Fisher-Price Unveils its New Milestones Platform, Website, Mom Ambassador Program and Contest

Known for quality, safety and ingenuity, Fisher-Price introduces its 2011 Initiatives that engage Canadian moms and their Babies to Play, Laugh and Grow together

TORONTO, May 2 /CNW/ - Fisher-Price unveils its much-anticipated 2011 product line up and communications platform to Canadians from coast-to-coast this month, with a variety of initiatives centered around one theme - Developmental Milestones. Partnering with the real experts - moms - Fisher-Price recognizes and celebrates the key milestones in a young child's life, and associates specific toys with each, helping children to grow, develop and reach their milestones through experience and play. Over the next year, Fisher-Price will execute a series of programs and initiatives that celebrate developmental milestones with an innovative microsite, an exciting new Mom Ambassador program and a Celebrating Milestones contest exclusive to Canadians.

Fisher-Price Milestones Platform
From crawling to walking to talking, every child goes through milestone moments at various stages of development. To celebrate these memorable times, Fisher-Price is thrilled to launch its 2011 Milestones campaign to educate mothers on  the exciting range of Fisher-Price toys that are designed to encourage baby's development through each and every age and stage.

"For over 80 years, Fisher-Price has been creating products that are innovative, entertaining and educational for babies, toddlers and mothers. With our Milestones campaign, Fisher-Price recognizes that all young children reach their milestones at various times and that children at different stages can use different toys that fit their needs at that moment" said Dr. Deborah S. Weber, Senior Manager - Child Research Department for Fisher-Price and a mother of two young children. "We want to encourage moms to explore their child's milestones and share their experiences with them every step of the way through play."

The eight Fisher-Price milestones are listed below with tips from Dr. Weber for each on how to aid a young child's development:

  • Soothe: Soothe and entertain your baby right from birth with lights, sounds, music and motion. Products with these features help soothe babies to sleep and can also help to enhance their development.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: Keep your baby close to you in a swing or bouncer when you are doing things around the house such as cooking or laundry.  It will make them feel comfortable and confident to know that mom is by their side.
  • Sense: Pave the way for the development of thinking skills by stimulating your baby's senses. Introducing a wide variety of sights, sounds and textures will allow this to happen.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: Establish a routine with your baby by putting on a soothing mobile at the same time every night.  When your baby hears a familiar tune or sees a familiar visual, they will know it is bedtime and will feel soothed and relaxed.
  • Move: Engage your baby in active games to exercise gross motor skills. It is never too early to get them on their toes - encourage walking with fun push or pull toys! 
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: The Musical Activity Walker and Stride-to-Ride™ Dino can help your child practice balance and walking on little excursions through the house. Clear a path so there are no obstacles in the way.
  • Discover: As your child explores how things work, they will make new discoveries every day. These magical moments will boost their self-confidence and contribute to the critical development of self-control.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: These toys encourage babies to reach and bat, or enjoy lively put and take play.  Encourage your baby to keep trying while attempting to master a new skill...then offer plenty of praise as a reward for success!  The confidence you build now sets the stage for success tomorrow
  • Socialize: Playing together, sharing and saying "please" and "thank you" are all important parts of expressing emotions, bonding and developing friendships. Toys that encourage children to imitate real life through imaginative play allow children to discover the world around them, at a level they can understand.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: Give your child ideas of how to play. Pick up a teacup from the Magical Tea for Two play set and demo the give-and-take of conversation.  For example, "Would you like some tea?" "Yes please"
  • Learn: Letters, numbers, shapes and colours - It may look like your child is just playing, but being exposed to a wide variety of visual stimuli actually aids in their learning and development. Familiarise your little one with these concepts for later learning.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: Encourage your child to play with toys in different ways.  Be sure to join in the play with them and show them all of the special features of the toys including the lights, sounds, different shapes, colours and interaction, as seen with the Fun with Friends™ Musical Table.
  • Create: Ideas lead to creation. Choose activities that will encourage creative problem-solving, strengthen hand-eye coordination and let children express themselves. Toys that encourage achievement - crayons, dress-up clothes and blocks - provide rich creative-play opportunities, as they promote experimentation and self-assurance.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: Discover your toys together!  With the Building sets, build alongside your child.  Count and describe the blocks as you build..."one, two, three yellow blocks!"  Show them how to create different patterns, shapes, and towers.
  • Imagine: As toddlers develop the ability to imitate, the big world around them starts to make sense. Toys and games that focus primarily on common experiences, strengthen the development of social and emotional skills, including empathy and compassion. Imitation and fantasy play promotes the healthy development of hand-eye coordination and spatial abilities.
    • *Dr. Weber's tip: This is a magical time for your child. Encourage them to use their imaginations and take on different roles. The possibilities are endless!

Play. Laugh. Grow. with Fisherpriceplay.ca
Fisher-Price introduces fisherpriceplay.ca, a site where moms and gift-givers can easily find the right toy that matches the recipients' developmental milestone. Also on the site is a Fisher-Price Play Panel, comprised of eight Canadian moms from various locales across Canada that test Fisher-Price toys with their little ones and will blog and tweet about their experiences. Canadians can "meet the moms" virtually on the site by reading their bios and reviewing their posts. Fisher-Price encourages all Canadian moms to join in on the conversation and register on-line to receive play-time tips as well as special offers from Fisher-Price Canada.

"Becoming a Fisher-Price Canada Mom Ambassador was an easy fit for me, given Fisher-Price is a brand I have used with my kids for many years," said Tammi, Fisher-Price Mom Ambassador, blogger at MyOrganizedChaos.net and mother of three young children from Red Deer, Alberta. "I look forward to sharing my family's experiences with the products to other moms around the country."

Celebrating Milestones Contest
With Mother's Day just around the corner, Fisher-Price wants to celebrate moms and their tots with its new Celebrating Milestones contest. Canadian moms and caregivers are invited to register information about themselves and their children on fisherpriceplay.ca for a chance to win a "Celebrating Milestones" prize pack of Fisher-Price toys valued at $200, plus a spa gift card valued at $200 for mom to get pampered for all of her efforts. One prize pack will be given away each month for a total of six months. Winners will be drawn on the last day of each month, starting on May 31 until October 31, 2011. Winners will be contacted directly by email, and may be asked to share a special milestone story at that time.

"As a leader in the toy category, Fisher-Price recognizes what moms want for their babies and toddlers when it comes to playtime and helping them grow and develop through play," said Riza Javellana, mother of two young children and Manager - Marketing for Fisher-Price. "This year, with the Celebrating Milestones contest, Fisher-Price not only recognizes what moms want for their children when it comes to play, but rewards the special milestone moments moms and their little ones share and discover together that contribute to their child's overall growth and development."

To help launch the milestone program across the country, Fisher-Price has developed special PlayCentral kiosks that will be set up during special events and in malls across Canada from March to November 2011 that give mall-goers access to a fun-filled space where children can play with the latest and greatest Fisher-Price toys while moms can receive information on the latest products through catalogues and by using the Fisher-Price touch-screen Toy Selectors.

For more information on the Fisher-Price milestones platform or any other of the program initiatives mentioned above, please visit fisherpriceplay.ca or fisher-price.ca.

About Fisher-Price:
Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) located in East Aurora, N.Y., is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. The Company has an 80-year legacy of high quality toys that enhance early childhood development. Its often-emulated Play Laboratory was the first child research center of its kind in the toy industry, allowing researchers to observe the way children play and how play benefits their development. Some of the Company's best-known "classic" brands include Little People®, Power Wheels® and View-Master®. Fisher-Price is also a leading developer of baby gear products (infant swings, bouncers, high chairs, nursery monitors), as well as a wide array of character-based toys inspired by high quality children's programming such as Thomas & Friends, Dora the Explorer™ and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The Company's web site, fisher-price.com, provides valuable information and resources to parents.

About Mattel
Mattel, Inc., (NASDAQ: MAT) (mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie® the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2010, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the third year in a row, and was ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Mattel also is recognized among the "World's Most Ethical Companies." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, California, Mattel employs approximately 27,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations.

SOURCE Fisher-Price Canada, Inc.

For further information:

For more information on the Fisher-Price milestones platform or any other of the program initiatives mentioned above, please contact: 

Lindsay Ringuette, GCI Group: lindsay.ringuette@gcicanada.com or 416-486-5922
Amanda Dipasquale, GCI Group: amanda.dipasquale@gcicanada.com or 416-486-8919

Profil de l'entreprise

Fisher-Price Canada, Inc.

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