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Toys Books Play

Have a read of our Hot Topics articles all about toys, books and play ideas for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
 
  • Find out how to make your own homemade kids paints, dough, slime and toys for them to play with.
  • Have a look at the book reviews and tips on reading and writing.
  • Discover some of the benefits of playing, songs and music.
Top 10 Toys for Christmas 2016

Top 10 Toys for Christmas 2016

Need some inspiration for your kids Christmas presents? We take a look at what’s popular and on the must have list for Christmas 2016.
Make your own puffy paints

Make your own puffy paints

It’s easy to make your own puffy paints at home using just 4 basic ingredients and a microwave. A fun messy play activity that’s suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
Scooter buying guide & safety tips for toddlers

Scooter buying guide & safety tips for toddlers

Hard to believe that kids push scooters have been around for over a century. Yet kids still love receiving their first scooter and have so much fun once they’ve mastered how to get along. Check out these tips on what to look for when buying their first scooter and some important safety advice.
Make your own sensory board

Make your own sensory board

A sensory board or busy board is a fun, hands-on activity for babies and toddlers to help them touch, explore and learn about different objects all in one place. They have lots of developmental benefits too and are really easy to make at home with things you have to hand.
9 Benefits of playing with clay

9 Benefits of playing with clay

Clay is very versatile and there are so many ways children can play and experiment with it. Clay gives them the opportunity to be creative and learn about texture, shape and form whilst having lots of fun. Check out some of the other benefits.
What's all the fuss about heuristic play?

What's all the fuss about heuristic play?

Heuristic play is about playing with real-life, everyday objects and providing kids with an opportunity for open-ended discovery. When children are involved in heuristic play, they are using familiar objects in different ways. It is the process of exploring the different ways to use the objects that is important in the play.
Make your own sand foam

Make your own sand foam

Have a go at making your own sand foam! It’s very easy to do and uses just 2 ingredients! The sand foam has a smooth, slimy, grainy texture and is great for sensory play.
Christmas present ideas for 0-5 year olds

Christmas present ideas for 0-5 year olds

Have you ever bought a gift for a child and realised that it was not suited to their age? Are you not sure what to buy? Do you want to buy something that is not only fun, but also encourages early childhood education too? Here are some gift ideas that will suit a child’s age, hold their interest and encourage learning through play.
Using natural resources for learning

Using natural resources for learning

Over the years as our living space has decreased and our use of smart phones, tablets and television has increased, children are now often missing out on connections to nature. In our hectic world, children need experiences that were such a big part of their parents’ childhood. Check out these natural resource activities to try with your little ones.
Why it’s ok for kids to be bored

Why it’s ok for kids to be bored

Try stepping back when your kids complain about feeling bored. This will empower them to think for themselves and learn to be resilient. It will also encourage them to find their own way out of the boredom, and the problem-solving process helps them feel good about themselves.
The power of books

The power of books

Reading to your child every day is a wonderful way to spend some time with them and support them in their learning. Snuggling up with your child and reading them stories helps them to develop a positive attitude towards books.
Benefits of reading to babies

Benefits of reading to babies

A book is a baby’s first theatre and now US paediatricians are urging parents to read to children from their earliest days. Even the smallest babies are ready and eager to engage and tune into what is being read to them.
8 ways to make story time fun

8 ways to make story time fun

Toddlers and pre-schoolers have an attention span of around 10 - 12 minutes, and once it’s exhausted, learning and listening are no longer fun for them. So mix it up. Use one or two of our ideas for each book you read and make story time as fun and as interactive as possible for your little ones.
5 Ideas for playing with young babies

5 Ideas for playing with young babies

When babies are young it’s often hard to know what will keep them entertained. However, just simple games, where you spend time together and interact will keep them amused for hours!
13 ideas for toys on a budget

13 ideas for toys on a budget

Children are happy to just play and don’t need big, expensive, brand-name items to keep them occupied. By using some of the everyday items around your house, you’ll keep them amused for hours. Check out some of these easy to make, cheap ideas for your little one.
Imaginary friends

Imaginary friends

There’s evidence that children's imaginary playmates are more widespread than ever. Find out why it’s normal, how make believe can affect a child’s development, adjusting to your child’s new friend, when should you be worried and how long will their imaginary friend be around for.
As easy as ABC! Learning the alphabet

As easy as ABC! Learning the alphabet

Being able to read is a vital life skill, so make the early stages of learning the alphabet as fun as possible for your little ones. Young children learn and develop best through using their whole body, all of their senses and their natural environments. You’ll find that most children begin to recognise letters when they’re about 2-3 years old, and are able to identify a large number of letters between 4 and 5 years old.
Make your own play dough

Make your own play dough

Play dough is so easy to make and hours of fun for kids of all ages. It's the perfect sensory play activity they can do indoors and outside. Just follow this easy recipe.
Kids birthday present ideas

Kids birthday present ideas

Not sure what to buy your kids for their birthday or for a friend's birthday party they're going along to? Our age-specific gift guide will give you lots of birthday present ideas on toys and activities suitable for babies, toddlers and pre-school kids.
Make your own colourful clay

Make your own colourful clay

Kids love playing with clay and making their own creations. Follow these easy instructions and make your own clay at home. From pots and animals, to Christmas tree decorations, letters, numbers, fossils, ornaments and more.
Button battery safety for kids

Button battery safety for kids

Small silver round button batteries and lithium coin batteries look quite harmless, but they can be extremely dangerous if children swallow them, and can cause significant and potentially fatal injuries – in less than 2 hours! Find out how to keep your kids safe from the dangers of button batteries.
Gifts for your baby’s first Christmas

Gifts for your baby’s first Christmas

It may be re-assuring for those with new babies to hear that when it comes to your baby’s first Christmas, expensive gifts are not necessary! Many parents feel the pressure to buy the latest and most costly toys, but with everyone managing tighter budgets these days, parents are looking for cheaper alternatives.
Traditional nursery rhymes Part 1

Traditional nursery rhymes Part 1

When was the last time you sang a nursery rhyme? It may not have been since your own childhood or you may just be a little bit rusty, so here are the words to a few favourites to help refresh your memory and to sing to your own kids.
Traditional nursery rhymes Part 2

Traditional nursery rhymes Part 2

Nursery rhymes are an important part of a child’s development, helping them to increase their vocabulary and develop their counting skills. Check out our list of popular kids nursery rhymes and learn the words to sing with your little one.

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