Educational Building Toy Click-A-Brick Thrilled To See True Christmas Spirit In The Adaptive Toy Project

Educational building toy Click-A-Brick is delighted to see the true spirit of Christmas on display with the Adaptive Toy Project modifying toys so children with special mobility needs can play with them.

The Adaptive Toy Project is the brainchild of University of Northern Florida physical therapy professor Mary Lundy and an engineering colleague. It is now in its third year and has recently received a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The project brings together physical therapy and engineering students at the university to figure out the best way to adapt for children with severe mobility issues, such as cerebral palsy. The toys are generally large toy cars that children can ride in, such as Fisher-Price Power Wheels. Students examine how best to adapt the vehicles to the special needs of the children who will receive them and then they modify the toys and give them to the children for free.

Part of the larger Go Baby Go network that modifies riding toys for special needs children, the Adaptive Toy Project is the only one that employs university students to modify the toys for free.

“Engineering students teach the physical therapy students how to modify basic electronics … and in the process engineers learn how to do people-centered designs, and how to look at their clients differently,” Lundy told USA Today in a recent article about the initiative.

Co-Founders of educational building toy brand Click-A-Brick, Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say although the Adaptive Toy Project isn’t limited to just Christmas, it embodies the spirit of the holiday and is heartwarming to see, particularly at this time of year.

“We just love everything about the Adaptive Toy Project and reading about it at this time of year gives it that extra special bit of warmth because of the holiday season,” Smith said. “Children with extremely special needs like ones living with cerebral palsy don’t have a lot of toys custom made for them, so it’s amazing to see projects like this giving these kids a chance to play just the same as kids who don’t have these special needs. We’ve seen in recent years where companies are coming out with toys that represent children in wheelchairs and with different levels of mobility, but those kids still might not be able to play with those toys. So, giving them toys they can actually interact with is like the next step and we’re thrilled to see it happening.”

For more information, please visit http://www.clickabricktoys.net/

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We Totally Agree with this Harvard Expert

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Some names are just synonymous with smart. Harvard for example. When you hear the name Harvard, it just makes you think of smart people.

That’s why we’re excited about a new blog post that recommends building blocks as a Christmas present for kids. It’s not just anyone saying it, it’s Harvard University! That’s like, one of the smartest places on Earth!

Specifically, it’s Dr. Claire McCarthy, a paediatrician and faculty editor of the Harvard Health Blog who recommends three types of toys for parents to get their children for the holidays:

  • Toys that require imagination and that can be used in many different ways
    • blocks or building sets that can build lots of different things
    • materials for writing, drawing, and painting with lots of blank paper
    • simple dollhouses with people to go inside them
    • simple, non-electric cars, boats, airplanes
    • a play kitchen (add an apron and chef’s hat)
    • Dress up clothes like capes, robes, wizard’s hats, cowboy hats
  • Toys that encourage interaction with parents and caregivers
    • games
    • a model or something else to build together
    • a tent to set up and pretend camp in the living room or yard
    • walkie-talkies
  • Toys that get kids moving
    • a ball and whatever other equipment is required to use it (baseball & bat, basketball and hoop, etc)
    • jump ropes
    • roller skates or ice skates
    • a scooter or bike

When you’re out doing your Christmas shopping, keep in mind that it’s not always toys that are based on the latest video game or movie that are best for your child. Your child has an amazing imagination and all it needs is a tiny spark to get going.

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Educational Building Toy Company Click-A-Brick Disappointed To Hear All-New Allegations Of Toys Spying On Children

The team behind educational building toy Click-A-Brick is dismayed at the latest round of allegations surfacing against electronic toys that connect to the internet that say the toys might be spying on children and breaching privacy laws.

As has been reported on numerous news outlets, consumer watchdogs in both the United States and the European Union are filing complaints against various so-called smart toys because the groups believe the toys are collecting data on the children that play with them, breaching privacy and data protection laws.

Groups like the European Consumer Organisation BEUC and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in the United States have filed complaints with French authorities and other European authorities while the US groups have filed complaints with the US Federal Trade Commission.

“By purpose and design, these toys record and collect the private conversations of young children without any limitations on collection, use, or disclosure of this personal information,” EPIC and other US consumer watchdog groups like the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood said in their complaint. “The toys subject young children to ongoing surveillance and are deployed in homes across the United States without any meaningful data protection standards. They pose an imminent and immediate threat to the safety and security of children in the United States.”

The groups urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the collection, use and disclosure of the data collected by these toys and to stop the collection and dissemination of data through children’s toys.

The European based groups allege the toys breach the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive and the EU Data Protection Directive and possibly the Toy Safety Directive.

Educational building toy company Click-A-Brick says it is disappointing to see companies that make internet connected toys not apparently doing enough to protect the privacy of the children that use them.

“Stories like this are a double-edged sword,” Click-A-Brick Co-Founder Jason Smith said. “On the one hand, it’s good to see consumer groups being diligent about these toys and the dangers they pose, but on the other hand it’s disappointing to see it happening at all. Kids being off limits for data collection like this should be a given, but unfortunately, companies seem to want to profit off the data they collect from kids. We, of course, encourage parents to consider educational toys that are not connected to the internet so they can avoid breaches of privacy altogether. As long as toys are connected to the internet, the danger is always there.”

For more information, please visit http://www.clickabricktoys.net/

Christmas Facts that Would Even Blow Santa’s Mind!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas out there. Lights, smiles, Santa, elves, trees and all the magical stuff that comes with the holiday. We wanted to have a look at some amazing Christmas facts and share them with you. 

Grab your Click-A-Brick building blocks, make some Christmas decorations and have a look at this mind-blowing infographic courtesy of Sociable Blog.

Click-A-Brick best educational toy for boys and girls

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Make a Magic Christmas Tree with Christmas Science!

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It’s Christmas time and that means there is a lot of magic in the air. Sometimes Christmas magic comes from Christmas spirit, but other times it’s made with a little help from good, old-fashioned science.

Today, we’re going to look at how to create a magic Christmas tree using Christmas science with the help of Curiosity on YouTube.

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Let’s get started!

What you’ll need:

  • Blotting Paper
  • 1 Tbsp. Household Ammonia
  • 6 Tbsp. Table Salt
  • 6 Tbsp. Warm Water
  • 6 Tbsp. Liquid Laundry Bluing
  • Small Container
  • Small Dish or Saucer
  • Food Coloring

Step 1

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Cut your tree shape out of the blotting paper. To get a good three dimensional tree, cut out two identical shapes. Then, cut a vertical slit in the bottom of one that goes halfway up. Cut a vertical slit in the other one that goes halfway down. Turn the two pieces so they are at right angles to each other and put them together using the slits.

Step 2

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Mix 1 tablespoon of household ammonia, 6 tablespoons of table salt, 6 tablespoons of warm water and 6 tablespoons of liquid laundry bluing in a small container. Stir the mixture until the salt is dissolved.

Step 3

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Place a few drops of food coloring on the blotting paper wherever you want your tree to grow crystals.

Step 4

Place your tree in a small dish or saucer and pour the liquid into the dish and wait for your tree to grow crystals. You can even decorate it afterward.

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If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can create an entire scene.

Click-A-Brick best educational toy for boys and girls

With a little help from science, you can create a magic Christmas tree to help you celebrate the holidays. You can also try making a Christmas tree from your Click-A-Bricks. The mostly green and brown Rainforest Rascals set makes a great tree and then you can use your other sets to decorate it and make it colorful.

Have fun!

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Building Block Toy Company Click-A-Brick Proud To Be A Part Of Small Business Saturday’s Continued Success

Building block toy company Click-A-Brick applauds the continued success of Small Business Saturday, saying it helps small businesses like theirs compete with larger, more established companies.

The annual shopping event occurs, on November 26 this year, the day after Black Friday, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving, as it usually does. Started in 2010 by MasterCard, the yearly event is meant to promote small businesses and encourage consumers to patronize smaller businesses to help them compete with larger companies during the Christmas shopping period.

Click-A-Brick co-founders Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they always look forward to Small Business Saturday, as it puts a well-deserved focus on businesses that may otherwise get overlooked during the Christmas shopping season.

“We’re pleased to see Small Business Saturday continuing this year on November 26,” Smith said. “It’s something we’re proud to be a part of, being a tiny minnow in the giant lake of the toy industry. Christmas is the toy industry’s time to really shine and the boost for us from Small Business Saturday is amazing. It’s not easy to take on the big toy companies, especially when they have massive marketing budgets and we’re running on a bit of a shoestring, but events like Small Business Saturday are a real help. Of course, it’s not just us who benefits, but small businesses right across the country and beyond.

Run by only a handful of people, Click-A-Brick is nevertheless in its third Christmas shopping season, having debuted just before the holiday in 2014. Smith and de Gorostiza credit initiatives like Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with helping them find success in a crowded marketplace like the toy industry.

This year, to mark Small Business Saturday, the building block toy company will be giving people more of a chance to save on the toy in the lead up to Christmas by offering a discount on the usual price. The discount is a way to say thank you to the customers who support Click-A-Brick and small businesses in general.

“Small Business Saturday is not just about businesses, it’s also about consumers and reminding them they have more choice than they may be aware of,” de Gorostiza said. “When they do make the choice to support small businesses, we think they should be thanked for that and that’s what our discount this Saturday is about. It’s our sincere thank you to consumers who have decided to support small businesses as they do their Christmas shopping. The consumers help the businesses, the businesses help the consumers, it’s a great little system we’re proud to be a part of.”

For more information, please visit http://www.clickabricktoys.net/

Educational Toy Brand Click-A-Brick Praises Efforts Of Group Warning Parents Of Dangers Associated With Loud Toys

Educational toy brand Click-A-Brick has praised the efforts of groups who are warning parents about the dangers of overly loud toys this Christmas season. Among those groups is the Sight and Hearing Association, which puts out an annual list of toys for parents to beware of while doing their Christmas shopping.

Now in its nineteenth year, the list serves as a reminder and warning to parents that toys that make a lot of noise are not good for their children’s developing ears. The loudest toy on this year’s list, which contains 17 toys that emit sounds louder than 85 decibels, reached 104.4 decibels.

Local Birmingham, Alabama station ABC 33/40, which did a story about the annual list, brought in audiologist Sabrina Lawley who says if a toy is too loud for parents, it is likely too loud for their children to be playing with, as it will have adverse effects on the child’s development, especially early in life.

“If it’s affecting their hearing then it will probably affect their development because if they have hearing loss at that time, then that’s going to be affecting their learning,” Lawley said.

Because children tend to hold toys close to their faces, she adds, loud toys can affect them even more. Lawley suggests parents test toys in stores using a downloadable decibel measuring app and muffle the effects of any loud toys by putting a piece of clear tape over the speaker or area where the noise emanates from, if possible.

Co-founders of educational toy Click-A-Brick Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they are glad to see the Sight and Hearing Association warning of the dangers of loud toys, which can often be overlooked by parents, and are equally disappointed to see toy companies not taking into account the affect their loud toys can have on developing children.

“We are happy to see the Sight and Hearing Association raising awareness of this issue, which doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention,” Smith said. “Children’s hearing is especially vulnerable while they are developing. There are so many things that can negatively affect hearing throughout a person’s life, so it’s important to protect children’s ears, especially as they are in their formative years.”

“And while parents obviously should be vigilant in protecting their kids from dangers like overly loud toys, we’re also quite disappointed to see that toy makers aren’t doing more to ensure their toys are safe in this regard. Toy safety goes beyond just choking hazards. Loud toys pose a real threat to kids. Here we have yet another reason for parents to stay away from the talking, electronic toys and instead give their children something that will help with their development rather than potentially harming it.”

For more information, please visit http://www.clickabricktoys.net/