Fall came earlier than normal this year at the Step2 Headquarters in Streetsboro, Ohio. We have been experiencing a lot of rain and chilly weather! Even though the kids are back to school, they still need an outlet for active and creative play after a day of structured learning and scheduled play. We are here to help with some suggestions of what to do when it is cold and rainy and your little ones cannot escape the confines of the indoors but still need to release some energy.
Step2 has a variety of toys that you and your little one can play with on those dreary days of fall. Better yet, incorporating arts and crafts or cooking into the equation can inspire more creativity. Here are our top picks of fun filled activities to do with your children on rainy days:
Draw me a picture!The All Around Easel for Two is a new product that inspires children to draw and post their artwork on the easel. Since there are two sides, more than one child can play with the easel. Suggest to your children to draw pictures of what it would be like if it was sunny outside. Ask them what their favorite season is and to draw it?
Let’s get cooking! A customer favorite that has a new addition, the Grand Walk-in Kitchen & Grill! This great way to show your little chef what grilling is, is by firing up your own family grill and having your child imitate your movements on their Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill.
Role play about the rain: Although playhouses are usually meant for outside, we have seen many of our customers bring playhouses inside during the colder months so their children can still play with their favorite toys. Suggest a role playing activity to do with your children such as pretending it is raining inside and running for cover in to the playhouse.
Vroom-vroom in the living room: Ride-on toys are usually for outside but if you have some extra room in your house, you and your children can have fun riding around the house acting like a race car driver that is trying to make it home in a rainstorm.
How do you play with your children during rainy days?
It is great that children are becoming tech savvy, especially in this generation. However, could a child’s active play and creativity be suffering? “Researchers who have tracked children’s creativity for 50 years are seeing a significant decrease in creativity among children for the first time, especially younger children from kindergarten through sixth grade. This decline in creativity is thought to be due at least in part to the decline of play,” according to the Washington Post.
“Play is a remarkably creative process that fosters emotional health, imagination, original thinking, problem solving, critical thinking, and self-regulation. As children actively invent their own scenarios in play, they work their way through the challenges life presents and gain confidence and a sense of mastery” says Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma. Moderation is important when it comes to how a children play. There are so many ways for children to play due to the advancement of technology. Television is no longer the only issue when it comes to making sure children are getting enough creative and active play.
The Washington Post released an article this week titled “Is technology sapping children’s creativity?” With all the new gadgets that children can play with from tablets, cell phones, flip down car monitors, and computers, children have a variety of options of how they spend their play time. Yet, if children become consumed with these gadgets, they may not realize that there are many other ways to play that do not involve a screen and interactive applications.
The question remains, can technology and play tie together when it comes to child development? The products that are on the market that are technology based for children have a value of being educational and Step2 offers a variety of fun toys that help foster imaginative play and creativity including play kitchens, a puppet theatre, and art easels. We believe that a little tech and a little imagination can help to raise a well rounded little one.
What do you think about children becoming more involved toys that require technology?
Step2 has a variety of kitchens to choose from, this fall we introduced a new kitchen called the Creative Cooks Kitchen. This product is exclusive for Toys R Us. Even though it has just been released, it has already become a big hit!
According to Time to Play Mag, the Creative Cooks Kitchen ranks 4.5 out of 5 stars for fun, 4.5 out of 5 stars for repeat play, and 5 out of 5 stars for assembly and instructions. Seems like they really loved this kitchen!
When asked why it is fun, Time to Play Mag said this, “With the Creative Cooks Kitchen, preschoolers can pretend to be just like mom and dad in the kitchen. This is a cute roleplay item that gives kids everything they need for a realistic kitchen experience. Parents will love this kid-sized kitchen as well thanks to its large storage capacity.”
No one ever said raising a child would be easy. Between making sure your child is eating balanced meals and getting in enough physical activity, the endless concerns can make ones head spin. Luckily, Parents.com has listed 20 healthy snacks that your kid can enjoy. Along with healthy eating, active play and creativity add to the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some unique healthy options to substitute for junk food:
Not only is it important for children to eat healthy snacks, but physical activity is essential to fight childhood obesity and grow up to be healthy. Here are Step2, we encourage active play and creativity.
A great way to get children to use their imagination is to allow them to help out while you make them some of these nutritious snacks. If your child has a play kitchen, they can either pretend to make the same foods you are preparing or they can help out with small tasks in the food preparation.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. It is essential for children to get out and play especially during the summer months. Staying active will help children to gain endurance and appreciate being able to keep up with their friends.
One way to keep kids active and entertained for many hours is with a playhouse.
With healthy snacks and great toys to stimulate the mind and body, children will have a ton of fun being active!
Most people who buy a Step2 playhouse or outdoor toy imagine their toddlers and preschoolers from around the neighborhood enjoying play time in their new clubhouse. Some imagine their playhouse occupied by a pet dog or cat. At least one pictured a mountain lion living in her Clubhouse Climber!
Nancy from Nevada sent us this picture of her pet mountain lion enjoying a Step2 Clubhouse Climber. This big cat is 7 feet long and weighs about 175 pounds, but she loves to nap and play in her playhouse!