Tag Archives: Fine motor skills

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.

 

FriDIY: Chalk and Dry Erase Board Table

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Are you ready for some artistic and creative fun? Well, so are we! That’s why we made a chalk and dry erase board table out of one of our table and chair sets for kids. You and your little artists will have a blast crafting this table. This table is great for your children’s fine motor skills and can enhance their drawing and writing abilities. Let’s get started:

kid's chalk and dry erase board table

  1. Gather your materials:
  2. Put the newspaper underneath the table, chairs and paints. Remove lids from the paints and begin stirring.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to prepare the paint.
  4. Use painter’s tape to create a divide in the middle of the table.
  5. Tape all four sides of table.
  6. Sand down the entire table with sand paper.
  7. Paint the chalk board paint onto one side of the table (apply two – three coats of paint).
  8. Paint the dry erase board paint onto the other side of the table (apply two – three coats of paint).
  9. Tape the front of the chairs and paint one chair with chalkboard paint and the other with dry erase paint (this step is optional)*.
  10. We also painted the back of the chairs.
  11. Let paint cure for three days before applying any chalk or markers. After the three days you can remove the tape from where you feel is necessary (we left the tape in the middle of the table to distinguish that each side of the table is different and tape on the fronts of the chairs).
  12. Let the drawing fun begin!

Check out all the awesome ways you can draw on this chalk and dry erase board table and chairs:

IMG_1428IMG_1425 IMG_1423

*Painting the front and back of the chairs with chalk and dry erase board paint is optional. We wanted to show all the different ways your kids could draw on the table and chairs set. However, if you do decide to paint the front of the chairs, we recommend your child wears clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. If they sit all the way back on the chairs, they could get chalk or dry erase marker on their clothes.

Developing Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills
 

The physical development of children is very important to us here at Step2. The toys that we create help develop the sensory, fine motor and gross motor skills of toddlers and preschoolers. Fine motor skills are defined as “actions performed with the small muscles in the hands, fingers and wrist.” Many of the new toys from spring 2013 collection will help increase the fine motor skills of your little ones.

The Stack ‘n Stay Hamburgers and Stack ‘n Stay Smores food sets help children to stack together different foods that are found in and on a hamburgers and smores. Children can interchange all of the topping on the hamburgers and smores to create a new recipe. In addition, children will be able to associate the realistic color of the play food with the actual food. Also, children can count the different play food they put onto and take off the burger and smores. These food sets can be used with play kitchens and also with the Fixin’ Fun Outdoor Grill. This particular grill also features another food play set, which is the Stack ‘n Stay Hot Dog set. Playing with the grill knobs and flipping the food on the grill will also enhance the use of a child’s fine motor skills.

The Sand-Tastic Construction Set and Sand-Tastic Castle Set will teach children how to shovel, pour, build, and roll while in the sandbox. The characters that are on the truck and bulldozer are interchangeable, which will help children to click pieces together just like they do on the Stack ‘n Stay play sets. In order to increase the different skills that children are developing, you can also put marshmallows or rice instead of sand in the sandbox. By replacing the sand for other materials, children will be able to improve their sensory skills.

Besides playing with shovels and sand sets in sandboxes, the Fun & Sun Climber and Sandbox, which was also released this spring, can help assist with fine motor skills. This toy includes a shovel for digging and pouring sand in the sandbox portion and through the cascade accessories. This toy not only helps with fine motor skills but gross motor skills by encouraging children to climb and slide using big muscle movements.

The toys from the spring 2013 collection are different from traditional fine motor skills activities such as cutting paper and tying shoe laces. The frequent change of activity and position will keep children fascinated. What activities and toys do your children play with to develop their fine motor skills?

 

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