Educational Toys & Activity Learning Toys
CHOOSING THE RIGHT EDUCATIONAL & ACTIVITY LEARNING TOYS FOR YOUR CHILD
Wondering what educational toys are the best? As a parent, you are faced with a wide variety of choices when it comes to purchasing "educational toys" for your children. The retailers' aisles are filled with games, dolls, puzzles, wooden toys, action figures, electronic games and trains -- all promising to be "educational " and provide "hours of entertainment." It can all be a little overwhelming, and confusing, How will you know which toys will be both fun and educational? The best guide for choosing educational toys and learning games is a thorough understanding of how children develop, and how the right developmental toys enhance skills.
Keeping the following tips and criteria in mind will help you to choose the right educational toys that will challenge, stimulate, and encourage your child to express his creativity:
EDUCATIONAL AND LEARNING VALUE OF TOYS
Conclusive studies dating back as early as the1940's have proven that a child's IQ can be increased by more than 50 points through proper stimulation in the first 6 years of life. Educational games and learning toys are the most successful props used to enhance a child's developmental skills, and yes, even IQ. Your child already has certain natural skills, but you can help further develop those skills through the power of play with the right developmental toys or educational games. You have the power to help improve your child's skills such as memory retention, reading skills, motor skills, eye-hand coordination, math skills... these are just a few, the list is endless. But, which toy is the right educational toy?
Look for developmental toys that will foster imagination and creativity. While mechanical toys can be entertaining, they tend to stifle a child's development by taking away a child's chance to interactively participate in the fun. The best toys let a child think, perform, problem solve and make things happen.
Look for educational toys that encourage and teach the following developmental skills and learning values:
SELECT AGE APPROPRIATE EDUCATIONALTOYS
One of the most important factors in selecting a learning toy is choosing a toy that is appropriate for your child's age. Start by determining your child's current developmental needs -- both physically and emotionally. Then, look for educational toys appropriate for your child's stage of development. For example, an infant that is just beginning to learn to focus and grasp with their hands would benefit from a visually stimulating toy that develops hand-eye coordination. Toddlers, on the other hand, are more advanced in their skill set and toys that focus on stacking and pulling, pre-dressing, and language basics are a great choice. Toy manufacturers started out making educational toys that covered everything from preschool through high school, and simply confused kids and made toys that appealed to no one. However, over the years, the top educational toy makers have made a better use of research and technology, and have done a great job creating quality educational toys and learning games targeted to a child's particular skills and age group.
Select educational toys based on age range:
At every stage of their development, children face new challenges. And ,with those challenges come new risks. Over 6 million children are injured each year by accidents involving children's toys and other products. By being aware of the kinds of dangers associated with toys, you can better protect your child while ensuring their enjoyment . When purchasing a toy, check for the following:
- Use the recommended age labeling as a guide. Some toys contain small parts that may not be appropriate for all ages
- Inspect toys for sharp points or edges and projectiles
- Check dolls and teddy bears to ensure eyes and noses cannot be pulled off
- Make sure small parts of larger toys are secure.
- Carefully read all safety messages on toy packaging
- Check the list of toy product recalls
Kids learn best when they're enjoying themselves. No matter how educational, if a toy is not fun, it will just gather dust. A properly selected toy can be both educational and fun. The first step is to find a toy that's geared to child's age and learning style. By observing what interests your child already exhibits, you'll be able to offer learning toys that further advance his or her existing creative skills and talents. Would arts and crafts or a scientific telescope appeal to your child's interest? Or does your child focus more on physical activities like gymnastics, in which case a trampoline is a better choice?
Most importantly, remember that toys are only props. However, when you get down on the floor with your child and get involved, these props can take you into your child's imagination and create opportunities for you to create memories that will last a lifetime.
TODAY'S TOP SELLING LEARNING & EDUCATIONAL TOYS
LEADING EDUCATIONAL & LEARNING TOY BRANDS
ARTICLES ON EDUCATIONAL PLAY & CHILD DEVELOPMENT
- Seven Times Smarter : 50 Activities, Games, and Projects to Develop the Seven Intelligences of Your Child, by Laurel Schmidt
- Make-Believe: Games and Activities for Imaginative Play, by Dorothy G. Singer, Jerome L. Singer
- How Your Baby & Child Learns: Give Your Baby & Child the Best Start (Parent Smart), by Penny Shore, Penelope Leach, William Sears, Martha Sears, Oto Weininger, International Advisory Council on Parenting
- New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children, by Eden Ross Lipson
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
TOY PRODUCT RECALLS
See full list of Product Recalls
Guidelines for submitting an eductational toy for review
The Top 100 baby names list