Learning to Take Care of Pet by Playing Hatchimals

Animals are always fascinating for children. When they see animals, they would be eager to interact and pet the animals. Doing it is good thing for children as they can learn to love and treat other creature well. And this learning will be a good basic to develop the feeling of empathy to all living thing. Empathy is an important ability children have to learn and develop because it will make them able to understand and share the feelings of another. When they are able to do this, they will be able to interact and socialize well in the society. Knowing the importance of empathy, we have to give chance for children to learn it. Having pet is a great way for children to learn the empathy. However, letting children to take care of pet is not easy. Having pet requires responsibility and it’s something children need to learn too. To make them understand the responsibility of having pet is by doing simulation. It can be done by playing the toy which allow them to take care a pet as if it’s the real one such as Hatchimals.


Hatchimals Pengualas Pink/Magenta Egg

Hatchimals is a toy which comes in the form of egg. To be able to see the creature inside the egg, it must be hatched. To make it hatch, children have to love and care the egg by keeping it moving and rubbing it. It takes time (varied between 10 – 40 minutes) before it’s hatched. So, children have to be patience and keep interacting with the egg because if they do not do it, it won’t hatch.hatchimals-egg

Hatchimals Egg

Once the egg is hatched, the hatchimals will reveal itself. It will start the life from baby to toddler and the last to kid.


The Hatched Egg

To make the hatchimals grows and goes through each stage of life, children have to fulfill it’s need. The eyes will show different colors which tell different need, for example: purple needs feeding, orange needs to burp, and many more.


As the hatchimals grows from baby to toddler, children can teach it to walk, talk and dance. It will keep bringing out the new ability as long as children keep interacting and taking care of the hatchimals.

All the process above that children will have been gone through by playing the hatchimals, start from hatching the egg until growing and developing the hatchimals into kid, is kind of simulation of how to take care of pet. By doing the simulation they will able to learn that to take care a living creature they have to be patience, love and care the creature, and most importantly they need to pay attention of the creature needs -which these are the realization of empathy and being responsible of living creature- otherwise it won’t grow and develop well.

So, the experience of playing hatchimals will be a good basic for children to learn about the responsibility of taking care of pet. More over, which is the most important, they will learn how to be patience, love and being empathetic as taking care  of pet needs all of those.

Happy playing Hatchimals!  🙂

Learning about Farm Animal through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages

In part 2, it’s written that children once children have played the farm animal toy with variety pretend plays, they can get many advantages, which are:

  • They get the complete knowledge about the farm animals.
  • The pretend play will make children able to do the simulation of the knowledge they get. This simulation will make them understand the knowledge better than by reading or watching only. Because they do not only hear and seeing, but feel all the activities by doing it. The more stimulation they get, the more a knowledge will be grasped, kept in their memory storage in the brain and recalled easily when it’s needed.
  • By doing the simulation, children also learn about the sequence of activities. Being able to arrange activities in sequence will be good for future learning such as in math, language art, science and many more.
  • When they learn a knowledge from global to specific, they actually learn to dig deeper to get more knowledge. This will make them keeping and developing their sense of curiosity which will be good for future learning such as in developing research ability.
  • Bring out their creativity in finding solutions to problems or situations

Those are the advantages for children. Yet, there’s another advantages we can get. It’s that the toy we bought for children will be useful in long term. Therefore, we need the toy that can last long. Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Set can meet the need as it’s made from the from natural wood. Wooden toys are usually last long, not broken easily, even when children throw or bump the pieces onto hard surface/ floor. So, children can use Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Set for years. Another great aspect which we can consider about it is the safety. It’s safe for children soft skin as the pieces are sanded smooth, and vibrantly colored with safe paints.


In conclusion, children can learn a lot about farm animal and get lots of advantages by playing the farm animal toy which one of it is Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Set.  Hence, we need to guide them in the beginning of the play by setting the knowledge children need to know , prepare the props which will help children understand the knowledge and ask questions which will bring out children’s curiosity. These will make children get the complete knowledge about farm animals.

Happy Playing and Learning! 🙂

Related Posts:

Learning Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 1)

Learning Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand the Knowledge We Introduce to Children

Learning about Farm Animal through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand The Knowledge We Introduce to Children

In previous post, we’ve given the example of how to play the Wooden Wonders Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Playset. The key to make children able to learn about farm animal by playing the toy is by setting the knowledge we want to introduce to children in the beginning of play. Once children have grasped and understood a knowledge, we can introduce them to another ones and create the new pretend play. Here are the tips of how to do it:

  • Write down the list of knowledge we want to give to children. Always start introducing children from the basic knowledge and global to the complex and specific ones. For example:
    • First we introduce the farm animals’ names.
    • Then, we tell about the sounds.
    • Later on, we continue with the food and drinks
    • Next time, we can introduce the farm animals’ body parts. Do it by introducing each animal body parts one by one.
    • Then, we can tell about what we can get from each animal such as egg from the chickens, the milk from the cow, the fur from the sheep, etc.
    • Next time, we can tell the process of getting the egg, the milk, the fur, etc.
    • And many more. It is so because the more we’re being specific about the farm animals, the more questions will be raised by children or even by ourselves. Those questions we can use to find out more about farm animal and we can simulate the answer of those questions in the pretend play.
  • Always give the knowledge bit by bit. Too much knowledge at one time may make children confused. So, the examples in point above are better given in several pretend play.
  • Set the knowledge we introduce suitable with children’s age and ability to absorb it. This way children will grasp it easily. For example:
    • The knowledge goal for 2 and early 3 years old are the farm animal vocabularies.
    • The knowledge goal for 3 years old are the recognition of farm animals body parts recognition, the food and drinks, the daily activities at the farm, etc. Stimulate also children to be able to simulate those in the pretend play which they would love doing as at this age they like playing pretend so much.
    • The knowledge goal for 4 years old and above are more facts about farm animals. For example, we can tell about the life cycle of chicken, the reason why duck has membrane on their feet, etc. It’s possible for us to tell and explain more as children at this age have been more curious about everything outside their daily surrounding. Therefore, they would love to know more about farm animal and would ask many questions about it.
  • As in the example in the Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 1), it’s better to write the steps we’re going to do in the play. This will make us guiding the play easily and not forgetting the goal of the knowledge we intend to introduce to children during the play.
  • Always give and explain the knowledge in children language level. If the information we get from the books or from other sources we think is too difficult to understand by children, we have to change the explanation in language children would understand. However, it’s sometimes not easy to do. Here are the tips of how to make it easier to do:
  1. Use the books which are given the information that meant for young children. The language in those books usually has been leveled for young children. Just follow what’s written in the book and deliver it to our children through pretend play.

2.Browse the facts from the internet. Use the keywords ‘farm animals facts for kids’. The information we’ll get is usually explained in language level suitable for children. The same as the information we get from the books, we can just  follow and deliver the knowledge to our children through pretend play.

  • Be creative to make additional props we can use to the pretend play. For example, if we want to pretend shearing sheep fur, we can print the image of the sheep shear used in shearing sheep and prepare cotton (pretend it’s the sheep fur). This way children can do the play as similar as the real one. So, the concept will be understood well. It also will make the play more fun.
  • Make the play more fun by creating situations which will make children stimulated and curious. For example, ask what happen with the farm animals when it rains, or when the snow falls down, etc. This will make children thinking of many possibilities. But, do not forget to find out what actually happen in those situations and simulate those in the play.

Once children have played the farm animal toy with variety pretend play, there are advantages they can get. What are those? Read about those in Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages.

Related Posts:

Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 1)

Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages

Learning about Farm Animal through Pretend Play (Part 1)

One of early vocabularies we often tell to children is animal, particularly farm animal.We read them books and show movies about farm animal. Therefore, they have basic information about it. There’s another activity we can give to children which will strengthen and add their knowledge about farm animals. The activity is farm animals pretend play using farm animals toy set. One toy set we can choose is Wooden Wonder Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Playset. It’s suitable for children age 24 month plus.

To make young children grasp the concept or knowledge related with farm animal, we have to guide them in the beginning of the play. To make us easy guiding them, we need to make some preparations. Here’s an example of the preparations and how to play Wooden  Wonder Busy Barnyard Farm Animal Playset.

Things to prepare:

  • Chalkboard or rolled paper on the wall.
  • Print the images (browse and get the free print out images) which will complete the play and add more fun such as the meadow, the pond, the pig pen, the carrot garden, the vegetables (the pigs’ food), the grain and seed (These are the chicken food, but we can use the real grain and seed to make the play more fun).


The concept/knowledge goal:

  • Farm animal vocabularies: cow, hen, rooster, dog, duck, horse, pig, rabbit, and sheep.
  • Farm animal’s sounds.
  • Farm animal’s food.
  • The sequence of activities of the farm animals.

How to play:

  • Prepare the Wooden Wonder Barnyard Farm Animal Playset in front of the chalkboard/roll paper.
  • Put the meadow, the pond, the pig pen, and the carrot garden in front of the barnyard.
  • Set the animals in the barnyard.
  • Draw the morning sun on the chalkboard/roll paper. Then say,”It’s morning. It’s time for the rooster to crow.”(This way children know that the rooster crows in the morning)
  • Move the rooster and pretend that the rooster crows.
  • All the other animals wake up one by one.
  • Make the sound of each animal: cows moos, dog barks, ducks quacks, hen clucks, horses neigh, sheep bleats.  (This way children know the sound of each animals. They will definitely making the sound of the animals too).
  • Then, move the farmers. Pretend they take each animal to the place where they will eat. The farm boy & the dog herd the cows, sheep and horses to the meadow. The farm girl takes the ducks to the pond, the hen to the front of the barn, rabbits to the carrot garden, and pigs to the pen.(This way children will know the eating place of each animal).
  • Then, tell what the animals eat: ducks eat fish, hen and rooster eat seeds, cows, horses & sheep eat grass, pigs eat vegetables, rabbits eat carrot, dog eats dog food. (This way children know the food of each animal).
  • Then, we can draw the sun set. We can say that it’s time for the animals to go back to the barn and go to sleep.
  • Move the animals one by one to the barn and make their sounds as well.
  • Once all the animals at the barn, we can draw the moon and the stars on the chalkboard/ roll paper. Therefore, children know that it’s night already.
  • Repeat all the activities one more time. So children know that in farm animals’ daily life, there’s a sequence of activities they do: wake up in the morning-go to the feeding place-eat and drink-go back to the barn in the afternoon-go to sleep.

Those are the preparation and how to play the Wooden Wonder Barnyard Farm Animal Playset. The example would be suitable for children age 2 and early 3 years old. As children grow older or when they’ve been very familiar with the basic knowledge about farm animals, we can expand the knowledge and create the new pretend play. Check how to do it and what are the benefits children can get from the pretend play in Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand the Knowledge We Introduce to Children

Happy Playing! 🙂

Related Post:

Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 2): How to Expand the Knowledge We Introduce to Children

Learning about Farm Animals through Pretend Play (Part 3): The Advantages


Fun Way to Make Children Do The Must Do Activity

There are times when we need our children to do what we ask them to do straight away. For example, we ask them to take a bath because they have to go to school. But, instead going to the bathroom, they refuse and choose to play their favorite toy. When we face this kind of situation, being angry won’t solve the problem. How it is so? If we’re angry, there’re two actions possibilities children will do. First, they will be defensive which are shown by keep playing or stop playing but still not doing what we ask for or avoiding us. Second, they will show tantrum and refuse us hard. When any of the possibilities happen, it will be more difficult for us to make them doing the activity they have to do.

So, when we are in such situation, we have to find a way to deal with the situation which won’t make the situation getting worse. One way to deal with it is through play or game. Why play or game? It’s a fun activity to do. Children tends to respond quickly to it because the play or game makes  them curious. When their sense of curiosity is stimulated, they will choose to act on the sense. This intrinsic willingness won’t make them refuse the activity we offer. Not as in the case, if we’re being angry.

If it so, what play or game which will attract children’s attention and curiosity. Here are two types of play and game we can offer:

  • Pretend play. Children love doing pretend play. When they pretend to be a character, they usually would love doing anything related with the character.
    • For example, As in the case above, ask what our children do with their toy. If they do pretend play with the toy, go along with the play. While the play is on, give idea by using the toy he play. For example we say that the robot they play need to clean it’s body at the bathroom and our children must help the robot in the bathroom. This will make children finally go to the bathroom.
    • If children are not doing pretend play at the moment, we have to be creative to think of the pretend play our children would love and play along too. We can create duck rescue play (use the rubber duck in the bathroom), pretend to be their favorite character which has to take a bath, etc. All those pretend plays, in the end will make children go to the bathroom.
  • Daily activities challenge. Children like when they are able to do many things. If we challenge them to do something and they’re able to do it, they will feel proud of themselves for being able to do something important. For example, challenge them to take a bath by themselves, race with us in putting the dirty clothes onto the laundry basket, sort the toys to the right boxes, etc.

But those won’t do the magic by themselves. Our involvement is the important key to make both work. Here are the steps to make both work:

  • Be attentive of what our children do at the moment we need them to do something. Do not ask them straight away to do what they have to do, but pay attention of what they do. Therefore, we can think of what is the right pretend play we can do based on what they are doing at that moment which we can stir to make them doing what they have to do.
  • Deliberate the pretend play or the challenge excitedly and in a fun way. Our excitement will make them excited too and want to do the play or the challenge.
  • Keep playing along when they finally do what they have to do till the end of the activity. This will make them do the activity excitedly and won’t think to do anything else but finishing the must do activity.
  • Do the same with the challenge. Support them when they do the challenge. This will make them eager to do and finish the challenge well.
  • Last, praise them for what they have done. This is important as this will make them feel proud of they’ve done. They will also make them know that we appreciate the activity they’ve done and make them want to do it again next time.

Those are the steps we can do to make the play and the game exciting. So, children would love doing what they have to do. And here are the note and tips in making and doing the play or game:

  • The kind of play and game can be applied well for children under 5 years old.
  • Be creative in making kinds of pretend play! Use anything our children like. Children usually will respond if we use thing they like and won’t reject the idea we’ve given.
  • Think about the challenge carefully! Create the challenge we think our children have been able to do or make the challenge of the activity they haven’t been able to do but we know that they have been eager to try. Make sure that our children will be able to finish the challenge (It’s all right if they do not do it excellently. What really matter is that they finish it. This will give them the sense of accomplishment. This is very important. And always remember to praise them of all their effort)

That is all, how play and daily activities challenge can make children do what we ask them to do without tantrums arising from us and our children.

Shipwright Pretend Play

Tool toy is one of boys favorite toy. Boys usually pretend to be a builder when they play the toy. Here is one of the tool toy which can make children pretending as a shipwright(someone who builds and fixes ship) on a pirate ship. This theme will add more fun to the play and in the end will give benefit for children.


Ultimate Pirate Work Bench

 work-bench-toy  a-boy-with-ultimate-pirate-work-bench-toy  tool-toy-set  tools-toy-storage

To make children excited and play as the theme, we should join the play. It’s easy to do. Be a pirate character and just pretend that we’re on a pirate ship.  Create a conversation which involves our children on the play. Here’s an example:

Captain (Adult): Ahoy! I’m the Captain of the ‘Brave Ship’. Now, we’re going to sail                                               across the seven seas. Are all my pirates ready?

Children:             Ready!!!

Captain (Adult): All right! Prepare the ship my pirates! I’ll check the ship!

Children:             Ayay, Captain!

Captain:              Pirate! The board on the deck is loosen. You have to nail it!

Children:             Ayay, Captain!

Captain:              Look at the live preserver! Hang it on the deck! Use the nut and bolt to                                        make a hanger!

Children:            Ayay, Captain!

That’s the example. Create other activities which require the use of the wrench, the saw, the ruler, compass, anchor, and the treasure box. When we give order to children excitedly as a captain, they would do the activities excitedly too. They usually would response or reply what we say as a pirate too and make a lively conversation based on the theme (what they say, may not be the same with the example. Let it be and play along with the characters). We don’t always have to act as the captain too. We can let our children to lead the play and act as a captain. This will bring out their creativity in imagining a situation related with the theme.

Here is the tips to do the pretend play:

  • Before playing, set a goal or a title to the play. The title will make us easy to direct the play. For example the play title for the conversation above is the ship checking. With this title, we can create a play which requires children to use all the tools toy. Hence, there is something to be noted. During the play, children may react or bring out idea which is diverted from the title. If it happens, just let it be and play along with our children response.
  • Prepare costumes. It’s not a necessity but it will make the play more exciting.
 Pirate Patchpirate-patch  Pirate Head Scarfpirate-headscarf-for-kids
  • Create many situations or play titles such as ship on a stormy weather, pirates meet the whales, the leaking ship and many more. Just be creative! By doing it, we can actually add knowledge to children. For example with the ‘ship on a stormy weather’ title, we can tell about what nature shown before a storm is coming such as thunder sound, the glimpse of lightning, the dark clouds and many more. Therefore, before playing, it’s better if we collect the information related with the theme we’re going to play with our children from the right source. It’s very important to do in order to give the right information or knowledge to children.

The proper preparation and the play itself can give lots of benefit for children. The benefits are:

  • Vocabularies enhancement related with the tools, the theme and the play title.
  • Knowing the function each of the tools by doing the simulation through the pretend play
  • Exercising children’s fine motor muscles as they use the tools
  • Bring out their imagination, creativity and cognitive skills. It’s because when they act as a character, they have to react/ response of what other character says. To response properly, they have to link the situation in the play with the knowledge they have related with the theme. This requires the three skills above
  • Learn about leadership. When they act as captain, they have to be able to lead the other pirates. This won’t be easy to do as in daily life they still get lots of instruction or guidance from adults. Therefore, when they act as captain, they learn to instruct or guide others. This will give new perspective for them and as a way to learn basic leadership.
  • Learn to deal with pressure. The title play allows us to create a situation where children have to learn how to deal with pressure, for example as in the ‘ship on the stormy weather’ title. During storm, there are many situations which may happen on the ship such as the loosen board, the fall of the anchor and many more. The situations require immediate attention and problem solving. The act of solving the imaginary urgent situation will make children learn how to deal pressure in an urgent situation. This will be a good simulation and experience for children which will be useful in daily life.

Last, after we play the pretend play with our children, it will be great to ask our children to read book, watch movie or video relate with ship and tools (Though, we can do it before we do the pretend play. This will make children be excited to do the play). All the activities will give many ideas and knowledge. So, the next time they play with their peers or even play alone, we might be surprised with the ideas they bring to the play. When they’ve shown this, it means they have learned and developed their abilities!

Happy playing!

Playing Train Toys: A Way to Introduce Transportation to Children


One of children favorite toy, especially boys, is train toy. When they play it, they usually move the train on the track, make the train sound, and pretend to be the engineers. They can play it alone or together with others like their peers or us. If we play with them, we actually can add something more which will make the pretend play more fun and make children learn. How to do it? It’s by introducing the concept of transportation.

To do that,  firstly, we stimulate our children sense of curiosity by asking question like,”Do you know that train is one kind of transportation?” Some may say yes, some may say no. If children say yes, we can ask them whether they know what’s the meaning of transportation. They may answer the question based on their understanding. Never mind if their answer is not correct as young children, though they may have heard the word, may not know yet about the meaning of transportation. It’s our task to explain the meaning of transportation to them. Explain it in words they will understand. Let’s say that transportation is a way to move people or things from one place to another.

After that, we can ask children to do a simulation as explaining the meaning of transportation only  won’t make children grasp the concept. The simulation can be done by playing the train toy. Start with preparing the buildings and setting each buildings faraway from one another.

 TCON-201  Conductor Carl 100 Piece Wooden Train Set

Then, do the pretend play. For example, pretend a person needs to go to another place which distance is quiet far. We can ask children about how can the person go there. They may give various answers such as by foot, by car, by train, etc. After that, we can ask them to help the person by providing one way of transportation which is train. Then ask children to arrange the tracks. So the train can move and is able to transport the person to another place..

 TCON-05  100 Pieces bulk Wooden Track

When the tracks has been arranged, pretend to make the person rides on the train and he feels happy as he’s able to go the place he wants by train now. Keep doing the pretend play by creating another scenario such as visiting grandparents’ house, travelling to another city, etc.

Don’t stop with one type of scenario. Create another situations. For example, there are people who need to send packages to their friends at another city. Put some things (use print out pictures or sticker) on top of the trains. Then move the trains to another place. Pretend that the friends are happy when they receive the packages. Ask children to bring out their own ideas of situation/scenario which I’m sure they will come up with many ideas.

To do the activity above, we need to prepare the train set and the train toys. The Conductor Carl 100 Piece Bulk Train Track Pack can be an option for the train tracks. The set is made of wood which makes it durable and long lasting as wooden toys are not broken easily. So children can have it for many years and even it can be passed on to their younger brothers and sisters. It’s also safe as the track pieces are made from single piece construction, meaning there are no loose plastic pegs that could pose danger to a child.

As for the train set, Conductor Carl 100 Piece Wooden Train Set & Conductor Carl 80 Piece Wooden Train Set with Table can be the options. Both sets include Conductor Carl Engine Car, pieces of track, vehicles, people & signs, trees & houses. Therefore, we don’t need to provide another set train toys to be able to do the simulation.

That’s how the concept of transportation can be introduced to young children. It starts by explaining the meaning of transportation and giving train as one example of transportation. This will make children grasp the basic function of the train and realize the reason why the train moves from one place to another. It’s simple concept but children may not realize it before. Then continue the activity by doing the simulation through pretend play which is the fun and important part. It is the part which will make children truly absorb and grasp the concept because they experience the process of the transportation itself which begins by arranging the tracks, trying to solve people’s problem in the pretend play, solving the problems and eventually creating many situations of using the train as one kind of transportation. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s ask our children to play the train toys to understand the concept of transportation 🙂