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Importance of toys to a child- Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Why are toys important? If you ask any mom this question - she would gladly tell that it would keep the child occupied & she gets some space for herselfSmile  which is indeed a worthy reason! Apart from this Toys foster growth and development in a child. It is very important to take few moments to think about the impact that the toys have that you are considering to purchase. Below are few aspects that parents must always keep in mind

Developing your child’s gross and fine motor skills: Motor skills are motions carried out when the brain, nervous system, and muscles work together. Fine motor skills are small movements such as picking up small objects and holding a spoon that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Gross motor skills are the bigger movements such as rolling over and sitting that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet.

Developing Cognitive Thinking: Cognitive development is the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. A child begins learning cause and effect with cognitive thinking

Developing Child’s Language Skills: Language development is a process starting early in human life. Infants start without language, yet by 4 months of age, babies can discriminate speech sounds and engage in babbling. The sounds you make at an infant, the songs you sing, the stories you say all aid to language development immensely. Eg. Peek Ka Boo, Rat & Cat games all aid to child’s communication development. The little gurgles, pleasure, sounds they make is child’s attempt to express themselves.

Developing Sense of Safety: Helping your child develop a sense of safety, a sense of well-being, can be accomplished any time you play with your child. It is so very important to take time out of each and every day, no matter how busy you are, to spend moments alone with your child. This is easy when your girl or boy is an infant because you need to nurse or feed your baby, but as the child grows and becomes more active, many parents are so caught up in everyday life that they simply have trouble finding time to spend with toddlers. Read books to your child at night or work puzzles with them in the day. Any toy or game which you can play with your child teaches them that mum and dad are there for them, that you value them and that they are living in a safe environment.

Develop Social Skills: This is the most important aspect in raising a child. Things that one can teach in play are like “Share”, “Be Nice”, “Respect each other”, “Accept Each other”, “Right vrs Wrong” Etc. One must be careful in choosing a toy which does not encourage anti-social behaviours / Violence. One must choose toys that your child can play with siblings / friends to promote socialization skills in combination with toys in which a child can play with themselves fostering independence within wider groups.

Toys not only help in entertaining your kids but also educates them and promotes healthy development amongst them. Choosing the right toy for your kid is indispensable as learning from a toy begins at very early age. Whether you are buying for your child/ friend’s child, birthday gifts, Nieces or nephews - One must take time to think what you are buying & the toys that are buying foster the development aspects for a child. Any positive impact that a child develops for its future are the Perfect gifts one can give!

Happy Shopping!

Team AATIKE

Tags :  ToysWhy are toys importantCognitiveMotorSocialSafety
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Simple Fun Indian Toys you can make at home or on a holiday- Thursday, January 31, 2013

Simple Fun Indian Toys you can make at home or on a holiday using materials available around us!

The best thing a child can do with a toy is break it. The next best thing they can do is make it! Here are few toys that children can make and break freely! One of the unique features of these toys is that we can introduce scientific methods of working in process of making and playing with these toys. The children will be introduced with the basic ideas of experimentation and creativity in an effective manner.

Leaf Flute

  • You Need: A Peepal Leaf
  • How to make it
    • Snip off the tip of the lead
    • Roll the leaf into a pipe
    • Press the narrow end of the pipe gently
    • Place the narrow end of the pipe in between your lips and blow
    • Note: if the end id not flattened there will be no sound
  • You can Try: Making short flute, long flute of paper flute the process is the same

Leaf Cracker

  • You need: A leaf
  • How to make it
    • Place a leaf on your loosely clenched fist
    • Hit the leaf with force with your other hand
    • You hear sound of busting balloon

Banana Leaf Clapper

  • You need: Banana Leaf stem
  • How to make it
    • Cut the flaps on two sides of the stem
    • Hold the stem and shake the toy so that the flaps hit stem alternatively and makes sound

Matchbox Drum

  • You need: Empty matchbox, a bamboo stick, a piece of string, a small stone
  • How to make it
    • Make a hole on each of the two ends  of inner box of matchbox
    • Fix the stick vertically through the hole
    • Tie one end of the string around outer box of the match box. Make few loops to hold the tread strongly
    • Tie stone on the other end of the string. Adjust the string length so that the stone strikes the broad surface of matchbox
    • Insert the inner box of the match box
    • Hold the matchbox in your hand and shake to produce rhythmic sound

YoYo

  • You need:  2 circular pieces of thick cardboard 15cms in diameter, a pencil stub, a piece of thread 50cms long
  • How to make it
    • Make a hole in the centre of each disc
    • Fix pencil as an axle
    • The distance between the discs should be about 2 cms
    • Smoothen out edges of the discs
    • Tie the tread to pencil and wind it
    • Hold the free end of the tread and let the spool go down
    • Give it a slight jerk when it almost reaches the end of tread. The spool winds and unwinds itself

Natural Mobile

  • You need: Length of a Willow or thin dried stem of any plant/dried stick which is flexible enough to make a ring, strong thread, selection of natural decorations like pine corns, feathers dried leaves, dried flowers of your choice
  • How to make it
    • Make a ring from the length of willow/ stem of a plant/ dried stick approximately 40 inches weaving the willow in and out as you make the ring
    • Tie the hoop at regular intervals with tread and secure it
    • Tie equal-length treads to the willow hoop and knot together at the top. You will use this to suspend the mobile when it is complete
    • Cut several pieces of different length tread and tie the selection of natural decorations on to each leaving gap between each one to next
    • Tie the decorated strings to the willow hoop equally spaces around the ring
    • Now your natural mobile is ready for the little one to play along! This idea can be easily adapted to ideas to suite any season like painted egg shells, paper snowflakes to flower & leaves…. The possibilities are endless!
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Why do Children like Dinosaurs?- Monday, October 29, 2012

This question triggered in my mind as my Son who JUST two has tremendous fascination towards these extinct creatures! I guess pretty much all children like Dinosaurs – every child goes through “Dinosaurs stage”, this is more prominent in the age groups of Five to Seven or older & sometimes even at the age starting from two years. What could be reasons behind this fascination in little minds? Many studies have been conducted on this by various researchers & have come out with various explanations

Reason 1: Mostly Big, Makes Loud Noise, Scary & some dinosaurs expel flames from its nostrils! Representation of powerfulness

Reason 2:  Dinosaurs get what they want! – (Calvin & Hobbes comic strips in which Calvin pretends to be a big, lurching dinosaur) Apparently Dinosaurs represent in little minds the ultimate ID principle from Freud – When one wants something – they go & get it! & nothing else comes in way or nothing else is important till their needs are met

Reason 3: Dinosaurs offers diverse cast of characters: These creatures are combinations of - sizes (big & small) Food habits (some are carnivores & some herbivores), Deeds (good/bad), Way of life (live in groups or isolated) etc.  This allows children to construct images of various imaginative world in which they wish to be in

Reason 4: They are extinct and have left behind really amazing skeletons: Before ‘Jurassic Park’ or ‘Gertie the dinosaur’ (1st Dino movie 1914) most children learnt about dinosaurs from mounted skeletons in museums. Most kids find dinosaurs’ skeleton less eerie than of skeletons left by modern day animals. This enthrallment may be due to the gigantic size & unfamiliarity. Studies say many kids prefer their dinosaur in skeleton form!

Reason 5: Dinosaurs help mastership/ proficiency: This is based on theory of contradiction – you like something because you are not like that/them! Children may be fascinated with the dinosaurs because they think they have the ability to control aggression & power unlike Dinosaurs – The Good vs. Bad thing! Children tend to assume that all actions or events are either rewards or punishments. Bad things happen to bad people & good things happen to good people, however this concept is induced by parents or surroundings. They also think Dinosaurs have gone extinct due to their bad behaviour & good dinosaurs always stay in the hearts of little ones for eternity

The reasons for liking dinosaurs by children may be plenty, but the question every parent has in their minds – Is it good to allow the child to play, like or fantasise about Dinosaurs?   

Studies say that Dinosaur toys are brilliant for imaginative play and learning about nature and science and getting a sense of the history of our planet. The good vs. bad theory - Children are probably able to achieve a little more ability to control over their aggression each time they indulge in dino fantasy. They say kids start getting interested in dinosaurs as toddlers & this may grow into deeper interest as they become older – through teenage/ adulthood if they have fascination towards planetology.

What should be a concern is when a child takes the behaviour outside play into real life by spilling into wildness/ impulse/ scaring of others. When such situations occur, parents must dwell deep in & help a child to overcome this aggression.  A parent must always listen to their children’s fantasies and find a way to understand what is happening in their little ones inner world. This helps parents to gently manoeuvre the child’s thinking in the right direction towards progressive development.

AATIKE presents to you series of herbivores dinosaurs which is brilliant for imaginative play of your little ones. They are made of Natural wood – Teak & Rubber & excellent robust toys which can be stay through the growing years of your child

http://www.aatike.com/p/86/aatike-push-pull-wooden-dinosaurs-stegosaurus

http://www.aatike.com/p/87/push-pull-wooden-dinosaurs-triceratops

http://www.aatike.com/p/88/aatike-push-pull-wooden-dinosaurs-hadrosaurus

AATIKE DinosaursAATIKE DinosaursAATIKE Dinosaurs

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Dasara Toy Festival!- Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In South India Dusara is celebrated with exhibition of toys in homes! It is exciting time for all the children during this season! Toy festival is celebrated under different names in various parts of South India. It is "Bombe habba" in Karnataka, "Bommala Koluvu" in Andhra Pradesh and Golu or Kolu in Tamil Nadu.

Story behind Toy festival:

The festival has different origins in different parts of India essentially, the celebration of victory of Gods or Goddesses over evil Demons. To respect the self-sacrifice of these deities during the festival days, Hindus revere morities, which are small statues in the shape of particular gods and goddesses. Another take on this festival is a connection with agricultural economy. It is said that in order to encourage dredging and de-silting of irrigation canals and riverbeds the toy festival was aimed at providing demand for the clay material to make toys got from such activities. Another example is the Bengali tradition of using clay that has been tread upon by the most beautiful girl in the area to construct a doll of the Goddess Kali, the belief being that this would be the best way to approximate the perfect features of the Goddess. The 9 day festivities end with goodies being distributed on the last day. During independence and in modern times, the festival changed to signify unity & integrity needed in our society.

The goodies part of festival: People come to visit homes to see the Toy decorations, usually children are given small gifts, sweets in the form of 'prasad', similar to other festivals like Halloween celebrated elsewhere in the world!

We can use this occassion in decorating the toys using different themes that have an affect in our every day life and all aspects in our society – Waste management, lowering pollution, fighting corruption…the list can go on & on… and making all of us aware of a clean & healthier life, especially to our little ones & their tiny tots. 

India has so many fascinating festivals - Dasara is one of the most unanimous festivals celebrated across all parts of the country spreading festivity and happiness all around!

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History of Wooden Toys- Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A child develops through play. Can you imagine play without toys?

Since early civilization, a child’s favorite playthings have been similar to those that have been around for centuries.

As long ago as the ancient Greek and Roman empires, children are known to have played with dolls, horses, and chariots. Ancient Indian children played with toys such as whistles shaped like birds, small carts to roll down hills, and toy monkeys that can roll down a string. These can be seen in certain pockets in India especially during the village fair even today, but is a fading profession. 

Unlike today, where children are amused by television, the simplest things, easily amused children then.

Although today children are much different than those thousands of years ago the earliest toys discovered by archeologists were all made of wood.

Wooden toys continued to be a common part of childhood for thousands of years. Over the next century, toymakers became more elaborate and detailed with their wooden creations. Wooden miniatures like dollhouses and theaters became popular during the 19th century, as well as wooden toy soldiers. Many of them were hand painted with bright, vivid colors. Wooden trains, along with their wooden tracks, were one of the best selling items during this time period.

By the end of World War II, a number of new materials had been introduced to the manufacturing industry including still popular plastic. The production of wooden toys steadily declined as more and more toymakers opted for cheaper and more modern materials. Plastic games were much easier for mass production and were more affordable to families with children.

Today, traditionally made items are rarely seen, except on the shelves of traditional toy stores but the charm and appeal of these childhood classics has kept a number of traditional manufacturers in business. A variety of examples can be purchased online, from miniature appliances to small novelty gifts and games.

Wooden toys are typically simple playthings that encourage a child to use their imagination. Wooden puzzles encourage children to develop cognitively as well as develop fine motor skills. Wooden ride-ons and pedal cars enhance physical skills and gross motor development. Whether it is a fire station or a farmhouse, miniature wooden play sets aid in social and emotional development. Wooden toys hold great educational value because of their simplicity.

Plastic alternatives are still generally less expensive than wood and are considered safer by some because of the flammability of older wooden toys and possible injuries from thrown or falling wooden objects, but wood does not contain toxic PVC like plastic do. They are the most durable playthings and can usually last through generations of play.

Today’s wooden toys are just as innovative, if not more so, than modern, electronics. Cars, trucks, and wooden wind-ups make wonderful gifts and wooden pull alongs delight toddlers. Board games like chess and checkers, and even tic-tac-toe can be found made of wood, as well as physical games like ring toss. For toys that provide educational benefits and last for decades, choose the games that have been tested by time, wooden toys.

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