Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday!

Looking for a great gift to give a special little person who is turning 1 years old? Look no further, I will share with you my top 3 toys that are sure to be loved and more importantly played with over and over.

A big favourite of mine and one of our top sellers at BabyThoughts.ca is the Melissa & Doug Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle. This makes a great first puzzle for little ones because it has large wooden pieces of their favourite farm animals. You can sing along to old Mac Donald while you teach them the names of each of the animals. As well, it is great for their fine motor and cognitive development. It is truly a fantastic first puzzle.

Another big favourite, are the Haba Fantasy Blocks, made in Germany these beautiful and vibrant blocks are sure to inspire little ones to build their own fantasy cities. These blocks will help young children develop their creativity, as well as their cognitive and fine motor skills.

My third choice for a great gift is the Haba Walker Wagon. Hands down this German made, award winner walker is just incredible. It is both beautiful, and so incredibly functional. With its sturdy construction, rubber tires and an adjustable brake, this walker is not only fun but safe. Your little one will love learning how to walk with this wagon.

To see more great toys just right for little ones turning 1, stop by BabyThoughts.ca and choose from our great selection. If you have any questions or need a suggestion send me an email at kzamora@babythoughts.ca

Friday, January 14, 2011

Toy Spotlight - Vilac Vehicles

This week in the spotlight are the beautiful and timeless vehicles from Vilac. Vilac has been making high quality wooden toys for a 100 years. Vilac toys are known for their classic look and feel, specially for their smoothly rounded and high gloss lacquered wooden vehicles. All their lacquered toys are still manufactured in the Jura region of France.

At BabyThoughts we carry a large selection of Vilac vehicles that are sure to be part of your child's toy box for years and are meant to be passed down from child to child as they are incredibly durable and timeless in design. Choose from the vibrant Fire Truck to the mini red and yellow ralley cars.

I absolutely fell in love with these vehicles when I saw them, they are just so elegant, modern and chic . They are not cheap plastic cars that you know you can't wait for your child to outgrow so that you can put them away. You will never want to hide these cars and I have no doubt that your little one will always go back to playing with them.

If you know a child that just loves cars, than I highly recommend the Vilac vehicles, you really can't go wrong. After all, Vilac has been in the toy making industry for a 100 years, you can be sure that not only are you getting top craftsmanship but that they will be loved by children.

Visit BabyThoughts.ca to see our Vilac Vehicle collection!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Toy Spotlight - Melissa & Doug Magnetic Mazes

I have to say that these mazes have become one of my new favourite toys, mostly because it keeps my 5 year old daughter entertained for hours, but also because they are great teaching tools and just as important they aid in the development of her fine motor skills.

The two available at BabyThoughts.ca are the Magnetic Colour Maze and the Magnetic Number Maze. The object of the game is that the child must use the magnetic wand to move the balls to the correct location.

In the Magnetic Colour Maze, the child must fill the bellies of the animals with the correct coloured balls. It is a fun way for young ones to learn their colours, learn about sorting, problem solving and even counting.

With the Magnetic Number Maze, the child fills the baskets of each animal with the correct number of fruits. It is a great toy for children to learn number recognition, counting and sorting. As well it helps them develop and improve their fine motor skills. You can also use this game to introduce addition and subtraction by having them add or remove fruits from a particular basket and asking them to count how many are left.

Another great feature about these toys is that they make fantastic travel toys, as they are small, lightweight and everything is contained behind an acrylic cover.

Overall a great toy given that not only will it keep your child entertained but it is also a great teaching tool.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top Baby Gifts

I often get asked what toy I would recommend as a gift for a baby, I can tell you that over these past years a few have really stood out to me as fantastic gifts that are loved by both babies and parents.

My most favourite toy that is adored by little ones and makes the lives of parents so much easier is the Manhattan Toy Whoozit. This toy has won numerous awards, for very good reasons. It has many features that babies love; from the bright and high contrast colours and patterns, the different sounds it makes, to the perfect shape just right for little fingers to grab on to. Whether you get the big Whoozit or the Baby Whoozit this toy is sure to go everywhere baby goes.

Another great toy from Manhattan Toy that makes a fantastic gift which parents will thank you for, is the Wimmer Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile. This mobile is our best seller and for very good reasons, babies are mesmerized by the pictures in the cards. Each card has an image on both sides, one side is in black and white which is perfect for young babies who can only see high contrast images. While the other side of the card is more colourful to keep older babies entertained. Given its small size and lightweight materials, it travels well and can be used in multiple places such as a bassinet, a playpen and even some strollers.

A third toy that makes a fantastic gift, are the Wimmer Ferguson Mind Shapes, these vibrant shapes encourage babies to look, touch, and listen. Each easy-to-carry shape has a noisemaker and a medley of research-correct graphics & textures. This toy also grows with baby as they can be used to teach them about shapes, colours, textures and sounds.

If you are looking for a great gift for a newborn take a look at the three listed above, all three toys will certainly be loved and played with.