Tag Archives: Child Development

Spring into Play With Step2’s New 2014 Toys

Products provide hours of creative outdoor fun all season long

STREETSBORO, Ohio – February 12, 2014 – Spring is in the air and the Step2 Company is delivering new products that will make little ones eager to play outside. From new water and sand tables to climbers and light-up basketball sets, Step2’s new spring line is designed to enrich imaginations and expand creativity.

“Since day one, our mission has been to develop safe, top-notch products that allow children to explore, discover, create, pretend and build greater social skills.  Our new products stay true to this mission,” explains Jerry McDermott, Step2’s chief marketing officer. “Step2 toys are focused on helping kids develop what they need to be healthy and happy contributors to our world.”

With features that encourage simple play and complex learning, Step2’s newest spring products nurture the mind, body and heart of children. Water and sand tables offer updated features for open water play that stimulate the senses and encourage imaginative play. Step2®’s newest climbers, playhouses and light-it-up basketball sets promote physical activity and multi-kid play!

Step2 is turning up the fun and helping children build social and motor skills with these new toys that create enjoyable play experiences for everyone.

  • Wild Whirlpool Water Table™: Imagine the adventures children will encounter with this water table.  The power of the spinning wheel creates a water vortex that takes children to a wet and wild world that includes sea creatures and a boat. (MSRP $39.99)
  • Water Works Water Table™: Children will watch and explore the workings of chain reactions while having fun with the Water Works Water Table™. Water pours through the center funnel and filters into various outlets allowing children to use the accessories to carve new paths for the water. (MSRP $39.99; Target Exclusive)
  • Duck Pond Water Table™: This playful water table will turn your backyard into a day at the park. Children will laugh in delight as they take turns sending the ducks down the slide and launching the frog into the pond! (MSRP $34.99)
  • High Seas Adventure Sand & Water Table with Umbrella™: Imaginations will run wild as children take on a high-seas sailing adventure with this new sand and water table. Kids will take turns powering the water-propelled ship while sending the pirate figures off the plank! (MSRP $69.99)
  • Sand Castle Play Table™: Build sand castles right in your backyard with this play table. The elevated sand table provides hours of creative fun all season long allowing children to develop fine motor skills to dig, build and knock down their sand creations! (MSRP $39.99; Target Exclusive)

With spring ushering in warm weather, climbers and playhouses are sure to be provide an environment that encourages physical activity while inspiring imaginative play!

  • The Alpine Ridge Climber and Slide™ (MSRP $299.99; Toys“R”Us Exclusive) is the perfect climber for active kids who enjoy climbing wall adventures. The five climbing walls complete with grips, holes and steps to assist your climber will promote coordination, balance and strength during active play!
  • Meanwhile, children will be in awe as they roll the colorful balls through the zig-zag maze into the ball pit on the Play Ball Fun Climber™ (MSRP $99.99). The Great Outdoors Playhouse™ (MSRP $199.99; Toys“R”Us Exclusive) features a large open floor plan for all-around play. Complete with working water pump and paddle wheel, grill, mail slot, bird house and flower box, this playhouse will have your kids eager to move in!

Additionally, Step2 is introducing two new basketball sets.  Kids will want to show off their skills in front of mom and dad as they elevate their game and take it to the hoop with the Light-It-Up Junior Basketball Set™ (MSRP $49.99) and Light-It-Up Pro Basketball Set™ (MSRP $59.99) available at Toys“R”Us stores and online. Featuring a large backboard, electronic light-up rainbow rim with sound, real woven net and expandable rim and pole, these basketball sets support gross motor skill development and are designed to grow with your child.

Made in America and backed by a three-year warranty, the new spring products are available for purchase at Step2.com and select retailers including Target, Walmart and Toys”R”Us. For more information, visit www.Step2.com.

 

Learn Through Play: Sharing & Caring

sharing & caring

Don’t you love when your little one gives you a hug or when they want to share a toy or food with you? Those sweet gestures can fill your heart with joy and make your day complete. Expressing emotions and understanding feelings are critical social skills for kids to develop.

It is important to encourage sharing and caring on daily basis; here are a few ways to help your child to develop these social skills:

  • Model generosity: Act as a role model for your children. Hold the door for others, even if they are far away. If someone drops something on the ground at the grocery store, pick it up for them. Performing good deeds can encourage children to care for others by performing similar acts of kindness.
  • Praise them: When children share something with another child or show some type of sweetness to you or another person, praise them for their good intention.
  • Story Time:  Young children enjoy stories and the lessons they teach. You can get creative and tell  your own story about sharing and caring or you can read books at bedtime that demonstrate these lessons such as  “A Chair for My Mother” by Vera Williams, “The Berenstain Bears and No Girls Allowed” by Stan and Jan Berenstain or “The Lion and the Mouse” by Aesop.

Sharing and caring are skills that can also be learned through play. A fun fact about Step2 is that we rarely created toys that are meant for solo play because we aim to enhance children’s social interactions and inspire their young minds.  Let’s check out some toys that can help children understand what caring and sharing are all about!

Pretend Play Toys: Kids can learn what care is by nurturing a baby doll with the Deluxe Nursery Center. Children can also begin to grasp the concept of sharing responsibilities (also known as teamwork). While one child is feeding the baby doll at the feeding station, another child can pretend to do the laundry or take care of another baby doll at the changing table. Kids can also use one of our tool workshops to build a bird house together or another creation out of the pretend wood. Kids can even give their creation as a gift to their brother, sister, mom or dad.

pretend play

Play Kitchens: All of our play kitchens feature tons of appliances and accessories to keep multiple children entertained for hours. Our play kitchens are great for children to learn to use together. Children can trade off playing with the accessories or they can team up to cook a pretend meal.  We have been told by some of our customers that their kids have even exhibited caring by serving up a pretend pot of coffee to mom and dad with their play kitchen!

play kitchen

Art Desks & Easels: Children can also get crafty as a way to show they care. When children draw you pictures to put on the fridge or in a frame it is a selfless act of love and also shows that they want to share their hard work with you! Encourage your child to not only draw pictures for you with their art desk or easel, but ask them to draw pictures for their siblings, teachers and neighbors as well. Maybe your kids can even work together to make a piece of artwork to give to their grandparents.

art desk and easel
 

What tips and toys do you use to teach your kids about sharing and caring?