From LEGO to building blocks, puzzles and playsets being a kid is pretty damn enjoyable. But, it’s not all just fun and games through. Encouraging play through toys that are educational will leave positive fingerprints on a person’s brains well into their adolescent years – not to mention the endless amounts of entertainment it can provide for your little one.
In the first year, your baby will thrive the most absorbing absolutely everything in the world around him. The right toys are an essential part of this process and help to provide your little one with the tools to develop different skills, enabling them to discover as much as possible early on.
It’s not uncommon for educational toys to be mistaken for setting your baby up for school skills such as maths and reading. But before a child can even learn how to do these things, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done beforehand. This ‘work’ is called play. Children need to develop their own ways to express themselves and toys that are designed to educate help to bring the best of your child out. But which toys are actually educational for your children? We check out some of the top ones.
My Busy Town Wooden Development Toy
Bright, colourful and fun this development toy is perfect for little ones ages between 7 months to 3 years. It essentially combines a few toys together with 5 different sides of fun that teaches your child alphabet recognition, coordination and counting. The toy is ideal for introducing colours and shapes and helps to encourage problem solving and interaction.
To begin with, show your toddler each side of the cube to introduce the different activities. Let your child explore the rest of the cube on his own – he’ll be busily entertained and educated all in one.
Fire Station Playset
From curiosity to discovery complete with a healthy dose of imagination, the Fire Station Playset is perfect for education. Recommended for children between the ages of 12 months to 5 years old, the toys combines motor skills with the spark of inquisitiveness, encouraging your child to observe and respond.
Because the playset promotes imagination, it offers a magical experience for your little one (and you as the parent too watching). The Fire Station Playset takes thoughtfulness and practice into careful consideration and can help teach your child the importance of playing in group situations too.
Parum Pum Pum Drum
Any form of creativity skills encouraged from a young age can work wonders for educating your child. Music and art both play an important role in developing appreciation, imagination and intellectual skills. As they get older, these skills tend to be transferred and utilised into new situations involving perceptual awareness, personal, physical and social development. Check out this article for all the benefits of music for kids!
This musical drum toy is more than just a drum…it’s a whole musical set! Complete with egg shakers, a tambourine and other percussion instruments it helps young ones from 18 to 24 months utilise the magic of making music, as well as its cause and effect. Whilst it can be slightly frustrating from a parent point of view listening to your child shaking and banging different things to make a noise, it’s a fantastic development toy that encourages little ones to explore music and sounds, thus developing their music and motor skills significantly.
Le Toy Van Doctors Set
As a young child, going to the doctors can be extremely daunting and cause a lot of anxiety for both you and your little one. Doctor play sets are a great way to prep your toddler for future visits and use skills like imaginative play and role playing to educate your child in a fun and safe way.
Recommended for children aged between 18 months to 6 years old, the educational benefits of this Doctor’s set stem from creative thinking and motor skills. All parts of the toy promote a non-dangerous and innovative way to learn.
Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
Just as much as music and the arts stimulate creativity, sports related toys help to keep your child active and educated. The Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set is a huge hit with kids… especially if they thrive on being energetic which let’s face it, most kids do! Suited for anyone aged 2 years and up, the sports set encourages healthy physical, emotional and social development.
Learning skills like confidence, balance, coordination, focus and motor skills, your child will also develop skills to assist in team working environments. In this day of age too, where so many things are influenced by the digital world – sports sets like this one promotes the importance of staying active and getting outdoors.
Design and Drill Activity Centre
Armed with grid holes, colours, tools and bolts the Design and Drill Activity Centre is perfect for children aged 3 years and above. Encouraging the use of coordination to build upon, creativity, fine motor skills and imagination, this toys set is super educational.
Because there’s so many possibilities for creative play with this toy, children fail to “get bored of it”. Complete with 20 activity card challenges for your child to use, the activity centre teaches a variety of skills that can be implemented down the track.
By Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Bubba Love, a leading provider of educational toys for babies and toddlers to help stimulate your young ones development.
When you have young children, toys somehow make it in your home whether you like it or not. You get gifts from well-meaning grandparents, friends, festivals and events you visit, birthday parties and before you know it, your whole home turns into one big playroom. Too many toys can clutter your home and make your children more distracted. So what can you do to get the toy invasion under control?
Watch your children play
You may notice that your children always pick up the same toys and never look at others. It will give you clues about what your children are interested in, what skills they’re currently developing and how you can support them. You will also know what toys you can safely discard and no one will even notice.
Turn decluttering into a game
I believe it’s best to give kids responsibility for their own possessions and not just throw toys out behind their backs, but if you simply ask them if they need one toy or another, the answer will always be ‘yes’. Decluttering flows a lot easier if you make it fun. You can pretend that your children have a shop and they’re selling you the toys they no longer need. Or they may need to clear their toy space for a fun concert.
It’s very easy to give in and buy a cheap toy at the checkout only to stop your children’s whining, but the kids will lose their interest in the toy as soon as you’ve left the shop and it will probably break before you even get home. Instead, choose only good quality toys that will last for a while and that engage your children’s imagination, so that they keep on playing with them.
Join a toy library
Toy libraries are a great way to give your children an opportunity to play with different toys without having to store them all at home. It also give you a chance to see if a toy is likely to hold their interest before you go out and buy it.
It’s only natural that we want to give our kids everything, but they don’t need too many toys to be happy. As you decrease the number of toys your children won’t even notice and you will love a tidier home.
Image via Pixabay
Toy shops can be so overwhelming! Bright colours, flashing lights, loud noises… All the toys look like they can grab a one-year-old’s attention, but which ones will hold it longer than it takes to open the box?
Blocks can be used in a variety of ways. You can build towers, knock them down, sort blocks by colour, build a doll house, put blocks into boxes, take them out and then put them in again. My first child got a set of big blocks for his first birthday. Two children and 6 years later, the blocks are still around and the kids are still playing with them.
I’m yet to meet a little child (boy or girl) who doesn’t like toy strollers. Even if the one-year-old you’re buying it for is not a confident walker yet, soon he will be. Children love pushing dolls and teddy bears around. It also encourages them to walk with their parents without getting distracted too much, once they hit that cute stage of refusing to sit in their own stroller.
A tricycle can be an exciting progression from the pram. Choose a tricycle that can be adjusted as the child grows and will be used for several years. A trike for a one-year-old will have a push bar and a safety belt or harness. Later the bar can be removed as the child turns into an independent trike rider.
Toy kitchen items
Kids like imitating what the adults around them are doing, and a safe place of their own where they can practice cooking can provide hours of indoor entertainment. Depending on your budget, you can choose a complete toy kitchen or a set of plates, pots and utensils.
A fun way for a one-year-old to learn about shapes is to try putting items through matching holes. There is a wide variety of shape sorting toys out there – it can be a bucket with a lid, a puzzle board or even something that flashes and makes sounds when the child finds the right hole.
Babies love reading with their parents, but they go through a lot of books fast, so you can never have too many of them. Choose board books, which have a better chance of lasting for a while, with bright pictures to stimulate the child’s interest.
Ask the parents
If you’re stuck for gift ideas, it’s always ok to ask the parents. They know their child best and will be able to give you good advice. It will still be a surprise for the one-year-old!
Image by centidocomun via pixabay.com
By Tatiana Apostolova