Dear My Toy Garden friend,
With the weather totally perfect outside this week, I feel the urge to wander. To see what is around the next bend, to explore a new path. Don't you? From your first visit to My Toy Garden, you'll find that our store is a bit different. Here you'll find the Pathways of Wonder. This is the core of the store...it's heart.
There are 7 Pathways of Wonder. I created these based on my years in the classroom observing my students. I taught in some very challenging schools and yet had some students who thrived in spite of tough obstacles. Why? What I saw was those that were successful were so because they had had an opportunity to explore many different areas to see where their natural gifts fell. This is powerful knowledge to have! Rather than be stuck in a box that says you must like crafts because you are a girl or you must like vehicles because you are a boy, we do children a major disservice when we consciously or subconsiously narrow their explorations.
Everyone should have the opportunity to explore all 7 Pathways of Wonder and see what hidden gifts might be discovered! Have you explored all 7? Which one is your gift? Which one is your child's? Are you sure? :-) We look forward to your next wandering in the garden!
A child can never have enough books or music in their life! From the love of language and real world experiences with letters and words to the fine motor skills of turning pages to the bonding that comes from enjoying them together, this is THE most important thing you can give your child.
Puzzles and Patterns
All academic areas have a foundation in patterns. The more your child can explore patterns as part of their play, the stronger their foundation for academic success will be. Some puzzles are open-ended teaching creativity. Others have one path to completion giving problem solving opportunities and self esteem building that come from an excited “I did it!” as the last piece clicks into place.
Future engineers and problem solvers come from those who build with a variety of materials. Your child’s imagination is the only limit to his open-ended play teaching problem solving and creativity.
Through the play of games, we not only learn academic skills but also critical social skills such as sharing, turn taking, problem solving and how to win and lose gracefully. Your child learns skills for making and retaining strong friendships through playing games.
Whether with crayons, pencils, glue or paper or dressing up as a fairy or a firefighter, your child learns to express emotions with this pathway. While academics are important, healthy social emotional development is equally important.
As an infant, your child uses of all their senses as much as possible for brain development. Look for toys that stimulate sight, sound, smells and textures. This leads to science exploration in the older child helping them question and experiment with the world around them.
Active Play Toys
With the lure of electronics calling our children and making our lives easier for the mere moment, you need to make a conscious decision to encourage active play in your child. Obesity is a growing trend in our children that can be reversed with the healthy choices we help foster both in foods we eat and exercise we get.