Learning through play with Fisher Price

by DaniGirl on July 27, 2011 · 1 comment

in Reviews, promotions and giveaways

A lot of my Friday Family Fun posts have talked about ways you can enjoy summer with your kids, whether engaging them or supervising them or taking them out on adventures. But vacation is supposed to be a break for Mom and Dad, too, and sometimes kids need to learn to play on their own without direction from the grown-ups.

I think independent play is hugely important. Kids need to learn how to entertain themselves! But even more than that, I think kids learn through exploration, and this is where they begin to develop creatively. Kids need time and space to learn to think for themselves, come up with new ideas, and integrate familiar concepts into new scenarios. I love watching the boys combine parts and pieces of various play sets to come up with scenarios that would have never occurred to me, like when Scoop and Muck help Bob the Builder fix up the Little People play house so that Thomas the Tank Engine and Franklin the Turtle can move in.

We recently received a set of amazing toys from Fisher-Price that have been terrific for encouraging independent play. I’d never seen the Trio building blocks before, but Lucas was instantly entranced by them. The snap-together pieces are easy to manipulate for smaller hands, brightly coloured, and have some interesting shapes and pieces. There’s a book in the box that provides schema for a few constructions to get you started, but of course the real fun is building your own creations.

Lucas with Trio toy

Play isn’t just about down time for kids when they’re not doing other things. When kids play, they’re learning. Through interaction with each other and adults, they learn social skills. Toys like the Trio sets and other building toys help to develop hand-eye coordination, but also concept development like understanding the meaning of relationships and intrinsic characteristics of objects. Toys like play houses and character sets and dress-up costumes encourage children to explore creativity and relationships. And of course, you know I’m a huge fan of any toy that encourages a child to express him- or herself creatively — art projects are a daily occurrence in our house!

Of course, playing independently is nice, but it’s also great to have toys that as fun for Mom and Dad as they are for the kids. It helps if you give in to your barely-repressed inner child. 🙂

Lucas & Beloved with Trio toy

If you’re looking for some ideas on new toys, you can try the “Find the Right Toy” interactive tool on the Fisher-Price website. And if you register on the site, you’ll be entered to win a “Celebrating Milestones” prize pack of Fisher-Price toys valued at $200, plus a spa gift card valued at $200! There’s a winner every month!

Disclosure: I’m part of the Fisher-Price Play Panel and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. However, as always, the opinions on this blog are entirely my own.

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