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Get Back To the Basics This Christmas by Gifting Wooden Toys

The Christmas holidays are awaited with great anticipation by kids and adults alike, but it has to be said that kids have a lion’s share of the excitement. One of the best things about the Christmas holidays is the giving and receiving of gifts. This actually creates quite a dilemma for adults because they spend quite a bit of effort trying to balance the child’s demand for entertainment with the parent’s desire for the child to get educational toys. Wooden toys are becoming increasingly popular as gifts for Christmas, birthdays and other occasions because they are unique and eco-friendly.

One of the simplest ways that you can give educational toys for Christmas that you know will be greatly appreciated is to buy children’s wooden toys. There are many wood toys that are excellent toys for learning because they provide the child the opportunity to use their fine motor skills, especially if they are construction toys. It is a well known fact that children who play with construction toys get to practice hand and eye coordination very well. As a matter of fact, many schools use children’s wood toys in order to build these skills in children.

The other major benefit of giving children educational toys is that these are a great way for them to learn about specific things, especially history. A construction toy is also a great buy for parents interested in providing their children with toys for learning how to recognize patterns and build something out of different pieces.

There is an immense variety of children’s wooden toys available in the market today because manufacturers are responding to the increased demand for wood toys from parents who would rather spend their money on educational toys than on ones that only provide entertainment. These wooden toys are available to suit many budgets as well.

Log cabin toys make wonderful Christmas gifts for children because they satisfy various criteria of an educational wooden toy. These wood toys are excellent toys for learning about certain aspects of history since they tend to be made according to a theme. In addition, they help a child develop motor skills. Most people who are gifted log cabin toys find that this is a great way for the family to spend time together. Assembling a construction toy does require adult help, and the adult can take this opportunity to talk about the history at that time. As a matter of fact, these educational toys can help a child develop interest in history in general.

The best thing about most wooden toys available today is that they are well manufactured. These tend to be more than toys for learning because some of them, especially log cabin toys, look so attractive that they can be put on display as well.

The best wooden toy manufacturers are well aware that people are very conscious about the impact their actions have on the environment. As a result, some offer a wood toy range that is made of waste lumber from local industry and do not have to cut down trees for their business.

If you are looking to gift toys for learning this holiday season then you should pick out an educational wooden toy instead of a plastic one. The children who receive wood toys from you will be thrilled at the novelty of the gift and the parents will be impressed by the thoughtfulness. Your kids and their friends will also be very pleased to receive log cabin toys and other types of wood toys because they will get hours of pleasure from them. These toys for learning will be a surprise hit this Christmas!

Newborn Toys – Critical Health & Safety Issues

Dangerous toys sold in the US have caused 19 deaths in 2009 according to a report by US Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs). Main risk caused by recall toys published by the European Safety Commission in 2008 are:

  • Injuries – 20%
  • Chemical – 19%
  • Choking – 16%
  • Electric Shock – 15%
  • Fire – 10%
  • Other – 20%

With this statistic in mind, one wonders what type of toys would be safe for kids? How do you check if the toy is safe?

Safety Measures

To lower such risks, when shopping for toys parents should first become informed consumers and readers of labels. Consumer Web sites and package labeling contain the manufacturer’s recommendations and other important information. Instructions should be clear and easy to follow. No matter how much the parent may want the toy for it’s baby boy or baby girl, select only those that suit the they early age, abilities, skills. Toys that are too advanced may pose safety hazards to newborn child.

If you do not restrict yourself to buying toys only recommended for baby’s age as stated on the toy box you should keep an eye on your baby while he is playing in case he may chew or bite on the toys. The best option is to try and pull out the small parts from the toy(s) to make such that it will not fall off and to check it carefully before giving it to your baby. Nothing is more attractive to children than toys with bright colorings. But parents should beware. Brightly colored toys can pose a dangerous health risk to children from lead-based paint. So far in 2008, the CSPC has ordered the removal of 45 types of toys from store shelves in the U.S. due to high lead counts. In 2007, agency ordered the removal of 97 types of toys.

Children are mostly affected by lead poisoning because of their habits of putting things into their mouths. Unfortunately, children’s systems easily absorb lead. Lead poisoning can cause long-term mental and physical problems, and in some cases death. Children activity books, especially for this early ages, should be considered and testes as toys. They pose a risk of choking because the metal spine can be pulled off by a child. The spine and stickers can be swallowed, as they fit into the small parts cylinder. Also there is a risk of cuts because the released spine has sharps points that can cut the skin.

Small objects that babies can swallow, such as marbles, beads, balloons, small balls, many game pieces, barrettes and Lego blocks are also dangerous. They can become lodged in your child’s windpipe, ears or nose and completely block their airway. To test the safety of a toy, invest in a truncated cylinder, which is a clear plastic tube that is available at many stores and allows objects to pass through it that are too small to be given to a child under three. Or, you can even use a toilet paper tube. Make sure that stuffed animals are washable (so they won’t become a breeding ground for germs) and that they don’t have easily removable parts, such as eyes or nose. These parts could become dislodged and find their way easily into baby’s mouth. Also, check squeeze toys and make sure they don’t contain a squeaker that will detach, posing a choking hazard.

Generally, avoid toys with batteries or even worse mains operated toys/appliances for babys due to a number of reason. Firstly batteries tend to leak and we know baby’s like to suck on things. Secondly Baby’s could all start a ‘hire-a-huby’ business. Thirdly mains operated toys or appliances come with cords, which can be a strangulation risk as previously mentioned. If you really can’t get around using things like baby monitors or night lamps, than please make sure that the cables are secured and out if reach. It pays to check on that frequently as older siblings tend to be fascinated with those too. Before you know it cables are in the open again.

Toy Safety Standards

As well as making sure your toys are safe, one of the things you can do is to check if the toy producer provide product liability insurance in case something does ever happen. The three sets of toys standards are:

  • International Standard ISO 8124 established by the International Organisation for Standardisation (supplemented by IEC 62115 for electric toys established by International Electrotechnical Commission);
  • European Standard EN 71 Series and EN 62115 standard for electric toys as specified in BS EN 71 and BS EN 62115; and
  • ASTM F963-08 established by the American Society for Testing & Materials.

The Bottom Line

Finally, remember that toy safety, doesn’t end when you leave the store. Follow these advises to ensure your newborn stay safe from the moment he receive a toy to the day he is ready to give it up. Always remember that the supervision is the most important safety factor that you can provide to protect a child from harm.

Work at Home Mom – How to Find Time for Your Business

Any work-at-home-mom will confess that owing her own business is as challenging as it gets. While the rewards are bountiful, the word easy is not one used to describe small business ownership.

Many moms who work out of their home also have to multi-task tending to the needs of their small children. In fact the reason many parents choose to work at home is so they can be available to care for the kids. Keeping up with household maintenance and child rearing is a full time job. So how does one find time for her business?

The answer to that is simple. You don’t find time; you make time. OK the part about making time may not be that simple, but it is very much doable. The most important factor in making time is your mind set. Remember RYBLAB – Run Your Business Like a Business. Assuming we’re talking about a bona fide business and not just a little something you do periodically to earn a little extra cash, then it’s important to manage your time.

The mom business owner who has an infant or toddler will need to manage her time much differently than one who has school aged children. For those who are also caring for an infant, take advantage of the times when baby is sleeping. Just don’t forget to get a few hours of sleep yourself!

Toddlers are a little more challenging as they are very busy little people. Set up a desk for your little one near your computer. While mommy is working, your toddler can color or work on simple crafts. Or set up a small corner near you with some favorite toys.

Business owner parents who have children in school all day know they have a window of approximately six hours to get as much done as humanly possible without interruptions of parental tasks. The key is to take full advantage of any time you have to yourself or at least without a child needing your undivided attention.

Don’t try to find the time – you’ll run yourself ragged trying to find something that isn’t there. You need to make the time. If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. Just as married couples should schedule dates on a regular basis, small business owners need to schedule work time and stick with it!

You can do it!