Educational toys. You’ve probably heard this term around. But, what are they and why do you need them? That is what this article is about. Read on to find out more.
What are educational toys?
Let’s begin by defining educational toys. These types of toys occasionally go by the name of “instructive toys”) as well. Essentially educational toys help your child learn a skill or multiple skills through the use of play. The toy may either help with gross or fine motor skills, but it can also involve teamwork, creative thinking, or other skills.
Also, don’t just think that educational toys are for school-aged children. In fact, you can begin introducing educational toys to infants. As long as the toy is age-appropriate, it will help with the development of essential skills for each development period. Therefore, you will find toys for 1-12-month-olds, 1-2-year-olds, older toddlers, and school-aged kids. Thus, these types of toys not only create a fun experience for your child, but they also provide essential skill learning that will help once your child reaches school age and beyond.
Why are educational toys important
We’ve answered this a bit above; educational toys help your children learn skills while also promoting “intellectuality, emotional or physical development.” However, below we’ve listed some more specific benefits of educational toys.
What makes a good educational toy
Good educational toys, just like good toys in general, have a few features in common.
- Conflict resolution and cooperation.
- Fine motor skills development.
- Gross motor skills development.
- Improve independence and self-esteem.
They are age-appropriate
This is probably the most important feature of successful educational toys. It does not do any good if the educational toy you pick out is designed for an older child. If the toy is too much above your child’s experience and skill level, it will only be frustrating, not fun. Plus, a non-age appropriate toy could be dangerous to very young children.
They are safe
And, this brings us to our second feature of a good educational toy, it is safe. This is especially important with toys for young children and toddlers. No one likes emergency room visits. So, in order for your child to get the most out of the educational toy, it needs to be safe to play with.
They are fun but still challenging
This probably goes without saying, but we’re going to mention it anyway. The educational toy you choose should be fun and attractive. Your child should want to play with it. It should also be a little bit challenging. Not enough to frustrate them too much but challenging so that they do not get bored.
They fit your child’s personality and interests
Finally, a good educational toy will fit your child’s interests. As you get to know what types of activities your child enjoys doing, you will be better able to pick out the educational toy that fits their personality.
Bestsellers in learning and educational toys
Below we’ve listed some of the most famous educational toys. As you’ll notice. All of these toys fit into the building and construction toy genre. For each toy, we’ve described its history and benefits for your child. And, in the next section, you will find our top five picks for the best modern educational toys in the market today.
Top five educational toys online
Building blocks, Legos, and other physical educational toys are great. (they are listed below) But, there are also plenty of other modern educational toys to be found online. Here are our picks for the top five educational toys available now.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy
Fisher-Price is a great children’s toy manufacturer for a reason. Their Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy is attractive, fun, and appealing to children. It has 75+ songs, sounds, tunes, and phrases for your baby and toddler to learn. It is rated for children ages 6-36 months.
Vtech Drill & Learn Toolbox
If you have older children, you may want to try the Vtech Drill & Learn Toolbox. It is rated for ages 2-5 years. It has all of the classic tools you will find in a toolbox for your child to learn. Plus, there are included songs and the sounds of the tools.
LeapFrog Scout and Violet 100 Words Book
Scout and Violet will help your child, ages 18 months to 4 years, learn 100 words in this interactive word book by LeapFrog. All of the words included are age-appropriate and will aid your child in developing their language skills.
National Geographic Break Open Geodes
School-aged children will love the Break Open Geodes by National geographic. This kit comes with all the information needed for children to learn about geodes and the natural world. If you have a science-minded kid, then you need to look into this set by National Geographic.
Cyiecw Piano Music Mat
Finally, there is the Piano Music Mat by Cyiecw. It teaches about instruments and music. Plus, it will even record your child’s compositions. It is soft and will not hurt your child’s feet as they play. And, a large age range can use this educational toy and get fun and knowledge out of it.
By this time everyone should know that building blocks and magnetic tiles are powerful learning toys. They help develop imagination, creativity, social skills and learning how to be content playing alone. For these reasons, there are many building block product options for keeping your kids busy playing.
Building blocks have a very long history. They have been around at least since the 16th century. Traditionally, these are wooden blocks that a toddler or child can stack to build different shapes. Building blocks have been found to help eye-hand coordination, social play, and vocabulary building.
Mega Bloks are a Lego-like plastic construction toy. They are much larger than traditional Legos, which makes them much more age-appropriate for young children and toddlers. You can find a wide range of Mega Blok sets. They can help your child develop their vocabulary and fine motor skills.
Magnetic tiles are another construction toy. They are different than the other toys on this list because they have magnetic inserts that help the pieces stick together. So, your child will not learn balancing skills. But, with Magnetic tiles, they can still increase their creativity. Find our recommendations on the best magnetic tiles here
Legos are the king of building toy brands. The company has been around since 1949. They are know known for their games, movies, and amusement parks in addition to their construction sets. Because Lego has such a long history, there are a plethora of products for you to choose from. There are much more advanced sets and larger, toddler oriented sets. Essentially, as long as your child is old enough for the smallish pieces, you can find a Legos set that will work for your family.