Shopping Guide for Choosing Educational Toys to Help Learn At Home
The classroom and books are not the only ways that kids can learn. There are many more ways for kids to learn, and playing is part of it. Playtime is more than a fun time for kids. It helps impact the kid's development in so many areas. Playtime is vital for every child, such that the United Nation’s High Commission for Human Rights has listed it as a right. As a parent, it is quite understandable that you would want the best toys for your child. However, any toys you opt for have to be educational, regardless of your kid's age. The good news is that there are education play toys for kids of all ages, from toddlers to preschoolers and kindergarteners. Also, there are play toys that will help your kid learn different skills like creativity, math, music, science, dancing, and creative thinking. We have taken the liberty of getting you a guide on how to choose educational toys for your kids. Whether you are looking for educational toys to help kids learn at school or at home, this guide will help you choose the best toys for kids.
Get open-ended educational toys
Open-end toys are ideal for kids because they can play different games with them. Kids love to take things apart and assemble them, on-and-off. And, if they cannot play different games with such toys, then they will lose interest and get bored fast. An open-end toy will help enhance your kid’s imagination and critical thinking and STEM skills. Such toys include blocks, bricks, nesting cups or nesting blocks, play dough, and toys that involve sand and water.
Consider the kid’s interest
Your kid's interest will be an excellent guiding factor when getting them educational toys. Sometimes parents buy kids' toys, and yes, they will play and enjoy them. But, after a day or two, those toys are forgotten, and you are back to shopping for new toys. If you want your kid to learn, get toys that align with their interests. Your child’s age will determine the kind of they need. In the beginning, it will be a trial and error kind of thing, but with time, you will get to learn more about your kid’s interests.
And toys that spark the kid’s imagination
Toys that encourage pretend play are very good at enhancing kids' creativity, language skills, and literary skills. If your child can act in different roles in different situations, they will have a higher chance of improving their vocabulary and communication skills. Look for toys that your child can play roles in the kitchen with, or maybe shopping or even the princes and prince type of situations. These could be food toys, plastic utensils, dress-up clothes, dolls, stuffed animals, among others. Your kid’s age is also an important consideration when getting these toys.
Go for toys that teach how to read and write
If your child is starting preschool, then you need to go for toys that will help them learn how to read and write. Buy alphabetical magnets, books, and art supplies like crayons and markers. Throw in some magazines, menus, and catalogs in there to help your child familiarize with letters and prints.As your child grows and you keep introducing such toys that match their age and interest, they will start reading and understanding advanced works with no time.
Choose toys that increase their social skills
While kids learn a lot when playing with their toys, they will not acquire any social skills by playing alone. Social skills are essential in life, and one should learn how to be social while still young. Toys that promote social skills include puzzles, board games, building materials, and experiment kits. These will teach your kid how to negotiate, share, and solve problems, how to make compromises, and how to work in teams.
As well as exploring the real world
Your child's world should not revolve around toys as much as they are educational. The real world is always teaching us all new things, even as adults. Your child needs to experience and understand this from a young age. As such, get your kid toys that allow them to play outdoors, like science kits, kits to catch bugs or a pair of binoculars. These toys will also increase the child's curiosity in nature and desire for knowledge. This will also help your child learn how to ask questions, an essential skill that leads to critical thinking.
Consider their physical education
Educational toys for kids should also encourage their physical health. Get your kids balls that go with their age, e.g., different sizes and colors that they can use to play all sorts of games. Other toys for physical education include bowling sets, jumping ropes, skates, basketball ball hoops, scooters, and tricycles. You can also get toys for gardening. They will learn how to garden and exercise while at it. Educational toys that involve their physical health will also encourage your kids to love and get more confident with their bodies. You can encourage this by being their cheering audience and celebrating their milestones.
Do not forget toys that encourage your participation
As a parent, getting involved in your child's learning curve is not only healthy for the kid but also for you. Some games promote cross-generational participation. Toys like the board will work very well, even from an early age of three years. Board games will teach your child how to count from an early age, how to listen, how to match items, and how to follow the rules and accept wins and losses. Your participation as a parent will also improve your child-parent relationship.
When choosing educational toys to help kids, go for toys that capture their attention. That way, the toys will not be tossed away in a few days but will keep challenging the child in many ways. The toys you go for should help the child learn how to socialize, build relationships, be creative and critical in their thinking as well as develop their STEM skills. Do not forget to get toys that encourage physical activities. And, get involved as a parent to help build a closer relationship with your kid.