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Our team of child specialists are the brains behind our selection of smart toys which we have on offer for you.

With their many years of expertise in a particular field from education through to child psychology their collective experience ensures that every facet of child development is considered when selecting our product range.


They’re here to make the shopping process so much easier for you so be sure to have a look at their product ratings and recommendations.

 

You’ll also find some interesting information, advice and articles but if you’re still not sure what to buy send us a note and we’ll get in touch to help you with your smart shopping.


Kathy Fennell

Kathy Fennell


Kathy Fennell is a retired teacher with over 34 years of experience, primarily in the Foundation Phase and children with special needs (deafness and partially hearing).






Shannon Eggers

Shannon Eggers


Shannon has a master’s degree in Play Therapy and works as a Play Therapist in her busy private practice in Johannesburg. She provides therapeutic support and intervention to children facing behavioural and emotional challenges and assists parents who require support, advice and parental guidance.






Charlene Cruickshank

Charlene Cruickshank


Charlene Cruickshank is an Occupational Therapist, trained in sensory integration.  She has worked in paediatrics since 2000, first in government hospital, then at a special school for children with cerebral palsy. 






Philippa Glogauer

Philippa Glogauer


Philippa has a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology and has completed both basic and advanced Neurodevelopmental Training (NDT) courses. She has worked as a private speech & language therapist in several preschools, primary schools and multidisciplinary practices in Johannesburg, and spent 2 years overseas working in the schools system in the UK.






Advice


At Smarticle we believe that playtime is an important part of a child’s development for the following reasons:

– Children learn through play because they enjoy playing.
– They learn through hands-on experiences.
– They learn to communicate by having conversations. They establish constructive and positive relationships with those involved in playing.
– They learn by trying to solve real problems. Children find exploration and investigation rewarding: ‘What if …’; ‘I wonder …’
– Children learn leadership skills and the importance of rules.
– Play is a non-threatening way to cope with learning new things and still retain self-esteem and self-image.
– Play stimulates creativity and imagination. It allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength.
– Play offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children.

Each toy on the site lists the various development dimensions that the child can develop using the relevant toy. Our suggestion is whilst browsing the toys that you like, take some time to consider the development dimension that the child will gain from the use of the toy.

Below are some of the examples of the learning dimensions that a toy might have.

Visual Visual
The visual system is a complex sensory system that develops throughout infancy and early childhood. This product helps your little one learn to track moving objects, focus, team eye movements, increase neuromuscular strength, develop eye-hand co-ordination as well as spatial and depth perception. The development of the visual system plays a vitally important role in many other areas of development.
Fine Motor Fine Motor
This product encourages the development and strengthening of all the small muscles in the body to control and coordinate smaller movements by the fingers, hands, wrists, feet, toes, lips and tongue for example picking up small objects with a pincer grip, using, crayons and paintbrushes, building blocks, blowing bubbles, eating and speaking correctly.
Creativity Creativity
This product is especially good for encouraging a child to use their imagination to problem solve by experimenting with numerous possibilities and ideas to find the best solution. Children learn about the world around them and how to be innovative when they experiment creatively with the various toys and materials they are exposed to. This can help children learn about making decisions and developing a sense of self.
Imagination Imagination
Creativity and problem solving both require a healthy imagination and this product is ideal for getting your child to use their imagination. Children who are provided with the opportunity to use their imaginations are shown to perform better with cognitive tasks proving that imaginary play is crucial to optimal development.
Problem Solving Problem Solving
This product stimulates the use of creativity and imagination that helps your child find the best solutions to challenges and puzzles they encounter and then to implement those solutions successfully.
Single player Single player
This product encourages a child to play and problem solve by themselves. This helps to develop a sense of autonomy and self-confidence in one’s own abilities.





Learn About Sustainable Toys


Our definition of sustainable toys is something for a child to play with that is not harmful to the environment.  Sustainability is still in its infancy and there is currently no set definition or standard in the toy industry of what exactly constitutes a sustainable or eco-friendly toy. At Smarticle we believe toys should be fun, promote creativity and have no adverse affect on the health or safety of either the child or the planet.






The true value of play - Shannon Eggers, Play Therapist


In today’s modern world with financial constraints, budget considerations, price tags with ever increasing prices, expensive toys and activities how do we measure the value of good, old-fashioned play?






The Power of Play: An introduction to play in the toddler years - Shannon Eggers, Play Therapist


Your toddler, at the age of one, is embarking on their second year of life. This year (and for many more to come) they are going to develop a multitude of skills as they busily take in the world around them. In the next few years, it is helpful to offer a variety of interesting games and activities. Play should include movement and the use of physical energy and also quieter more focused games and activities that challenge your little one’s body and brain.








 

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