Things to know about Hamilton College

With the Class of 2020 heading to campuses around the country now, many would-be students are planning for their future. Hamilton College in Clinton, New York is ranked 14th among “National Liberal Arts Colleges” in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. This popular college admits only 25% of its applicants, accepting about 1900 new students each year.

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Originally a boy’s academy that started in 1793, the school became Hamilton College in 1812 after it expanded to a four-year college curriculum, making it the third oldest college in New York after Columbia and Union.

Hamilton currently offers the bachelor of arts degree in over 50 areas of concentration including mathematics and psychology and political science. Typically the college enrolls about 1,900 students accepting about 25% of the total applicants. Student Alexander Potoczak did his Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

The college is unique in that it allows students to set their own study path. All students that attend Hamilton College are promised that they can explore what interests them, be accepted for who they are and what they believe and become the person they are meant to become.

At Hamilton, students take the courses that most interest them rather than waste time and effort on ‘required’ courses. Working with a faculty advisor ensures the path is responsible and informed.

Developing a good idea is only half the equation. Speaking persuasively and writing clearly are core tenants to an education at Hamilton College.

Hamilton encourages an active and hands-on atmosphere, and we expect students to participate. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the playing field or court, a student-organized event — students get involved.

Historical and state-of-the-art, Hamilton was founded in 1812, more than 200 years ago, and in the past decade, it has invested more than $200 million to renovate and expand its facilities.

Students enjoy the picturesque hilltop campus which is gorgeous with many outdoor activities to keep minds clear and active. From hiking and skiing in the Adirondacks to dining at local restaurants, there’s even movies, shopping and much more.

More than 60% of students at Hamilton College participate in off-campus study programs internationally in France, Spain, China, and India while others stay a little closer to home, experiencing school life in Washington DC and New York City. If that doesn’t suit you, there are hundreds of other approved programs available for around the globe.

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Lifestyle Tweaks To Help You Lose Weight

Losing weight is really important for many individuals from around the world. Unfortunately, most focus on what they eat and working out. While it is true that some products like Le-Vel reviews are interesting and can help you to have a more active life, the truth is that it is your lifestyle that needs to change first. Lifestyle changes are highly important if you want to gain a sustained weight loss as opposed to simply losing some weight and then put it back on.

Limit Eating Out

If you are currently used to eating out many times per week at restaurants or fast food joints, stop. It is all you need to do in order to drastically improve your weight loss efforts. If this is something that you really enjoy, you can always go for just one outing per week. It is more than enough. Also, instead of ordering the really large portions, go for something healthier and smaller.

Shop Intelligently

When you change your shopping habits you will be able to avoid that unwanted situation in which you feel a craving and you actually have it inside the home. Our routine is what destroys our weight loss efforts the most. When you go to the supermarket make it a habit to avoid the sugary and salty regions. Simply avoid them. Do not buy candy and do not invest money in that. It will be a little difficult on the long run but after some time you will get used to it.

Prepare Your Breakfast Ahead Of Time

One of the biggest problems with losing weight is that people do not really eat a good breakfast. You should never skip your breakfast as it really is the most important meal of the day. We recommend that you prepare the breakfast ahead of time. Simply mix protein with some whole grains for a total of around 300 calories. You can even make it a meal to take on the go if you have to go to work. Sandwiches can also be prepared ahead of time. It is basically impossible to lose weight on the long run if you do not eat a good breakfast every single tip. This is a very easy weight loss tip that will help you so much more than what you think at the moment.

Start Working Out Even If Just For A Few Minutes

Watching TV is something that so many do these days. Why not make this a part of your weight loss process? During the commercials all that you have to do is exercise a little. Jumping jacks and crunches can be done in that short time frame. It is even possible to start dancing while the dishes are done. The calories that you will burn will eventually add up and more importantly, you can keep your mind away from junk food. Since we talk about exercising, do your best to quit smoking! Believe it or not but this will make you healthier and will increase your desire to work out!

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Give Your Company a Boost With These Business Development Strategies

In the process of starting a business? If so, you’ll need a game plan to get your business off the ground. In this article, we have put together several strategies that will help you attract your first customers, and then keep them happy.

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1) Be true to your word

In today’s business climate, there are few things that are more valued than a company that is authentic in its dealings. When you say that you will get something done for a client or a customer, do everything humanly possible to stay true to your word.

This reliability and consistency won’t just help your company; it has also helped established companies such as Steve Sorensen Select Staffing. Building a reputation as a business that could be counted on to get the job done right, they have built a dedicated client base over the years.

By adhering the same discipline to your business dealings, it is likely that you will experience the same degree of success.

2) Embrace the power and responsibility of social media

We’re well into the 21st century, and the internet has infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives. There’s no excuse to be ignorant of the importance of social media any longer. Even if you have a non-existent presence on social media, there are customers on review sites such as Yelp that are building up (or tearing down) your reputation.

By taking the lead on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and monitoring social review sites, not only can you tackle problems head-on, but you can also pick up on trends that will allow you to shape the future strategy of your business.

3) Get involved in philanthropy

Seen as a way to give back to the community, not many business people realize that charitable giving and community involvement can also be a business development strategy.

While it might be crass to suggest that getting involved in an altruistic arena can be a way to boost profits, companies that are genuine about contributing towards the greater good are more likely to be seen in a positive light by members of the public.

This goodwill will become a factor when customers make a choice between your business and one of your competitors, so don’t be afraid to roll up your do-gooder sleeves!

4) Follow up with your clients (like you mean it)

When it comes to client acquisition, it is shocking how passive many small business operators are when it comes to following up. It is especially important in today’s world, where distractions of all kinds abound.

Just because a potential client did not answer your email does not mean they aren’t interested in doing business with you. It may simply be a function of an overloaded email inbox, or the fact that they are swamped with business from other clients.

While it’s important not to smother them, continue to make an effort to make or renew contact every four to six weeks. While this number may vary depending on your industry, it is a great place to start.

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Superbug on the run: steps hospitals have taken to kill MRSA

Medical professionals of all kinds have done their part to help kill MRSA
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There are superbugs, and then there is MRSA. This is regarded as one of the most lethal out there and several years ago, there was something of an epidemic.

This isn’t some sort of minor infection that one can pick up; it’s a form of bacteria that happens to be hugely resistant to most antibiotics out there. In other words, it’s highly difficult to treat and as such, very dangerous for all of those patients who are already at risk from their existing problems.

Fortunately, the problem has eased substantially over recent times. Immense research has been conducted on MRSA, with conclusions being drawn on what can prevent it from becoming a problem again. Hospitals now have extremely strict protocol and to highlight some of steps they take, we’ve listed some of the policies that the majority implement to prevent the deadly superbug from endangering the health of patients.

The hospital environment is subject to risk-based cleaning

This is perhaps one of the biggest changes in the way in which hospitals deal with hygiene.

Now, each and every level of the hospital is ordered in terms of risk. Suffice to say, those environments which come into frequent contact with patients are treated regularly, while those that aren’t have slightly more relaxed rules.

Not only this, the method of cleaning the hospital environment has intensified. Now, hospitals are more than happy to invest in the appropriate equipment and chemicals, with CaviWipes and other medical-specific disinfectant products often being turned to.

It means that the surroundings in which patients are within are not only cleaned more frequently, but disinfected more efficiently as well.

Employees are monitored for their own hygiene

It would be grossly unfair to suggest that hospital employees have never been concerned with their own hygiene.

However, nowadays they are put under much more scrutiny. Hospital policies dictate that they have to wash thoroughly before caring for a patient, or touching anything that can be contaminated.

Similarly to the previous issue we spoke about, there is also more pressure to wash using the correct chemicals. Now, antiseptic solution should be used at all times, while disposable gloves must also be used whenever employees are coming into contact with open wounds.

Changes made to patients who are affected

Of course, even with the most stringent policies in the world, it’s difficult to stop something as powerful as MRSA once and for all. In other words, there will always be the odd case – it would not be possible to stop it in its tracks indefinitely.

It means that there has also been a change in policies in relation to those patients who are suffering with the infection. Anyone who does fall into this group must be immediately isolated, in a bid to prevent anyone else becoming susceptible to it.

As well as this, the movement of patients between wards is strongly discouraged. Again, it’s all with the aim to isolate and kill MRSA and prevent it from spreading around the building and onto other patients.

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Is Stainless Steel Cookware Better Than Aluminum Cookware?

Is stainless steel cookware better than aluminum?
Photo by CC user Soerfm on Wikimedia Commons

This may not seem like a difficult question to answer but it is important that some facts are understood in a proper way. The one thing that all stainless steel fabricators will tell you that normally stainless steel will not be great for cooking as it is a heat conductor. That practically means that a part of the skillet or the pan will end up being hotter. That can cause the appearance of uneven cooking. Stainless steel cookware is now available and can be considered but it is really important that you think about alternatives. There are special stainless steel options that can be considered. However, let us first discuss aluminum cookware.

Aluminum Cookware

The sets that you find on the market made out of aluminum are quite affordable and have a durability that is actually higher than that of stainless steel. You can find some that are made out of various different colors, including dark gray or bronze. The surface is non-stick and most cooks prefer the option since it is going to offer even cooking, which is vital for cooking great dishes.

Stainless Steel Cookware

In most cases we have 304 Steel (also referred to as T304 Steel) that is used in cookware. This is actually the softest grade that is offered at the moment. Differences do appear but the durability is still higher than what you may think at first glance. Also, flexibility is pretty good.

What many do not know is that 304 Steel is actually used in many products we now see in the regular kitchen. This includes knives and forks. The steel is also available in machine parts, automobiles and personal care instruments. Corrosion resistance is pretty high and the only situation in which this is a problem is when referring to the presence of a salt water environment.

The main stainless steel competitor that is gaining popularity at the moment is T409. The price is actually lower and in many cases people prefer it because of this. We are also faced with a much higher reliability and durability, all with a better possible finish. Unfortunately, surface corrosion is a problem. However, the appearance of the corrosion will only affect surface. Structure is not going to be affected.

Conclusions

Choosing between stainless steel and aluminum is something that is not at all easy to do when thinking about cookware. You want to consider both of the options and you need to always analyze the opportunities. You can easily go for either stainless steel or aluminum but you want to also think about the other available options. Choosing without knowing everything about the options is a bad idea. Everything basically depends on what is really important for you at the end of the day. Choose after reading reviews about the cookware and never forget about the fact that some of the manufacturers are much better than others. Options available will have to be given the proper research time. Only then can you be sure that your choice is the proper one for your home.

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Psychological tips to reduce your portion sizes

By following tips to reduce your portion sizes, you can enjoy your favorite foods while staying healthy
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There’s all sorts of varying advice being branded about in relation to weight loss, but one thing that all of the experts will agree on is that smaller portions sizes will result in you heading in the right direction.

It’s one of the simplest ways to lower the amount of calories that are entering your body yet for whatever reason, it’s a suggestion that’s often ignored.

If you are struggling to train your brain into accepting smaller portion sizes, it might be time to consider some shrewd psychological approaches that can fool your mind somewhat.

We’ve put together some of the best tips to reduce your portion sizes. Let’s take a look.

The 6 month approach in retraining your brain

Let’s start with one of the biggest steps you can take. There’s no doubt that weight loss surgery has come on a lot over the last few decades and one of the most risk-free ones comes in the form of the Orbera gastric balloon.

In relation to training your brain to approach food differently, this balloon will do exactly that. It shrinks your stomach until it is removed after six months, meaning that your food intake is immediately restricted.

The concept is that by the time the device is removed, you will have got used to your new portion sizes and will stick to your new diet.

Buy smaller plates

A solution which is perhaps a little simpler comes in the way of just buying smaller plates.

For most of us, a portion is the size of a plate. Therefore, if you can use plates that are smaller, your portion size theoretically reduces.

We’re far less likely to reach for a second plateful of food – psychologically it feels greedy.

Ditch politeness – you don’t have to clear your plate

On a similar note to above, from a young age we are taught to finish our meals. Again, usually a meal will come in the form of a plateful (when have you ever seen half of the plate empty upon serving?).

However, when obesity strikes, now is the time to ditch politeness. Don’t finish your serving just to be polite; if you are not hungry make sure you don’t overeat.

For years we have been taught the importance of leaving a clean plate after eating – when really it does nothing but harm for the obese section of the population.

Avoid the leftover temptation

It’s hard to cook correct proportions – everyone accepts this. It’s for this reason, as well as plain efficiency, that some people will make much more than they really need for an evening.

Initially, the idea is to eat the remains another day. In reality, second servings prove too tempting and the rest as they say, is history.

Before your cravings can get the better of you, try and put the remains in the fridge or freezer. That way, it should just be too much work to re-heat the food when you are willing for more.

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Charles Phillips and What He Achieved So Far at Infor

Charles Phillips is a man with a vision. He developed his vision as a young boy, living on military bases. He knew then that he wanted to be involved in technology, and that is a dream he followed throughout his career. And it has been a very interesting career, one in which he has set himself apart as a true leader. His career now spans many years and many different companies, and includes the U.S. Military, Wall Street, and various tech companies. Where he really made his mark, however, was as President of Oracle. For Charles Phillips Oracle wasn’t the pinnacle of his success, but rather a stepping stone to his next career – CEO of Infor.

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Charles Phillips and Infor

At Infor, Phillips become a CEO for the first time in his impressive career. And it seemed that he started exactly where he left off at Oracle. Within just a few months of starting, he acquired Lawson Software for the sum of $2 billion. His acquisition strategies are what enabled Oracle to experience a 300% growth during his time as President, and he clearly wants to repeat this with Infor. By acquiring Lawson Software, he was able to add human resources and health care to the industry portfolio of Info. But what makes it different is that he doesn’t just focus on health care as a blanket industry. Rather, he pushes for products that serve niche markets within the industries. For instance, he has developed a software solution specifically designed for hospitals.

Since he started as Infor’s CEO, he has also been able to hire some 1,500 new members of staff. He has completely revamped the executive management team, hiring some high profile players, some who came directly from Oracle. He also moved the headquarters of Infor from Georgia to New York City, where he shares a single table with his management team. Plus, he has been able to create 70 new Infor products, leading to 2,500 new customers. These include Heineken and Ferrari. It is no surprise, therefore, that Infor is now at a really new level of playing field.

In fact, Infor seems to have found the leader of its dreams. Phillips has taken an aggressive acquisitions approach, with one of his latest acquisitions being GT Nexus, a true global player. GT Nexus is the world’s largest cloud-based software company. Today, Infor has some 70,000 individual companies. They have a presence in 194 countries the world over, and enjoy a revenue in excess of 43 billion per year. Clearly, with Phillips leading the way, Infor is really moving ahead. Now third largest of its kind, after Oracle and SAP, some believe it may soon grow to even overtake these two. Clearly, Charles Phillips aims to make Infor the leading software solutions company, and when he has a vision, he never stops until he actually gets it. Infor certainly is the company to watch at present, for some with anticipation and for others with real fear.

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Infor Truly the Third Titan?

There has been a so-called ‘duopoly’ in the world of enterprise software, held by Oracle and SAP. Microsoft has been a third contender, but was never truly a competitor. But now, there is Infor. What frightens the industry is that it is led by Charles Phillips Infor CEO, previously Oracle President. The world is now holding its breath for a true battle of the titans!

Oracle and SAP have a big problem, which is that companies who need a new ERP system on premise simply won’t turn to them anymore. They are too expensive, and setting the system up leads to significant downtime. That said, the money still seems to go to them, albeit from customers who are still stuck in lengthy contracts for maintenance and licenses. In 2011, Oracle earned some $28 billion, and SAP earned some $17 billion. Infor, at that time, ‘only’ took in $3 billion. Not much of a competitor, in other words.

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However, Charles Phillips, Infor’s relatively new CEO, is trying to break the duopoly to pieces. He has worked for about two and a half years to make sure that the company goes through, in his words, “a complete reboot”. He has completely changed the company’s management team and their strategy. No longer will Infor focus on building scale to products and innovation. Rather, they completely revamped their key assumptions and totally redesigned the architecture to achieve this. In so doing, the company now has 800 new developers on their books, and they have already developed 300 products.

While this is a good strategy to make Infor profitable, it doesn’t mean that SAP and Oracle are vulnerable. According to Phillips, however, the duopoly doesn’t have a strong integration strategy, because they don’t integrate cohesively. Instead, they have a bunch of ‘loosely coupled’ pieces, which can get confusing. Plus, Infor is focused on specific verticals, rather than entire industries. Their hottest area is health care, which is a huge one.

Another issue that Phillips says the other two have is poor usability. The minute you walk into the Infor headquarters, you will see their motto, which is ‘no fugly software’. They have approached their user interface with a focus on design, creating a thing of beauty that is also easy to use. As an added bonus, Infor offers everything as software as a service, which means people can try it and install it with ease, through the Amazon Web Services cloud.

So is Infor a true competitor for the big two out there? Two years ago, people would have laughed at that idea. Today, however, Infor takes up a shared second position in the enterprise software world, together with Oracle. And considering much of Infor’s management team was previously employed by Oracle, there seem to be some ripples in the industry. What the future holds is always anybody’s guess, but dismissing Infor in the way that Microsoft has been dismissed for years would certainly not be a good idea for the duopoly as a whole.

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The Infor On Premise v SaaS Revenue Tipping Point for 2016 Is Now Set

According to Charles Phillips Infor CEO and wife Karen Phillips, who may not be an Infor employee but always pays attention to her husband, there is going to be a tipping point between SaaS and on premise revenue in 2016. After the release of very strong second quarter numbers, the revenue of the company stood at $708.4 million. This is the highest it has been since Phillips took over the company.

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There has been revenue growth across every element of the Infor company, including consultancy, maintenance, and software. They have also attracted 628 new clients. This includes a 10 year SaaS deal for the City of Gold Coast, a Queensland, Australia company. That contract alone is worth $30 million. Here, Infor will replace 42 systems, some of which more than 25 years old, while also providing revenue functions, property management, and customer service.

For Phillips, clients like this one demonstrate that Infor is doing something that Oracle and SAP, its only real remaining competitors, aren’t doing: pushing for SaaS. There has been double digit growth in SaaS for Oracle, and he believes that the split between SaaS and on premise software will be larger than 50% by 2017, much sooner than expected by both Infor and the competition.

Naturally, making these types of predictions is always a bit of a gamble. You simply don’t know what people will want or need. That said, Infor doesn’t want to sell infrastructure, which means their entire focus is on SaaS.

So what does this all mean? It means that Infor is doing things with a difference. And these differences are often very daring. For instance:

  • Instead of developing its own cloud, Infor uses Amazon Web Services. According to Phillips, there is no point reinventing something that is already out there and that works perfectly.
  • They offer almost all their services on the cloud, which means customers don’t have to pay expensive licenses, have lengthy downtime, and more.
  • They don’t focus on huge industries. Where companies like Oracle and SAP develop products for the automotive industry as a whole, Infor develops it specifically for Ferrari. And where the competition focuses on the hospitality and catering industry as a whole, Infor goes for Heineken and bakers. The list is endless and demonstrates that their goal is micro-verticals.
  • Where most tech companies move to Silicon Valley in California, Infor moved to Silicon Alley in New York. Why? Because that is where the customers are, where staff want to live, and where designers and other tech talents can be found. Designers including fashion designers, by the way (another Infor micro vertical).

Seeing all the things that the company does differently, and how well those strategies are working, it seems logical to assume that Phillips’ prediction of SaaS tipping over on premise customers will also be true. Infor is certainly pushing for it, wanting to offer their clients something convenient and affordable, yet of the highest possible quality.

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Can Baby Toys be Learning Tools?

At first glance it might be hard to see how that colored lump of plastic can be good for your baby, let alone aiding their development; with its flashing lights, jangling tunes and chunky features, does it serve any purpose at all? One thing that you’ll quickly come to realize, though, is that the toy’s lights, sounds and shapes are what make it special, serving as your child’s primary means of learning long before reading, writing and arithmetic are introduced. You see, regardless of appearance, almost any toy can be an educational tool during those formative years – you just need to know what to look out for.

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Why are toys important for learning?

Are toys not just a distraction technique used by parents in need of a five-minute break, or given by well-meaning relatives to buy affection? Actually, no: toys are so much more than that. Toys, while primarily bought for entertainment purposes, will serve as your child’s primary means of learning, and are going to prove vital throughout their development. Indeed, various studies agree that play is integral to childhood, helping children to cultivate the skills they need to become older children and, eventually, adults. Toys enrich experiences, stimulate the senses, improve coordination and cognitive function, and allow children to interact with the world; via play your child will gain confidence, learn to use his or her imagination and get to grips with emotion. More than all of that, though, toys give children a sense of fun and enable them to enjoy their formative years. Creativity, resourcefulness, problem solving and social interactions are all part of growing up and can be aided by toys.

Essential baby toys for your child’s development

When purchasing toys for your baby, it’s important to recognize the function they hold; is the toy designed to stimulate senses, encourage cognitive behavior, or to guide your child as he or she takes those first steps? Each stage of a child’s life is part of their developmental journey, and toys can be used to enhance the adventure, and aid their progression. So, what toys are best for each developmental stage, and how do you know what to choose?

Sensory development

Sensory development is the very first stage that your baby will encounter – long before ABCs and 123s come into play. While their sight is limited at first, babies need visual stimulation and to experience textures and sounds. For these reasons, brightly colored toys, those with a variety of materials, and musical objects are perfect; think of a baby play gym, cot mobile, rattle, teether and play mat. These kinds of toys will keep little one occupied, and play a vital role in their earliest days of development.

Motor development

As your baby develops, so too will his or her ability to move and recognize his or her body; you will no doubt discover endless enjoyment as your child learns to interact with toys, plays patty cake and grasps at items just out of reach. Again, rattles are excellent for teaching babies cause and effect as well as movement, while building blocks, activity cubes, bead frames and baby jigsaws will be adored. Art supplies, patterned items and books will be vital for fine motor skills and language development, so don’t forget these.

Cognitive development

Research has shown that children develop 50 percent of their adult intelligence by the time they are four-years-old: astounding, when you think about it. In order to aid your child’s cognitive development, provide toys that will encourage a new way of thinking; shape sorters, jigsaw puzzles, threading activities, building bricks, play dough and stackers are all fantastic cognitive aids.

Physical development

While all toys can be used to encourage movement, particularly if they’re placed far enough away, there are plenty of aids designed to develop physical skills. Toys that can be pushed and pulled, such as shopping carts, pushchairs, and animals on string, as well as walkers, will ensure your little one is moving around as much as possible, while ride-on toys, which require balance and foot power, and rockers, improve a baby’s capability to stand firm. Balls will encourage your child’s hand-eye coordination skills, while play tunnels and climbing frames introduce outdoor play.

Social development

As your baby grows, he or she will soon notice that they’re not the center of the universe; now is the time for sharing, imaginative play and language development. Games that involve multiple players are essential in creating bonds and teaching sharing skills, while books will continue to aid your little one’s ability to understand and form words. Finally, consider role-play games and the toys that inspire creativity; puppets and dolls, dress-up, play food, a home corner and messy activities can all help children to play with others, while helping them to gain confidence and self-awareness, and identify their place in the world.

We’re sure after this blog post that you will regard all toys in a new light. Whether your child is learning to grasp, identifying himself for the first time, developing speech or moving around for the very first time, toys will play an integral part in that journey. Brightly colored, designed to sing the ABC or interesting to touch, toys have always served a far greater purpose, although you’d do well to remember the fun factor when choosing your child’s playthings. Your child’s toybox should be a veritable playground of discovery, enjoyment and education, engaging them from their earliest moments – what will you choose to play with first?

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