Mama’s Got Swag: DISCOVERY TOYS

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Discovery Toys is a fantastic company that makes high quality, educational toys for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age kids. They’ve been around for over 30 years and sure know what they’re doing. These toys are only available through Discovery Toys direct sellers like Sarah Field. Not only does the catalogue specify the typical age range for each toy, but it also labels the toys based on the target learning pathway (exploration, math, motor skills, reading & language, thinking, or expression), the type of learner that would enjoy it (Auditory, Kinesthetic, and Visual), and also for children on the autism spectrum or with developmental disabilities, the specific goals it supports (independent play, sustained engagement, cooperative play, talking about play, obvious completion criteria, and pretend play).

I received the Measure Up! Cups to test out with my kids. The box has them labelled 12m+ and claims that they target all 6 of the learning pathways. My first thought was: ‘Nesting cups. How boring!’ But as soon as my 4.5 year old ran over, I realized how wrong I was. With glee, she opened up the box and exlaimed, “What did you bring me to love??“ From that moment on, it was nonstop play with all three of my children.

The insert in the box is a fantastic play guide for those mama’s (like me!) that are out of touch with their inner teacher or child. It lists 7 developmental skills for all ages, 7 activities for toddlers, 7 activities for preschoolers, and 4 activities for school age children. The cups come in 4 colours (red, yellow, green, blue) and have numbers and written numbers (in English, Spanish, and French) around a clock, and animals on the bottom. Some examples of what we did with them are: building towers and knocking them down (my 9 month old, 2 year old and 4 year old all enjoyed this!); colour identification (great for my 2 year old); number identification (great for my 4 year old); discussion of languages (my 4 year old loved this); pouring (my 2 year olds favourite activitity!); sorting by colour (the older two enjoyed this); labeling animals (the older two liked this); the cup game where you hide an item and shuffle the cups (my four year old’s favourite activity). I could go on!  They got a ton of play around here and I absolutely love the multiple uses across multiple ages. Durable and long lasting only matter if the kids want to continue playing! These toys have got it all. 

~~ l

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I have heard of Discovery Toys many times before and been invited to a few parties along the way. However, I have never actually gone or given them much thought. I am not sure why, but to me buying toys out of a catalogue seemed just not right. I could not see what they could possibly have to offer that would be so much better than stuff at the toy store, and let’s face it I like to check it out and play before I buy. I say I buy for my kids, but secretly I like to play just as much as them ;)

 

When the Measure Up! Cups arrived at my door I had to suddenly re-evaluate my whole opinion on this. From the second I took them out of the package I new they had so much more to offer than any other stacking cups my children had played with. With colours, and pictures, and numbers and words .. it was clear this product was going to take some time to fully evaluate and appreciate. So I set to it with my 17 month old boy. I was thinking stacking cups = toddler. Right?? Well he sure did enjoy them. He like the games we would play where I would sing little songs to go with the numbers or colours. He enjoyed taking them in the bath to fill and dump water. He like putting them inside each other like a funny little puzzle. Most of all though, he LOVED to topple every tower we built. I could not get more that 3 cups stacked before he would kick it, or hit it, or roll a ball into it. Hours and hours of his little giggles and big mommy smiles.

BUT I was wrong again! These cups were not just for a toddler. My 6 year old, grade one girl came home from school and quickly decided she wanted in on the fun. She is in french immersion so we used the cups to practice her colours, numbers and animals in french. Then we moved on to math games of addition, measuring and patterns. Finally she discovered there were little clock like pictures on them and wanted to learn to tell time. Guess what?? She did!! Who would have thought that stacking cups would be so great for a school age child! Oh and guess what my toddler did the whole time his sister and I were playing??? Toppled any towers, scattered any groupings and stole whatever cups he could get his hands on. That went over real well with his sister *roll eyes*, but at least it was clear to me that these simple cups were going to be hours of fun for our whole family.

After realizing that these simple cups could replace about 10 different toys in my way over cluttered toy room I set off to check out the catalogue and see what else might peak my interest. Let’s just say that this momma who is so sick of having a billion toys cluttering up her entire house has found a new love. It seems that all of the Discovery Toys items have multiple uses and purposes. I love this! I mean fewer “things” but more uses and opportunities for play … what’s not to love? I already have my list started for Christmas.

~~ MM

 

If you’d like to get your Christmas shopping started with Discovery Toys, you can shop online at http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/home/sarahfield 

Want to get a head start? Send an email to jill@londonmoms.ca with DISCOVERY in the subject line by FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12 at 8pm for your chance to win a Ring Around- a soft teether for the baby in your life (pg 12 in the catalogue). Keep it for your own child, or scratch one more item off your Holiday shopping list.  Be sure to include your WM username in your email. Good luck!

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