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!
Kevin Purchase
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The Best Educational Toys For Christmas

The Best Educational Toys For Christmas

Christmas is a special time of year for most children – a season for which many wait in great anticipation, counting down the days until the festivities and of course the sharing of gifts begins! Parents and carers have choices when it comes to selecting gifts for children, they can opt for gifts merely intended to provide fun and entertainment, or for they can choose gifts which provide entertainment and support learning at the same time.
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Choosing Holiday Gifts for Children 2020

Choosing Holiday Gifts for Children 2020

The Christmas season is a special time of year which sees friends and family united together to share good will and happy moments. The idea of giving is central to the Christmas experience, and gifts provide a fantastic way of displaying affection and appreciation of our loved ones – especially our children.
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How Dolls Houses Foster Creative and Therapeutic Play

How Dolls Houses Foster Creative and Therapeutic Play

The history of toy-like figures is well documented. Archaeologists have discovered toys dating back several thousand years and some of the earliest examples were found in ancient Egypt, where miniature homes intricately furnished and decorated with wooden figures of people and animals, were discovered in the Old Kingdom.
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alternative methods of schooling

Alternative Methods of Schooling

There are numerous ways to educate a child without an official ‘right way’, this is evident by the fact that different countries and societies across the globe all provide varying approaches with regards to educational methods.
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Choosing Toys To Encourage STEM Learning

Choosing Toys To Encourage STEM Learning

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – it is an educational concept or a philosophy with the aim of supporting and encouraging the growth of learning in the aforementioned areas.
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why choose sustainable toys

Why Choose Sustainable Toys?

A sustainable toy is one which is made from renewable, natural materials and involves a manufacturing process which does not pollute the environment, release carbon or greenhouse gases, and at the end of its life, is able to biodegrade.
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how toys can help a 3 year old's development

How Toys Can Help A 3 Year Old’s Development

By the time a child has reached the age of three years they begin to move out of the toddler phase - with this comes significant development and much greater independence, both physically and emotionally. These advancements bring a demand for greater stimulation, both physical and cognitive. The three to four-year old is learning at a rapid pace and thrives with a supportive and nurturing environment - the role of play is key to this phase.
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best educational toys for 2 year olds

The Best Educational Toys For 2 Year Olds

Upon reaching the age of two years, a child is officially defined as a toddler – this unique phase brings with it a steep learning curve as well as much joy and a great many challenges for the primary carers.
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