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Category: Toys to aid Development

  1. Keeping fit and healthy in 2021 - Part 1: Children’s Mental Health

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    Keeping fit and healthy in 2021-
    Part 1: Children’s mental health.

    Written by Sheila O’Reilly

    Well it may be a new year but here we are back in another lockdown! Working from home, juggling parenting and homeschooling our children is quite a tall order for us all and no doubt the pandemic is taking its toll on our stress levels and mental health. We must remember too that this time is so challenging for our little people. They are missing their usual school routines, extra-curricular activities, mixing with their friends and getting out and about as a family. My own girls have accepted the changes in routine surprisingly well, but there have been tears and frustrations at times too when birthday celebrations have been cancelled, trips to the play park aren’t possible and swimming lessons or trips to the cinema are missed.



  2. The Benefits of Playing Games

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    The Benefits of Playing Games

    By Sheila O ‘Reilly @rascals_and_rainbows

    I introduced games to both my girls at age 3 and they really enjoy playing together. Board games, card games and games like Hape Ocean Rescue, are a great way to explore winning and losing with your child and an opportunity to teach them about playing fairly, following rules, taking turns and dealing with success and also disappointment.


  3. Glitter Storm Review

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    Glitter Storm Review

    Naomi Morris (@naomimorris16)

    We have had our tick-it glitter storm from the wooden play den for quite a while now, and I just love how it gets used in so many different ways. It really is an open ended toy and can help take a child’s imagination to another dimension.


    My 4 year old absolutely loves to watch the moving glitter after giving in a shake. She then likes to hold the glitter storm up to her eyes and investigate the world around her whilst peering through the glitter. It also gets incorporated into small world play on many occasions, it has been a sky scraper, a tree and even a bulldozer! It’s good to know that a child’s imagination knows no bounds!

    My 9 year old on the other hand tends to use the glitter storm as a tool to help her relax and calm down. She will shake the tube to get the glitter to swirl round and sit watching it as it slowly settles. This is a great strategy she has developed to help her met her sensory needs.

    In contrast when I have used the glitter storm with the children I work with who all have a diagnosis of autism and sensory processing difficulties, they too have all found different ways of exploring the glitter storm. One of their favourite activities is exploring it on the light box alongside the tick-it rainbow blocks. The moving glitter always draws them in to the activity. Another firm favourite is rolling the tub down the ramp in class, this has been great for prompting fine and gross motor skills as well as turn taking with peers.

    I continue to be amazed at the different ways the children use the glitter storm and how it supports their learning through play.

    We now have a dedicated section on our wesbite for Sensory Toys. 

  4. The benefits of small world play

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    The benefits of small world play

    By Sheila O’Reilly

    Small world play is a favourite with my girls.  It is a wonderful way to let young children act out real life scenarios and also use their imaginations to create fantasy worlds.  There are many benefits to children's learning and development through small world play and it is an important component of play in early years settings.

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  5. The Benefits of Bookish Play and using Story Sacks

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    The Benefits of Bookish Play and using Story Sacks

    Written by Sheila O’Reilly

    Bookish play is a wonderful way of introducing books to your little one and will generally keep their attention for much longer than just reading the story.  Children love to play! Fun and interactive activities based on their story book can spark their imagination and really bring a story to life.