Toy & book ideas for your kids , Part deux

April 24, 2014

Hello Motherburg readers,

Happy Spring to those in NYC. The sun is finally shining and the heavy winter coats and layers have been shed. To all those readers elsewhere in the world, I hope you are enjoying whatever season you’re in… I’m completing the thread of toy and book posts here. This one is geared towards 4 and 5 year olds. For ages 2 to 3, please visit my last post.

4 years

Toy suggestions

For those that are into tinkering:

Gears! Gears! Gears!

These gears will keep those little hands and minds busy. The possibilities are endless with these easy to connect pieces. Watch as your kids place the gears and boards together and then give them a crank! These gears really move.

This toy requires kids to plan, problem solve and create. What more could you ask for from a toy?

For those that are sensory seeking:

Rabbit Run Resistance Tunnel

This is not your run of the mill tunnel. This one is specifically designed to give your kids a sensory experience. It is made out of poly-spandex. This soft, stretchy material requires children to crawl and make their way through the slightly resistive material.  There are many tunnels like this for sale online, but this one is by far the most affordable and easy to store.

One great book:  

The Good Little Bad Little Pig by Margaret Wise Brown

From the author of the classic children’s books, Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon, comes a perfect story for your 4 year old. It all starts when a young boy named Peter, asks for a pet pig. Well, shenanigans ensue, along with a great lesson on being simultaneously both bad and good. You and your kids will delight in reading this well written and beautifully illustrated book.

5 years  

Toy Suggestions

For those into moving about

Zoom Ball

I went to a conference years ago on physical development and kids. When this toy was suggested there, the whole room paid attention. It’s a deceptively simple toy. Not only will it exhaust those active kids but it will also require them to play with others.  And secretly I love that in the online advertisement, it says, “brings lots of laughs.” That alone seems like reason enough to look into buying it.

For those into following the rules 


This game is adored by kids and parents alike. It’s great for turn taking, matching and beginning reading. The boards and tiles are quite durable and made with quality. Kids will love sliding the red container and waiting to see what tiles pop out.

Don’t Break the Ice


Don’t Break the Ice was invented in 1968. Forty-six years later and the game is still going strong. The set up for this game typically takes longer than it does to actually play it. Although it’s often a short time until the ice is broken, your kids will want to play this game over and over again. Take a turn and see why this game has stood the test of time.

One great book

 The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book by Tom Robinson

I’ve worked in a lot of schools and have seen how science activities can truly be magnetic. Once, I randomly saw a kid I worked with an entire school year before on the street. Immediately after all our hellos, she asked about a penny experiment we did. That experiment and other fun, simple and do-able ones are in this book.

Thanks as always for reading this post. Enjoy reading and playing with your kids. Till the next post, take care.

Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at

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