Toys are not just shiny little objects that entertain and amuse kids anymore. Enhancing their imaginations, affecting their behaviour and moulding their experiences, toys occupy great importance in the evolution of a child’s life. Research has shown that learning through play is an important part of a child’s development. Play time is not only essential for a child to unload some energy, a child will begin to develop their own identity through play. Children can start benefitting from educational toys from as little as one month old. Educational toys for children can assist in the development of essential skills that are necessary in life, such as:
- Boosting a child’s IQ
- Development of their senses
- The development of their problem solving skills
- Social and emotional development
- Developing fine motor skills
- Improving hand-eye coordination
- Encouraging imagination and creativity
Boosting A Child’s IQ Level
Educational toys can enhance critical thinking skills and positively impact on a child’s IQ. A child’s literacy, motor skills, identification and memory retention are improved by the use of educational toys. In a study conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle, researchers gave families with toddlers a set of wooden blocks and suggestions for various activities they could do together, such as sorting by size or color. Six months later, the kids with the blocks scored 15 percent higher in a language-development test than a control group of children who didn’t have a set of wooden blocks.
Development of Their Senses
From birth and up until early childhood kids use their senses to explore and make sense of the world around them. Children, and even adults, learn best and retain the most information when they engage their sense of smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch to negotiate the world around them. As children grow using educational toys, their senses and awareness become more developed, and they are able to better express themselves. As a consequence kids can develop their personalities and have enhanced communication skills.
The Development of Problem Solving Skills
As your child becomes more active it is time for you to introduce them to puzzle solving toys like wooden puzzle sets and stackers. These type of toys will familiarise your child with cause and effect situations, “What happens if I place this puzzle piece here or remove this stacker piece from there?”. They will figure out how a toy works through trial and error and this will assist in developing their self-confidence. One of the main benefits of educational toys for children is their ability to challenge the mind of the child, and encourage them to think as they follow a particular sequence in solving a particular problem. Some educational toys enable kids to solve mathematical problems which could eventually help them in solving real life issues. As they think of more ways to solve the problems, their minds grow and their ability to think and problem solve becomes enhanced.
Social and Emotional Development
It may not seem like an obvious outcome but educational toys can enhance social and emotional development in your child. Playing with toys provide a lesson in sharing and cooperation, irrespective if they are playing with you or their peers.
Most educational toys require interaction between other kids or parents. When kids play with kids they encounter common emotional cues like laughter, crying and displeasure, and in this way they become familiar with and are able to recognise and adapt to different emotional situations. Playing with educational toys revolve around role-playing, sharing, waiting your turn and enjoyable fun activities that can lead to a child’s social development.
Developing Fine Motor Skills
Most children will develop their fine motor skills naturally through play. Some kids will develop faster than others, which is common and perfectly okay. However, the development of fine motor skills are very important and it describes your child’s ability to control their hands, to write and to hold onto things. Educational toys can further develop and enhance these skills and will make your child’s finger, hand and forearm movements more efficient. One of the fundamentals of learning is handwriting which assists in developing literacy, numeracy and language efficiency in children.
Improving Hand-Eye Coordination
After your child develops their fine motor skills, they then develop their hand-eye coordination. Educational toys will assist in this development as your child will need to use their hands and eyes to join together or connect puzzle pieces or building blocks. The progression and improvement in the child’s dexterity will be obvious after a short period of regularly playing with the educational toys. The child is learning coordination, creating pictures in their minds and completing tasks.
Encouraging Imagination and Creativity
With exponential advancements in technology and the proliferation of tech gadgets children are becoming less enamoured with toys. Self-gratification and a lack of imagination has followed. Coloring a picture merely by tapping on a screen does not have the same creative benefits as using a crayon and a coloring book, nor are they using their fine motor skills. It is important to understand that your child needs educational toys that allow them to use their hands, eyes and imagination to create something new. With fun educational toys for children their is a safe imaginative space that allows them to be creative and to experiment and explore.
Educational Toys as Learning Tools
Optimize your child’s learning opportunities by using educational toys as their learning tools. Incorporating play in your child’s day can be fun and beneficial to their growth. Kids are innately quick learners and great observers. It’s on you, the parent, to nurture that innate learning capabilities and mould your child’s future.