Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wind Up Toys For Fun and Sensory Play

What child is not entertained by a wind-up toy?  They are fun to play with.  I remember the feeling of control which the wind-up toys gives you.  It only goes when you allow it to, by giving it a good wind up and setting it free.

These toys are not just for fun.  They are excellent for developing your child’s motor skills and for sensory play.

Learning to turn the little key the right way with the right amount of strength takes practice but the little toy rewards your child’s efforts by moving or shaking.  The motion is a direct consequence of your child’s action.
Most toys make a little whirring sound as they wind down and, if picked up, your child will still feel the motion of the toy.
We stock a range of wind-up toys and each is priced below $5 so you can afford to keep a variety of different toys in your toy kit.
My favourite are the Wind Up Racing Ducks.  Simply wind up the cute ducks and laugh as they race in your bath or pool.  Which duck will win the race this time?
Another clever toy is the Wind Up Non Fall UFO.  The UFOs with alien driver slide across the table or floor.  They are very clever and will not fall as the UFO changes route whenever it reaches the edge or encounters an obstacle.  You never know which way the toy will go so your child learns to track and follow the little toy as it moves.
You might also like to look at the Wind Up Dinosaurs. I  love the way these ones move!  They are available in 4 styles – Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Diplodocus and T-Rex.

Choose a variety of wind-up toys to keep your child's attention and interest.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Build A Gift Box

There can sometimes be a lot of pressure to find 'the perfect gift', but actually, kids love variety and novelty. Sometimes, 'the perfect gift' can be a selection of  little gifts, that all together add up to a lot of fun!

The Toy Bug has a wide selection of inexpensive gifts just waiting to be added to a toy box or basket, all you have to do is enjoy picking out what combination will work best!

Maybe you are looking for items just right for Easter. What about a Hatching Chick Easter Egg? It is water activated, and absolutely amazes children as the little chick hatches from the egg and continues to grow for over a week! They will also adore a Wind Up Jumping Bunny, a clever little windup toy covered in soft white faux fur.

Is your little giftee a lover of creepy crawlies? They would love a pack of Stretchy Lizards and Stretchy Frogs. These creatures are brightly coloured, heaps of fun to twist and wiggle, and spring back to their original size and shape again and again. You should also check out the Jointed Worm, also great for little hands, and made of brightly painted wood. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Magnetic Game, based on the Eric Carle classic, is another favourite. It is also wooden and a colourful challenge for kids. There are a lot of options, so have a look around. 

Budding geographer in your midst? Set them on the right track with their own Wooden Compass. It has a painted wooden exterior with a loop to hook on their belt or bag, and on the inside, their very own compass that really works! They would also learn a lot and have heaps of fun playing with Around the World Snap Cards. These are filled with great facts about countries, flags, capitals and capitals.

There really is something for everyone. Whether they love butterflies or dinosaurs, music or maths, have a look through The Toy Bug site and pick out a selection that is just right!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trouble Sleeping - 5 Tips to Help Your Child Sleep

It is not unnatural for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to have trouble sleeping. If your child has been having problems with falling asleep or sleeping calmly lately, you need to know that this can change with some effort on your part. The 5 tips below will acquaint you with practices that, if taken into consideration and practiced regularly, can change your child’s sleeping habits and improve the quality of sleep for both them and you.

Tip 1 – Keep a Sleep Diary

A sleeping diary may help you find a pattern in your child’s problems with sleep. With its help, you can find out if the sleeping problems occur after particular activities and what enforces them. In the sleeping diary, you can keep track of the routine of your child – what they eat and drink at dinner and when dinner is, if they have a snack (when and what), what time they go to bed, when they fall asleep, how much they sleep, when they get up and if they have any naps. You can also note what problem/problems they have every day – if they don’t want to go to bed, if they can’t fall asleep, if they feel afraid or uncomfortable to sleep alone, sleepwalking, bedwetting, waking up in the middle of the night, etc. All this can help you figure out where the problems come from - if the culprit lies in particular drinks, food or activities - and how to avoid them.

Tip 2 – Prepare Your Child

Sleep is a process that can be affected by many factors. If there are any activities or habits that make your child energised or excited, it will obviously be good to avoid them before bed time. This may include drinking energising drinks, eating chocolate or sugar, eating late dinner, watching TV, playing video games and so on. On the other hand, some activities may have the opposite effect. For example, listening to a story before going to bed or quiet talking may be beneficial. Make sure your child has pyjamas that are soft and label-free, and that he or she enjoys the feel of the bed and bedding, too. 

Tip 3 – Introduce Sleeping Rules

When it comes to ASD, routine is the way to make things happen the right way. Routine with specific rules can help with sleeping problems, too. For example, you may need to make it clear that the bedroom is for sleeping only. If your child associates it with playing and activities requiring energy it may be hard for them to relax in the same area. You can also start certain traditions and habits that may help make your child eager to fall asleep – putting the toys to sleep, drawing the curtains - helping put your child’s focus on sleep.

Tip 4 – Take Care of Sleepwalking

Children with ASD often sleepwalk or wander after bed time. In order to maintain their safety and the sleep of other inhabitants of the house, it is worth installing a system that notifies you when the child gets out of bed or tries to get out of the room. Some parents rely on baby monitors to listen in to what happens in the room but others choose a camera based system so they can see the child in his or her bed. Other systems have an alarm that will go off if the child goes out of the door.  When you find out that your child is up and sleepwalking, try to direct them back to bed and sleep without waking them up.

Tip 5 – Try Alternative Medicine

There are many products that help people with sleep disorders, including medicines, therapies, etc. If you are planning to try a medicine, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. The options include Melatonin and Tryptophan. You can also look for foods and drinks that will help your child get to sleep, such as hazelnuts, warm milk or mango. Another option is massage – different techniques may relax your child and make them more prone to falling asleep. In such cases, relaxing music can also be of help.
Remember that these tips may work very well or not work at all depending on the person – every child with ASD is different so you need to find the best way for your child to get over their sleeping problems. However, where there is a will – there is a way, so don’t lose hope. Try out ifferent methods until you find the one that works for you.
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