What makes a toy educational?
We love watching our kids having fun, enjoying the thrill of childhood imagination and play! But there’s one thing that makes watching their playtime even more rewarding... knowing they’re learning at the same time! The good news is our kids are always learning when they play (even if it doesn’t look like it). Which means as parents, we can relax and enjoy seeing our children care-free without using fancy ‘educational’ toys... in fact, we believe some of the best educational toys for young children are the simplest. Read on to find out why...
What is an educational toy?
An educational toy is any toy which helps our child learn, whether that’s learning about themselves, the world, or more traditional academic concepts. When you recognise how children learn best (when they’re interested, engaged, and having fun) you’ll soon realise that many toys can be used for educational purposes - you don’t need to seek out specialist classroom equipment.
How do educational toys help child development?
Put simply, educational toys help child development by engaging your child’s mind and senses in a fun way and at the same time creating new neural connections within the brain!
Play helps child development by:
- Nurturing their imagination
- Increasing dexterity
- Building body confidence and balance
- Strengthen fine and gross motor skills
- Helping cognitive processing
- Encouraging self-regulation
- Helping with social skills and communication
Picking educational toys for babies, toddlers and children really is an easy way to know you're supporting your child’s development!
What are the best educational toys?
The best educational toys are the ones which engage your child’s interests and imagination, meaning the toys your child will benefit most depends on your unique child. However, there are several different types of toys which each provide different educational opportunities. They are sensory toys, movement toys, construction toys, apps & electronic toys, and open-ended toys.
Let’s have a further look at each...
Sensory play is play that engages one or more of your child’s senses and helps them process information about their environment and the way things work. Sensory toys come in many different forms - from silk scarves to slime, musical instruments to wooden rockers.
Movement toys are toys that (you guessed it) get your child moving! These could be balance boards or skipping ropes, footballs, or indoor slides - anything which encourages your child to use their bodies and, therefore, increase their sense of balance, improve spatial awareness and boost body confidence.
Toys which allow your children the chance to build and create are brilliant learning toys. They strengthen creative thinking, problem solving and imagination (to name a few benefits).
Apps & electronic toys
One of the newest forms of educational play comes from learning apps and electronic learning toys. If you’re not fussed about keeping your child’s play screen-free, these can be a useful and engaging part of your child’s play opportunities.
Our favourite type of play is open-ended play! Open-ended toys provide endless possibilities for our children to learn, imagine, create, and build new skills. The definition of an open-ended toy is one that can be used in multiple ways, only restricted by your child’s imagination (such as our wooden balance boards).
Now you know more about educational toys, are you surprised how many you already own? At Capikooa, we love that learning through play really doesn’t have to be complicated!