Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Educational Toys for Preschoolers: 3 Products from MoMA and Chronicle Books

Who are MoMA and Chronicle Books?

Chronicle Books (a major book publisher) and MoMA have designed the concepts for three new educational toys. Together they have developed a line of toys and playthings that inspire children to develop their creativity. MoMA stands for the Museum of Modern Art that is located in Manhattan, New York. The museum has numerous galleries, exhibitions, and educational programs that attract many visitors. MoMA gives the public access to the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art, holding a numerous amount of works including paintings, sculpture, drawings, photography, film, media, and design objects. For more information about MoMA visit their website.

String-Along Books

IMG 1406Young children, some as early as toddlers, are beginning to master the skill of stringing and lacing. One of the first activities is bead stringing, where children thread a bead, pulls the lace through and releases the lace so the bead slides down. The child’s finger movements will become more precise and must master a three-step sequence with this activity. Eye/hand coordination is also developed.
String-along Books is a toy by MoMA that contains 10 little books and a lace. This is a multi-functional toy where you read the tiny books together and then string them on a cord. The idea is based on classic wooden stringing beads; these little books introduce colors, shapes, and patterns and will keep your preschooler (or toddler) engaged for a lengthy period of time. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
Photo by Tania Cowling

Lacing Shapes

Another toy in this collection is Lacing Shapes. Here you connect the dots and lace the cards together to make your very own book. The sturdy cards are full of colors, shapes, and patterns. They can be strung together to create a wall hanging or bind them into a book. The set includes 10 different lacing cards and 11 laces. The concept of this toy was developed by Chronicle Books for MoMA and copyrighted in 2010.
Preschool children love to thread the lace in-and-out along the outline and reverse the operation to unthread the lace. Before playing, identify and talk about the pictures on the card. Encourage your child to trace the outline with his index finger and to feel the holes.
To guide lacing practice, begin by tying a knot in one end of the lace and bring it through one of the holes so that the knot is tied on the wrong side of the card. Give your child the lace in whichever hand is his dominant and the card in the other hand. Guide his stringing until he understands that he should lace through the holes in order along the line and that he must come through the holes alternately from the front and back of the card. At first you may need to indicate the next hole, but in time the child will be able to choose the holes alone. When finished, praise the child for his mastery. Next it’s time to teach the reversal to unlace the cards. This toy is recommended for ages 3 and up.
IMG 1409

Photo by Tania Cowling

Create Your Own Museum

MoMA My MuseumNothing is more important to a preschooler than the art he creates. MoMA has a toy Create Your Own Museum which is an art activity kit that encourages young artists to make and display their own modern masterpieces. The kit comes with 20 4-color frame decals, 5 decorate-your-own frame decals, 8 activity sheets, and 3 colorful museum reproduction sheets. The children can display their art for the entire family to see.
These are only three of the many educational toys for preschoolers that are available through Chronicle Books in conjunction with MoMA. Check out other selections and ordering information on their website.
Photo credit: Chronicle Books
A review made by Tania Cowling