Toys may be used for a number of educational purposes. Some toys have incidental educational value. Others are specifically known as “educational toys”. Educational toys are typically built for and used by children. One could say that an educational toy is actually just any toy.
The difference lies in the child’s perception or reality of the toy’s value. An educational toy should educate. It should instruct, promote intellectuality, emotional or physical development. An educational toy can teach a child about a particular subject or can help a child develop a particular skill. The key difference is the child’s learning and development associated with interacting with the toy.
The term “Educational Toy” and its Popularity
The term educational toy is often applied in toy advertising to promote sales to parents. Such toys are often more expensive than traditional ones. Indeed, the Early Learning Centre shop is founded on the premise of educational toys, and is more expensive than average.
Some parenting styles prefer the use of fewer and less complex toys. Instead, real objects, and participating in real activities, can be used alongside a child’s imagination. A toy like Wonderfoam Blocks may be able to help in stimulating a child’s imagination.
Educational Toys in Child’s Development
Educational toys claim to enhance intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. Educational toys are designed to encourage reasonable development milestones within appropriate age groups.
- Preschool Stage
Simple wooden blocks might be a good starting point. This may be able to help a child to understand causal relationships and basic principles of science. It may even help develop patience and rudimentary hand-eye coordination.
- Early Elementary Stage
For a child moving towards elementary school, other, more sophisticated Manipulatives might further aid the development of these skills. Interlocking manipulative toys like Wonderfoam Blocks or puzzles challenge the child to improve hand-eye coordination and patience. This can also give a better understanding of spatial relationships.
- Late Elementary Stage
Finally, a child in elementary school might use very sophisticated construction sets that include moving parts, motors and others to help further understand the complex workings of the world. Importantly, the educational value derived by the child increases when the educational toy is age appropriate.
Toys are not just toys, they can also be used to promote learning and development. However, make sure that a toy is non-toxic and is not harmful to the child’s health. Toys like building blocks and a box of crayons for toddlers are just a few of the playthings considered safe and promotes learning.