There’s nothing any child loves more than the opportunity and the freedom to play to their heart’s content. There is, of course, much more to play than just having fun. Learning through play is crucial to a child’s early development and helps them to develop the basic skills and capacities that will be vital to their future growth.
Educational toys are specially designed to foster the development of these skills; physical as well as intellectual and social. They’re also designed to be fun while facilitating your child’s personal growth, enabling them to learn new things in a way that amuses and entertains them at the same time.
The fact that educational toys are lots of fun is central to their appeal. When encouraging children to learn, it’s essential to avoid presenting it as a chore or a compulsion. Here’s more on the benefits of educational toys for kids, how they work, and why they’re so important to your child.
The importance of toys in child development
Young children are constantly absorbing and interpreting the new information and phenomena they come across. They have a natural and ingrained curiosity, and the key to learning is to continually encourage this. For this to happen, children need to be provided with a diverse range of stimuli, tailored to their particular stage of development.
This is where educational toys come in. Their purpose is to teach certain skills in a way that’s simple, straightforward, engaging and fun. They can assist with the development of a variety of key early skills, including:
- Problem solving
- Hand-eye coordination
- Motor skills
- Social skills
- Sensory stimulus
There are lots of toys that could be considered educational, including puzzles, sorting cubes, memory games, arts and crafts, construction kits, activity sets and colouring books. A broad selection of educational toys is essential to help broaden your child’s horizons and stimulate their innate curiosity across a range of different areas.
How effective are educational toys?
Because they’re specifically intended to complement your child’s growth and development, educational toys can be hugely effective in firing their imagination as well as fostering their early skills. Young children tend to have pretty short attention spans, and one of the benefits of educational toys (and learning through play in general) is that they help to keep little ones engaged, exploring and learning for longer periods.
Children are also highly inventive when it comes to playing with their toys (there are toys designed to encourage imaginative play, but children are capable of putting their toys to all sorts of uses). Given the space and the opportunity, children will use educational toys to make all sorts of new and independent discoveries. This makes for a much more rewarding kind of play: one in which their own imagination takes them into entirely new territory, and in this way facilitates further discoveries in the future.
Above all, it’s important to remember that much of your child’s early learning takes place in the home – and part of your job as a parent is to find ways of making learning fun and engaging for your child (and it can be lots of fun for you as well!). You can learn more about how to do just this with our list of top tips here.