Monthly Archives: January 2016

Medina Kiwanis volunteers adapt toys for kids who have disabilities – cleveland.com

Original article

MEDINA, Ohio – About 20 Medina Kiwanis[1] members won’t be taking Santa’s elves for granted anymore.

The group gathered at the A.I. Root[2] Community Room earlier this month to adapt electronic toys for easier play by children who have disabilities.

The workshop was one of a series put on by the Medina-based non-profit group RePlay for Kids.[3] Last year, the group held 112 workshops, generating 1,300 adapted toys that were distributed to Northeast Ohio children in December.

“These toys aren’t available on the market,” said Natalie Wardega, vice president and director of operations for RePlay for Kids.

Wardega was on hand to give a tutorial on adapting the toys and to offer assistance to the workshop’s elves.

Keith Dirham and Deonna Green celebrate after bringing a stuffed rabbit back to life during the Medina Kiwanis-hosted RePlay for Kids workshop. 

They took mainstream, battery-operated toys – everything from remote-controlled cars and trucks to singing stuffed animals to musical toys – and installed new wiring and switches.

Instead of trying to use small, complicated buttons to play with the toys, kids who have disabilities can now use larger, more interactive buttons and switches.

The community room was literally buzzing with a cacophony of whirring engines, sirens, flashing lights, music, beeps and toots as the Kiwanis members tinkered with the toys.

“It’s a lot of fun and a little bit out of my comfort zone,” Evening Kiwanis member Mike VanArsdale said as he struggled to rewire a Thunder Tumbler remote-controlled vehicle.

“It’s fun doing things with our hands and doing something nice for the kids,” he said.

“I’m doing major rabbit surgery here,” said Kiwanian (and Medina Finance Director) Keith Dirham as he sliced into the guts of a stuffed white bunny.

“The switch was right in its belly,” Dirham said. He and Deonna Green eventually got the rabbit’s ears twitching again.

Some of the challenges were more technical than others. When asked how he was doing with a remote-controlled car, Evening Kiwanis President Stuart Root laughed and said, “Not so good. It took 20 minutes just to get it out of the box.”

Eventually, he was able to install a new switch.

“It is great that we can adapt toys so kids with disabilities can play with them. Helping kids is a big part of Kiwanis,” Root said.

Alan Penn, a member of Medina’s Breakfast Kiwanis[4] group and executive director of the Ohio Kiwanis Foundation[5], said: “It’s very easy to adapt a toy. It’s easier than you think. It doesn’t take a lot of mechanical skills.”

“It’s very much like assembling a toy on Christmas,” he said.

The foundation gave a grant to the Evening Kiwanis to host its first workshop last year.

“It was a real success and a wonderful thing to give to these young people. I’m glad the Evening club brought it to town,” Penn said.

Barb Smith, secretary of the Evening club, said about 10 people helped at last year’s workshop.

“We were a brand new club, and this was our first project,” she said. “It was really neat.”

This year, they opened it up to the other three Medina Kiwanis clubs and to people in the community.

“All four Medina clubs are here. We’re working together on a lot of projects this year,” Smith said.

Medina Kiwanians Karen Wolfe, left, and Jeri Penn put their sewing skills to use on a table filled with stuffed Snoopys.

In addition to the two workshops hosted by the Kiwanis, RePlay for Kids also held an event in October in which 15 Medina High School[6] students and teachers adapted toys for children at the Medina County Achievement Center’s Windfall School[7].

“Young children learn through play and social interaction, and children with disabilities are no exception,” said Dr. Kaye Stanley-Bryson, the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities’[8] director of children’s services.

“Limitations in strength and coordination often prevent them from using typical, mainstream toys,” she said.

Wardega said the children who receive the adapted toys are thrilled to be able to join in the fun with their siblings and friends.

“You have the latest and greatest toys, whatever they are, and they’ve been adapted to allow the kids to use them easily. That motivates the kids to play with them and improve their skills,” Wardega said.

A lot of those benefits go beyond just the joy of play. Understanding cause and effect – how hitting a button will make a toy move or make noise – and improving physical coordination can make it easier for kids to operate motorized wheelchairs or turn on the lights when they enter a room, she said.

For the Kiwanians, it’s all about making kids smile. And having some fun themselves.

“We have a lot of fun. We eat. We get a lot of toys done. It’s just a good evening,” Smith said.

The toys will be distributed throughout Northeast Ohio next December. To learn more about RePlay for Kids, visit www.replayforkids.org[9].

References

  1. ^ Medina Kiwanis (www.medinakiwanis.org)
  2. ^ A.I. Root (rootcandles.com)
  3. ^ RePlay for Kids. (www.replayforkids.org)
  4. ^ Breakfast Kiwanis (www.medinabreakfastkiwanis.org)
  5. ^ Ohio Kiwanis Foundation (www.odkf.org)
  6. ^ Medina High School (www.medinabees.org)
  7. ^ Medina County Achievement Center’s Windfall School (www.mcbdd.org)
  8. ^ Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ (www.mcbdd.org)
  9. ^ www.replayforkids.org (www.replayforkids.org)

toys kids – Google News

Poo-Dough-ppcorn

Top 10 Toys You Should Keep Away From Kids (Part 2) – PPcorn (blog)

Original article

After seeing all of the crazy fails in part one of the 10 toys you should never give your kids, I bet you are ready for part two! We have the remaining top five toys with the worst design flaws, accidental implications, and terrifying side effects just below!

Number Five: Poo-Dough. What’s better to give your kids to play with than a little fake poop? Poo-Dough is a Play-Doh product that includes a patty of brown molding dough, a little yellow dough for added effect, and a poop-shaped mold complete with little compartments to make corn pieces. Yeah, it all seems kind of wrong in retrospect, but kids love feces. When it was released, it instantly became a best seller.

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Number Four: Aquapet. The designers of the Aquapet didn’t quite think through its design. The toy seems alright to an innocent mind: it’s just an iconic kid’s character floating in a tube, no biggie. However when parents saw it, they were outraged at its resemblance to a certain male body part.

canyouactually.comcanyouactually.com

Number Three: The Breast Milk Baby. This special baby doll encourages young girls to embrace their motherly nature and… breastfeed? The doll, just released a few years ago, comes with two flower-shaped pasties made to be attached to a shirt. When the baby’s mouth comes near the pasties, the doll even makes sucking noises. Needless to say, mothers were outraged this product appeared in stores.

nydailynews.comnydailynews.com

Number Two: Kaba Kick. What kid doesn’t want to have a blast playing Russian Roulette, right? Uh, sure. The Kaba Kick presents a never-before-seen take on Russian Roulette- the kiddie version. This plastic toy gun can be loaded, cocked, and releases light hippo kicks instead of a deadly bullet.

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Number One: Police Electric Baton Shock. Apparently, anything can become a toy for kids these days. With an extensive array of toy weapons available for kids, one company decided it might be a good idea to develop a police Taser for kids to play with. Parents[1] had reservations about the toy but were angered further upon discovering the toy produces real electric shocks. Nice try, toy makers.

owomall.comowomall.com

References

  1. ^ Parents (ppcorn.com)

toys kids – Google News

Toys at SHOP.COM Baby

Original article

“Patchwork Mat & Toddler Blocks Set in Primary Colors”

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Video shows cat overdosing on catnip after breaking into a pet shop – Daily Mail

Original article

  • Lost cat breaks into a pet shop and finds a shelf stacked with catnip toys
  • Playful pet is seen pawing at the toys before knocking them to the floor
  • Two women are heard giggling as they film the delightful moment 

These videos show the moment a cat losing control over catnip after breaking into a pet shop.

The playful pet is seen scratching and pawing at the colourful toys, knocking them off the shelf and on to the floor as the two women filming giggle with delight. 

Overcome by the scent, the kitten nuzzles its face into the playthings before stretching out on the shelf. 

A second video taken in the shop, which is believed to be in the Netherlands, shows the cat lying on the shop floor, surrounded by scattered catnip.

Experts aren’t sure why catnip – a member of the mint family – has such a strong hold over cats, but it is thought it might mimic ‘happy’ pheromones and stimulate the receptors that respond to these.

Whatever the science behind the reaction, it is clear that this brown and black cat is very taken by the smell. 

The first video, which has been posted online by YouTube user Pet’s Place[3] [4], starts with the cat crawling along the shelf as it tries to bury its head in the catnip toys. 

It picks the spot with the most catnip and lies down before rolling around on the multi-coloured toys. 

Out of control: The lost cat is seen nuzzling into the catnip toys after breaking into the pet shop
Playful: The pet paws at the toys, knocking them on to the floor

Out of control: The lost cat is seen nuzzling into the catnip toys after breaking into the pet shop 

At one point the cat reaches out to play with another toy dangling overhead, but it quickly loses interest and returns to pawing at the catnip. 

Apparently oblivious to the humans standing over it, the cat curls up and stretches out in the catnip – kicking its legs out playfully. 

In one frenzied moment the kitty manages to push nearly all the toys off the shelf as the two women filming laugh and chatter behind the camera. 

Relaxed: The second video shows the pet stretching out on the ground, surrounded by scattered catnip
The cat lazily flicks the catnip on the ground

Relaxed: The second video shows the pet stretching out on the ground, surrounded by scattered catnip

The cat’s playtime continues in a second, 21-second clip, which was posted by YouTube user kmlkmljkl[5]

It shows the cat on the floor next to the pile of toys it had pushed off the shelf. 

The animal appears to be in a more relaxed state, lazily flicking and gnawing on the catnip. 

According to SensualCat, the owner later came to take the cat home.   

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References

  1. ^ Stephanie Linning for MailOnline (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ 111 View comments (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Pet’s Place (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^   (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ kmlkmljkl (www.youtube.com)

toys shop – Google News

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Get Kids to Play With all Their Toys – Huffington Post

Original article

It is snowing in New York. Until this past week we generally have had nice weather to still enjoy outside activities. Yesterday, we played in his room for the first time in a long time. He has so MANY toys that we really try and get him to play with each one. Let’s fact it kids play with a toy for a whole hot second and then move onto a new one. Luckily we have a system to get him to play with all of his toys! How do you ask? I think it is a nifty trick if I do say so myself.
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Number one: After 2-3 weeks we take all and I mean ALL of his toys out and put them into the center of a room (usually the living room since it is so large). We sort them into three piles. “Toss” pile (usually broken or toys with missing parts), “keep” pile and the “sell” pile. Once sorted we take all the toys that were down stairs and move them upstairs into his room and take the toys that were in his room down into the downstairs.
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Why? This creates a new visual appeal to these toys. They are taken out and moved around, letting him see one’s he may have forgotten. I also want to suggest sorting the toys when your kids are not around to eliminate any break downs. After doing this once you will see a huge difference. Less toys overall (because you are sorting them every few weeks) more space and your children will actually play with all of their toys instead of only a few. Why pay money for toys they barely use?
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He just loves all of his toys. I am sure I will have to critique this shifting and sorting as he grows older. I also hope he doesn’t destroy his toys but I know that day will come. As children you just cannot understand how many hours you have to work to pay for those toys they throw around. I hope this helps as much as it has helped us!
Original post: http://www.westernnewyorker.org/2013/05/two-for-tuesday-day-of-play-products.html

toys kids – Google News

Toys for Kids program served close to 500 families – Brainerd Daily Dispatch

Original article

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News Brainerd,MN 56401 http://www.brainerddispatch.com/sites/all/themes/brainerddispatch_theme/images/social_default_image.png BRAINERD DISPATCH Brainerd Dispatch customer support http://www.brainerddispatch.com http://www.brainerddispatch.com Toys for Kids program served close to 500 families Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401 The 34rd year of the local Toys for Kids program providing Christmas gifts for southern Crow Wing County families was successful, according to organizers. Advertisement The Marine Corps League received donations and contributions which enabled them to serve at least 485 families including more than 1,100 children. An average of approximately 100 businesses and organizations annually support this program through collection of toys and financial donations. Steve Amerud, TFK 2015 chairman, in an email said, “This year, through the generosity of this local community, Toys For Kids was able to impact the local economy with approximately $ 40,000 as all monies donated to the local Toys For Kids program are spent locally. “On behalf of the Marine Corps League and the local Toys For Kids program, thank you so much to this community for past and continued support from financial or toy donations and thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to Toys For Kids. We could not have done this without all of the giving, or without all of the volunteers and the support from area businesses, especially the Salvation Army.” The Toys For Kids program is administered in cooperation with the local Salvation Army and is supported solely by financial and toy donations from the community. The Heartland Detachment of the Marine Corps League has sponsored this program since the beginning. Monetary gifts are continually being accepted and can be mailed any time to: TFK, Heartland Detachment, Marine Corps League, P.O. Box 2811, Baxter, MN 56425. Heartland Detachment, Toys For Kids is a non-profit organization. Donations may be tax deductible. Toys For Kids has no affiliation with the national Toys For Tots program. Advertisement BRAINERD DISPATCH[1] Advertisement Advertisement References^ BRAINERD DISPATCH (www.brainerddispatch.com)
toys kids – Google News

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The Trouble With Talking Toys – NPR

Original article

Trouble with talking toys
LA Johnson/NPR
Trouble with talking toys
LA Johnson/NPR

Just because a toy’s packaging says it’s educational doesn’t make it so. That’s the finding from a new study[1] in JAMA Pediatrics that found some toys being marketed as language promoters got in the way of learning.

Research shows that for kids to understand, speak and eventually read or write a language, they need to hear it — lots of it. And it’s never too early for parents and caregivers to get talking. That explains the booming industry in talking electronic toys that claim to help kids learn language.

The study focused on roughly two-dozen children between the ages of 10 and 16 months old. Researchers outfitted them with little microphones tucked into special vests or shirts that could record the infants playing at home with Mom or Dad.

Professor Anna Sosa, of Northern Arizona University, led the study and says she gave families three different kinds of toys to play with: books, traditional toys like stacking blocks and a shape sorter, and electronic toys.

“We had a talking farm — animal names and things,” Sosa says of the electronic toys. “We had a baby cellphone. And we had a baby laptop. So you actually open the cover and start pushing buttons, and it tells you things.”

Things like this:

Sosa says she picked those toys “because they are advertised as language-promoters for babies in this age range.”

The parent-child couples were asked to play separately with each type of toy over the course of three days.

To understand what researchers heard, it’s important to know what they were listening for. As we said above, babies learn language by hearing it. And research shows that interaction — the give and take between baby and parent — is key because early learning is intensely social.

You can hear it in this tape of one mother enjoying a book with her baby:

Book session[2]

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0:10

  • Playlist[3]
  • Embed[4]
    <</b>iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/462264537/462659050" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Book session

Compare that to the cut above, from the session with the electronic toy. Sosa says the difference isn’t in what you hear but what you don’t hear: Mom or baby.

“When there’s something else that’s doing some talking, the parents seem to be sitting on the sidelines and letting the toy talk for them and respond for them,” Sosa says.

That’s bad because the best way a toy can promote language in infants and toddlers is by stimulating interaction between parent and child. There’s simply no evidence that a young child can learn language directly from a toy. It isn’t responsive enough. It isn’t social.

As for the other toys, traditional blocks and puzzles stimulated more conversation than the electronic toys, and books outscored them all. But don’t underestimate the humble block[5]. While traditional toys fell short of books in interaction quantity, Sosa notes, they kept pace in terms of quality.

A few caveats: The research focused on a relatively small sample of families. Also, of the 26 parents included, almost all were women, white and college-educated. Still, the data are clear: Electronic toys fell short.

“Personally, I think it’s quite problematic,” Heather Kirkorian says of the potentially misleading claims by toymakers. She studies child development at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and thinks Sosa has put her finger on a troubling trend.

“Toys and apps are particularly notorious for this,” Kirkorian says, “making all sorts of grand claims about motor development, cognitive development and social development without having the research to back it up.”

Kirkorian says technology can help teach older kids, but baby talk is best when it’s human to human.

References

  1. ^ study (archpedi.jamanetwork.com)
  2. ^ Book session (www.npr.org)
  3. ^ Playlist (www.npr.org)
  4. ^ Embed (www.npr.org)
  5. ^ humble block (www.npr.org)

toys kids – Google News

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Natural & Non-Toxic Toys for Babies, Toddlers & Kids …

Original article

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Children’s Toys | Kid’s Toys – HearthSong

Original article

Play Means More Than Just Entertainment

Delight kids of all ages with HearthSong’s selection of unique toys for kids. From creative construction toys to classic toys to educational toys, and especially to kid’s toys that encourage good-old-fashioned play, you won’t find a more captivating collection of children’s toys anywhere else!

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