortlisted few toys which keeps my baby busy and he loves to just move along with these

  1. Balls

Babies at this stage have a special connection with the balls they just love playing.Plastic balls have been something which i have not given to my baby yet as he is teething and takes everything into his mouth literally everything.

These are washable balls which can be washed easily and are super light and hence doesn’t hurt the baby even if you play a little throw to mumma throw to baby game.

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2. Battery operated toys

These are china made toy but I thought these were too interesting as babies at this stage responds to moving toys. These toys are battery operated and are touch sensitive. It dances around the house and changes direction if it touches an object or a wall. My baby loves moving behind it trying to catch it. It keeps the baby busy and active as it changes directions on its own.

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3. Balls with beads

The balls like these make noise while rolled around and babies love to follow it. It has space in between as handle and can be held by babies while playing which gives babies a sort of independence while playing. My baby loves to bang it which i don’t let him. This one has been with him since the time he was like three months old. I use to just rattle it and he use to love the beads falling from one end to another, now that he has grown up he tries to that on his own.

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4. The crawler

This one is by fisher price and is amazing as it runs away when touched. The sound of this toy is very soothing and is not high-pitched unlike the chinese toys. It keeps the baby engaged as baby tries to catch it and it runs away.

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5. Push and Go

Well these are one of my favourites not only they are pocket friendly they keep the baby busy for a longer duration.These push and go comes in all shapes animal cars and are easily available at any other shops.

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I pick these from billing Desk of baby shop where they are kept strategically to be picked .

The list is endless but so far these have been the most useful toys to keep the little crawler engaged for a longer duration.

P.S- Well the fierce crawlers not only loves to play with these but also gives them a good dose of bashing by banging them on the floor N number of times. And the best part is they survive phew!!!!!!!