Monday, January 30, 2012's Weekly Toy Box

Get up to 40% off on the toys for the week of Jan 30, 2012.

reg $24.95 now $14.97

reg $31.95 now $22.37

Activity Farm from Vilac
reg $49.95 now $34.97

Friday, January 27, 2012

Toy Spotlight - Bajo Large Wooden Cars

This week in the Toy Spotlight, I wanted to talk about the large wooden cars from Bajo. I have talked about the Bajo cars here before, but today I wanted to focus on the large wooden vehicles in the collection.

The Bajo line of toys was started in 1993 by Wojciech Bajor, an architect and set designer who believes that playing with a good wooden toy enables the real world to sink into a child's consciousness. What I love about all the Bajo cars is that they have such clean and organic lines that they can become whatever car or vehicle the child wants it to be. They are not limited in what they can be and this allows the child to make believe that it is anything. It can be a race car one day and a tractor another.

It is also not limited to where and how the child plays with it, due to the fact that it is wood and has almost no metal parts, they can be played in the bath, outside in the mud or the sand, they can be decorated with stickers or painted.

All the large Bajo cars are recommended for 2 years and up, perfect for little hands and for toddlers that are starting to develop their imaginative and creative play.

One of my favourite of the large vehicles is the Large Tow Truck, I find it so much fun to play with because you can really tow things. Not just other Bajo cars (which you can) but anything that you can wrap the little rope around works too. As I said all the Large Bajo Cars can be towed by the Large Tow Truck, and if you have the little cars, they can also be towed, you just have to wrap the rope around the hole.

I am very excited to be carrying the Bajo Wooden Car collection and I invite you to stop by and check them out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dolls are for Boys and Girls!

Last week, I was having a conversation with an acquaintance who has a son that is a couple of months younger than my sixteen month old. We were talking about the kids and what they where doing. Somehow we started talking about what they were playing and what their favourite toys were, when she tells me that she doesn't let her son play with dolls or with play food. I asked her why, given that all children love to play with both these things and the benefits that they get from playing with them is quite significant.

Her answer just floored me, she told me that she did not want her son to be girly, she said something about not wanting him to turn out...(I cannot repeat what she said). I was in shock. Speechless. I could not believe that I was talking to an educated woman in 2012.

Being a mother of two daughters, I certainly don't know what it is like to raise a son, but I do know what it is like to have to deal with people's/society's/family's belief of what little girls should play with. We have always exposed our girls to all kinds of toys and have allowed them to choose what they like to play with, no toy is girly or boyish. It is just a toy.

This is the same belief we have when choosing toys at, when I bring in a new toy, my number one criteria is the play value to the child. It is the reason why we do not have a search by gender option, because toys are not gender specific. I do recognize that children will gravitate towards certain toys, but this does not mean that parents should not expose their children to all kinds of toys, from trucks to dollhouses and let them see what they enjoy playing with.

Get your little girl a big Tonka truck and see how she just loves transporting her toys from one place to another in it. As well, if you have a little boy, get them a doll or a stuffed animal and some play food and see how they take care of them, making them special food, taking them for a walk, 'reading' to them and putting them to sleep.

The developmental benefit of imaginative play toys such as cars, play food, and dolls is that it enables children to develop their social and emotional skills. They are able to re-enact real life experiences through play, allowing them a safe place for them to make sense of their world and their day to day life. Click here for a great article on Doll Play and how it teaches valuable life lessons.

What are your thoughts on 'girly/boyish' toys? Does your son love to play with dolls? Does your little girl love her car collection?

Monday, January 16, 2012's Weekly Toy Box

Up to 40% off on toys in the Toy Box the week of January 16, 2012:

Haba Splish Splash Playmat
reg $145.95 now $102.17

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Number Maze
reg $19.95 now $12.97

Plan Toys Stacking Clown
reg $24.95 now $14.97

Friday, January 13, 2012

Toy Spotlight - Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson Collection

If you have a newborn in your life and you are wondering what to get them, you don't have to look further then any of the amazing toys from the Wimmer Ferguson collection.

This award winning collection of toys, are specifically designed with newborns in mind, they have black and white, simple pictures of faces and things, as well as different textured fabrics and sounds. All these promote the development of a newborn's sense of sight, touch and hearing.

The Collection includes:

Wimmer Ferguson Car Seat Gallery

This great Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson toy has ten reversible cards with both black-and-white and coulor research-correct graphics help babies discover light/dark contrast and begin recognizing patterns.

Hook-and-loop strap easily attaches to either front-or rear-facing car seats.

Wimmer Ferguson Mind Shapes

These vibrant shapes from Manhattan Toy encourage babies to look, touch, and listen. Each easy-to-carry shape has a noisemaker and a medley of research-correct graphics & textures.

Wimmer Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile

This award-winning mobile from Manhattan Toy features vivid color and bold black-and-white images. Simple-to-complex images stimulate early visual activity and pre-reaching movement.

Wimmer Ferguson Crawl & Discover Mat

Many features for baby to discover, including flaps with reverse prin t graphics, fun textures and crinkle paper, plus a removable mirror, teethers and a pocket with a star shaped ring attached.

Wimmer Ferguson 3-in-1 Triangle

This toy transforms from a tummy time playmat to a triangle with the use of in so many ways!

Can even be stuck to a magnetic surface for playtime.

Includes a mirror, peek-a-boo flaps, crinkle paper, attachment ribbons, teether and squeaker.

Makes a great item that baby will enjoy at home or traveling!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Toy Spotlight - Walking Toys

We are currently on a mission to get our 16 month old to walk. Our first born walked at 13 months, so like typical parents we think it is time that she got moving. She has no problem standing up on her own and even walking while holding our hands but she just wont let go and take steps all on her own.

This got me thinking about toys that promote or help little ones to walk, we have the Playschool Walk and Ride toy, but I find that as soon as she hits a wall or runs into an obstacle she looses interest and leaves it discarded. I also have a Tiny Love pull toy, whose name I don't remember and bought with such high hopes for my first born, but was a complete fail. It was incredibly loud as it moved and part of it was made up of fabric that would pick up every little bit of dirt and was a pain to wash. I am a big fan of Tiny Love but this toy was not their best.

After evaluating our current personal selection of walking toys, I started to take a look at what was available at At the walking stage that Scarlett is at, I believe that the best option is one of the Selecta push toys, the main reason being that it will encourage her to stay standing and walk in order to enjoy the toy. It's also light enough that she can manipulate it around corners, furniture and other toys, and most importantly it is made of wood which can be easily cleaned, given that she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth.

If your little one has mastered the art of walking, then they will enjoy the pull toys. My favourites are the Selecta Nico and the Plan Toys Dancing Alligator, and Sorting Bus. All three are made of wood and painted with child safe paints which make them very easy to clean after they have been played with. They each are the right size for little ones to pull them and to also enjoy them while on the floor or with other toys. The Plan Toys Sorting Bus is also a shape sorter which makes it a multi-purpose toy because it can be enjoyed by babies who are not walking yet or toddlers who are starting to learn their shapes and colours.

What was or is your child's favourite walking toy? Let us know, perhaps it was not a toy at all.

This weekend only (Jan 6-8), get 15% off our entire collection of Push & Pull Toys!

Use code PUSHPULL15 at checkout.

Monday, January 2, 2012