It is a universally accepted truth that toys are to entertain children. Well, there is more to that. Toys give children both the opportunity and space to learn and have fun at the same time. But among the pool of toys available, have you been wondering what toys can help a child’s development prosper, enhance cognitive behavior, and stimulate creativity?
While it is safe to say that toys are educational, there are items that can efficiently enhance a child’s sensory skills, social intelligence, and language know-how. This is what we’re going to talk about in this post.
Are you on the lookout for educational toys for your classroom? Check out 15 of the most popular toys this 2020.
Common abilities children normally develop when playing with certain toys
Toys aren’t just for playing or entertaining kids by creating games — they play a BIG role in your child’s healthy development. As every toddler makes her or his way from blocks to teddy bears, to crayons to books; the child in this process is building pre-academic skills.
Learning through play is an integral part of a child’s development. The use of toys allows them to discover the world they live in. Problem-solving skills, for instance, will prepare them to analyze how cause and effect work. What you probably don´t know is what exact toys they need and how these toys continue to improve their abilities over the years.
1) Sensory Stimulation
One of the most important fundamental skills to develop as a child is exercising the basic senses of the body. Each of these senses is used on a daily basis. In this regard, playing with a toy is one way to stimulate a child’s sensory receptors and train more than just one or two senses. Sand and slime are among the perfect toys that allow your child to play while nurturing his or her senses.
Toys that specialize in this aspect are called Sensory Toys. You can actually incorporate these educational toys into classroom playtime for a more wonderful learning experience.
Try these toys:
- Vision Development Toys (sense of sight) – Visual Cards, Pattern Puzzles, Colorful Cubes, Building Blocks
- Olfactory Sensory Toys (sense of smell) – Scented Pencil & Crayons, Aroma Panels, Scratch N Sniff Stickers, Scented Bubbles
- Tactile Feeling Toys (sense of touch) – Textured Play Bags and Mats, Squidgy Toys, Fidget Toys, 3D Puzzles
- Auditory Toys – (sense of hearing) – Rattle Shakers, Squeaky Toys, Musical Toys, Whistles
There are more sensory toys you can find. The ones listed above are but the most common items available in stores.
2) Social Intelligence
When a child enjoys playing with toys alongside other children, she or he will learn to initiate conversations and interact with them. Developing social skills in childhood helps prepare a growing child for interpersonal communication, healthy relationships, and the ability of comfortable self-expression. It may seem hard to achieve at first, but there are toys that work for this purpose — we call these toys Multiplayer Toys.
Below are the most popular:
- Card Games – Slapjack, Go Fish, Skip-Bo, and Exploding Kittens
- Board Games – Candy Land, Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly Junior, Mouse Trap
- Playtime Kits – Doll or Tea Sets, Bath Bomb Bonanza, Slime Kit, Water Lab
- Puzzles – Snoopy Puzzle Journey, Cube Duel, Froggit, Tetris App
- Online games – Mario Brothers, Lego Worlds
3) Language Skills
Improving language and speech is closely related to social intelligence where multiplayer toys and social interactions work together. But even though this plays a part in language learning, it does not necessarily mean the only way to develop this skill is by socializing. There are a lot of ways to promote this development and one is through the use of certain toys.
Another item that helps develop a child’s language and speech is Children’s Books. Don’t worry if your child does not engage right away, there are tons of creative books that they are bound to love. Not only that, but there are also different kinds of toys for language and speech as well such as talking toys and puppets such as the Talking Hamster and Disney Moana: Hei Hei.
We’ve got a great list of educational toys for learning how to read. Pick the best you think suits your child’s likes and begin from there.
4) Cognitive Development
Cognitive thinking is the ability to understand and process information. In this process, a child will grow trillions of brain-cell connections that naturally becomes more complex as the child grows. Toys that provide different thinking exercises during playtime give them the space to think of scenarios, conflicts, and resolutions that progress into good decision-making and problem-solving.
The most popular all-around toy in terms of cognition is the famous playhouse. It allows children to do not only what they want but what they need in order to establish a more realistic house. This is where Cognitive Development Toys are needed.
The following are ideal toys:
- Magic Moves
- 6-in-a Town Center Playhouse
- Button Size Sorting Box
- Super Safe Magnifiers
- Count & Play Washable Activity Book
- Roll & Race Activity Ramp
- Safari Chunky Jigsaw
- Colors & Shapes: Match It
- Magnetic Number Maze
- Puzzle Globe Pre-school Geography Toy
5) Motor Skills and Physical Dexterity
Of course, the physical health of children should be considered just as important. It is one of the crucial factors that need to be correctly developed. One way to do that is by providing toys that help improve their gross and fine motor skills.
Toys like shape sorters and stackers encourage kids to use their fingers in order to move and make the pieces fit. Toys in this category also teach kids about sizes and sequencing, as well as problem-solving. Focus on ride-on toys as these require the movement of big and small muscles such as standing, sitting upright at the table, walking, running and jumping, as well as climbing. Children here develop strength, balance, and dexterity.
You will love:
- Wooden Rainbow Stacker
- Wood Building Block Set
- Little Electric Cars
- Ride-on Wagon
- Scooter for Kids
- Bicycles & Trikes
- Rollerskates for kids
- Foam Jumper
- Mill Side
- Power Wheels
Creativity is something that every child should be able to properly express. It paves the way for new ideas, unconventional thoughts, and artistic self-expression to manifest and help them cope with new experiences as they grow up. When a child shows a boost of creativity, there are toys designed to help them channel this ingenuity into something tangible.
There are two major types of toys to encourage the imagination:
1. Art toys consist of drawing materials, play dough, and craft kits. These are a bit on the messy side.
- Drawing Sets
- Coloring Books
- Light-Up Tracing Pad
- Spirograph Design Set
- Drawing Stencils
2. Musical toys, on the other hand, are just as great in channeling creativity as the art toys but only sound and melody producing. This consists of toy instruments like the xylophone, drums, and maracas, to name a few.
Kids will love:
- Record & Learn
- Guitar Toys
- Toy Drums
- Otamatone Unicorn
- WolVol Electric for Toddlers
All in all, this goes to show that various kinds of toys are educational and each toy has its own values to teach. Every single one can help progress a child’s overall growth in their little way. Playtimes can have a long-term effect on children and it is your prerogative, as a parent, to carefully choose the kind of toys for your child’s proper development.
Did you know that most of these toys also help in the development of a child with autism?
Is there something that I missed? Share your wonderful thoughts. We would love to hear your comments below.