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Rock the School Year: Our Top 10 picks for Back-To-School!

Somehow we're approaching the final stretch of summer, which means a new school year is on the horizon. With the start of the year comes new routines, new schedules and new transitions. Reach for these toys to encourage play that nurtures skill-building and supports your little in the new school year and beyond. Let’s play!                                                                                                                     

This innovative “notebook” unfolds into a chalkboard slate for writing and sketching whatever kiddo imagines. Whether you want to play on the way to school or create a small play space at the kitchen table, this nifty blackboard encourages children to value the creative process over production and offers hours of engaging play. 

 

Meet our Love All Doll. With its open heart, lean on this handcrafted peg doll to support your little one’s social and emotional growth, such as adjusting to a new routine, separating from home or feeling new feelings. Put this transitional tool in their backpack or lunchbox and let them know that if they miss home (or mommy, or daddy), they can return to their Love Doll throughout the day to be reminded that they are always loved and in your thoughts.
                                                                                                                                      
Perfect for encouraging open-ended play on the go (bus ride,recess), our Tegu Prism Pocket Building Set keeps young ones actively engaged, rather than merely entertained. The act of building supports academic development by fostering key cognitive skills, like planning, problem solving and spatial awareness.
                                                                                                                                      
Eco Dough, is one of the best sensory materials for inspiring a child’s imaginative world. As they work the dough and create from the unknown, children develop the fine motor muscles in their hands that help them write, hold a pencil and grip tools, plus the artistic process helps them explore their own self-expression. Bonus: this play dough is made with essential oils that keep it malleable, and leave hands soft and smelling marvelous.
                                                                                                                                      

Kids can customize clothes, notebooks, accessories, and so much more with these cool party-themed rub-on decals. Simply cut, apply and rub with the enclosed wooden tool to transfer the design to anything kiddo’s heart desires, from bike helmets, to sneakers, to backpacks. This play activity encourages fine motor development, original thinking, and helps children value the creative process.

                                                                                                                                      

6.) Stockmar Wax Crayons, $15, Donates 2 Toys

A staple of Waldorf education, Stockmar crayons are the highest quality crayon around. Designed to appeal to the senses, these crayons will grow with your little ones from pre-school to art school days! Plus, they are made with optimal drawing properties in mind. No crumbling, no sticking and no smudging. 

                                                                                                                                      

7.) Omy Coloring Stickers, $12, Donates 1 Toy

Removable, reusable and loads of fun! Decorate notebooks with these decals and re-imagine the familiar, from walls and windows to blocks and open-ended materials, perfect for encouraging creative thinking.

                                                                                                                                      

8.) Micro Cubebot, $11, Donates 1 Toy

Think of this block buddy as the open-ended alternative to a “fidget spinner”, perfect for keeping kiddo engaged. This wooden ‘bot is great for turning in-between moments into play moments (school commutes, after-school wind-down, pre-dinner patience).

Play Tip! Use Cubebot as a transitional tool if your little one could use some extra emotional support as they adjust to the back-to-school routine. Simply place in backpack and let kiddo know they can go to their comfort object any time to know you’re not far.                                                                                                                                

9.) Cross-Stitch Animal Friends, $15, Donates 2 Toys

Great for supporting fine motor coordination, as children manipulate the plastic crochet needle, they practice the tripod grip needed for writing and pre-writing skills. It starts with holding a pencil, and later they’re onto a musical instrument or tennis racket.

                                                                                                                                      

10.) D.I.Y. Pencil Case, $14, Donates 1 Toy

Get back to school ready the D.I.Y. way! These illustrated pencil cases are ready to be colored and customized! As children decorate their case they are developing fine motor skills, organically developing literacy skill and engaging in collaboration- now that's something to celebrate!

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