Her big sister has started Pre-K and is learning to write her name. She loves to play soccer in the yard, color and draw, and dance to music. AK recognizes all of her letters of the alphabet and numbers up through twenty. We are working on fine motor skills like tracing and cutting paper. Those don't come easy to her but I am proud of her determination.
VTech knows how important those milestones are and helps parents understand which toys and games help children learn at every step. VTech works closely with a panel of children's learning experts on product development, including the new Flipsies line.
Their website is a great resource offering guidelines and recommendations to help parents select toys based upon your child's individual needs from birth to nine years old.
I like that VTech's website breaks down important milestones by age and 3 categories of development: Language and Cognitive, Social and Emotional, plus Physical and Motor. It's very easy to find your child's age group and see what toys are appropriate for their level and what skills they help teach!
The Flipsies line of toys is geared toward ages 4-9 years old. We were sent Sandy's House & Ocean Cruiser to test out as part of our Holiday Gift Guide.
Who are the Flipsies?
Flipsies encourage girls to achieve any dream they can imagine. They are designed to be aspirational, so you can feel confident that they are entertaining your child in a positive and empowering way.
Flipsies live in the fictional town of Charmingdale, and every Flipsie has a unique interest and a big dream to inspire exciting new thoughts in your child’s developing mind. From a dolphin-obsessed marine biologist to a rock star with big dreams - together they create a universe of possibilities for your child to explore.
Sandy's House & Ocean Cruiser play set
· Flipsies Sandy's House and Ocean Cruiser is a 2-in-1 doll playset that transforms from a beautiful beach house where she can spend time with her friends to an ocean cruiser that she can use to explore ocean life. · Place Sandy on the eight MagicPoint locations on the dollhouse playset or other MagicPoint locations on Flipsies playsets (each sold separately) and she'll respond with playful phrases unique to her own personality.
· Sandy magically gets to live out her dream of becoming a marine biologist through cute outfits, wigs and doll accessories that can be shared with all Flipsies dolls (additional Flipsies sold separately).
· Press the charm on Sandy's doll necklace to see it light-up and to experience her friendly personality; 21 doll accessories include wigs, clothes, a dolphin, binoculars and more
AK couldn't wait to get this out of the box the minute she saw it! She has played with the smaller Flipsies sets, but this set has even much more to it. It is a fun boat with a little pool area on deck, a water slide, and a zip line. Sandy can sit in several spots, including the driver's seat where you can hear boat noises and bells when you push the gear shift and buttons. Sandy says different phrases depending on the touch points you connect her to.
When you flip the boat's side up, inside there is a bedroom area, bathtub, and kitchen. It's easy to transform from boat to house; just maneuver a few pieces like the slide and zip line (AK can do it by herself without a problem).
She spent several hours placing Sandy on touch points and making up little stories between Sandy and her friend Eva. The two Flipsies can talk to each other when they are in the kitchen seats. AK loves changing Sandy's hair and clothes too. There's even a little dolphin pulling a boat for Sandy to ride on. This play set has so many fun accessories! (Just beware that some of the pieces are very small and not baby friendly; we have to keep them out of AB's reach)
I love toys that encourage my daughter to use her imagination and dream, and Flipsies does just that! Sandy's House & Ocean Cruiser is sure to be on your child's wish list this holiday!
Child Psychology Expert and Panel Member Dr. Susan Bartell, recently answered development questions from parent bloggers that you may find helpful:
What are some ways to help my daughter feel less shy when meeting new people?
Children are usually shy when meeting new people because they don’t have good ‘icebreakers’. Give your daughter some ideas for how to start, and she’ll be off and running in no time. Offer her concrete ideas for what to say when meeting someone new. A couple of questions about that person is a great start (How old are you? Where do you go to school?) Complimenting someone is also a good icebreaker and a way to make the other person feel good (your shirt is so pretty; I really like your sneakers/headband). Finally, give her suggestions about what to tell someone about herself (I have a baby brother; my favorite color is pink, I just learned to ride a 2-wheeler). Then, do some ‘dress rehearsals’ with her—practicing is an excellent way to build confidence about the new skills you have just taught her!
How can I encourage my child to try new things and not say she can’t before she even makes and attempt?
Children sometimes need to try something several times before they like it—especially food—so getting them over that initial hump of trying is very important. It is important for you to remain calm, and not angry or frustrated when you are getting your child to try something new and not expect her to try new things under pressure—pressing her to try a new yogurt when you’re rushing her to school and you to work is not a good time! Usually it is fear of the unknown that causes resistance. Therefore, the best way to encourage trying is to demystify the experience, offer support and an ‘out’ if necessary. For example, if you want her to try playing soccer: point out all her friends that play, tell her you will stay for the whole practice and let her know that after she tries it 3 times she can stop if she still doesn’t like it.
What is a good age to start giving my child more responsibility? For example, doing chores independently on a regular schedule.
Children can begin to benefit from chores starting as young as four or five years old as long as they are age appropriate—for example, taking unbreakable items off the dinner table or putting toys away neatly. The key to ‘chore success’ is to make sure that you don’t give too many chores, and that they can be accomplished within your child’s schedule every single time. For example, taking out the garbage on garbage day is only good for an older child that can lift the garbage, and if she has time in the morning on every single garbage day. If not, then this isn’t a good chore. I suggest no more than two regular chores for a child, if you want to ensure success. In addition, it is important for you to follow up consistently to make sure that your child is completing chores. VERY few kids will continue to do their chores if a parent isn’t vigilant about ensuring follow-through. You should not expect your child to do it without some reminder or prompting—and you will feel less frustrated if you don’t expect this!
My child likes to play by herself, what is a good way to encourage her to play with other kids her age?There is nothing wrong with a child sometimes wanting to play alone, but it is a good idea to also encourage socializing. For kids that prefer to play alone, a one on one playdate is much more likely to be successful than a larger group. In addition, schedule playtimes that aren’t more than an hour or two, to begin, so your child doesn’t feel pressure to be successful for longer than she wants. Finally, have some structured activity (art project, new toy—like Flipsies!) so that your child doesn’t feel that she has to entertain her playmate. If your child seems very resistant, or if a teacher tells you that she doesn’t know how to play with
others, it is a good idea to speak to a psychologist or other professional to explore whether she would benefit from an evaluation or to learn some skills.
When playing in groups my child can sometimes be argumentative/combative (usually occurs when her friends aren’t “playing right” or how she wants them to), should I step in? How can I encourage her to have patience with her playmates and respect her friends’ point of view play decisions?
Developmentally, preschool and young elementary age children tend to be ‘rule governed’. This is why they love board games and sports, all of which have many rules to follow. They don’t tolerate rule-breaking very well, so it’s common for young children (especially first or only children) to become frustrated when friends don’t follow the ‘rules’. In fact, this frustration may extend even to rules that have been made up by the group for a game that has been created, or rules that she perceives to be the right way—even if others don’t agree. It is better to help your child learn how to manage her feelings, rather than stepping in yourself to manage the situation. Play rule-governed games with your child so that you can help her manage her frustration during play. Don’t let her change the rules, and resist the urge to let her make all the rules. As she becomes more tolerant for not being in charge, this will eventually transfer to her play with other children. In addition, talk with your child before she enters a group situation. Remind her that she has to allow others to be in charge sometimes, and explain that other children may not want to play with her if she argues with them and they won’t find it fun if she always insists on being in charge. If it becomes necessary, call your child out of the group and remind her of these rules, then send her back in to try again. Be sure to reinforce positive, cooperative play.
Where to Buy:
Flipsies play sets vary in price from $9.99- $39.99 at VTechKids.com
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For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide
One reader will win a Sandy's House & Ocean Cruiser play set
Just use the Giveaway Tools form below. You must be a US resident 18 or older to enter. You must complete each task entirely or your entries will not count.
This giveaway is not in any way associated with or endorsed by Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter. Giveaway Ends 12/1/15 at 12 NOON EST. US Residents **18 and older** only may enter. One entry per household and IP address. Winner will be drawn using random.org and will have **48 hrs** to respond to email or another winner will be chosen. Entries are verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The Attic Girl is not responsible/liable for prize delivery. By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Giveaway terms/rules.
Disclosure: I received Flipsies product and information from VTech for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Sponsor is providing the giveaway prize. For more info. see my Disclosure Policy.
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