How do you ensure that the educational toy you buy will be right for your child? As with everything there are no guarantees with children. There are a couple of things to consider when selecting childrens educational toys that can improve the chances that your choice will be well received. First, evaluate the developmental stage that your child is at. Select educational toys that target skills and abilities for that stage. An educational toy that is too advanced may cause frustration, and one that is too simple will not be challenging enough to warrant attention. Below is a general guideline for what types of childrens educational toys are better suited for developmental stages from newborn through 3 years old. This is only meant to be a guide to start you thinking in the right direction. Use these guidelines and your knowledge of your childs interests to you help make your educational toy purchases.
The toys that are now available to buy are endless and you can have every style, size, design and type that you could have ever dreamed of. Your children will be lost when trying to decide what they want to play with. Educational toys for children look similar to any other style of toy so your child will not realize they are in fact learning through their play. Your child will be learning so many new skills without even realizing it.
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Consider the childs age when choosing educational toys. There are educational toys in the market available for all age groups. Check the labels of toys for age appropriateness. Electronic toys, breakable toys, and those with minute parts are definitely not for infants. Consider safety fore mostly. The best for smaller kids are ones that activate the senses and are good for motor skills - toys producing, sounds, turning buttons, push and pull, filling and emptying, bobbing bath toys, squishy toys, clay or shapes. A one year old would probably only throw number or letter blocks without recognizing the idea of numbers. So not too complicated; neither should you underestimate a preschooler with toys meant only for younger kids. Maybe you should challenge them with more books (picture books and pop-ups are so much fun) or chalk boards, flash cards, toy clocks and globes, and puzzles.
During this stage your baby will gain better head control and have better movement of arms and legs. They generally grip onto anything they can get their hands on and put it directly into their mouth. Educational toys like rattles promote motor development and provide sensory stimulation. Since everything ends up in the mouth, educational toys that are chewable or soft plush are favorites. Babies need to experience different textures so vary the materials educational toys are made of. Activity centers provide lots of stimulation at this age. These educational toys normally have lots of buttons that produce sounds, lights, and give a variety of textures to explore. Hand-eye coordination will improve as babies explore the activity center. Parents are often on the move more with babies at this age. Activity bars that fit across a stroller, car seat, or bouncy chair that have dangling, squeaky toys and mirrors keep baby stimulated while on the move. Motor skills develop as baby reaches, hits, pulls, and kicks at the accessories on these educational toys.
With each step your baby becomes more independent and confident. Little ones at this age spend every waking hour exploring and experimenting. For those still a bit unsteady walking, educational toys that promote mobility such as a walker or push car are great choices. Pushcarts and wagons are a great way for children to tote things around- another favorite activity at this age. Educational toys including soft plush toys and dolls remain favorites at this age.