How to Choose Educational Toys for Toddlers!
The phrase ‘educational toys’ is now so commonly used that it’s difficult to know what kind of toy is actually an educational one vs one just claiming to be so. Add to that the sheer variety of toys for kids these days and it’s enough to stress out any parent! An educational toy for toddlers will help boost creativity, math skills, language, social interaction, problem-solving and physical aspects like motor skills as well. They are often also sold as STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) toys as these are important skills in today’s workplaces and arming your child with them early on is a good idea.
So while looking for educational toys for toddlers in particular, what are the factors you should consider? We made a list of the most important ones and we hope it helps you!
Keep your child’s interests in mind
While STEM skills and other educational aspects are important, buying a toy your child has no interest in is redundant. Rather, think about what your child already likes to do or is fascinated by and choose the toy accordingly. Don’t force an abacus if numbers seem lower on the list of interests right now. It’s far better to work on developing current interests or at least finding a toy that shares some common ground with them rather being completely off the spectrum.
Choose toys that can be used in different ways
This basically means your child’s interest in the toy continues for longer than a day! Building blocks that can turn into multiple shapes and structures, for example. The flexibility and variety of a multipurpose toy ensures that the toy grows with your child, lending itself to different kinds of skill development even within the toddler phase.
Look for toys that encourage social interaction
If your child has a toy that requires or allows multiple players at a time, there is a higher possibility of better social skills and collaboration. Board games and jigsaw puzzles are a great way to involve your little one’s little friends and maybe even older kids if they’re interested. They also let kids solve problems and figure out the game together.
Find toys that require movement and activity
Whether it’s a set of colourful balls that can be thrown around to understand speed and gravity (even if the words aren’t clear, the concepts come alive), or a tricycle to zoom around on, active play is always a great idea. It’s a different dimension of educational toys that improves motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Include real-world toys
Get your toddler curious and ready to start asking questions! Toy binoculars, musical instruments, science kits and any other toys that they will come across in the real world, are a good way to get your child to observe, experiment and figure out new ideas and concepts.
Pick toys that spark the imagination
Educational toys for toddlers are often the kind that will help them dream and imagine things beyond the usual. Toys like a little doctor’s set with a toy stethoscope helps with pretend-play, trains and cars let them imagine racetracks and practice loud automobile sounds, toy cash registers can become part of their pretend restaurant and so much more. Picture books and simple fairy tale books also help with imagination and starting kids off with reading. All of it helps in improving language skills, thinking out of the box and challenging the mind.
What are your favourite educational toys for toddlers? What do you normally look for while buying them? Let us know in the comments below!