Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week, Parenting

What you need to know about Nerf blasters for younger children

As parents we took a stand to not let Hamish play with guns.

As he has gotten older and his comprehension has grown we have relaxed that rule to not letting him play with guns that look realistic and to include educating him in the very real dangers a gun can possess.

Boy toys

As much as we, as a society of parents,have started to move to a more open minded parenting culture many of our children’s toy manufacturers still have a vast amount of violent and traditional toys aimed at boys.

Shops are still divided into boy and girl sides with the boy shelves full of guns, army men and play sets that involve harming others.

It is also natural that many family members and friends still gravitate towards these gifts when buying for boys.

Nerf guns

This led me to openly look at what type of toy guns we could allow.

Bright blue, green and yellow water guns seemed safe and then I saw his eyes dart towards the nerf blasters.

These certainly don’t look like real guns but are they safe for small kids ?

What is a nerf gun?

A nerf blaster is a colourful toy blaster made by Hasbro that uses soft foam darts to shoot.

What does Nerf stand for?

I was confused as to why it was called a Nerf blaster but it seems the term describes the foam darts. Nerf stands for Non- expanding recreational foam.

At what age can a child play with a nerf gun?

The core Nerf range is suited for children aged 7+Although, Nerf have developed a range designed for an older market of 14+ (Nerf Rival)

I was interested to discover that they also have elements for a younger audiences including Nerf Nitro and the Nerf Microshot series.

Each Nerf product has a suggested age suitability on the packaging to guide you, the parent, in making an educated choice as to which blasters are recommended to suit your child’s age.

Which Nerf product would be best for a 4 or 5 year old?

For younger kids the smaller more compact models would be better suited as they are easier and more comfortable for them to manage and handle.

The Nerf Nitro has a recommended age from 5 years and comes with cars to act as targets for your child to shoot at. This is definitely the Nerf blaster we would look at for Hamish.

What safety precautions do we need to take with a Nerf blaster?

Nerf blasters are relatively safe. They have few movable components, limited power and shoot foam darts.

But as with any toy that could hurt someone, however slightly, it might be best to teach younger children:

  • Not to look down the barrel of the blaster
  • Keep the blaster pointed down and your finger off the trigger if not shooting
  • Don’t leave the blaster lying about loaded
  • Never shoot someone in the face
  • Never shoot at animals
  • Wear safety glasses

Final thoughts

I mostly like that this toy “gun” is known as a blaster allowing children to identify with it being a toy straight away.

I also like that the manufacturers have ensured that there are age restrictions to the blasters and that most sites I visited spoke of the Nerf blaster as a safe toy.

I like that the blasters are brightly coloured and even discovered a pink one on Amazon.

Overall, i can see that Nerf blasters encourage children to play with each other, providing action-packed and safe fun, indoors and outdoors.

Would I let Hamish get one?

Yes.

Being little though I would only encourage to him aim at inanimate targets and naturally teach him set of rules for play.

I think Nerf wars seem like good fun as he gets older. ( with the correct safety eye wear) and I can actually see my older boys joining in with this.

For more information visit here

Note:

For younger children especially adult supervision is recommended.

Posted in babies, Education, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, STEM, Toddlers

Fun maths games with Building Genius by Moluk

We are huge fans of the Moluk design brand and I can not recommend these open ended toys more.

Read my reviews on the awesome bilibo and oibo

So you can imagine our excitement when Straight_zigzag sent Hamish the latest product – Building Genius.

This soft, safe, silicone construction toy comprises of 3 of each of the brands popular products – Mox, Hix and Oibo.

Truly toys that grow with your child and can be used from baby stage.

With so many uses.

  • Your baby 0 -1 year can grasp and sense.
  • Toddlers 1-3 can stack and build.
  • Children 3 – 12 can imagine and invent.

We spent some time exploring the products and using them in lessons to:

  • count objects
  • sort colours and shapes
  • identify shapes
  • do maths sums
  • build

We also used them in play….

  • Hamish used them in free play with water to experiment with volume
  • we turned the hix into boats and see who could blow them across the bilibo fastest
  • he rolled the mox balls to the bilibo
  • practised throwing and catching with them
  • and he played with them using his imagination creating robots

The hix fold into 3 sizes and are great for fine motor development as your child manipulates the silicone into it’s different sizes.

The mox balls have groves that could look like eyes and slits which Hamish calls a mouth. You can post items inside for your child to get out or let them squeeze the sides to open the mouth.

The oibo are also flexible and the mox fit inside. Hamish loves to pop the balls in and manipulate the sides of the oibo to get them out.

How to use the Building genius in lessons

Nothing excites me more than a toy we can use in lessons, mostly because I know that I will immediately have Hamish’s full attention and that he will grasp the concept a lot faster because he is enthusiastic to play.

I jumped straight in by introducing the building genius to our next maths lessons.

We’ve been working on sizes and Hamish categorized the hix into:

– small, medium and large

-big, bigger, biggest

-small, smaller, smallest

Next we reinforced categorizing and sorting by placing the items on a piece of paper to match the colours.

Lastly we reinforced shape names and properties by looking at the hix, mox and obio and discussing what shape they were and how many sides each had. Then Hamish grouped each onto a piece of paper with its corresponding shape.

Using familiar objects and favourite toys in learning activities makes learning a concept much more enjoyable.

So, although Hamish loves to build and create his own items with this lovely set, he also loves to add them to his learning time.

I love the possibilities of play and learning that this set of toys offer and can’t wait to share the new and innovative ways we find to introduce them into our every day learning and play

Posted in Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week

Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week : Jeronimo -Go Fishing game

One of the toys I recently ordered was this Jeronimo – Go fishing game.

At R149 from Takealot I was rather hesitant at the actual size, quality and whether it would deliver all the flashing lights it’s review said it would.

As soon as I opened the box any doubts I may have had were gone in a flash …

Hamish loves it!

You get the scenic stickers to paste on to the bottom of the water pond. These just peel and stick and are obviously waterproof.

The game is sturdy and stable enough for indoor or outdoor play.

You will need to supply the batteries required though, but they are simple to insert.

The game is large enough for him to play with alone or as a two player game to see who can catch the most.

This would also make s great travel game as you don’t need the water to play, you can still catch the animals just from the pond.

There are 2 plastic scoops, one with holes like a sieve,which he can use to catch the fish or for water play.

Also there are 2 little fishing rods to help catch the little plastic ducks and fish. These store neatly onto the sides of the pond.

The hooks on the animal heads are large and Hamish found it easy to hook them onto the rods.

A great game for developing fine motor skills, concentration and hand eye co-ordination.

There are 6 little ducks and fish, 3 of each, and we’ve been counting them, grouping them and they can also be used in the bath.

The pond itself has flashing lights, 6 songs and vibrates slightly to move the water inside. This helps the ducks and fish to move around and you to adjust the ability level of play for the child who is catching the toy.

The tree acts as a mini waterfall and kids can pour water in the top and watch how it tuns down the sides.

Rating :

Price : R100 -R200

Age : 2 years +

Quality: 🔹️🔹️🔹️🔹️