✍️ Cody Peterson 📍Irvine, California
There has been an ongoing exodus of children from out of the bedroom, back into the classroom. Celebrating what’s commonly referred to as back to school has taken shape in stores and schools from coast to coast; the notion has manifested in hearts and minds nationwide. PopFun’s Toys for Scholars selection is packed with an excellent array of products centered around this very sentiment. It’s certainly a unique time to be hailing this informal holiday of sorts, the obvious reason for this being that preparations for face-to-face learning most typically occur somewhere between summer’s unofficial departure and the arrival of fall. Nonetheless, this particular moment in time has come to represent a hard-won victory for parents and children finding themselves in a period so lacking the physicality that’s usually present inside an effective early learning experience. There are clear-cut reasons to celebrate both the collective march toward normalcy and the kids’ return to the classroom, two things which stand connected by a thousand invisible strings, but the biggest reason for celebrating this is that, in the grand scheme of things, there are few things more important than a child’s education. Dads, Moms, Grandparents, and schoolteachers know the terrain of the young mind well enough to see that tiny feet looking to tread that bumpy pathway toward the beginning of wisdom is anything but unnatural. The search for a paved road leading unto knowledge is a quest known to us from a time before we can speak; it’s a question that is asked before we understand the concept of curiosity. It’s an action undertaken instinctually.
A child’s thirst for knowledge is equivalent in strength and tenacity to those drives that we might consider base or primitive: getting enough rest, filling the stomach. How, then, can parents best support their kid’s satisfaction of this overwhelmingly natural, and exceedingly important, impulse? Or rather, “What can I provide, at this moment, that will offer my kids engaging and intellectually-satisfying answers to questions which they’re both consciously and unconsciously asking?” And it’s at this point where the team and I at PopFun feel qualified to step in with the answer.
Toys. What is it about toys that draws children’s attention throughout each stage in their development? I believe a child is captivated by a toy for two specific reasons: the toy is effective in engaging one or more of the senses, and the toy provides information ripe for mental digestion – or rather, it presents a 5-course meal of brain food. Put simply, kids want toys that both entertain and educate. Parents, be sure to ask yourselves 2 questions as you peruse samples of toys and playthings so-often set before you. First:Will this toy effectively engage and interact with my child? Second:Will this toy provide new (or exercise pre-existent) skills and information?
Do such toys even exist? They certainly do, dear reader, and I’m proud to present 5 products sure to provide the educational entertainment which kids have, silently or not-so-silently, sought after all this time.
Using the spectrum of visually stimulating shades and hues displayed on 26 pieces of pegboard playtime construction, this fantastic toy offers children an opportunity to construct and reconstruct the basic alphabet, single-digit numbers, and symbols that serve as representations of things commonly found in nature. Repeated reconstruction makes for easy memorization. Repeated reconstruction makes for easy memorization.Repeated reconstruction makes for easy memorization. A mouthful, but you get the point. If you’d like to give an excellent gift to a child eager for learning in your life, this toy is going to provide an educational playtime experience that’ll transform learning the fundamentals into plain old fun – nix ‘damental!
This special toy stands as a monument to a terrific little tool used for thousands of years, all over the world, to communicate in the language of basic mathematics: the abacus.The abacus has proven a timeless symbol, and an even better tool for teaching. There’s no debate that throughout our storied past, both children andadults of all stripes discovered the basics behind manipulating numbers through the amazing abacus. That’s not the only thing packed in this incredibly historic, and equally exciting, toy. The vibrantly colored bead maze will aid in your precious child’s development of fine motor skills, rolling along with amusement on the different tracks. PopFun has even printed a healthy variety of fruits, shapes, and colors on the SmartPieces connected to the maze. Talk with your child as they play, seeing if they can begin to quickly identify the colors and fruits displayed on each SmartPiece. Count on this toy for creating learning, counting fun for the inquisitive young mind in your life!
Designed for early learners, this puzzle makes an awesome addition for the alphabet enthusiasts in your life. A child’s confidence soars when they’ve got the sense of accomplishment that accompanies educational entertainment, and this wooden puzzle makes for tiny tots eager to learn all about the amazing world surrounding them. Parents will have the opportunity to help teach their children the names of 8 animal friends commonly shown on the television, in books, and in the classroom. Our team has worked passionately to provide a product with engaging visuals, entertaining children with beautiful and bright colors destined to dazzle even the most aloof of them all. This toy’ll surely light up the eyes of young ones soaking up their environment for educational entertainment, and delight the mind with names and faces of furry pals all around. They’ll be proud of their newfound, lightning-quick identification abilities, naming that elephant they see in their favorite cartoon; they will point out the long necked buddy shown in their favorite book, calling his name out with a sense of accomplishment bound to bring a smile and a memory sure to last a lifetime. I can hear it now, the proud little voice exclaiming, “Giraffe!”
Creativity controls the helm of the ship that is a child’s imagination. This magical drawing board has been crafted by our team for the purpose of encouraging, and expanding upon, the USS Imagination occupying the ocean of young minds everywhere. Parents, what child doesn’t love to doodle? As entertaining and important as doodling is, the drawing board provides more than just the opportunity for little Picassos a chance at perfecting their next painting. 4 crucial geometric shapes have been built into the margins of this magic maker: square, circle, triangle, and star. Children can learn the basic shapes necessary to a foundational understanding of mathematics and engineering - all at their own pace and during their own doodle time! There’s no better way to create an environment that’s ripe for not only creativity, but creative learning with geometry too.
I speak without a tongue. I am beautiful to even the blind. I am present most everywhere, but devoid of form. What am I? It’s high time we talk about the benefits of being bilingual, and not only in the traditional sense of the term. I’m reminding parents of the value in learning the language of music, a love that I’m sure we’ve all danced with at various points in our lives. Making music is typically done through the common instruments, and our team has designed an excellent way for toddlers to slide into the wonderful, and sometimes complex, world of music. Simple and satisfying, this instrument playset will have your kids comprehending the basics that operate behind-the-scenes to power the beauty so admired in the land of song. Coming carefully packaged with an exciting array of 12 timeless instruments, this product will provide your children with a basic selection of easy to use, and exciting tools destined to hold a tune: xylophone, tambourines, maracas, shakers, and the triangle just to name a few.
Remember, friends: education doesn’t have to be without entertainment! I hope that this humble list has provided some help in finding the perfect toys for the little scholars in your life.
Never quit learning, and never quit having fun! Wherever you may find yourselves, my best wishes extend to you and your family. It’s peak spring season, as such I hope you, too, get to enjoying some outdoor fun with your loved ones this weekend!