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K-5th Grade
5th-7th Grade
I keep seeing award stickers on toy packages. If I buy a toy that has an award sticker on the box does that mean other similar toys are not as good? What guidelines can I follow for choosing a good toy?

Lauren, Miami, FL
Mom of Rachel (7), Sofi (6) and Naomi (2)
Use them as a guide and follow 3 easy steps before making a decision on what to buy?

1.Analyze: What does the child have already? (Stacks of board games, tubs of building blocks, shelves of books) Take a quick INVENTORY of your child’s collection and see if there is a type of toy missing from the playroom. A new kind of toy will trigger interest and intrigue once opened!
2.Simplify- Parents “think” kids need a lot of toys, then regret having so many around the house! It is best to have a variety of TOY TYPES, so a child uses a range of developmental skills.
3.Magnify: It is imperative that toys are chosen which are age-appropriate and are of interest to a child. Choose toys that "MAGNIFY’ a child’s current skills and challenges those they need to work on.


Science Toys
By: Marianne M. Szymanski
President, Toy Tips, Inc.

What are science toys?

Science toys are individual toys or elaborate kits that allow a child to encourage exploring, discovery, geography, environments, experiments, how and why things work, magnetic fields, the study of space, insects, gravity, chemistry, the laws of physics, the study of weather, human anatomy, the science of the five senses, electricity, planets and weight.

Tips for buying science toys:

  • For parents: Prepare to offer adult supervision if necessary
  • For teachers: Buy science toys for use in the classroom with a particular lesson
  • Buy toys or kits that include all pieces. If they don’t , make sure to buy all the additional tools necessary for the child to get started right away or help the child shop for them.

What do science toys teach a child?

  • Allow children to use thinking skills, deductive reasoning, logic and imagination.
  • To use fine motor skills for experiments and discovery
  • Social interaction with other children when experiments are conducted as a group.

At what age is it appropriate to introduce science toys to a child?

  • When the child shows an interest. Be sure the child understands how to use the toy.
  • To enhance learning or expand on science lessons taught in school

When shopping, what are the best types of science toys to look for:

  • Mulitple experiment science kits that allow a child to explore imagination and independent learning with more than one experiment in a specific study.
  • Individual toys that teach one specific technique of science so a child may concentrate on learning and studying one specific science-related idea.


How To...

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