Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fine motor fun with Lalaboom beads

For the last few years we have been a somewhat Montessori family, especially when it comes to toys and learning. In our house our toys are all presented on open kallax shelving so that the girls can choose which toys they want to play with. We also rotate the toys regularly based on their interests and provide toys that help them develop specific developmental skills.

We believe that so much learning happens during play so we've invested in some great toys and resources in the past few years. The majority of the time this means I purchase wooden toys, however my main desire in any toy we bring into the home is that it's open ended. For this reason I'm quite selective with the items we have for the girls. I love toys that can be used in multiple ways and to teach multiple skills and our latest addition has been Lalaboom beads.






WHAT IS LALABOOM?


Lalaboom is a range of vibrant coloured, textured, interlocking beads. The range consists of eight styles, a combination of 16 different shapes, 12 exciting textures and 10 vivid colours to explore. However, Lalaboom is more than a collection of snap-together beads, it’s a beautifully innovative developmental experience. Senses are engaged as little ones explore the unique textures, vibrant colours and smooth twisting movements. As children grow, they’ll discover endless connective and stacking possibilities, strengthening creativity, pattern recognition, fine motor and problem-solving skills. 

Lalaboom products where to find in Australia
* This post contains some affiliate links *

Designed for children aged 10 to 36 months, Lalaboom beads provide children with a wonderful opportunity to learn through play. The simple shapes of the beads allow small children to practise and acquire the fine motor skills that are essential to their development. The beads are large enough that they can be easily grasped and manipulated by toddlers {as with all loose parts though please supervise children at all times}.






Lalaboom is directly inspired by the Montessori method of education: taking the child’s needs into consideration, allowing them to learn at their own pace and encouraging them to discover their senses and skills through play. The many features of Lalaboom toys require children to make use of their cognitive functions such as attention, perception, memory or reasoning meaning they will develop their talents naturally whilst playing.



HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS CAN YOU PLAY WITH LALABOOM BEADS?


The beauty of open ended toys is that the possibilities are pretty much endless as kids can use their imagination to come up with a number of different ways to play. The most obvious way to play with the Lalaboom beads is to twist or pop them together to create weird and wonderful stacking towers. The beads can be connected together an endless number of ways, with each different type and size able to interlock with the other beads. Different colours, textures and patterns can be combined to create colourful creatures and towers.


One of the other great benefits of Lalaboom beads is that they grow with your child and can be used in even more ways as your child's developmental skills improve. In the beginning children from as young as 10 months can pop whole beads together, then by approximately 15-18 months they can twist the individual bead pieces together. By 24 months they should be able to stack the beads on top of each other to form towers. Once their fine motor skills are even further progressed, they can move onto lacing the Lalaboom beads with lacing needles.

In addition to fine motor development, Lalaboom beads can also be sorted by colour, pattern, shape and size as children get older and start moving onto learning these concepts. The Lalaboom Educational Peg Board brings all of these concepts together using a board with interchangeable picture cards that slide into the base. Children have to pop or twist the beads onto the board to match the picture.



Learning Opportunities with Lalaboom


- Colour recognition
- Pattern recognition
- Pincer grip
- Hand strengthening
- Hand/eye co-ordination
- Problem solving
- Spacial awareness
- Tactile sensory input

My 2yr old has loved playing with the Lalaboom beads and peg board for a few weeks now {her 6yr old sister has even played with them a few times}. I love how open ended they are and that each time she plays her structures end up looking different.  I also love that while she's playing she's also working hard to perfect the fine motor movements needed for writing later on {of course she's oblivious to this and is just having fun - exactly the way learning should be for toddlers}. 

At 2 and a half she's already mastered how to pop and twist all of the beads together, but occasionally needs some help to pull them apart again. Playing with the beads has helped increase her vocabulary too as we've been using lots of motion words like pop, twist, turn, push, pull while we're playing {yep I play with them too!}. We also use them to practice colours where we pick certain coloured beads to match together. I have no doubt the Lalaboom beads will be on high rotation on our toy shelves over the next few years.

Lalaboom products are available in Australia from Lime Tree Kids, Mr Toys Toyworld, Catch and other leading toy stores. For a full list of stockists please call Jasnor on 1300 881 940 or send an email to enquiry@jasnor.com



Disclosure - I was kindly gifted some Lalaboom beads and a peg board from Jasnor for the purpose of review. I did not receive payment for this review, however this post contains some affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, should you make a purchase. Stock images have been used with permission.

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