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Children’s Place


Bringing the Beach Home For the Kids - Best Tips From Do-It-Yourselfers On Building A Sandbox

With the temperatures finally cooling down, it’s a great chance to let the kids out in the backyard to play.

Father built this sandbox and now plays with his son in it. Photo courtesy of Dover Projects.

If they don’t already have one, a great idea is to build your kids a sandbox to give them that ‘at the beach experience’ during the week. Kids love it. They use their construction toys and buckets to make things like castles with moats, towers, animal shapes, and other sand creations.

While you can find good quality wooden sandboxes at stores, with a little know-how and an ability to follow directions, you can build a much better sandbox at a lower cost.

In other words, a small store-bought sandbox will likely cost you more than a bigger sandbox that you can build yourself. You can make anything from a very basic sandbox to an elaborate one with a warp-around seat.

Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best and most unique ideas from some parents who have built sandboxes for their own kids (with their websites includes, so you can get the step-by-step details from them).

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More Poison Allowable In Children's Toys Says The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

How many people have ever heard of cadmium? If you haven’t, know that it’s highly toxic, especially for kids.

Photo by BulletproofBlog.

Cadmium is a cheap heavy metal used for a number of purposes including as part of creating paint colors applied to children’s toys and play jewelry.

The dangerous health effects from acute and chronic exposure to cadmium in both people and animals.

These findings though seem of little consequence to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is suggesting that manufacturers be allowed to increase the allowable levels cadmium in children’s toys and play jewelry.

The labor department finds that a one-time exposure to a large amount of cadmium can result in flu-like symptoms such as weakness, fever, headaches, chills, sweating and muscular pain. Acute pulmonary edema usually develops within 24 hours and reaches a maximum by three days.

With luck and a good immune system, if death from asphyxia doesn’t occur, symptoms may resolve within a week, according to the department.

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Learning Through Play - Skill Building Toys Preparing Kids For Pre-K

Giving children a head start in learning is one of the most important things that parents can do for them. This gives them the ability to enter school with more self-confidence and accelerate faster with a lot of the basics already in place.

Alphabet A-Z. Photo courtesy of PlanToys.

During preschool children will be expected to master a number of areas, according to prekinders.com, including literacy, which will involve learning the letters of the alphabet and their sounds; building listening skills; learning new vocabulary; sequencing items and events; and developing motor skills.

In math, some of the core skills that children will need to master, include: learning the numbers from one to 10; counting objects up to 10; sorting by shapes, colors, and sizes; being able to compare sizes; and noticing patterns.

Learning can be easy and fun for children if it’s done as part of play. The hardest part for parents and educators may be finding toys that meet children’s educational needs, which are also fun and safe for both them and the environment.

There are lots of benefits to buying toys that meet national and international eco-friendly requirements. To meet children’s health and safety needs, standards include using chemical-free woods, non-toxic paints, and safety-conscious ergonomic shapes.

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Kids Turning Playhouses Into Wonderlands

KidsCraft Cottage - Photo by toydirectory.com.

Most of us can think back to a childhood where our favorite toy was our imagination - playing house, acting out scenes from our favorite stories, and making up our own adventures. Little kids, then and now, are naturally creative and love to explore.

The founders of KidsCraft Playhouse were reminded of this about a year ago when they were still in the financial services industry and decided to change office spaces. They took their children and grandchildren along during their weekend moving efforts, and noticed that the kids were much more interested in playing with the big moving boxes than the toys and coloring books that were brought along.

“They never touched the toys we brought. It was the major moving boxes. It was, ‘Dad could you cut a hole in this for a door. Can you tape this together. Can we color this.’ It took us a few weeks, and then a light bulb went off. We said, ‘We could do this,’ and that’s how this began,” said Paul Isbell, vice president and co-founder of KidsCraft Playhouse.

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Uncle Goose Takes A Curious Approach Teaching Presidential History

We tend to remember things in life that are out of the ordinary, and this is definitely the approach that Lindenwood Inc. takes in creating its Uncle Goose Toys. The company’s latest move toward original play and teaching is the creation of a full set of United States presidential blocks.

Image courtesy of Lindenwood Inc.

“It’s an interesting thing to have presidents on a set of blocks and we are always trying to come up with unique ideas. Some people really key into our political history, even myself going through the process and getting into things that I had never really learned about the presidents,” said Pete Bultman, the company’s owner.

“Usually these guys are up on pictures in a classroom, and I remember when I was a kid looking up and thinking who are these guys. When young minds are active and engaged, it’s amazing what they pick up on and the potential in using presidential blocks. They might spark an interest that a kid might pursue down the line,” added Mr. Bultman.

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