Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: Lauri Tall Stacker Pegs: Toy Growth Formula Revealed: Toys and their Vacations

All we did was shmoosh them together a little and they make such a pretty design!  I told you these colors were beautiful!

WHAT: Lauri Tall Stacker Pegs (100 pegs-only set)
DOES:  excellent toy that "grows" with your child- use for learning early math, early literacy, and for pretend play- it's multi-everything!
INVEST: $27.99
TOOLS:  More Make-Believe Please, Foment Love of Language, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, Family Fix-it -toys that "grow with you" save you money!
EXPERT OPINION: Emily Andrews, Preschool Director, The Quad Manhattan

Yesterday we talked about Lauri Pegs and how great they were but today I wanted to focus on exactly how they grow with your child.   Until recently, I thought that Lauri pegs were not for bigger kids and so as Number 2 Son turned three I decided to give them away.   But later, after talking to Emily Andrews (see yesterday's post- part 1), I realized that I made a wrong move.

"I like the idea of using materials that are typically used with younger kids with older kids," Emily said.   "Children are inspired by toys that have been taken out of view for a while. Taking a bin of Lauri pegs out in a Kindergarten classroom during free time would likely yield amazing ideas. I doubt any of them would say 'those are for little kids.'"

Emily said that the kids would be excited at the aesthetics of the pegs and would begin playing and constructing elaborate towers of varying heights and patterns, and playing with them imaginatively.

I think that is nice to add onto a beginner's set.  It's a nice way to experience a product.  However, if you do go for the big set from the beginning, consider giving your child a smaller assortment first.   To learn more about big collections, read my review on a Hot Wheels set we have.   photo: Lauri

If you saw my kids playing with Lauri pegs after they received them again, you would think Emily is clairvoyant but she's not!  She's just a great teacher because my two boys did exactly what she said they would!  Numbers 1 and 2 started playing with them without hesitation and now the pegs have become train stations, towers, and swords.  Toys are Tools' Experts Are the Best!   I may have made a big faux pas in giving my pegs away but at least I know how to find a good expert who can show me how badly I screwed up! 

Okay.... shhhh.............really... shhhh.....

The Toys are Tools' TOP SECRET FORMULA to Making Your Toys Grow with Your Child is About to be Revealed..........

Are you ready?

Here it is:

Send your toys "on vacation."

Some parents may know this already and to them, I say, "You are something else!  I salute you!"  This cake below is for you!

Some kids really love birthday cakes. 

To be sure, I understand this feeling of wanting to get rid of stuff.  Clutter depreciates value of your current toy collection and contributes to overall frustration in your home.  However, Emily makes a really good point about things that have been taken out of view. 

Here in this house, I like to say that some toys should periodically "go on vacation."    If it is the Lauri pegs or any other manipulative toys/building blocks that might not have been touched for a while, rather than giving them up, consider sending them on a six month vacation to your closet or garage. You can put a reminder in your calendar to take them back out so that you don't forget.  You may also want to do it when you are feeling the need to stop yourself from buying a new toy and saving some money.

People do this with food and clothing all the time, right?  Shop your own closets, they say?

Doing this exercise immediately meets two goals:
1- You will clear clutter which supports better decision making for playtime.
2- You will help your kids to forget their Lauri pegs.

Why help them forget?  Forgetting how you played with something, I believe, can be very helpful.   In six months when you will say in your best actor's voice,  "Oh, look what I found in the closet today."   And then you leave it out and they will likely grab at it.  I would bet that their main objective at that moment will be to show themselves what they can do with this toy.  I think it would be so natural that the creative juices would reach its peak flow right at that moment, when they are excited to see something that gave them good times in the past.

Emily has the best ideas.  I don't know why I never thought to do this.  Oh, I know!  I'm not Emily.

Vacationing Toys Will Surprise You When They Return

When I give a toy a vacation, I see my kids use the toy in a way that fits with their current developmental stage rather than reverting back to the developmental stage they were in when they last saw them.   And that is the cool part. It is the show we've been waiting for!   When you bring them out and you see them play with it differently, you get this instant video that's captioned: I've grown up and I can do more now!

At that very moment, you really can't ask for more, except for maybe a box of tissue.

Emily's Tips on Peg Play Success

1.  Just put them out, sit, and listen to  your child.  Try not to guide it.

2. Follow the child's lead and keep them engaged by stating what you notice he or she is doing.  ie. "Oh, look at that, you’ve put red pegs in each corner.”  

3.  Use other materials.  Having them coupled with sensory materials like play dough would also likely result in the pegs becoming tools, stamps, spoons, etc… Location and presentation matter. You can use them with paint to make circle stamps for younger children (2-3 years old).

Emily, you rock!  Thanks for these wonderful tips!  I hope as all of us embark on our summer vacations, we may find that at least one of our beloved toys should take a break as well.   There will likely be a surprise waiting for you when those old favorites return from their break.  I'm sure of it. 

Have Amazon Prime and want to get it fast?  Try my Amazon link!

Disclosure statement: Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any fashion by the manufacturer or retailer of any of the mentioned products for the publication of this post.  The product was given to Toys are Tools' testers and the expert to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.   

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