Kids love toys. If you have any doubts about that, just take a child into a toy store. She will probably find a number of things that she feels she just can’t live without. Toys are more than just fun and games for kids. Most toys provide at least some opportunity for children to learn. The best toys engage a child’s senses, spark their imagination, and encourage them to interact with others.
Babies and Toys: Babies are eager to learn about the world around them, and they have much to learn. Every new shape, color, texture, taste and sound is a learning experience for them. Giving your baby toys that are safe and stimulating will help him discover his senses. Rattles and toys that make music are favorites of infants. Toys with contrasting colors are fascinating to babies and stimulate their developing vision. As they grow, infants can use toys to explore object permanence and cause and effect relationships. They also need objects such as blocks to help them build motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Toys for Toddlers:Toddlers can play with a wider variety of toys than they did when they were smaller. They might still enjoy some of the toys they played with as babies, and that’s fine. The same blocks they played with a year or two ago can provide them with new and different educational opportunities as their knowledge expands. But they also need toys that are designed for children their age. Shape sorters are great for toddlers. They teach them how to match similar items and provide parents the opportunity to teach them the names of the shapes. Lego blocks provide an opportunity to learn more about colors and symmetry while they develop their motor skills.
Toys for Preschool and School-Aged Children: When children reach preschool age, it’s time to start learning about letters, numbers and language skills. There are lots of toys that encourage this type of learning, from simple alphabet puzzles to high-tech electronic gadgets. These can give your child a head start by introducing her to the things she will be learning in school. Kids who are in school can supplement their learning with fun and educational toys. Giving them the opportunity to have fun while practicing the things they are learning in school will increase their learning retention. When your child finds an educational toy she really likes, she will be more likely to play with it, reinforcing the things she has learned.
Children can learn a lot from playing. When you give your child educational toys and play with them with her, it gives her a chance to bond with you, learn, and have fun at the same time. And making education enjoyable will help your child retain the things she learns and develop a positive attitude toward learning.
Why Educational Play?
Wouldn't it be nice knowing that your child is learning valuable life skills every time he sits down to play? It is a proven fact that giving your child the proper educational toys at an early age will enhance their ability to learn more easily than children that may not have access to such toys. The benefits that they receive from such play will also remain with them until adulthood.
Children's Playtime is Beneficial in Two Ways
Children learn by playing. Playing is a great way for them to broaden their horizons and also increase their knowledge. Educational toys can be enjoyable for children, but they can also be valuable learning tools. Sharing, exploration, and the ability to make-believe are just a few of the important skills children develop during play. Each child is unique. He has his own specific patterns of development and has different ways of making the journey through the milestones of physical, mental and social development. A child playing with toys encourages the development of his brain. The younger the child is exposed to the proper educational toy, the better he will be able to absorb the benefits.
Visit our Modern Parent Segment on The Rhode Show to see Tracy's segment on the educational benefits of toys.
Tracy Martin-Turgeon has been in the field of early childhood education for 22 years. She started with The Children's Workshop in September 1999 as an assistant director for and has since served as director, regional, and currently as a VP regional overseeing seven facilities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Early Childhood education from the University of RI. on Fox Providence’s morning television show, The Rhode Show. In her role, Tracy enjoys most supporting and helping the staff, families, and children she works with every day. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and children.