Many toys these days are being advertised as “educational,” which can make it hard for us parents to wonder if the hype associated with these toys is true and if they are really worth the money. Here are some quick tips for choosing educational toys for your kiddos.
Consider going low-tech. With more and more kids starting to learn and adapt the use of smartphones and tablets, it has become hard to transition back to the earlier toys. However, Ellen Wild, chairperson of Early Childhood Program at Duchess Community College believe that the best toys are simple and open-minded.
Give your kids crayons, plain paper, markers, along with stickers and envelopes to encourage creative thinking about writing. Buy kids wooden toys like blocks, train sets, puzzles, and manipulative toys like stacking and shape sorters for traditional gaming that lasts for hours. Many children are now entertained exclusively by electronics, which may cause inability to learn persistence, and ability to focus without being entertained.
Use an individual approach. Not all kids are the same, so base your kids’ toys according to their particular age, stage or unique interests. Do not buy what you’ve always wanted as a child but buy an educational toy that suits your child’s personality. Better yet, you can bring your children with you so he/she can choose a toy. Think of toys that will allow your child to discover something new, encourage learning, and improve their skills.
You may assess other consumer reviews if you’re buying online as well as the manufacturer’s age recommendations.
Bring out the creative juice. The best toys are one that can foster creativity and pretend play. These types of toys can grow with the child and can also be used for other purposes. You can experiment with dolls, food, robots, dress-up trunk and others to foster imagination, creation of stories, and language, which eventually leads to writing skills and reading comprehension.
Stay realistic. You should take all promises made by educational toy advertisement with a pinch of salt. Just because it says “let your kids read and write in a week” doesn’t mean it will actually happen. Child development takes time and can’t be forcefully accelerated, according to Jim Taylor Pd. D, Psychology. Children can only develop at the pace they are capable.
Speeding up a child’s development can lead to slowing down since kids are forced to do things for which they’re not developmentally ready. The result is that children are prevented from doing other more natural things they should be doing at their current developmental stage.
Be your child’s playmate. It’s very important to have a good conversation with your children and ask them questions to help them think and explain than to spend a lot of money on toys that will be only a one-way conversation. Supplement toy-playing with a healthy amount of communication – one of the best tools you can use to teach your children is to spend time talking, reading, and enjoying their toys with them.
Educational toys will let your children have fun while learning and that’s the goal. Always let your children assist you when choosing their toys to make the most of it. If one doesn’t work, there’s always another out there. There’s no limit to what you can do when helping your child have fun while becoming good at something.