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Jucariile din lemn, educative sau nu?

Metoda Montessori - cuburi educative

Cercetarile arata ca, de-a lungul secolelor, evolutia educatiei pe perioada copilariei (varste pre-scolare si scolare timpurii) a avut cel putin un element de continuitate: jucaria din lemn cu rol educativ.

Odata cu schimbarea mentalitatilor avea loc si transformarea “micilor adulti” din Evul Mediu, in copii cu din ce in ce mai putine responsabilitati “lucrative” si cu posibilitati de joaca si de invatare din ce in ce mai multe.
Acesta a fost rezultatul aparitiei unor pedagogi care si-au lasat amprenta pe istoria evolutiei educatiei.

Astfel, la inceputul lui 1800 au fost facuti primii pasi in dezvoltarea metodelor educationale odata cu publicarea celor 2 volume “Practical Education” si “Professional Education” ale inventatorului si scriitorului Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Tot el este cel care descria, intr-un schimb de scrisori cu fizicianul si lexicograful Peter Mark Roget, cuburile din lemn ca fiind “jucarii rationale” prin care se putea invata despre gravitatie si fizica.



Mai tarziu, in jurul anilor 1840, isi desfasoara activitatea pedagogul german Froebel Friedrich, cunoscut ca inventatorul gradinitei si al conceptului “Darurile lui Froebel” – un set de materiale din lemn concepute si destinate invatarii de tip hands-on.

Cativa zeci de ani mai tarziu, calcandu-i pe urme, Maria Montessori elabora si raspandea pedagogia ce-i poarta si astazi numele, introducand in activitatile de joaca ale copiilor elemente esentiale din natura, materiale senzoriale precum (dar nu numai) obiecte si jucarii din lemn cu diferite culori, finisaje, forme geometrice si intrebuintari.

La inceputul anilor 1900 apare un nou tip de ideologie educationala si anume Waldorf. Ei bine, noua si nu prea.

Atat filosofia Waldorf cat si cea Montessori subliniaza necesitatea unei conexiuni intre copil si mediul inconjurator in vederea unei dezvoltari armonioase. Am putea spune ca diferenta dintre cele doua este de fapt o complementaritate: pe de o parte educatia Waldorf are ca punct central dezvoltarea imaginatiei si fanteziei copilului, pe cand Montessori pune accentul pe experientele din viata reala.


Elementul lor comun, dezvoltarea/invatarea prin joaca cu materiale din natura, sub diferite forme, dintre care lemnul detine un bine-meritat loc fruntas, ne-a fost ghid inca de la inceput in proiectarea si crearea produselor noastre.

Fara a ne erija in educatori (poate doar pentru copiii nostri), putem aduce si noi mica noastra contributie la cresterea frumoasa si armonioasa a noi generatii: jucariile educative din lemn ale Vulp’s Toys.

Mai departe posibilitatile sunt nenumarate: de la asocierea jucariilor cu deprinderea abilitatilor motorii, cu distingerea si invatarea culorilor, a formelor, asocierea lor cu povesti sau intamplari din viata reala, fizica, botanica, biologie etc.

De asemenea, jucariile de lemn pot vorbi despre concepte precum protejarea mediului, sustenabilitate, rezistenta, durabilitate si multe altele.
Depinde de noi ce transmitem si ce lasam “mostenire” copiilor nostri.


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Iarmaroc Zen – Iarmarocul Parintilor si Copiilor – Editia #3

Evenimentul a ajuns la editia a treia si se va desfasura duminica, 25 noiembrie la Nod makerspace, intre orele 10:00 si 18:00.


La Iarmaroc Zen veti putea gasi spatii de expunere si vanzare dedicate parintilor cu produse si servicii pentru parinti si copii, o zona de food and beverages, atat indoor cat si outdoor (food trucks), HUB-ul parintilor dar si cel al copiilor cu spatii de joaca pentru acestia (2-7 ani). Totul se va contura in jurul unei actiuni sociale de strangere de fonduri si produse ce vor fi donate catre o cauza sustinuta de acest eveniment: Asociatia “Ana si Copiii”.


Asa cum prietenii de la au precizat in articolul lor, vom lansa in cadrul acestui eveniment, un set nou de jucarii de poveste ce contine si carticica Sacul lui Mos Craciun. Vom citi impreuna noua poveste iar copiii vor putea intra in lumea narativa cu ajutorul figurinelor din lemn.



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Trucuri pentru alegerea jucariilor potrivite

1) Wooden toys should be quality hardwood, not leftover construction material

Wood is commonly divided into two categories, hardwood and softwood. There are scientific ways to describe hard and softwoods but since that’s too scientific lets just say softwoods come from trees with needles, like fir or pine, and are generally softer. Softwood is widely used in construction, furniture making and paper production, just to name a few.

I have seen a lot of toys made from pine construction studs. It’s cheap and widely available but in my opinion it is not the right material for making toys. It is soft and if it breaks, the splinters are long and thin. Even though hardwoods are more expensive they are the better choice in creating lasting and safe toys.

Hardwoods come from trees with broad leaves and are generally harder like oak, maple or walnut. Hardwoods have a higher density and are therefore better suited for applications where a high resistance to wear and tear is needed, like flooring and (you guessed it) toys.

Popular woods for making toys are maple, walnut, poplar, ash, beech and birch, just to name a few. Some species of wood are beautiful and strong but have other attributes that make them unsuitable for making toys. I personally don’t like to use oak for example because it has very open pores which is not very helpful when creating small details. A few exotic woods are even toxic, like Sassafras or Yew.

Some woods are known to cause allergic reactions through inhalation of the wood dust or contact with the eyes and in some cases through contact with the skin. Except for skin contact this is only relevant to the toy maker. Allergic reactions through skin contact are not very common and usually only result in slight skin irritations.

2) If metal hardware is used, then only safe metals like stainless steel. Best is no metal at all

Metal is significantly harder than wood which can be very useful when this strength is needed like an axle for a vehicle or a hook for a crane. However, its hardness makes it also less forgiving when it collides with a child and the risk of injury is greater. Small hardware pieces can also come loose and be swallowed. Some metals are safer than others because they don’t rust and are non-toxic like stainless steel, others are, well..lead is a metal too.

3) Toys should be sanded smooth with no risk for splinters

Most woodworkers will admit that it is a time consuming chore but sanding is an often overlooked necessity. Make sure the toy you pick is sanded smooth so there is no risk of injuries through splinters. Also make sure the corners are rounded and there are no sharp points or very thin pieces sticking out as these can cause injuries or could break off and pose a choking hazard.

4) Clean glue joints with no glue squeezing out between pieces. Also, non-toxic, like carpenters glue

There are a lot of different glues out there, but for the purpose of making toys carpenters glue, also known as yellow glue, is probably the best solution. It creates a very strong bond, sometimes stronger than the wood itself, and it is non-toxic. The glue joints are very fine and if the toy is made precisely the glue is inaccessible. Yellow glue has some resistance to moisture but is not waterproof.

5) Safe finish. Non-toxic and not flaking or chipping

The options for finishing wood are endless but not all are a good choice for toys and all but a few exceptions have to be tested for lead content. Exempt from testing are natural finishes like tung oil as well as shellac. Shellac is edible and it is used, among many other applications, as a glazing agent on pills and candies. Both oils and shellac soak into the wood and harden. They do not create a layer on top of the toy like many other paints and are therefore not as prone to chipping or flaking. When picking a painted toy make sure the paint is not flaking off. Ask the manufacturer what type of paint it is and if it has been tested for lead content.

Unfinished toys are great if you want to paint them yourself. However, if left unfinished they are going to become unsightly very quickly as any kind of dirt, natural oils from the skin, ketchup, drool and anything else found around kids will soak into the wood and stain it permanently. Furthermore, moisture can warp the wood and in some cases damage the toy.

6) Last but not least, a sturdy construction appropriate for the age group

No toy is indestructible. If breakage does occur it is vital that the toy be removed immediately and inspected for sharp edges or splinters. Some toys however survive generations. Among those are a lot of well crafted wooden toys. A skillfully made wooden toy might cost more than the throwaway plastic version but your child can build a lasting relationship with the toy and when grown out of it, it will surely make the next generation of kids happy. Make sure the size, weight and complexity of the toy is age appropriate. Manufacturers can give suggestions on the right age but you know your child best and are ultimately the one to decide if the toy is right.

Wooden toys have been an excellent choice for kids of all ages for many generations and even if they have been pushed out of sight by products made from more modern materials they have never lost their place in children’s hearts. Consider wooden toys when you go shopping for your kids this Christmas and they will surely thank you for it.

Sursa :

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Inceput de drum

Targul Baby Boom Show 2017 de la Romexpo a fost modalitatea aleasa de noi pentru lansarea jucariilor Vulp’s Toys.

Au fost patru zile in care oamenii care ne-au vizitat standul au apreciat jucariile noastre, unii au cumparat, altii ne-au promis ca ne vor cauta in viitor. Pentru noi a fost extraordinar sa primim un feedback pozitiv dar si sfaturi de care cu siguranta vom tine cont in productia viitoarelor jucarii. Ne-am bucurat sa aflam ca jucariile de lemn sunt cautate de parinti tocmai datorita atributelor care ne-au atras si pe noi la aceste minunate “instrumente” de dezvoltare a celor mici: simplitate, naturalete, durabilitate.

Cea mai mare surpriza ne-a oferit-o o tanara familie care a cumparat bicicleta pe care o aveam expusa si care era doar un prototip, deoarece noi avem in plan sa producem astfel de biciclete la comanda, personalizate asa cum isi doreste fiecare persoana interesata.

Cei mici au participat cu drag la atelierele de construit si de puzzle si noi ne-am bucurat alaturi de ei, pe masura ce ne descopereau jucariile.

La finalul lunii spetembrie (21-24 septembrie) mai avem in plan participarea la un targ, BabyExpo care se va desfasura la Sala Polivalenta, Bucuresti, unde va asteptam cu drag. Pe langa jucariile deja lansate, vom mai avea inca doua noi produse.


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Toys wood be better

De ce jucarii de lemn?

Daca te uiti la ceea ce exista astazi pe piata, nu ai cum sa nu apreciezi simplitatea, functionalitatea si totodata frumusetea unei jucarii din lemn bine lucrata. Oricum ai da-o, un plastic la fel de frumos colorat ca o bucata de lemn si care sa surpinda la fel de bine textura materialului nu ai sa gasesti.

Jucariile din lemn ne-au inspirat sa incepem o afacere personala, intr-un domeniu in care nici eu nici sotul meu, nu aveam nicio experienta. Pana la urma, ce pot sti despre lemn si prelucrarea acestuia un medic si un economist? Si ne-am gandit, daca pe noi, doi adulti, jucariile ne-au facut sa ne oprim din ritmul nostru cotidian si sa ne alaturam fiului nostru in joaca lui, prin care descopera lumea, cat de importante trebuie sa fie acestea pentru un copil?

In colectia privata a copilului, se regasesc atat jucarii de lemn cat si de plastic. Probabil de ultimele nimeni nu poate scapa cu adevarat, traim totusi in epoca de plastic. Insa, cele care ne-au distrat cel mai tare au fost cu siguranta cele de lemn.

Jucaria din plastic este ieftina. Cea din lemn, nu prea, insa jucaria din plastic are viata scurta, pe cand cea dintr-un lemn uscat, bine prelucrata este matusalemica. Sigur, pe cele din plastic le putem inlocui mai des, dar stricam planeta, pe cand lemnul este o materie prima regenerabila, reciclabila si durabila. Suplimentar, stricam si ocazia copilului sa isi dezvolte imaginatia si creativitatea.

Dupa o experienta nu foarte placuta cu o rata cantareata, noi am inceput sa ne orientam din ce in ce mai mult catre jucariile din lemn si am descoperit ca in realitate au fost doar beneficii: cheltuim mult mai putini bani pe termen lung, copilul nostru e interesat o perioada mai lunga de timp de o jucarie, sunt rezistente si vor fi folosite si de bebe numarul 2 care e pe drum , se intretin usor, nu sunt toxice daca sunt vopsite cu vopsea naturala sau lac pe baza de apa.

Noua ne plac foarte mult, speram sa va placa ideile noastre si sa pretuiti jucariile de lemn pentru ceea ce sunt ele: creative, distractive si durabile.