I’ll be on the Today Show next Tuesday, October 2nd, to kick off the toyportfolio.com Awards for 2012. We have a very full list this year with great choices for every age and every budget.
Our first focus of the season: Best Educational Toys.
The school year is in full swing and you may already be aware of where your kids are having trouble.
Our mission: Find games and toys that your children will enjoy…while at the same time reinforce skills they’ll need in school. If the product is boring, they do not make our list. After all, if a product is touted as being soooo good for you but no one wants to play it, what’s the point?
Tips to Keep in Mind:
Playful Math. Playing with numbers goes a long way to making kids feel comfortable with math. We found games that deliver big time without making anyone break out in a sweat.
I Can’t Do That! Learning how to work through frustration is also an important key of becoming a great student. When kids work on a construction set or craft kit with step-by-step instructions, it gives them a “fun” way to build on this all important skill. The trick is to find projects that are not too overwhelming. Our advice: start small, build their sense of confidence. Bringing home the BIG kit may seem like you’re being the best parent, but it’s not necessarily the way to start.
Reading, Reading, Everywhere – We know that reading at the end of day with your kids is terrific, but don’t stop there. You can also “read” together when you play games or work on a kit together. Rather than speed through all the instructions, give your new reader the opportunity to read the next step. It may take some extra time, but it’s worth it.
Cooperation – Learning how to work in a group is also an important school skill (and life skill). There are many new games on our list that promote cooperative play. While we had some parents resist these games at first, their kids loved them! (Maybe we should send some of these games to Congress.)
So tune in on Tuesday!