Playonwords.com Presents Their Spring 2017 PAL Awards - Best Toys and Games that Spark Language Development Through Play

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Play On Words LLC, led by highly respected speech language pathologist Sherry Artemenko, announces 2017's Spring PAL Award Winners, the toy industry's only recognition directed by a credentialed speech-language expert recognizing the language learning edge in exceptional toys, games and books. Sherry's 35 years of child development experience with over 17,000 hours working with kids empower her PAL selections, video reviews (Today Show - NogginStik), popular blog, media appearances and consulting practice.

Love kids through creative and engaging play with these PAL winners

Play On Words LLC, led by highly respected speech language pathologist Sherry Artemenko, announces 2017's Spring PAL Award Winners, the toy industry's only recognition directed by a credentialed speech-language expert recognizing the language learning edge in exceptional toys, games and books. Sherry's 35 years of child development experience with over 17,000 hours working with kids empower her PAL selections, video reviews (Today Show - NogginStik), popular blog, media appearances and consulting practice.

"Current trends in the industry include progressive toy brands calling out the importance of language learning features that enhance and extend rich play. From preschool coding games to classroom STEM education sets, companies are providing kids with the opportunity to create a story, identify problems, sequence solutions, compare/contrast results, and document/discuss conclusions. It’s exciting to be a part of this movement to optimize play experiences while building language skills critical for learning and life.

Parents, teachers, and therapists often thank me for calling out the best products that pair fun and learning to optimize smart play experiences for their children and students."

Playonwords.com helps companies see the strategic value of language learning in play, and how building categorical vocabularies (e.g. STEM), facilitating social interaction and encouraging great pretend play and storytelling can be as important as any classic toy or game feature. Leveraging the PAL Seal on the internet, packaging and in print media, along with customized promotional videos, as seen on the TODAY SHOW last year with "mompreneur" client SmartNoggin, differentiates brands who know the marketplace now demands products that are not only fun, but also infused with learning potential. The PAL Award seal tells customers that more than great entertainment is to be found inside the box or book cover.

EARLY DEVELOPMENT: Sherry’s experience in pediatric speech therapy has given her an eye for the best products to build attention, vocabulary and concepts through play, preparing children for their first sounds, words and sentences. While making choices and verbalizing their bedtime routine, stacking and describing city scenes on blocks, or listening to soothing phrases and lullabies, kids learn essential foundational language skills.

  • Baby Beats Monkey Drum by VTech
  • Brio: My First Take Along Set
  • Bunny Bedtime by Peaceable Kingdom
  • Color Wonder On-The-Go by Crayola
  • E-I-E-I-GO! by Mindware
  • Janod Baby Forest 16 Magnets
  • Janod Beware the Mole
  • Janod Day at the Zoo Magnets
  • Janod Hide and Seek Game
  • Janod Magnetic Educational Game
  • Janod Speed Pizza
  • Janod Stacking Pyramid-City Friends
  • Janod Tactile Puzzle Farm Animals
  • Janod Zigolos Forest Stacker
  • Janod Zigolos Pull Along Rabbits
  • Kaloo Les Amis Puppy Wristlet Rattle
  • Kaloo Plume Rabbit Aqua Medium
  • Kaloo Plume Rabbit Doudou Raspberry
  • Kaloo Plume Rabbit-Pink Small
  • Kaloo Rouge Bear Pink Medium
  • Kaloo Rouge Prestige Bear XXL
  • Kaloo Rouge Rabbit Blue Large
  • Large Dachshund by Brio
  • Lights and Lullabies Travel Mobile by VTech
  • Lil' Critters Huggable Hippo Teether by VTech
  • Sleepy Glow Bear by VTech

LANGUAGE STRUCTURE, CRITICAL THINKING AND REASONING: These outstanding products can build language structure, critical thinking and reasoning, often teaching vocabulary, concepts or grammar while delivering fun. Vary your roller coaster's design incrementally and document your results, dabble in artificial intelligence programming speech and movement to animate your robot, or cast the forensic imprint of a dinosaur battleground to strengthen communication skills.

  • Despicable Me Labyrinth Game by Ravensburger
  • Dig it Up! Discovery Kit by Mindware
  • Janod Hat Boxed Puzzle Dragons
  • K'Nex Education STEM Explorations Roller Coaster Building Set
  • Meccano Micronoid by Spinmaster
  • Telestrations 8 Player: The Original by USAopoly
  • Where's Bear? by Peaceable Kingdom

(PRE)READING: Inventing crazy words for others to guess the definition, seeking a picture match based on beginning letters or recognizing words on the world map that sticks to the side of the bathtub all help children pick up essential skills to advance reading.

  • Alex World Map in the Tub
  • Eye 'N Seek by Blue Orange Games
  • Gumball Words by SimplyFun
  • Krazy Wordz by Ravensburger
  • PDQ The Pretty Darn Quick Word Game by Gamewright
  • WordSpiel by Set Enterprises, Inc.

STORY-TELLING / PRETEND PLAY: Whether visiting the farmer’s market to purchase your vegetables, getting a good shave and haircut in the bathtub, or swimming under the sea with finger puppets, children enter the world of pretend, creating their own stories with plenty of flexible props to guide their imagination. Oral story-telling precedes writing as kids learn the steps to create a good narrative.

  • Alex Barber in the Tub
  • Alex Jungle Friends Block Squirters
  • Backyard Safari Utility Belt by Alex Brands
  • Brio: Builder Activity Set
  • Brio: Light and Sound Fire Truck
  • Cinderella's Shoe Shoppe Set, Furniture Fits 18" Girl Dolls by The Queen's Treasures
  • Doctors Set by Plan Toys
  • Farmers Market Playtime by Seedling
  • Gigi Bloks 60 piece set by Mindware
  • Go! Go! Smart Wheels Press & Race Vehicles by VTech
  • Grippies Stackers by Guidecraft
  • Interchangeable Farm Stand, Furniture For 18" Girl Dolls by The Queen's Treasures
  • Kelly Doll by Bigjigs Toys LLP
  • Lilabell by Living Puppets
  • Monkey Around by Peaceable Kingdom
  • Paw Patrol Mission Cruiser by Spin Master
  • People Blocks-Classic Colors 31 Piece Set by People Toy Company
  • Silent Mary Ship by Spinmaster
  • SmartMax My First Safari Animals by Smart Toys and Games
  • Tall Tales by SCS Direct
  • Tree House by Plan Toys
  • Under the Sea Puppet Playtime by Seedling

SOCIAL LANGUAGE: Complementary to pretend play, social language blossoms when children play with toys and games and interact with media that encourage extended social interactions. Watching a TV show whose episodes define and apply concepts like patience, motivation and teamwork, playing a game that rewards sharing, or using a secure doorway mounted gym apparatus to help regulate emotions, can equip kids to better name, understand and manage their emotions, leading to stronger EQ's.

  • Disney Jr. Mickey and the Roadster Racers Bump 'N Race Action Game by Wonder Forge
  • Gorilla Gym Kids Deluxe
  • Janod Penguin Skittles Game
  • Q Wunder TV Show by EQtainment, LLC
  • Rainbow Croquet Caddy by Hape
  • The Rainbow Fish Share and Sparkle Game by Mindware
  • Wobbly Worm by Spinmaster

ABOUT PLAYONWORDS, LLC
Playonwords.com was founded by well-respected speech-language pathologist, Sherry Artemenko. Her 35 years championing language rich play, esteemed PAL Award, popular blog, and insightful tips to parents set her apart as the leading advocate of the language component in toys.

Over 17,000 hours working directly with children has shown her that a unique set of the best toys, games and books have the capability to develop language while delivering great play. Studies show:

  • Kids with highest IQs at three, had the most words at one and two
  • Language learning is cumulative – early words => early sentences => language and reading
  • Most kids maintain their verbal advantage through childhood

Sherry established the PAL Award to identify unique toys, games and books that through their design, quality and character, encourage play that advances language. PAL winners in the hands of kids, spark fun and creative play with lots of talk. Such toys, recognized on the basis of her child development expertise, are complemented by practical coaching in her blog, showing parents and caregivers how to get the most from toys, games and books to build language and underlying cognitive skills.

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Sherry Artemenko, Founder and President

Bob Artemenko, CMO
Playonwords
since: 03/2010
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