FUNdamentals

Looking for toys that help your children learn and grow whilehaving fun? Our “FUNdamentals” categories can help you find justthe right toy! Look for the FUNdamentals icons in the detailed descriptionpage of each toy. Position your mouse pointer over any icon to read the developmentattribute. Toys are assigned FUNdamentals ratings based upon these developmentcategories:

independence.gifIndependentPlay
Children playing independently learn self confidence and figure out solutionsfor themselves. Toys in this category may encourage role playing and creativestory development. Kids can think problems through at their own pace.

cooperation.gifCooperative Play
By playing with other children, kids learn to share... they quickly pick uprole playing and teamwork. A good cooperative play toy encourages childrento interact and create a fun environment that is a joy for all. Cooperativetoys can teach kids to express their feelings in a positive manner.

motor_skills.gifDevelops Motor Skills
Toys in the motor skills FUNdamental category are good for teaching childrencontrol in muscle development. Kids learn hand-to-eye coordination. Youngchildren use motor skills to pickup all kinds of sensory skills... textures,weight, shape, size relationships, motion. As children grow, toys will alsoassist in developing fine motor skills such as manipulating small parts,using “tools” and construction principles.

visual.gifVisual Learning
Visual toys and games help kids with many types of visual relationships. Toddlersbegin to learn colors and color associations. Image associations are developed(a drawing of a kitty represents a live kitten, but is not an actual kitten,rather a visual short-hand for the kitten). Visual toys and shape recognitionare the building blocks of reading.

creative.gifCreative Play
Through creative play children develop the cognitive, social, physical, andemotional skills they will need to thrive. Playing with puppets, dolls, andanimals that have been personified allows children to work through all kindsof social issues creatively. Forts, tents, and carefully hung sheets cancreate space for the creation of magical worlds. Costumes allow childrento see the world through someone else’s eyes.

language_development.gifLanguage Development
Family board games encourage group conversation which aids in the developmentof complex language skills. Elementary school teachers will tell you - evensixth graders love to be read to, literature uses vocabulary that even themost well educated households don’t work into daily life, so grab achapter book to share with the family. Puppets and costuming allow opportunitiesfor script writing and acting.

logic.gifLogical Thought
Logical thinking is the process in which we use reasoning consistently to cometo a conclusion. Children learn logical thought through a variety of differentplay oriented activities. From peek-a-boo, and fill and spill toys to sorting,sequencing, and putting together puzzles, children figure things out. Youcan see the gears turning when they sit down with a construction toy whetherthey follow directions or create something new. Many brain teaser toys encouragelogical thought.

musical.gifLearning through Music
Music encompasses all areas of child development: physical, intellectual, socialand emotional. Children who study music score higher on standardized tests.Toy instruments encourage children to discover music through play. Shakers,drums, cymbals and other percussion toys help develop rhythm while piano’s,guitars, xylophones, etc. encourage the use of melody.