This is a blog written primarily by Suzie Evans, stay at home mum to two little girls and owner of Toys and Games Ireland
Well, although December has only started and I feel like I’ve been in the throws of Christmas rush and season for at least a month! Anyone else? Along with the increase in orders, comes a lot more e-mails with the same questions, which I’m going to attempt to answer here and direct people to.
- When will you stop taking orders for Christmas?
I plan on keeping my shop open until 12 noon on Wednesday 16th December. I’m fairly confident that orders placed up to this point will arrive on time for Christmas, but of course, if you can, shop earlier to avoid the stress of wondering if your toy will arrive on time.
2. How can I place an order for delivery in Ireland if I live outside Ireland?
My website is set up to only dispatch orders to the 26 counties in the republic. Since it is a website package, it’s hard to change the format and one of the faults is that it presumes you have to have a billing address in the 26 counties if you want to buy from my shop. It forgets that people outside of Ireland might want to buy for relatives in Ireland. The only way around this is by putting an Irish billing address and it really will accept any address (even if it’s not linked with the billing address on the card)
3. Can I get toys delivered to Northern Ireland?
Yes, but again, you need to work around the website system which only has the 26 counties in the drop down address box. So, fill in your full address with the Northern Irish county in the first couple of address boxes, then randomly select an county and write a note to me at the checkout or send me an e-mail to tell me to delete the drop down county selected, when submitting the address to GLS.
4. What if I accidently selected ‘Collection from Newtownmountkennedy’ as my delivery option?
This happens regularly as the default delivery option is ‘Collection’, so if you miss this section at the checkout, you won’t be charged the delivery fee and your order will stay here until you collect it. I usually pick up on this and send an e-mail to you asking if you did it by accident and if you’d like to pay for delivery. I’ll send you one of two links to pay for delivery. If your order was over €35, you can pay the subsidised delivery of €2.50 here and if your order is less than €35, you can pay the lesser subsidised delivery of €5 here.
5. How long will it take before my order is dispatched?
I try to make sure that all orders get dispatched within 1 working day of arriving with me. In order for this to happen, it means I need to limit the number of orders that come in, as I work alone. On busy days, I close my shop between 12 midnight and 12 noon. When this happens, there is a banner up to notify you that the checkouts are closed so you can’t complete a purchase but you can still browse my website. There are two things that can stop your order from being dispatched the next day. The first is if you choose ‘collection’ by accident (so make sure you don’t!) and the second is if you don’t supply an eircode for delivery. In these cases, I have to contact you and wait for your reply which means your order can’t be dispatched.
6. How long does it take for the couriers to deliver orders?
I use GLS and I have to say, they are amazing. Despite the huge increase in orders during level 5 restrictions and shops being closed, the couriers were still making sure that most orders got delivered within 3 working days and a lot of orders still got delivered within 1 working day. If you haven’t received your order within 4 working days of placing it with me, please contact me immediately and I will look into it and see what the delay is.
7. What if my tracking says ‘Delivered’ and I haven’t received my order?
If this happens, contact me immediately. Unlike other years where we can see who signed for an order, GLS are using contactless delivery which means they aren’t asking for signatures. Depending on the courier, some will ask your name and put it into the system. You will get an email once your order is delivered. If you were home when it was apparently delivered, check outside your door or ask anyone else who was home if they received it. If the answer is no, then contact me immediately and I’ll arrange for the courier to call back to where they left the order to get it and bring it to the correct address. This really only works if I’m contacted within 24 hours of ‘Delivery’. After that, it becomes really hard for a driver to remember what house they might have left your order at.
8. What if my order arrives damaged or incomplete?
This rarely happens but at this time of year when I’m super busy and the couriers are rushed off their feet, it’s easy to make a mistake or drop a box. If this is the case, take a photo of the box/damage and send it to me by e-mail (Suzie@toysandgames.ie) and I’ll look after you.
9. What if I’m not sure my order went through?
If in doubt, send me an e-mail and ask. If your order has been processed, you will get an automated e-mail telling you what you have purchased. Within one working day, you will receive a second e-mail, this one is a personal one letting you know that your order is packed. GLS will follow up on this with an e-mail with a tracking code. If you don’t receive these, contact me and I’ll look into it for you.
10. Where can I collect the order from?
If you live near Newtownmountkennedy and want to collect it, there’s an option at the checkout to do this. Once I’ve packed your order (within one working day of receiving your order), I will e-mail you the collection address and we arrange a time that suits us both for you to collect it from me. Don’t try and collect your order before you receive an e-mail from me with the address and confirmation that your order is ready for collection, please.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for shopping with me and supporting my small business over the past 12 months.
Not much is what most people would answer to this question! Maybe a cup of tea or coffee, depending on where you buy it. Or a bag of crisps and a small chocolate bar. Let’s face it, €2 doesn’t go very far any more and yet, it’s what a lot of children get for their pocket money. Now, with school back and teachers and parents looking for small rewards to give to children and Christmas drawing closer (Santa always stocks up on lots of these for stocking fillers), I thought it was about time, I showed off some of the toys you can buy on my website for just €2 (or less!)
Blackboard Chalks (€1)
A Finger Monster (€1.50)
- A Net of Marbles (€1.50)
- 10 Glow Sticks (€1.50)
- A packet of crayons (€1.50)
A pack of Playing Cards (€1.99)
- A Flying Ring (€1.99)
- A Yoyo (€2)
- A Paper Sword (€2)
- Some Stationary from the GoGoPo range (€2 each)
Alternatively, if you have several children, you could buy toys that contain several items and split them over the children. This can be particularly handy for party bags. These could include:
- Ninja Wall Climbers (€2.75 for 4)
- Bouncy Balls (€2.99 for 8)
- Djeco Stickers (€3.49 for 4 sheets of stickers – approx 40 stickers per sheet and available in loads of different themes)
To see my full range of ‘Pocket Money Toys’ click here. Don’t forget that if you spend €35 or more, delivery is subsidised to €2.50, so it’s worth stocking up on a few bits at once!
Enjoy shopping and thanks for supporting small Irish businesses like mine,
It was a horribly wet day on Friday so when the girls came home from school, I suggested that we make a light garland using a kit that I stock on my website. The girls were both up for it so we got to business. I’ll explain how we did it, with some photos and a video and then I’ll tell you what we liked, disliked and some tips if you buy a kit yourself to do.
The kit comes with 8 small balloons, 4 long lengths of different coloured embroidery threads, a short string of fairy lights, a bottle of PVA glue, some wooden skewers and some step by step visual instructions. It was supposed to have a balloon pump but our box didn’t have one.
- Blow up the balloons
- Cut the embroidery threads to about 5m. You now have 8 strings of thread, one for each balloon.
- Pour the PVA glue into a bowl and add half the amount of water. Then mix them together.
- Dip your first string into the glue and wind it around the balloon to make a web. Then go onto the next balloon and do the same.
- Stick the skewer through the balloon (above the knot so that you don’t deflate the balloon) and suspend them (I used glasses to suspend them) so they don’t stick to worktops or each other. Leave to dry for at least 12 hours
- Use the skewer to burst the balloons (they won’t automatically deflate as they are attached to the dried out thread)
- Gently prize the balloon from the thread using the skewer, making sure that you don’t push the threads in and affect the shape. (I’m sorry, some devices aren’t showing the whole screen for this you tube video but it’s worth watching from a computer screen as it shows how you have to prize the balloon from the threads)
- Push the little bulbs into one of the gaps in your balls and secure with thread.
- Add batteries and hey presto – you have a lovely light garland!
What I didn’t like:
- There was no balloon pump. These balloons aren’t regular balloons and they are much harder to blow up.
- That the instructions were only visual ones. I’d like to have been able to read what to do as often I found the pictures hard to figure out!
- It ended up being extremely messy – glue all over our hands and counter!
- It was very hard to guess what size the balloons were supposed to be blown to. We blew ours too big and then ran out of embroidery thread and glue. Thankfully we had extra of both in our craft box so we could continue without much stress.
What I liked:
- That is was difficult enough that my girls needed my help. It’s good to have a craft that challenges them. It was nice to work on something fun together, even if they did bail on me once it got really messy!
- That this craft took longer than 10 minutes. If a craft can be done quickly I often feel cheated that I’ve paid for it and it took no time at all to do. This craft took about an hour and a half to do. Then you had to wait 12 hours to dry and then it took about another hour to get the balloons out and the lights in.
- The end result! It looks great and works perfectly. It’s really pretty
- If you have a balloon pump, take it out to help you blow up the balloons. You won’t regret a trip to the attic!
- Cut the strings of thread into 2.5m and use two on each balloon. Working with gluey 5m of thread can be very messy and knotty!
- Have all the strings de-tangled from each other and lay them out flat on a table before you get your hands gluey. Otherwise, you’ll have to repeatedly wash your hands after every balloon.
- Err on the side of caution and make the balloons quite small so you have enough glue and thread to complete the project. I think they probably should be blown up to about the size of a ping pong ball. (a tennis ball is too big – we learnt this from experience!)
- If you have extra glue and thread at home, have them ready. These work best if the web only has small holes in it and depending on the size of your balloons, you might discover half way through that you need more than what the kit supplies.
- This kit is probably ideal for children aged 12+. I did it with my 9 and 10 year olds and they both lost interest half way through as it was super messy and they didn’t want to get messy! I think adult help is definitely needed, especially during the inserting the bulbs stage.
- Have 2 AA batteries ready so you can try it out as soon as you’ve completed it.
I hope this gives a fair assessment of the Make your own Light Garland Kit. Already there’s a request here that we make another one, so I think that speaks for itself! The kit costs €20 and is available for sale here
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you purchase one and have more to add from your experience, let me know and I can add it in.
I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my little toy shop has won the ‘Online Toy Store of the Year in the Republic of Ireland 2020’ by the Prestige Awards. It was shortlisted with 8 other online toy shops and today, I found out that we won!
I had a request recently for toy suggestions for a nine year old boy’s birthday so I thought I’d share the request and my reply, in case it helps other people choose toys. But, before I get started, I want to say sorry for not having blogged in so long. Once lockdown hit, business exploded! The big toy shops were all forced to close and it drove people to shops which were run from home by one person. It was wonderful and crazy at the same time but I prioritised dispatching and keeping my shelves filled and things like blogging became less of a priority. Now, things are starting to return to normal (and with the kids returning to school in just over 2 weeks), I’m hoping to get back to blogging once a week again. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who supported my business over the past 5 months and I hope that many of my new customers will become regulars and business will continue to grow.
So, here’s the e-mail, I recieved:
Hi Suzie. Wondering what you might have for 9 year old boy – he’s interested in football but books also – He has 2 younger brothers so an active house !! As in delicate toys wouldn’t last !
I saw a great ball on uk website that counts as you do ‘tricks ‘ or do you have kites or old fashioned ‘jacks’ ( the game of metal pieces .. With small ball) … or any suggestions welcome please !! I need it for this week Thank you . A”
And here’s my reply (with added links and images)
Thanks for checking in.
That ball sounds amazing. I don’t stock it but I have something a little bit similar. It’s called Return Ball and it’s like a tennis ball that’s attached to your wrist with a piece of elastic. You throw the ball and it comes back. It’s great for learning catching.
My kites are my best selling toy since lockdown.
This Football in a Tin set is a game of finger football where you have miniature boots for your fingers to wear and a small ball and goal.
I don’t have Jacks on it’s own, but it comes in this fab box that has over 50 games.
I wrote a blog before lockdown with toy ideas for children that like science toys his age. You might get some inspiration there.
Last year I wrote this blog with travel toys for his age group
Finally, you can find all the toys that I think are suitable for 9 year olds here
Thanks again. If you want to it to arrive by Friday, try and order it by noon on Wednesday just to give it an extra day to make sure it arrives on time. Also, don’t forget the eircode. The number 1 reason why orders are delayed in arriving with customers is that the eircode hasn’t been supplied! One last thing – I’ve changed my checkout slightly so now people can choose to collect their order from me. This is the default option so you need to change it to ‘delivery’ if you want it delivered.
Thanks for coming back, I hope you can find something suitable
Back in January, I started a series of blogs about STEM toys and then things got very busy here as I prioritized buying in new stock for 2020 (If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you have been getting sneak previews of lots of these) and then midterm came. I’m finally getting around to finish off this series with a blog on STEM toys for older children.
Just in case you missed my last blogs or you have forgotten exactly what STEM toys are, here’s a reminder.
And here’s the links to the blogs I’ve already written:
So, today, I’m going to highlight some educational toys that focus on developing science, technology, engineering and maths skills for children aged 10+. Many of these will be enjoyed by adults too. I stock quite a lot of these types of toys but I can’t feature them all here. Instead, I’ve picked out 15 and if you’d like to see more, you can click through at the bottom of this blog!
If your child loves learning about space, the galaxy and also loves sensory toys and making things like slime, then this science kit would be a perfect learning toy for them. The booklet enclosed, is detailed and full of interesting facts while the experiments are a fun way of learning how these scientific facts work.
This is a fun learning activity for older boys and girls. Using a finger torch and the instructions, your child can learn how to pass messages to their friends using morse code. It’s a clever kit and it costs only €2.50!
3. A Compass
Some people are just wired to enjoy figuring out things – whether it’s how something is made, a maths problem or how to calculate how to get somewhere. These compasses are perfect for kids like this. Give them a map and a compass and they’ll have hours of fun!
If sending secret messages and deciphering codes is something your child enjoys then this kit is right up their street. Inside are two code wheels, two notebooks, and two pencils. Your child can send a secret message that only their friend with the same code wheel will be able to read!
This science kit will teach your child all about how the weather works and it has some fun science experiments that will help illustrate this.
These wooden cubes are perfect fidget and travel toys for older kids. Each cube is made up of 27 smaller cubes, attached to each other with elastic string. Once unraveled the challenge is to be able to form them back into the larger cube shape.
Using the art of origami, this kit will teach you how to fold the beautiful paper to make 24 small paper boxes.
By the time your child reaches this age, they should be responsible enough to have putty and not destroy the house with it. Putty Peeps is great for creative kids and kids who love sensory toys. Mould the putty into shapes and characters over and over. There’s hours of fun to be had from one small tub. The added scientific benefit from this version is that it’s magnetic so your child can use the magnet to pull and lift the putty. The final benefit is that it’s also currently reduced by 25%!
Learn all about how crystals are formed and even grow your own crystal with this fun little science kit.
These fun puzzles center around seven wooden shapes. The aim is to be able to form the images on the cards using all of the seven shapes correctly.
Sudoku is a maths game where you need to place each number in a box so that the numbers 1-9 are in a row, a column and a square. This wooden version can be used over and over by just taking out the numbers and starting again.
This science kit will teach you how to make your own lie detector and use it so you know when someone is lying or telling the truth!
13. Tractor in a Tin
This metal construction kit has all the pieces and the tools to build your very own model tractor. Perfect for minds that love engineering.
This microscope will allow your child to see details in small items.
This gift box has 4 metal puzzles designed with this age group in mind.
As much as I would love to feature all my STEM toys for children aged 10 and older here, it’s not possible. However, if you haven’t found what you are looking for, check out my pages that feature toys for each age group here.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. You might be surprized to know that all these toys cost less than €20 and half of them cost less than €10. Buying good, educational toys doesn’t have to burst the bank and you are investing not only in entertaining your child but also in their home education through play.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
It’s midterm and we have set our family a challenge to raise enough money to pay for a toilet to be built for a school in Uganda. Something that is seen as an absolute necessity in Ireland is a luxury for many children around the world! To make the situation even sadder, our family spends about the same amount on toilet paper every year as it costs to build a toilet for a family who don’t have one. We live in such an unfair world.
So, this week, we have decided to run a couple of fundraising events to raise the amount needed for a school in Uganda to build a toilet. It costs approx €275. And, the good news is that you can help at no expense to yourself!. Simply purchase from me this Wednesday (19th February), Thursday (20th February) or Friday (21st February) and 10% of the value of your order will be donated towards our toilet
We are purchasing our toilet through an organisation called Toilet Twinning (www.toilettwinning.org) where you can purchase a toilet block for a school or a refugee camp for £240 or a toilet for a family for just £60. When you decide what you want to buy, you can choose from a selection of countries you want it to be built in. You can also ‘twin’ it with a toilet back here in Ireland! A couple of weeks after you have paid, you get a photo of the toilet which you can hang with pride in your bathroom.
As a mother of girls, it hits me hard that girls are disadvantaged in other countries purely because they are female and there is no toilet in their school. Education is a key to beating poverty, as is health and hygiene. By supplying a toilet, we can help change all these for the better.
So, if you’d like to help us pay for a school toilet block, simply make a purchase from my website, and I will donate 10% of the value of your order towards our fundraising efforts. It won’t cost you anything extra. Why not stock up on a few birthday presents or buy that toy you have been meaning to purchase for weeks. If you place an order of €50, I will donate €5. If you place an order worth €20, I will donate €2. It doesn’t matter how big or small the order!
Thanks. I’ll keep you posted on how our efforts go.
Enjoy the midterm,
Only a few more days of school and then my girls will be off for a week. Although this puts extra pressure on me as I mind them and run my business, I’d choose it any day over rushed mornings, packed lunches and homework, so I’m counting down the days. This mid-term is different for a lot of schools. Some choose to take the full week off, while others only have 2 days. I’m so thankful that ours is a full week. I feel we all really need it.
Unlike the summer holidays, when my girls spend a lot of time out on the road playing with their friends or the Christmas holidays, when there are so many family events to go to, the February mid-term can have long days with little scheduled. I’m not sure what that means in your house, whether it means a trip to the book shop to buy a new book or a visit to the cinema. These trips can add up and make mid-term an expensive week. Although the toys I’m about to show you will cost money, I believe that they will be worth every cent as they can be played with over and over (and not just during midterm but in the evenings and at weekends) and they can involve the whole family or just the children. Here’s ten, that I’m happy to recommend.
- Little Cooperation
It can be hard to find a board game that pre-school children can understand and stay engaged playing but from experience, this one works. The games only last about 10 minutes (but can be played over and over) and there’s no reading involved, so pre-school aged children can play it without it being complicated or them needing help. Also, it’s a team-building game so instead of everyone playing against each other, everyone plays together and you either win together or lose together, so there’ll be less fighting. Check it out here. It is recommended by Djeco for children aged 2.5 to 5 years.
This version of the Beetle Game is the paper version. In the box, you will get a notebook with faintly drawn beetles, 2 pencils and dice. The first player throws the die and depending on what number they throw, they can draw over the corresponding body part of the beetle (so, for example, they might need to throw a 1 to get to draw the body). The aim of the game is to be the first person to complete their beetle. Lots of people can play this game at the same time and people as young as 5 can enjoy it. It comes in a little box, perfect for slipping into your handbag and producing when your child starts the ‘I’m bored’ lark!
Cluedo was one of my childhood favourite games and I taught my girls how to play it over Christmas. It’s as good as I remembered and they loved it too. They are 8 and 10 and both grasped how to play it quickly. It’s a murder mystery game where you have to figure out who the murderer was, what weapon they used and where the murder happened! This version is the travel version so it’s perfect for storing and yet equally as good for playing.
Charades is fun no matter what age but this version is suitable for children aged 4+ as the objects and actions that are to be acted out are in visual form as well as written form and they are objects/actions your child will know like a cat or tieing a shoelace. This is a fun game for the whole family.
This is another game for pre-school aged children up to about 6 years old. Every child is given a board with 4 items illustrated on it. 16 little discs are placed upside down and the children take turns turning them over and seeing if they match the pictures on their board. The first person to get all four discs from their board is the winner.
This box doesn’t just have one game but it has everything you need to play 50 different games! Some are as traditional as Snakes and Ladders and Ludo, while others are card games and games of skill. There’s weeks of fun to be found in this box of games.
This traditional game will have the whole family competing to be the first to fill a row or card. It’s great fun and very easy to play.
Not all games need several players to play. These boxes of sudoku games are for one person at a time, although there are 30 cards in the box, so 30 people could all play at the same time using a different card! They are aimed at children aged 6-10 years.
Chinese Checkers is a game of strategy where you need to move your pegs across the board to their new home before anyone else. Up to six people can play it at the same time and it’s recommended for children aged 6+. This is a beautiful wooden version that you’ll have for life.
Darts can be dangerous and yet so much fun to play. This magnetic dartboard takes away the danger as instead of each dart having a pointy tip, it has a magnet that will stick to the magnetic dartboard. It’s a simple but clever concept and great fun to play.
I hope you have found some inspiration here on what to do on a rainy mid-term day. If not, feel free to follow me on Instagram stories and you’ll see what myself and my girls are playing or maybe you’d like to view my full range of games, as I’m sure I have something to suit everyone!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you do purchase a game from me and you are active on Instagram. Please tag me so I can see how you are getting along, or review the game on my website, so others can be inspired by you.
Have a wonderful mid-term,
Over the last couple of weeks, I have blogged about STEM toys. My first blog explained that STEM toys are toys that encourage children to learn Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths through play.
Last week’s blog focused on fun STEM Toys for pre-school aged children. This week, I’m focusing on STEM toys for children aged 5-9 years.
A simple pack of playing cards can encourage STEM learning in multiple ways. Your child can try and balance/ stack them into a tower, learn some clever card tricks to play on friends or family or play card games with them. Although the term ‘STEM’ is relatively new, the games and toys can be as traditional and retro as when we played them ourselves as children!
2. Rattle Magnets – €3
Magnets teach children all about magnetic fields and what items are magnetic. We particularly love these rattle magnets as they are super strong and they are fun to gravitate towards each other and old apart.
3. Make your own Bubbling Lava Kit – €5
This little science kit usually costs €5.99 but it is currently reduced. In it, you have everything you need to make your own lava with lots of information to learn all about lava too.
4. Mini Games – Mazes – €6.50
Mazes are great for training your brain to solve problems and to look at the bigger picture as well as how to get there. I stock two types of maze puzzles for this age group. This pack from Djeco contains 30 different mazes and a pencil, so it’s perfect for bringing to a coffee shop or on an airplane. I also stock Dinosaur Dinners Mazes where the child has to bring the dinosaur through the maze to get to his dinner. The Dinosaur Dinner Mazes are on wipeable boards so they can be used over and over again.
5. Origami Airplanes – €7.50
Not only will this craft kit teach you how to fold a paper airplane, but it’s also a simple way to learn simple aerodynamics. There’s 20 airplanes and pilots in each pack, so they can be a great activity for a children’s party and you can race them after they have been made. They come in two designs.
6. Magic Show – Box of Tricks – €7.99
Your child will be able to wow all those around him/her with this box of tricks. Learning the tricks means learning how they work and perfecting their performance.
7. Connecta Straws – €8.49
Use these straws and connectors to make your very own shapes and objects. Great for imaginative play and creativity. Brilliant for putting symmetry and balance into practice.
8. Gift in a Tin – Mini Breakdown Truck – €9.50
This fun construction kit comes in a handy tin so you won’t lose parts and you can build it over and over again. It is recommended for children aged 8+.
9. Build and Paint Your Own Solar System Mobile – €9.50
Learn all about our solar system and planets through this fun craft. If you’d prefer not having to paint your solar system mobile, I also stock a glow in the dark version.
10. Grab and Go Connect4 – €10.75
This fun game of strategy and placement is great for both adults and children. This version is the travel version so is slightly smaller than the original version.
11. The Science of Colours and Light – €11.50
This fun science kit teaching children all about light and colours. A basic introduction to both with crafts to make to help understand and put into practice.
12. Gift in a Tin – Castle in a Tin – €13.95
This wooden construction kit is recommended for children aged 8+ as it involves concentration and fine motor skills to complete. It’s great fun to play with and comes in a very handy storage tin.
13. Gift in a Tin – Build your own Butterfly Nectar Feeder – €13.95
Using the materials in the tin and the instructions you can build your own butterfly nectar feeder and watch butterflies and bees frequent your garden.
14. Compendium of Games – €14.99
This box of games contains over 50 games to play, many of which include dice (number recognition, addition, etc) and card games.
15. Bingo – €14.99
Bingo is a great family game that is fun for everyone. It helps develop number recognition and order.
16. Melissa and Doug – Secret Decoder Kit – €15.99
This kit comes with invisible ink pens, a wheels code, a seek and find lens and three workbooks to figure out codes and puzzles. Perfect for this age group. I also stock a travel version here.
17. Scratch and Discover World Atlas – €20
Learn all about the world and where everywhere is using this scratch art atlas.
18. Marble Run – €36.99
This wooden marble run is fun to build and play with. Construct in in multiple ways and test it each time to see if the marble will move from the top to the bottom.
Ok, I think that’s enough for one blog! If you haven’t found what you are looking for, take a look at my full range of toys and games for this age group here.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Enjoy the rest of your day,
Last week, I blogged about STEM Toys and gave a brief explanation. If you don’t feel like reading the full blog here and just want to skip ahead to today’s blog, I’ll remind you what STEM stands for.
So, STEM toys are toys, games, kits and crafts that encourage learning in these areas. Often we don’t know we are learning these areas as we are not in a classroom with a teacher but pre-school children can grasp the basics of these from free play at home or in their child care setting.
Here are ten great toys that will encourage STEM learning in pre-school aged children:
Play Money helps children understand the value of money and how to use it. During play, they will ‘charge’ and get ‘change’. By choosing the euro currency, your child will get familiar with what our money looks like. This set cost €5.99
2. Stick by Number Mosaic Pictures
Anything to do with number recognition is great for this age. That’s why I’m happy to recommend the Djeco Mosaics as brilliant STEM toys for pre-school aged children. Your child needs to stick the correct coloured sticker onto each number on the page. The stickers are raised foam, so they are easy for small hands to manage, and the pictures aren’t too complicated. Not only is this great for their mind, but it’s also great for their fine motor skills, so it’s a win-win activity. I stock two types of these – The Elephant and the Snail Mosaics which cost €9.90 and Dinosaur Mosaics, which cost €9.99. Each box contains two pictures to complete and lots of raised stickers.
The challenge from this activity is to find the matching shapes and colours to make the same pattern as on the board. It’s an early introduction to shapes and patterns and again, it’s great for your child’s fine motor skills. This gorgeous wooden set from Melissa and Doug Toys costs €18.50
This is similar to the Pattern Blocks and Boards only instead of having wooden shapes, you get wooden sticks of different lengths. The aim is to replicate the image on the cards using the right length sticks. It’s great for children who love problem-solving and figuring things out. This set of Eduludo Sticks costs €16.95
Magnets are great fun for all ages and you are never too young to enjoy them. This Junior Magnet Set comes with two large horse-shoe shaped magnets with a north and south pole on both. It also comes with two magnetic balls and two magnetic stars to experiment with. It costs €7.
6. Building Blocks
Learn all about construction with a simple set of wooden building blocks. I stock a brightly coloured set that contains 100 blocks in a bucket with a lid for €33.99 and a linen bag that holds 100 natural wooden blocks for €30.99
This simple but fun game will help your preschooler recognise numbers on a dice and remember which parts of the beetle they can get with each number. The aim of the game is to be the first person to complete the beetle but it’s the luck of the dice that determines this. This fun game costs €7.99.
8. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw Puzzles are great STEM toys are they encourage your child’s mind to figure out what piece fits with another piece. Choose a puzzle with as many pieces as will challenge your child without them becoming disillusioned and give up. I stock lots of jigsaw puzzles here
Any kind of bead sets make great STEM toys as children decide what patterns of bracelets or necklaces to make. Deciding a pattern and order and figuring out shapes and sizes are great preschool maths activities. This little set only costs €5.75
This wooden boat will teach your young child all about balance as they figure out how to place all the blocks in different combinations to ensure the boat stays balanced. It costs €18.95
So, there you have it – 10 fun STEM toys for preschool-aged children. If you haven’t found something in the toys above but you want to keep looking, check out my full range of educational toys for children aged 3-5 years.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Have a great week,