Toys are not just for fun, if you choose the right educational toys your child can learn while they play. You just need to make sure that you match the toy to their age and skill level. Here are some ideas for great learning toys for young children.
1. Shapes and a cube
This toy is popular with most toddlers and requires them to slot different shapes into a matching hole on a wooden or plastic cube. They are brightly coloured and fun to play with. This toy will help your children to learn shapes and colours, but it also requires hand-eye co-ordination to be able to slot the shapes into the cube. It can take a lot of patience to get this right when your mind is still young so this toy will help your children to learn how to focus.
2. Jigsaw puzzles
You can buy jigsaw puzzles that are suitable for children of all ages. They start off as big chunky wooden pieces and a matching slot to settle them into, and then as your child grows they can start to play with more traditional jigsaw puzzles where putting the pieces together correctly creates a picture.
Jigsaws help to develop hand-eye co-ordination and require patience. At first children will just try and fix pieces together haphazardly, but over time they will learn to start with the border and then look for similar pieces based on the picture they are building.
3. Pretend play
Toys which reflect real life such as fire engines, police cars and playhouses will help your children with pretend play. They can have fun expressing their ideas and explore their imaginations. Toys like these can also be used to teach your children about real life dangers and how they can be avoided.
Older children love science kits and gadgets. The kits include all of the equipment and materials they need to conduct their own science experiments. These kits are a great way to help your kids learn about the world around them, and to prepare them for the science lessons they will learn in school.
5. Video games
You might be surprised to see video games on this list but there are some great games available on the Nintendo DS console that encourage learning. From what it takes to be a vet and look after sick animals to solving puzzles and mysteries, choose correctly and your kids can have fun learning on their favourite console.