Apr 2, 2007

The science of children's play is fascinating. AT reader Sarah tipped us off to an online store that specializes in toys geared toward child development.

Ebeanstalk provides detailed developmental information for everything that it sells. Its stock is carefully edited by a team of experts that includes a Child Psychologist, Physical Therapist, and Special Educator, along with a panel of parents, and everything they sell comes with an instruction card with suggestions for how the item can be used in graduated play.

Take the O'Ball duo, above. Just $20, dishwasher safe, and easy for little hands to grip and throw. According to Ebeanstalk's experts, these balls help develop social skills, dexterity, and locomotion.

While we were a little surprised to find this store selling a cheerleading costume, and the inability to link directly to its products is a bit irratating, both of those objections were overcome by Ebeanstalk's free shipping on every item policy! Below are a few of our favourites from their current stock.

The Door Easel above easily hooks over any door and includes a pad of paper and 8 Chunky Markers and 12 chunky crayons for little hands. A great space-saver in a small apartment, and just $23.00. Includes a door protector, in case of colouring outside of the lines.

Edutile blocks are interlocking tiles and letters that can be put together to either be a large playmat or to form blocks. Soft and colourful, they are versatile and if taken apart, store flat into very little space. $48.00, washable, and durable.

Artist in the Tub! 5 bright paintcolours, sponge stamps, a fish shaped sponge roller, and a fish-shaped sponge brush let your kids Picasso through their bath. $26.00, can be used safely and easily on both tile and skin.

Play is serious business, and through playing our kids develop socially, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Of course as a parent, you already know this, because you see it happening in front of you, every day. Thanks, Sarah, for tipping us off on Ebeanstalk, a store that supports the development of children through play.

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