Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Update:  15 Percent off all Melissa and Doug Toys 12/27/12 - 12/30/12 up to a maximum of $200 per order at www.jumpstarttoys.com for blog readers!  Just type "15Blog" in the promotional code box and click "apply".

Toys on Sale!  December 26th is a day for after-Christmas deals.  And, the same is true for toys.  For those on a budget, it's not too soon to shop for next year.  Often, buying toys on sale will allow the purchase of a learning toy that is good for development that usually costs more and may be out of reach.  Selective, opportunistic buying throughout the year - and as early as December 26th - can be a smart budget move.

Tips for buying toys on sale for Christmas 2013:

Toys with lights - Toys with lights or that glow are likely to continue being popular, especially for older kids.

Puzzles - Puzzles are timeless, so be sure to select a puzzle with large hand knobs for small children.  Solar system puzzles, floor puzzles, and train puzzles are always hits.

Science Kits - Geared for children 8 years and older, science kits are great gifts because they are more unusual and they usually come with several experiments in one big bag.  We like the Big Bag of Science, Yuck!, and Test Tube Adventures science kits.

Games - Games are never out of fashion.  Look for games that promote math, spelling, or vocabulary.

Creative arts - Kids will never tire of drawing or arts and crafts.  Paint by number kits, triangular crayons and Playfoam are good options.

JumpStart Toys picks - KaBam! game, alphabet peg puzzle, Big Bag of Science, and Textured Sea-life stencils.

Shop now at www.jumpstarttoys.com for toys on sale.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! The JumpStart Toys team wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday and New Year!

We have five tips for helping young children enjoy the holidays:

Substitute fruit for candy - Too much sugar can make children hyper and make it harder to fall asleep. Try fruit or sugar-free baked goods.

Get active - Give children time and encourage physical activity before asking them to sit still through church or long family get togethers. The exercise is good for the nervous system, too.

Tell children what to do, not just what not to do - Children can be confused by different rules at different homes or different rules for the holiday in your home. Before guests arrive, let children know what activities they can engage in and alert them to changes from the normal routine.

Give kids a job - Build your child's self-esteem and help them participate in the holiday by giving them a special job to do.

Supplements can help - A little magnesium before a nap or bedtime can help everyone sleep. Magnesium is a mineral used in many of the body's processes. It makes one sleepy if taken before lying down to rest. It also promotes bowel regularity, which can be a problem when schedules are changed, the diet isn't healthy, and activity decreased - all of which can happen over the holidays.

Have a wonderful holiday! The JumpStart Toys Team

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Educational Stocking Stuffers

Welcome to JumpStart Toys, LLC's blog!  We plan to share insights, research and opinions about kids toys, the importance of playtime, how to maximize the value of the toys you purchase and kids development.

Take a new approach to stuffing your child's stocking this year.  Instead of all that candy, find small educational toys, travel toys and games, or other items to put in their stockings.  The key is to find stocking stuffers that capture your child's interest and imagination.

Here is one stocking stuffer idea that won't break the bank, is loads of fun, and uses basic chemistry also!  It's called InstaSnow and it's for children ages 4 and up.  This non-toxic powder explodes into "snow" when water is added.  It's nontoxic and environmentally safe.  It makes up to two gallons of "snow".

It's small and lightweight to mail.  Since this product uses chemicals in the powder to create the chemical reaction, we recommend parent supervision.  We like this science kit because it's educational, yet fun for kids because it taps into snow.  This science kit would be especially cool for kids living in warmer climates that do not get to see snow naturally.  It's a great way to link science with everyday life in a way that's relevant and entertaining for kids.

Dec. 19 and 20th are the last days to mail gifts for arrival before Christmas, so time is running out!  Visit www.jumpstarttoys.com, select science and nature in the left navigation.  Alternatively, type in Insta Snow in the search bar at the top.

Have an older child?  Try the KaBam! game.  It's light, small, fun and educational as well.  Multiple players can play this game.

Happy Holidays!
The JumpStart Toys Team