When you have young children, there sometimes seems to be an endless stream of birthday parties to attend. These kids certainly have a better social life than I do these days and they love all the hype attached to the celebration. But when there can be more than one party in a weekend, every weekend, we mums and dads can get a bit desparate when it comes to buying gifts for the birthday child.
I am thorougly sick of Toys'R'us, and shops like Early Learning Centre have great toys, but it is very difficult to find anything of quality under $30 and impossible to find anything around the $20 mark. I often think maybe I'm being stingy looking for something around $20 for a child I have never met and whom I know nothing about, but when the frequency of parties is so high, it actually makes sense. The only problem is that the toys for that price are usually plastic junk not made to last and with no educational benefits for the child at all.
This is why I was thrilled to find  Right To Learn, a Singapore based on-line site selling great educational materials for children. Their range is broad, and they claim that everything you read about on the site is in stock.
Many of the products are Montessori based, so very tactile, well made and aimed at developing the child's coordination and confidence. There are lots of wooden puzzles, shape sorters, blocks, multi-layered puzzles, flashcards, lacing frames, play animals, and more. A lot of this material is under $20.
The site is very easy to navigate, with clear categories, and interesting quotes from Maria Montessori (the founder of the Montessori method). There are even some informative articles which show a dedication to the education of children.
I was actually looking for some games to occupy my kids on the long flight to the UK, and discovered the Shuttles Pocket Logic Maze travel game ($16.90) in the category "I.Q. Games". This game was chosen as one of the world's ten best games by Omni magazine, and looks quite challenging. It is a traditional maze with a twist, as sliding "shuttles" are moved by each player to try to block the opponent from gaining access to their goal. The game comes in a sturdy case and is light and compact: perfect for travelling.
In the 'IQ Games' section you will also find the "Go Getter IQ Logic" games from Belgium which have won numerous award including Parents' Choice Award and Toy of the Year. These are real brain teasers and are age-specific.
For orders under $200 the delivery charge is $15, but my order was delivered to my place the next day, so for that kind of service I don't mind paying a little. I would probably spend more than that traipsing around Orchard Road looking for the perfect games. The process couldn't have been easier and less stress-free. I paid cash on delivery, so no credit card details were needed. I wish I had found this company earlier as it would have eased the strain of the birthday present hunt. Well, next time I know where to go.

1 comments

constance said... @ March 15, 2008 at 6:07 PM

hi Milly. thanks for sharing. you have a great site. very informative. great for mom's like me.

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