Baskets of blessings

Beth Loyd is passionate about making learning fun for children. That’s part of the reason she made the decision to start selling Discovery Toys.

“There’s a crisis in play right now and playing is so important for kids of all ages. It’s the fundamental basis for learning,” said Loyd, who along with some help from the community, has been able to supply Easter baskets filled with not only Discovery Toys but also dental hygiene items and some Easter edibles to Daviess and Martin County children in the Healthy Families program.

“I want all kids to be able to have toys that help them learn and grow.”

Loyd heard about the Easter basket project from other independent consultants and thought she would try to do a similar project here.

“Consultants who chose to do the baskets don’t make anything off the toys,” she said. “ We donated our time to do them. We just want as many children as possible to be able to have them.”

Serious about wanting to get the toys in the hands of as many children as possible, Loyd contacted Connections, Daviess County’s own version of a program like 211, and was referred to Healthy Families, a state program that works with families in the home on child development and job referrals among other things.

Susan Moulden, program director for Healthy Families, said Loyd went above and beyond with the baskets.

“Beth did not only baskets for the children we work directly with but also for their siblings,” said Moulden, adding Healthy Families works with the whole family unit. “In total, she did 69 baskets. We’ll be delivering the baskets to families during our visits this week.”

Each basket is filled with more than $30 worth of Discovery Toys, books and other items to help make Easter memorable for even the littlest learners.

“We put together baskets for babies up to 10-or 12-year-old children,” said Loyd, adding donations, which go in full toward the baskets, are still being accepted. “And for families receiving more than one Easter basket, I tried to put in different types of toys for each child. We want them to have something they can play with for years to come.”

Loyd is quick to point out the toys aren’t just sets of blocks or games.

“We have toys that help teach foreign language, measuring, numbers and more,” said Loyd, who said even the cups have features that help children learn to tell time and count in English, French and Spanish among other things.

While the Easter project is wrapping up, Loyd said she hopes to be able to do a similar project at Christmas.

“I would love to be able to partner with the some of the toy drives to give kids educational, fun toys at Christmas,” she said. “And right now, we are looking for nominations for preschool educator of the year. The top five will receive prize packages. Nominations will be accepted through April 21 and winners will be named in May.”

Loyd said those interested in nominating a preschool teacher for the honor or making a donation toward the Easter basket project can contact her at 812-486-6449 or find Discovery Toys — Beth Loyd on Facebook.

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