WOW! Day One at the Toy Fair, and is it ever exhilarating! There are so many ingenious people out here, it just makes your mind spin. The love of children and what they do shines through each and every one of the vendors present. The ones that especially touch our hearts are the educational vendors who are leading the way through the use of technology. Technology is no longer something you sit and play with in front of a screen but now anchors you to the here and now by tying in practical life skills. By using multi-sensory systems, it brings together the body and mind like never before. Here are just a few highlights from Toy Fair 2016 Day One! Rebecca Klemm from Numbers Alive was at the Play Fair. The Play Fair is an extension of the Toy Fair this year, where families could come out and interact with all the cool new toys. Rebecca let us play with her awesome shapes, puzzles, and other new number toys. Please check out her website for more info and our review of the Numbers Alive app/book/manipulatives. GoldieBlox was our next visit. If you haven't heard about them, they are the ones to have single handedly engaged and empowered girls through the magic of engineering. The message is girls CAN do, and do it well. They have set for building dunk tanks, a zip line, race cars, rockets, and even a movie machine while reinforcing concepts of engineering and construction. The best part of the GoldiBlox world is that these sets are affordable. They're cool, sassy, and unstoppable in giving girls the opportunity to show their know-how. We've written a lot about Wonder Workshop's - Dash and Dot, and seeing them live in action amongst their peers, is amazing. These little balls of fire teach programming and robotics and contain all the props to make it fresh and new with every play or encounter. We had a sneak peek at Dash's cousin, and is he ever cute, all decked out in purple and white. Playing with them makes the lessons real, and the results of a child's planned actions are immediate. There is a tremendous support from this developer for the educational community which makes these little robots a star in any classroom. Last but not least is Edwin the Duck. What can I say? I LOVE him. He is not just a bath toy, but someone a toddler can embrace as a friend who is always there ready to lend comfort and learning. Edwin teaches young ones basic concepts through app play. Most importantly, he helps kids learn how to calm which is a core skill needed for self-regulation. The ability to self-regulate will set a child up to be eager and ready to learn. And as we know a confident and a secure child, is one that sees possibilities in all things. Stay tuned for Day 2, with the marvelous and brilliant MARBOTICS, STICKBOTS, and a few others!
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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