To put it simply, educational toys are toys that are effective in educating children. They are carefully and specifically designed to enhance the physical, emotional and cognitive development of children so that they can thrive by learning and increasing new abilities to do everyday tasks. Various developmental skills such as listening, language expression, creativity, sports, sensory, social, attention and focus, fine and gross motor skills, feelings and reading can all be enriched through the use of toys that are designed to promote educational development.
Let’s take a look at just some of these life-long skills and the toys and activities that can be used to enrich them.
Listening, Speech and Language Skills
To enhance all three of these skills, buy an educational toy that encourages vocabulary development. Electronic learning aids are ideal. As well as being fun for toddlers and young children to play with, toys like these reinforce essential vocabulary through the use of audio, flashing lights and fun sounds. Every child loves stories, and story time should be something that is practiced daily with your little ones. Activity books that incorporate props, audiotapes or story-related games are ideal as they allow children to improve their listening, speech and language skills.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
The development of fine and gross motor skills is essential for every child. Fine motor skills like grasping and bilateral coordination are all enhanced through toys and activities such as tracing shapes and letters, lego, building blocks, finger-painting and puzzles. Gross motor skills refer to bigger movements that require the use of the larger muscles in the body like the arms, legs and torso etc. Outdoor toys and activities such as Springfree Trampolines, climbing frames, playing sports, jump ropes and running are effective in exercising the bigger muscles in the body and will therefore massively improve the gross motor skills of your child/children.
Attention, Focus and Creativity Skills
Attention, focus and creativity are all skills that can be nurtured through the use of educational toys. Building and construction kits enable children to take their very first steps into the world of science and technology. Making cards and doing art-related activities teach children how to remain focused while also exercising their creativity and imagination. Nature based activities and jewellery making toys are usually preferred by girls and are ideal for the development of so many essential areas.
Shopping for Educational Toys
Finding the right educational toys for your child can seem like quite a challenge as there are so many different options available. When out shopping, remember that you need to select toys that will stimulate your little ones mind to think and learn, while also being fun enough to keep him/her interested and engaged for an extended period of time. After all, they have to enjoy playing with the toy in order to truly benefit from its educational properties. Functionality, durability, age appropriateness and the safety of the toy are also other vital factors that need to be considered. A little bit of research and thought into finding the right toys to enhance certain areas of skill and development will ensure that your child gets the very best out of their early years of play and growth.