One aspect of playing to learn that is so fascinating to me is how it really is such a simple concept. I think it’s so simple, we can easily overlook key moments to encourage our children learn from our world, but really EVERYTHING can be an opportunity for playtime learning!
Every day, I try to take advantages of these naturally occurring moments. But really, I am the student here: my son is teaching me anew the simple joys of even the smallest parts of life!
When it comes to selecting great toys that kids can learn from, I am so happy to share with you Pure Play Kids!I had the adventure of meeting one of the owner, Mike Grant, at a recent local festival in my state.
Tania and Mike formed Pure Play Kids out of their quest for the best toys for their children. They carry one of the largest selections of battery-free, TV-free, creative playthings. The bulk of their toy offerings are Made in America (over 75%!), and the rest are European. What I appreciate is how they do not market to children using ads, film tie-ins, or noise/light inducing “try me” buttons. They believe in letting “kids provide the motion, sounds, storyline and characters that drive the toys – not vice-versa – and witness a flourishing of imagination, confidence and skills.”
Many of their wooden toys were designed by Mike himself! It was amazing to talk to a real toymaker about the creative process of designing a new toy! Like this firetruck (we talked about his work from paper to wooden form, and how he got that ladder just right so it would work!), and this nifty wooden camera (click!).
His wife Tania designed these cute and friendly handmade cloth dolls sewn by crafters in the US.
For this event, Tania sent me the Felt Mailbox Set for review. How ironic is that? Talk about my child learning from MY everyday life? Being a review blogger, one highlight of my day is getting the mail! My son already shouts “MAIL!” every time I go to the front door! So this was perfect for us!
The set comes with a mailbox, envelopes, stamps, a package, postcards and more! As an English teacher, I love how this set can help us explore pre-literacy skills like self-expression (he sends me “I love you” postcards from the living room!).
We send postcards to Daddy at work, Chico the Dog across the street, and Nonna and Mima (his grandmas!). He’s having a blast running around the house delivering the mail, and he doesn’t even know these are key skills for reading and writing readiness that he’s learning (I’m so sneaky! Actually it’s just too easy with a versatile toy like the mailbox set!). This is truly a toy that will grow with him, and I can imagine using it for so many scenarios throughout the years!
BUY IT: You’ll find so much to explore at Pure Play Kids. It’s another Must-See for birthdays and Christmas lists!
WIN IT: Right now TWO winners will each receive a $20 Gift Card to Pure Play Kids! Their prices are great so you’ll be sure to find something really nice!
DISCLOSURE: I was sent a product sample to facilitate this review. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.