Whether it’s Christmas morning, a birthday, or any other gift-giving holiday, watching a child’s, especially your child’s, face light up when they open a new toy is a wonderful moment.
It’s equally amazing when, later, you can watch them play with the gift, and even more incredible when you feel good knowing your child is learning as they play with an educational toy.
Learn more about what educational toys are, and how they can benefit the development of your child.
What Are Educational Toys?
Let’s be honest. Most of us still have some hang-ups, likely from our own childhoods, about what an “educational toy” means. While it’s true that when we make learning the focus of a toy or a game it can impact the fun, as we have learned about play as an important part of a child’s development, educational toys have also grown and improved.
Educational toys include anything that fosters and encourages a child’s creativity, problem-solving skills, understanding of the way things work, or teaches information and knowledge that will be useful as they enter school.
How Are Educational Toys Beneficial?
In general, the benefit of educational toys for kids is that they encourage development on multiple levels, both mental and physical (eye-hand coordination and motor skills for example). However, there are more specific benefits that prepare them for future learning and other endeavors.
This development is especially important in educational toys for 1 year old children and below. Part of the goal here is to encourage their sensory interaction and exploration with the world around them. This is why many toys for very young children are brightly colored, make noises, or include tactile features for children to explore.
Sensory play can help build visual, spatial, and emotional regulation skills. It’s vital to have infants in environments that foster sensory play and experiences.
If you’ve ever played with a young child, you know how quickly their attention can be pulled from a task at hand. In the long-term, attention span issues may have an impact on academic performance and educational experiences. However, toys like puzzles, building blocks, and those that encourage creative/imaginative play help build a child’s concentration by keeping them engaged.
IQ and Problem Solving Skills Builders
Educational toys for kids help them develop problem-solving skills through manipulation and logical thinking, such as solving complicated puzzles. Some of these puzzles include not just physical manipulation, but they can also require memorization, identification, early literacy and reading skills development, and eye-hand coordination. All of these boost IQ as part of the end result.
Improved Social Skills and Cooperation
Because a significant number of educational toys and games require children to play with other children or an adult, especially in a cooperative way, educational toys for kids are an excellent way to develop social skills. Not only do they learn to be better communicators (listening and speaking), but they also learn to work as part of a team.
This benefit is sometimes overlooked, but it is, quite possibly, among the most important. Creativity and curiosity go hand-in-hand and curiosity leads to learning. Education toys for kids encourage them to, in creative ways, play with their environment and experiment. Through that experimentation, they learn much about their world.
Ensuring Educational Opportunities for Your Children
As parents, we want to ensure that our children have as many advantages as possible and that comes with seeing that, from an early age, they develop the skills they need for success in life and, later, in school.
In many cases, that means finding a nursery school or pre-k program that focuses on your child’s individual development and includes the use of creative and educational play. If you’d like to discuss more, get in touch with us today.