Kids + Toys (Educational + Fun) = Future Innovators

Category Archives: Kids Puzzles

Here in Vermont, Winter Break is about to start. Some of you will be traveling, some will be staying home. Turner Toys & Hobbies has products to make Winter Break fun and maybe even educational!

If you are traveling bring along an Eni Puzzle. Eni Puzzles are a great “fidget” puzzle toy with lots of possible solutions and great for spatial relation skills. They come in a small keychain size (which can clip onto a backpack or school bag)

Eni Keychain Puzzle

Eni Keychain Puzzle

 

Eni Brainteaser Puzzle

Mini Eni Puzzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a slightly larger “Mini” size. Each is available in two different colors.

 

                                                                                                                                                                   Woodkins are also great for traveling. A modern twist on dress up dolls – Woodkins consist of a hinged wooden frame with a two dimensional image of a fairy, princess or kid on the bottom half and a matching outline on the top half. Woodkins dress up dollKids arrange the supplied fabric pieces to create outfits on the bottom half and then close the top half to see the completed outfit. They are quiet, don’t require batteries and can keep kids occupied for hours.

If you are staying home vacation can be a great time for some together time. Puzzles are a great family activity and we have a wide range from colorful jungle frogs Ravensburger Friendly Frog Puzzle for kids

to a 3000 piece world map (circa 1665).

Ravensburger 3000 piece puzzle

Ravensburger 12557 Leaning Tower of Pisa IIWe also have 3-D puzzles of famous landmarks including The Empire State Building, Big Ben and The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

 

Learning doesn’t have to stop just because its vacation time. We have science kits from Science Wiz that cover Chemistry, Electricity, Energy, Inventions, Light and Physics. Each kit includes materials, a book with experiments and background information plus access to more experiments and lessons on the web. These kits have been favorites with our customers.

Science Wiz Physics

 What toys have you found entertaining, educational (or both!) during past vacations?

 

 


10_15boygiftSomeone just asked me about good gifts for 10-15 year old boys.   I thought it might be helpful to think about it in terms of their personalities. 

Here are three types of boys I know:

Creator  (C)

  • Likes finding solutions for different kinds of “problems.” A Rube Goldberg type.  Learns, experiments, builds.  Might like blocks, mazes, marble runs or planes and rockets that they can design or tweak for different performance effects.

Sprinter (S)

  • Doesn’t necessarily want to devote a lot of time to an activity – maybe 10 minutes here and there.  Short bursts of concentration but likes to practice things over and over to master a skill.  Might like brainteasers, yo-yos, tops or ready-to-fly rockets and planes.

Tinkerer (T)

  • Likes to use his hands to build things, tweaks them to improve performance.  Can spend lots of time (hours, days) on a project.  Might like advanced rocket and balsa airplane kits that require precision cutting, glueing and painting.  Might like 3D puzzles or puzzles that require a lot of patience.

Here are 6 types of gifts for 10-15 year old boys who are Creators, Sprinters & Tinkerers

1.  Brainteaser Puzzles  (S)

The most jaded tween or teen likes brainteasers.  This is great for kids who want to fiddle with something for a short while and come back to it later – or fiddle with it all day. Here are four popular puzzles:

 

 

  • Mini Eni Puzzle – a great hand-held one-piece puzzle that kids can take with them, attach it to their backpacks.  Great for fidget toy.
  • Logiq Tower    – this wooden puzzle has more than 22,000 possible solutions.
  • Soma Cube –  wooden cube puzzle with only 1 solution

2. Rockets  (C) (S) (T)

I can’t tell you how many dads we meet who practically get misty-eyed when they see that we carry Estes rockets.  Their love of rocketry started when they were kids.  If your family hasn’t tried rockets, maybe this is the time – a father-son activity?

Estes 1403 Riptide Model Rocket

Riptide RTF Rocket

Sprinters (or novices) need a ready-to-fly, or RTF, rocket that requires almost no assembly with a launch set like the Riptide. (S)

Estes High Flier Model Rocket

Estes High Flier High Altitude Model Rocket

Creators and Tinkerers will like anything E2X & beyond (though start with the easier levels if your child is a novice).  The High Flier Model Rocket Kit  is a Level 1 skill level and flies up to 1500 feet.  It needs some assembly and painting and a launch set if you don’t have it. (C) (T)

For more information about rockets, please see my earlier posts:  Unplug your kids! and Model Rockets.  Feel free to call or email us if you’d like specific guidance.

3.  Building Toys (C)

The creator will take the basic units of these sets, add in stunts and then create all kinds of amazing contraptions or layouts that would make Rube Goldberg proud. Check out the videos!

Crazy Wall Coaster

I talked about this in my Kid Inventor post.  The Wall Coaster is basically a marble run that you attach to a wall and reposition as you experiment.  Also comes with stunt sets that make it that much more fun:

Q-Ba-Maze Big Box Set

Interlocking plastic cubes make this a 3D maze and marble run – physics & art in one set.  There are three types of cubes: hole in the center, one to the side, or two to the side.  Experiment with how the marbles run through the maze.  Use multiple marbles at once.  Only made more fun with stunt add-ons like vortexes, tubes, pivot trampoline & more:

4.  Flying toys  (C) (S) (T)

Is the boy is into planes and flight?  There are all kinds of planes and kits that will appeal to Creators, Sprinters and Tinkerers.

 

 

  • The Guillows Airplane Design Studio lets you design and build your own airplanes, biplanes, gliders. Comes with enough supplies to build 4 motorplanes and 4 gliders. (C) (T)

There are lots of other ready-to-fly planes that will appeal to both Sprinters & Tinkerers.  These are all rubber-powered (not radio-controlled) and many require little assembly but can be tweaked for enhanced performance.  (S) (T)

 

 

  • The P-51 Mustang requires minimal assembly and is rubber-launched. It loops, dives and flies great.  Can be tweaked for different flight patterns. (S)
  • The G36 Catapult Glider has 12″ wingspan and piggy-backed “Space Shuttle”. Great for learning basics of catapault launched gliding. Wing and stabilizer position can be adjusted so you can experiment with different settings. Assembly and flying requires careful reading of instructions, some dexterity & skill. (T)

Balsa airplane kits will appeal to Tinkerers. They require patience and dexterity, to.o

  • The Cadet Model Airplane Kit  Recommended age 10+. Build-time: 4 hours. Requires use of simple tools such as Exacto knife, pliers and artist’s brush. One of the first teaching designs when created in the 1940’s, this is the simplest model using stick-and-tissue construction. (T)
  • The Balsa Model Spitfire is recommended for ages 12+  Wingspan: 27″.  Rubber powered but can be converted to gas power. Requires a lot of attention to detail & patience! (T)

I’m partial to Ornithopters because I think they’re really cool.  They’re mechanical devices that fly by flapping their wings.

 

 

5.  2D & 3D puzzles (T)

 

 

Check out our Gift Guide to Puzzles – it includes puzzles for older kids.  Ravensburger’s 3D series of famous landmarks is fun – and take several hours to build.  Try the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Empire State Building.  Or, try a 1500 or 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle or something devilish like the Krypt 654 piece Blank Puzzle. No image – just a uniform slate gray surface which includes a circular design.

6.  Tops & Yo-Yos (S)

Tops and yo-yos are classic toys and are great for kids who want to do something with their hands, master skills and reach for the next skill level.

For beginners, you can’t go wrong with the Wooden Throwing Top or the Trompos Saturn Top.

For more advanced throwers, try the Blizzard.  It spins smoothly on carpet, pavement, palm of the hand, or other rough surface. 

Why not pair a yo-yo with the Yomega Mania DVD?

The Yomega Brain is great for beginners.  The Yomega Raider is for more advanced users.

Hope this helps you think about what your Creator, Sprinter or Tinkerer might like.  You can always email or call us if you’d like help sorting out some of these choices.

 


Puzzles are a great gift for the holidays.   My dad would always give us puzzles for Christmas. He didn’t make it easy for us – he would give us the puzzle in a plastic bag and hide the box so we wouldn’t know what the puzzle image was.  You wouldn’t do that to your child, would you?

giftguidepuzzle

You know all the developmental benefits of puzzle play –  children develop shape and color recognition, develop fine motor skills and critical visual and spatial skills – so start children playing with puzzles when they are young!

It’s hard to choose a favorite puzzle out of so many great ones.  See Turner Toys’ puzzles for toddlers and puzzles for older kids and adults to get an idea of how many great puzzles there are.

Puzzles for Kids from Toddlers to Teens

Toddlers

1. Block puzzles

Kids Puzzle Forest Friends Block Puzzle Mudpuppy’s Forest Friends Block Puzzle features parent and baby animals. Puzzle images are owls, raccoons, deer, foxes, brown bears and squirrels. Each block puzzle includes 9 2″ cubes that form 6 different puzzle pictures or can be used as stacking blocks.  They come in a sturdy box with a sliding drawer for storage!

Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 3 and up. $14.99  Winner iParenting Excellent Product Award and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award.

2. Jumbo Puzzles

Dinosaur Jumbo Puzzle MudpuppyYour child’s first jigsaw puzzle!!  Jumbo puzzles are floor puzzles with large pieces for little hands.  Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?  The Dinosaur Jumbo Puzzle from Mudpuppy features a colorful prehistoric landscape populated by dinosaurs great and small. A great way to spend some together time with your child!  

25 piece puzzle measures 22 inches square when completed. Puzzle greyboard contains 90% recycled paper. Printed with non toxic soy based inks. Packaged in sturdy reusable box with a rope handle. Ages 2 and up.  $14.99

3.  Board Puzzles

Maple Landmark Maisy Wooden PuzzleThese puzzles are made of sturdy hardwood so they’ll stand up to years of play.  I can’t decide which one is my favorite but since it’s the holiday season, here’s Maisy’s Presents.  Maisy and her friend Tallulah spread holiday cheer delivering presents to their friends. Based on the picture book series created by British author & illustrator Lucy Cousins. 20-pc Wooden Puzzle. Made in USA.  Ages 3 & up. $19.99

4. Shaped Wooden Puzzles

BeginAgain Butterfly Wooden Alphabet Puzzle for kidsI‘ve included a separate entry for wooden puzzles like this Wooden Butterfly Alphabet Puzzle. This is one of a series of chunky wooden puzzles from BeginAgain that are beautiful to the touch and beautiful to look at – heirloom quality puzzles.  This Butterfly puzzle teaches capital letters, colors, problem solving and improve your child’s fine motor skills. There are capital letters on one side and lower case letters on the other.  The color stains are child safe and the puzzles are made from rubberwood, an environmentally friendly hardwood. Puzzle measures 18″ x 5″ x 1″. For ages 3 +  $31.99

5. Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are classic puzzles and there are great options for kids, tweens, teens & adults.  Puzzles are a great way to create “together” time where kids and parents work on a project together.

Preschoolers

Mudpuppy Horses 42 piece puzzle for kidsThe 42-piece Horses puzzle from Mudpuppy has been one of our most popular jigsaw puzzles. The puzzle forms a 16″ square when completed and comes in a sturdy 5″ cube box with a colorful rope handle. Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 3 and up. $11.99

 

Children 5-8

Around the World Kids PuzzleI like the Around the World Puzzle because it’s a great way to talk about geography and different cultures. The 63 Piece Puzzle forms a 18″ x 14″ puzzle when completed and comes in a sturdy 6″ high x 5″ diameter canister with a colorful rope handle.   Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 6 and up.  Winner of iParenting Excellent Product Award. $14.99

Children 8+

Ravensburger Friendly Frog Puzzle for kids I love the Friendly Frogs puzzle from Ravensburger because of its amazing graphics.  I used to work at the Rainforest Alliance and frogs are a big part of the rainforest ecosystem. Completed puzzle measures 19.5″ x 14.25″.  Ravensburger is the premier puzzlemaker and you can be assured of great quality. Ages 9+ $13.49

Tweens-Teens (and Adults!)

6. 3D Puzzles

Great for kids 8+!  Adults, too!  I spent 3 1/2 hours building Big Ben – and loved every moment. I’ve seen middle-school kids get together and spend 2 hours working together to build it. There’s a reason that the Ravensburger 3D landmark puzzles are popular.

Ravensburger Eiffel Tower 3D puzzleMy favorite is the Eiffel Tower 3D puzzleIt has 216 pieces and stands 17.3 inches when built. Hinged plastic pieces form the corners making the finished puzzle quite sturdy – no glue is required for assembly. Ages 8 and up.  Winner of the National Parenting Publications Award (Gold) & Parents’ Choice Award. $26.99

 

 

 

Ravensburger ball globe puzzle

Globe Puzzle Ball 270-piece

 Another favorite for children 10-15 years: the Children’s Globe Puzzle Ball.  It’s a great geography tool. This  270-piece comes with a stand and forms a smooth ball when completed.  No glue needed. $25.99

7. Brainteaser Puzzles

This is a broad category that includes tangrams and 3-D brainteasers like the Eni Puzzle and Logiq Tower.   The Mini Eni Puzzle is featured in the Schwarzenegger & Stallone movie, “Escape Plan”  but you don’t have to be big and brawny to enjoy it!

 Eni Brainteaser Puzzle The Mini Eni Puzzle offers endless solutions as each column has 8 pieces by 8 colors. This puzzle is a perfect travel companion as it requires no batteries, notepads, pens, pencils or electrical outlets. Great for developing hand to eye coordination, simple problem solving skills and spatial relationships. Ages 5 and up. $13.99

Hope this Holiday Guide to puzzles for kids has given you some ideas.  Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season!

 

 

 


The holidays are fast approaching and that means visits from grandchildren!  Many grandparents wonder how they can keep their grandchildren happy and engage with them in ways that don’t include electronics – or a lot of noise!  I always appreciated that my mother-in-law kept toys around for my kids;  toys that survived 2 generations still held appeal for my little ones.   The great thing is that the grandchildren know that you have special toys waiting for them.

7 best toys for grandchildrenWhat are the best toys to have around?  Hint:  you probably played with them when you were a kid!

You don’t need many toys to entertain your grandchildren but you should have:

  • Toys that kids can play with on their own or with very little supervision while you prepare holiday meals, and,
  • Toys that you and your grandchildren can enjoy together

Think about toys that are age-appropriate, safe and high quality.  Quality costs a little more but the toys will be around for a very long time and will be played with by several sets of grandchildren!

Here are 7 must-have toys you should have at home for when your grandchildren visit.

Alphabet Blocks

Uncle Goose Blocks & Wagon

Uncle Goose Blocks & Wagon

For the younger set (2+), look for quality and safe alphabet blocks that children can stack, sort and learn their letters and words.   We love Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks because they are heirloom quality, use safe non-toxic inks and are made in Michigan out of sustainable wood.

Wooden Building Blocks

Wooden blocks are classic toys great for all ages and great learning tools (see my post on Wooden Blocks – Kid Play or Learning?).   Building blocks come in many forms:

  • Basic unit blocks: classic blocks of made of hardwood that won’t warp.  Stack them, create cities – the sky is the limit!
  • Plank blocks from Citiblocs:  again the creative possibilities are endless.  These come in natural and hot and cool colors to add variety to projects.  You can store them in their own cotton sacks.  These appeal to all ages – adults play with them, too!

Specialty blocks for the preschool set:  Fit Together Blocks for kids 1+ that have pegs and recesses so that the blocks stay stacked and Fantasy Blocks a twist on traditional blocks with different colors, patterns and effects.  Story book blocks like Noah’s Ark block set can be a fun way to engage with your grandchild as you share a story.

Marble Track & Specialty Domino Sets

I’m particularly fond of ball track and anything you can experiment with to see cause and effect.   My husband still has his wooden ball track from when he was a kid.  Proof that wooden toys last forever!!  Haba makes a great Ball Track set that can be supplemented with different add-ons like a musical sound effect staircase and the cascade.  You can even get a Ball Track set for preschoolers that will complement the regular ball track when your child is older.

I’m including Haba’s Domino sets here because they hold the same Rube Goldbergian possibilities.  They’re like a combination of marble tracks and racing dominos.  The Domino Basic Building Pack has the wooden domino pieces, along with gears, bells, and other special effects.  To see a video, see my earlier post on why this is the Coolest Domino Set. Ever!  The Wooden Domino Race Set comes with more than 200 dominos, plus some animal dominos and special effects like a bell and a staircase.

Toy made in the USA Roy Toy Log Cabin Toy Set

Roy Toy Log Cabin set

Log Cabin Building Sets

Log Cabin building sets are iconic – especially around the holidays.  We prefer the  Log Cabin Building sets from Roy Toy because they are the only log cabin set still made in the USA!  They have been made in the same family for generations.  What a great value to pass on to your grandchildren. These are made of light-weight sustainably grown Maine pine – no plastic!   Choose from sets made with non-toxic stains and dyes or all-natural (undyed) pieces.  All can be stored in fabric bags or the storage cylinders they come in.

Puzzles

Another classic! Start kids young with age-appropriate puzzles and introduce more complex puzzles as they get older.  Create a holiday puzzle tradition!

For toddlers and preschoolers, look for wooden puzzles like the award-winning Dinosaur Alphabet Puzzle, wooden story book puzzles like the Maisy series from Maple Landmark or block puzzles like Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar set.  (See earlier posts on Kids Puzzles and Classic Story Book Puzzles).

 

 

 

 

 

 

As they get a bit older, they’re ready for regular jigsaw puzzles. Thomas the Tank Engine puzzles are a favorite with the preschool set!

Mudpuppy makes award-winning puzzles (42-, 63- and 100-pieces) for children with themes like monsters, tea parties and dinosaurs – they come in great storage boxes, too!   Ravensburger makes timeless jigsaw puzzles for all ages including adults!  Puzzles range from 24 to 3000 pieces and 3D puzzles like the award-winning 3D Eiffel Tower puzzle.

Wooden Trains

Wooden Trains – another timeless toy.  Look for well-made wooden track that is compatible with different trains like Thomas and Brio.  Wooden track that is made in USA is recommended.  Maple Landmark’s track is made in Vermont from sustainably-grown wood.   Quality is important to make sure that the pieces still fit together over time.  You can store track pieces in a plastic bin and you are all set!

Classic Toys

Why not introduce your grandchildren to classic toys like a Jacob’s Ladder, marbles and jacks, Slinkys and balsa airplanes.

Have you noticed a theme here?   The best toys to have around for grandchildren visits are classic and traditional toys.  They appeal to generation after generation and, if they are quality-made, they last for ages.  These toys will entertain all children.  Plus, you can get down on the floor and play with them!!

What toys do your grandchildren love to play with when they visit you?

 

 

 

 

 


Made in USA Toy SaleTo honor American workers this Labor Day, we’re offering one of our best sales ever:

20% off Made in USA toys

I noticed that some big toy makers and toy stores are having sales this weekend but I noticed that they didn’t mention anything about American-made products.  Then it dawned on me – it’s because they don’t sell anything that’s made in USA!

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According to the US Department of Labor:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

So let’s celebrate the wonderful craftsmanship of US toymakers!   Use code LABORDAY at checkout. Choose from among:

 

Sale through September 3rd. We carry other fine made in USA toys and furniture but are unable to include them in this sale.  Sale excludes Vermont Dory, Mountain Boy Sleds, Little Colorado Furniture.

Remember that when you buy American made toys you are supporting your neighbors and contributing to a strong US economy!

Please check out these groups support Made in USA:

Made in USA Challenge

Buy Direct USA

For more information on the value of buying made in USA, please read my earlier posts:  Toys Made in USA, Made in America Toys – At What Price? and Made in USA Still Matters according to Businessweek.

Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


best preschool toys for homeschoolers

School starts next week in Vermont.  Has your family already gone “back to school”? The learning never stops for homeschoolers but this is a good time to revisit the best preschool toys for your home classroom (or any classroom!).   Here are some of my favorite learning toys for preschoolers.

What are the best preschool toys for homeschoolers?

At this age, children are learning their alphabet, reading, strengthening fine motor and other skills and problem solving.  They are learning through play.  Guided but open-ended play are a must.  PBS Kids has a great grade-by-grade learning guide.  Here’s the one for Preschool.

  • Blocks – alphabet and unit.  So critical to a host of learning skills – especially spatial skills. A recent study showed how spatial skills are a great indicator of how creative or innovative a child will be later in life – more so than math or verbal skills.
  • Puzzles – any are great for multiple types of learning (fine motor, visual, spatial, cognitive) and can supplement other areas of learning such as reading and math.  Pattern & memory games are all great options at this age.

    Maisy Harvest toddler wooden puzzle

    Maisy Harvest Wooden Puzzle

  • Manipulative toys are more than just fine motor toys. They can be used for color & shape recognition, math, story telling & more.
  • Art materials – any drawing, painting, or other art activity!  Having the appropriate materials and area in your home is key to your organization and sanity!
  • Play Kitchens & other furniture  Children like to imitate the work of the adults around them.  Wooden play kitchens and furniture nurture this.

Alphabet & Unit Blocks Uncle Goose Classic Alphabet Blocks

With block play, the learning possibilities are endless.  Our Uncle Goose alphabet blocks are made in the USA and even come in different languages!   English, Greek, Chinese, Korean and Arabic.  A great way to practice spelling and even learn a new language!  Guidecraft unit blocks are perfect in the home and classroom and come in sets of 34, 53 and 110 wooden blocks.

Imaginets, Pattern Play & Color Stix from Mindware

Imaginets are an award-winning toy that lets your child play with colorful wooden magnetic blocks on a magnetic board that doubles as a dry-erase board so your child can incorporate the blocks into drawings. Pattern Play‘s colorful wooden blocks introduce kids to sorting, symmetry, matching and spatial relationships. Last year, I met the designer of Mindware’s Color Stix.  It was amazing to hear the concept behind the game (matching same colors along the “stix”) but the game can be used in open-ended play: stacking, building, sorting.  It’s fun to see what sculptures kids build!

Alphabet Puzzles & Number Puzzles

math puzzle toy for preschoolers

Wooden Numeric Puzzle

A fun way to learn your alphabet and numbers! Our wooden puzzles are high quality and will last for many years of enjoyment and multiple children.   Butterfly Alphabet PuzzleAnimal Alphabet Parade Puzzle, and the Dinosaur Alphabet Puzzle teach letters, shapes and colors.  The Number Snail Wooden Puzzle and the Wooden Numeric Puzzle teach numbers, counting, colors and shapes.

Memory and Teach & Play Tile Games

Maple Landmark preschool Memory Tile Matching Game

Memory Tile Matching Game

 Vermont’s Maple Landmark has beautiful wooden Memory and Teach & Play tile games.  The wooden tiles (made from birch) teach recognition, classification, grouping, sorting and matching.  Choose from among the following themes: the environment, animals & vegetables, or buildings & vehicles.  More made in the USA toys!

Manipulative Toys

Lots of great lacing, sorting & stacking toys to strengthen fine motor skills- I just posted about lacing toys in More Toys for Preschool Fine Motor Skills and sorting and stacking toys in Best Toys To Build Children’s Fine Motor Abilities.

Picture Book Puzzles

Goodnight Moon preschool puzzle

Goodnight Moon puzzle

Puzzles that depict favorite book characters can create a great opportunity to read, recite, rhyme and play!  Our favorites include characters from Eric Carle & Maisy & Goodnight Moon.  See my post on all of our great storybook puzzles.  Our wooden Maisy puzzles are made in the USA!

Art Activities

Any art activity encourages creativity, problem solving, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.  Give your artist a dedicated space to create their art.  It keeps them – and you! – organized and lets them know that you take their art seriously. When our kids were young, we had both a standing easel and a child-sized art table with stool which gave our children a sense of ownership and responsibility.   Both the easel and the table and stool will last your children many years (probably through 3rd grade or longer.) The table features a large 24″ square work surface of dry-erase marker board, big pencil tray, safe wooden paper cutter bar, paper roll holder.  The easel features a dry-erase & magnetic whiteboard on one side, green chalkboard on the other side, 2 paint trays, center storage tray, hanging paper holder, and paper cutter.  Both the easel and table are made in the USA!   Don’t forget paper refills!

Play Kitchens & Furniture

 Yes – your children are watching you!  This is part of their development and learning opportunities abound in the kitchen.  Play kitchens are indispensable and I think are the #1 piece of play furniture.  If you have room in your kitchen, put your play kitchen in a corner so they can work  along side of you.  Or, have them safely reach the counter to help you with a KinDer-Perch.  The KinDer-Perch also doubles as a sturdy play unit (think fort).  Children love chores and it gives them a real sense of accomplishment.  

There are zillions of great toys out there and it can be hard to choose.  Just focus on the basics and invest in quality materials. 

What kinds of toys are your preschoolers playing with at school and at home?


Kids Puzzle Sea Life Ravensburger

Sea Life Puzzle from Ravensburger

Celebrate Earth Day with environmentally-friendly kids puzzles.

As a follow-up to my earlier blog post, Earth Day Toys & Games, I wanted to introduce a few kids puzzles that feature animals and geography and maps.  You can use puzzle play to create stories and learn about Earth Day, conservation, animal habitat, endangered species & more.  On top of that, our puzzles are made of environmentally friendly materials.

Earth & Animal Puzzles

Turner Toys carries loads of kids puzzles to suit all ages and interests.  Here is a sampling of three types:  jigsaw board puzzles, wooden puzzles and block puzzles.  Our kids jigsaw puzzles are made of recycled paper and non-toxic soy inks.  Our wooden puzzles are made of sustainably grown and harvested wood.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Around the World Kids PuzzleAround the World 63 Piece Puzzle

Your child can learn about different countries around the world through puzzle play. Start a conversation about who lives there, what kind of challenges they face in terms of protecting their environment. Erosion, clean drinking water?

Each 63 piece puzzle forms a 18″ x 14″ puzzle when completed and comes in a sturdy 6″ high x 5″ diameter canister with a colorful rope handle.  Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 6 and up.

 

Wooden Puzzles

wooden animal alphabet kids puzzle The Animal Alphabet Puzzle teaches children the alphabet, shape recognition and animals A to Z (some real and some imagined). It’s crafted from rubberwood an environmentally-friendly hardwood.

Where do these animals live?  Are they endangered?  What can we do to protect them and their habitat?

 

Block Puzzles

Kids Puzzle Forest Friends Block PuzzleForest Friends Block Puzzles 

Mudpuppy’s Forest Friends Block Puzzle features parent and baby animals. Puzzle images are owls, raccoons, deer, foxes, brown bears and squirrels.

Each Mudpuppy Block puzzle includes 9 2″ cubes that form 6 different puzzle pictures or can be used as stacking block and a sturdy box with sliding drawer for storage. Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 3 and up.

 

What are your plans for Earth Day?

 

 



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