Encouraging Numeracy Skills Through Play

Encouraging Numeracy Skills Through Play

Numeracy skills are a vital life skill which allow us to carry out a number of everyday tasks during our lives, the foundation of numeracy skills is rooted in childhood. The first few years of any child’s life mark a period of rapid learning; by helping your child to develop numeracy skills from an early age, you will better prepare them for the future by supporting the development of mathematical concepts and problem-solving skills.
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How Many Toys Does A Child Really Need?

How Many Toys Does A Child Really Need?

Having children transforms the lives of the parents or caregivers in so many ways. Although many of us vow that the living areas within our homes will not be taken over by the toy collection and transformed into difficult to navigate spaces filled with twinkling plastic; this is often easier said than done.
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Top Tips On How To Engage Your Child In Creative & Imaginative Play

Top Tips On How To Engage Your Child In Creative & Imaginative Play

Creative play, also known as pretend or imaginative play provides children with a form of escapism and an opportunity to express themselves freely. This type of play takes numerous forms and can be based on complete fantasy - a fairy tale kingdom, or inspired by a real-life scenes and events, such as at the restaurant, the police station, playing families at home etc. – the possibilities are endless.
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Things Parents Should Consider When Choosing A Toy

Things Parents Should Consider When Choosing A Toy

Choosing good quality toys to set up your child for playtime can be a difficult decision for any conscientious parent. We are presented with a somewhat overwhelming choice when toy shopping, making it sometimes tricky to see beyond the attractive packaging, prime shelf position and in some cases, pester power from our children!
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fairy tale toys

Fairy Tale Toys

Traditionally, fairy tales, also described as wonder tales, were spoken rather than written down, this oral tradition was eventually transformed into the written page. Fairy tale books remain universally popular and are now well supported by toys which encourage hours of creative and imaginative play whereby the child enjoys pretending to be part of a magical landscape.
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Stacking Toys and Your Child's Balance

Stacking Toys and Your Child's Balance

Stacking toys are any type of toy which involves mounting one piece on top of the other, popular examples include ABC Wooden Blocks and Stacking Rings. Children can build and stack blocks independently, helping them to develop a wide range of skills as well as helping to keep them busy.
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3 Ways To Build A Strong Bond With Your Child

3 Ways To Build A Strong Bond With Your Child

There's no one way to build a healthy connection with your child. The Encyclopedia of Children’s Health explains how the characteristics of the parents and even the child can affect the quality of the relationship. Of course, not all children will have similar personalities to their parents — and that's completely okay.
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best puzzle toys for toddlers

The Best Educational & Puzzle Toys for Toddlers

All young children, including toddlers, can benefit considerably from the rewards of puzzle solving - there are numerous reasons why puzzles are good for children.
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The Benefits of Traditional Toys

The Benefits of Traditional Toys

A traditional toy is typically thought of as non-electronic, made from materials such as wood or other types of natural fibres, and often handmade. Examples of popular types of traditional style toys include dolls houses, play kitchens or work-stations shops, garages, cars, trains, shopping carts and more.
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How Does Role-Play Benefit Development in Children?

How Does Role-Play Benefit Development in Children?

Also known as pretend or make-believe play, role-play allows children to explore new identities by adopting a character or persona and acting out its role. This type of play and its associated themes may be fictitious - a fairy, wizard, troll etc. - or it may imitate real life occupational roles, such as a teacher, shopkeeper, parent, doctor and so forth.
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Staying Positive Through 2020

Staying Positive Through 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for all. With lockdowns and travel restrictions separating us from loved ones, ongoing job uncertainty, combined with the pressure to become perfect home-school teachers overnight on top of everything else. Whilst the need to stay physically healthy through the pandemic is important, staying mentally healthy is just as important to our wellbeing.

We are human, so getting stuck in a negative headspace after a tough time is only natural. Make sure you check in with the people around you, and don’t hesitate to reach out yourself if you’re feeling down - we all need a helping hand sometimes.  It’s more important than ever to show compassion to yourself and those around you. Showing gratitude is one-way mindful technique to stay positive. By writing a gratitude list at the end of each day it allows you to think about the specific positive moments each day, rather than writing off a whole day as bad. It can be simple pleasures, just make sure you connect with what you’re writing.

Local community hubs can often be found on social media pages like and these are great ways to connect with people in your area. If you’re a book lover then you could find or create a local book swap network to meet likeminded people or start a walking club that explores different routes in the areas. If you have neighbours that are shielding, then let them know you’re around to help – remember, the thing they might need the most is a conversation. If you can socially distance outside the front door for a tea and a chat this could transform someone’s day.

Crafts can be a therapeutic way to unwind, especially for children with their limitless energy. Bond with little ones by crafting your own unique creations – from homemade Christmas cards to handmade puppets – the world is your oyster! The process is a fun way to unwind and a wonderful way to spread kindness if you create something for someone else. Sending grandparents, neighbours, and friends your creations to show that you’re thinking of them – chances are you’ll brighten their whole day!

The great outdoors and exercise have been saviours for many over this year, and just because the weather has got cooler it doesn’t mean that should change. Thankfully, many personal trainers have adapted to online sessions and live streams so you can find the right class – ranging anything from yoga to intense HIIT sessions – all from the comfort of home! If you fancy braving the cold then simple walks are great ways to unwind, stretch your legs and get fresh air. Also, if you’re working from home and stuck in the same environment all day it often clouds the time between work and leisure. By committing to a walk after work it’s a way of separating the two.

We’d love to know what has kept you positive through this time, and what are you thankful for? Wishing you all a lovely Christmas from the Le Toy Van team x

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how to have a greener christmas

How to Have a Greener Christmas

We've got a guest blog from Katherine from Shop PomPom, and she's going to give you some tips on how to have a greener Christmas. Check out these 3 easy ideas that involve little effort but have HUGE impact!
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