Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

Christmas is a perfect time of year to remember all that has happened during the year and to spend time with those you love.  May your memories bring you much fun and laughter.

All the best for 2014.

- The Toy Bug

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Stocking Fillers

When I was a child I sometimes had more enjoyment out of the stocking fillers and trinkets than I did from the main gifts. They were usually full of colour or movement and caught my attention immediately.

Now I make sure that each year I have a great range of stocking fillers in stock for the children who are like the child I once was. They are kids filled with imagination and looking for fun in the holiday season.

Take a look at some of the great toys I have found this year. 

Christmas Dancing Characters – I love these. They are cute wooden Christmas characters which have a moveable wooden base. Just push down on it and it makes the character dance around. Even very small children of age 3+ can use these and make the elf, reindeer, snowman, Christmas tree or Santa dance.

Wind Up Butterfly – You could make these educational by showing how the toy works but why ruin the fun on Christmas Day? Let your children wind up these pretty creatures and set them fluttering along the floor.

Santa Hand Cluster – All your child needs is a hand cluster and he or she can make music. Playing along with Christmas carols or learning about rhythm will all be fun because this is easy to grip and use. In fact, it almost sounds like Santa’s sleigh bells!

None of our stocking fillers are expensive and all of them are fun. They will stimulate the senses and the imaginations of your children and I suspect you will have as much fun with them as your kids do.

We are running out of time for Christmas deliveries so place your order now as these toys will be fun throughout the whole holiday period.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why Kids Are Afraid Of Santa

As Christmas rolls around, so too does the desire to capture an image of your cherubs with the jolly man himself, Santa Claus.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a great snap of the kids, sitting calmly with a smile on their face, and looking at the camera. Chances are however, that the kids will be screaming, looking overwhelmed or just plain terrified.

Kids are frightened of Santa, and there is mounting evidence on the internet of this phenomena. Although we wish it to be otherwise, it makes sense that they are. As their parents, we remind them often about stranger danger, taking things – especially lollies – from people they don’t know and warn them of being overly-familiar with unfamiliar faces.

Then, once a year, we not only expect them to speak to this strange man, but sit on his lap and take things from him. It can be a little confusing.

Santa is also rather big and rather loud, his face is mostly obscured and he’s wearing clothes more suited to snowy climes than the Australian summer. It can be a little disconcerting.

Whilst the message of stranger danger is vital, you can help your child feel comfortable with Santa, without causing them angst or giving them mixed messages.

Give them time to watch Santa chat with other children so they can see that he is actually nice and friendly. Let them become familiar with his behaviour and ways of doing things and don’t rush or pressure them into speaking to him or sitting on his lap.

Most importantly, you need to show that Santa is approachable and that you are comfortable with him. Children pick up a lot from your reactions and behaviours towards circumstances and people.

You’ll get the most out of your children and the photos if you approach Santa first, strike up a conversation, shake hands, smile and be merry yourself in your interaction. This will show your child that Santa isn’t a scary giant out to terrify kids, but a really nice man that even your mum likes.

You never know he might just grant you your Christmas wish as well!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What To Do In The Holidays

Christmas means holidays, and lots of time to spend with family and friends. It is certainly a fun and busy time for all, but can present a challenge to adapt for those who encounter sensory difficulties. 

All kids benefit from sensory-based activities and with the holidays allowing us a little extra time to relax and breathe, it is a great time of year to engage children in activities the whole family can enjoy. Here are just a few ideas.

Baking up some goodies in the kitchen is an easy and fun way to engage the kids, and they can sample all their hard work at the end. From measuring and mixing ingredients, following instructions, to the finishing touches in decoration and presentation, it helps give kids some ownership and productive input into the activity. The smell of yummy things cooking in the kitchen is a holiday memory for a lifetime.

Christmas is the perfect time to get out the paints and glitter pens. Help the kids get creative and make some individual tree decorations. Making personalised Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gift boxes also gives a special touch to any gift.

Everyone loves a Christmas carol. Put on some music allowing everyone to sing and dance. Why not make some of your own music by getting some simple bells or even use some kitchen utensils. There is nothing more fun than playing and singing along to ‘Jingle Bells’ – all kids get a kick out of that.

So Many Colourful Lights
Check out the Christmas lights! Many neighbourhood houses will have a spectacular display of sparkling lights to spend time in awe watching. It’s great if there are some nearby to where you live, because it gives an excellent opportunity to take an early evening stroll with the kids and discover all the changing coloured light displays. But if there is nothing nearby, check listings for your area on the internet as you may find something quite close.

Christmas is by far one of our favourite times of year as there are plenty of fun things to see and do. Do you have a favourite activity?
Welcome to The Toy Bug Blog!

Here you will find all sorts of useful information about The Toy Bug including sneak peeks at new products coming into the store, profiles on toys and information and stories about our Autism Journey.

We hope you'll check back often to see whats new :-)
Cheers Jo xo