All parents want to give their kids the best possible head start in life. Toys, the natural first focus of a child’s interest, surprisingly mask learning.
Although at first glance, educational toys might not look as exciting as some of the most popular toys, they actually provide a variety of advantages. Toys that are meant to teach kids are often disguised as regular fun toys, but at the same time improve cognition and development.
What Makes a Toy Educational?
Toys that are marketed as “educational” don’t have to be limited to teaching the basics like reading, writing, and counting. Rather, educational toys are those that aim to encourage a child’s intellectual development, problem-solving abilities, and even hand-eye coordination.
Typically, educational toys will help a child learn by promoting the development of important skills like reasoning and problem solving, communication, motor control, and creativity. Here are our top 5 toy picks that will help your three to four-year-old child learn as they play.
Orboot Earth by PlayShifu From 4 Years
The world globe has always been a fascination of children. The Shifu Orboot takes children beyond simply spinning the globe and naming the countries, it takes them on an educational and interactive adventure using an app on a tablet.
You’ll get a 10-inch wide globe that spins on a stand, a guide for parents and teachers, a pretend passport with stamps and a booklet with flags from around the world.
The world map doesn’t include country names or boundaries, but it does feature symbols for each geographic area. Numerous stars are scattered over the world, which you scan using the app on your device to reveal information on the local cultures, buildings, innovations, wildlife, weather, and landmarks. This is the classic school world globe brought to life!
Your child scans a region and then taps the category they wish to learn further. The programme then overlays a number of things about the selected area on the app. The app contains more than 1,400 interesting fats to help kids stay interested in studying.
Your child’s curiosity and creativity will be sparked as they learn about different cultures, foods, monuments and so much more about the world they live in. The programme emphasises the development of linguistic, cognitive, and scientific competence through STEM learning.
Scan the world with the app and access a wealth of information, travel itineraries, and exciting experiences. Scavenger hunts where they have to figure out the answers to mysteries can be played all over the world.
The Orboot app is free to install on your computer, or any iOS, Android, or Fire OS device.
Sphero indi Student Kit – Ages 4+
The indi learning robot is aimed at kids above the age of 4 It’s specially designed to promote learning through free-form, creative play. An amazing set for young learning minds by encouraging imaginative play while introducing them to the basics of computational thinking and computer programming.
It promotes free-form play that will keep young students entertained for quite some time. The company’s mission is to encourage the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs by supplying them with cutting-edge teaching resources that test the limits of their creativity and determination.
Young children can develop computational thinking skills by planning and building their own maze. Either without a screen or with the help of an app, they will learn to operate the robot. The updated Sphero Edu Jr App includes drag-and-drop blocks specifically designed to teach children the fundamentals of computer programming.
In addition to encouraging imaginative play, the Indi Robot lets kids use their imaginations by customising the toy vehicle with the stickers provided.
Each individual case has enough materials for one to three kids to get started, including one indi, twenty long-lasting colour tiles, and fifteen Beginner’s Programming Challenge Cards. If you want to spark your kids’ interest in solving problems and inspire them to express their creativity through at-home learning or homeschooling, give them indi to take with them.
In order to promote both individual expression and classroom management, we have included two beautiful sticker sheets in each Student Kit. Personalize your robot by giving it a distinct name and appearance.
Magna-Tiles Metropolis 110 Piece blocks Set
Hours of fun and creativity may be had with the Magna-Tiles Metropolis 110 Piece Set. These vibrant, multipurpose magnetic tiles from a reputable manufacturer are the ideal size for small hands. Besides being fun, they also serve as useful sensory tools for education and play. You can construct anything in Metropolis, from a sprawling city tower to a space station, thanks to the game’s special parts.
For creative, inquisitive brains, Magna-Tiles are a potent educational tool. You can use them to gain a head start on learning about geometry, colours, shapes, fundamental construction techniques, and more. With its 110 pieces, this set allows you to stack, create, and discover a world of colour, activity, and possibility.
The set is latex and phthalate-free, as well as made from BPA-free food-grade ABS plastic. The magnets are protected from being pushed out of the tile thanks to the added reinforcements.
Your only limitation is your own creativity when using Magna-Tiles to construct everything you can conceive.
Since the tiles are magnetic on every side, the possible configurations for construction and design are practically limitless. The book you receive is full of ideas and inspiration to get you going, and there are even templates included for the little ones.
A huge plus for us was the vast number of learning opportunities this provided. Grace developed her patience and imagination while playing with the Magna-Tiles, and we could tell that as she built, she was considering the physics and geometry behind her creations.
The tiles are wonderful for helping kids hone their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, creativity, imagination, colour recognition, and critical-thinking abilities.
Tidlo Country Play Kitchen Toy for Girls and Boys Aged 3 Plus
Pretend play is beneficial for kids and provides them with a chance to practise skills they’ll need later in life, and play kitchens are a popular resource for this type of play. The versatility of a toy kitchen means that kids may act out a wide variety of roles.
Young children can learn important life skills while having fun with kitchen role play. Children of this age learn best through play, as they are always venturing into new territory and trying new things.
Children’s imaginations are stimulated and developed via the engaging and entertaining practice of kitchen role-play. Children can use their imaginations to create new dishes and experiment with make-believe ingredients.
Children’s play kitchens promote interaction between children of different ages, which is beneficial to their emotional and social growth. They spark debates over who will play which part, what will be prepared, and how it will all be done.
Young minds develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills through time spent playing in the kitchen. For example, if a youngster loses a fork while eating, they will have to think of a way to replace it, whether that means using a different implement or going out of their way to locate it.
Traditional farmhouse decor is on full display in this bright and cheery Tidlo kitchen, which is sure to be a hit with any young cooks in the house. The Country Play kitchen, for example, features a lovely light blue paint job with white highlights.
A traditional Belfast sink in the rural design is a must for that vintage look. More so, the fact that both the oven and the stove have working knobs adds to the realism. In the meantime, supper will be ready on time thanks to a Tidlo kitchen clock. Additional toys can be found in a cabinet with two wooden shelves.
Early Learning Centre Sand and Water Table
The Early Learning Centre Sand and Water Table are like bringing the beach to your home, complete with a variety of toys to inspire hours of imaginative play.
The table’s design allows for either water or sand (both sold separately) to be poured into it or both water and sand at once. Among the ten available playthings are various implements like spades, scoops, rakes, funnels, wheels, and moulds.
Toys can be stored away neatly within, and the sand can be kept clean and dry thanks to the included waterproof top. With the top on, your young explorer can turn this into a play or drawing table.
Playing with water and sand is a terrific way for kids to exercise their imaginations, and utilising the included tools will help them develop the dexterity they’ll need for future activities like putting on clothes and drawing or writing. When kids are playing near water, they should never be left unsupervised.
Why Educational Toys Are So Beneficial
Problem Solving with Play
Learning how to solve problems is a lifelong ability that begins in early childhood. In order to deal with the inevitable difficulties we’ll face as adults, whether at a job or domestic issues, we’ll rely on critical thinking and problem-solving abilities we’ve developed through the years.
Problem-solving is a skill that should be encouraged and developed as early as possible. Solving issues on their own helps kids grow up to be more self-reliant, secure, and content.
Educational toys can be a useful tool in stimulating the kind of logic that can lead to the emergence of independent problem-solving. The ability to think creatively is an essential life skill, and toys like block construction kits and puzzles can help foster its development in children.
Toys that help in problem-solving are:
- Puzzles like jigsaws and mazes
- Magnetic and block construction sets
- Balancing tower games
Develop Motor Skills
Physical dexterity and agility are referred to as motor skills. The physical activities that children engage in while playing, such as running, balancing, throwing and catching objects, help them to improve their motor skills.
For example, fine motor skills, which involve the smaller muscles in the hands, fingers, and thumbs, can be improved with the use of educational toys.
Plenty of toys exist that are geared at helping kids improve their motor abilities. Anything that involves physical movement – from walkers to throwing and catching soft balls. The type of toy would depend on age and what stage of development your child is at.
The most enjoyable kind of play, particularly in school – cutting, crafting, sketching, pretend play, sculpting, and painting are all forms of play that can promote imagination and develop creative thinking.
These days, employers place a premium on the ability to think creatively because it can influence the direction of business decisions both large and small, ultimately contributing to the company’s success.
Creative problem-solving and improved focus are two benefits of developing these abilities in youngsters before they reach adulthood too soon.
Colouring and painting books, arts and crafts, playdough, and construction toys like Lego are just some of the educational toys that can help kids develop a love of creativity.
Coordinate Hands and Eyes
One of the most important developmental abilities for youngsters is hand-eye coordination.
For even the basic tasks like sketching and writing, or learning to tie laces, hand-eye coordination teaches kids how to use their eyes to follow and synchronise hand movements.
Stacking toys, such as building blocks and Buzzwire, are excellent educational tools for fostering the development of children’s hand-eye coordination since they require the use of hands and eyes to complete a single task – with focus and concentration.
Early years spent playing with these toys will build neurological pathways between hands and eyes. Think building games, catch, Buzz Wire puzzles, ring toss.
Encourage Communication and Social Interactions.
The overexposure of today’s kids to screens, while not without its benefits, also has drawbacks. It’s easier than ever for kids to grow up never learning how to communicate with others face-to-face, thanks to the proliferation of digital devices and tablet computers.
The good news is that there are many teaching toys that promote play and engagement with other kids so they’ll make friends and form real relationships, and have meaningful conversations and interactions with their age group.
Toys that help kids communicate and work together are great for building self-esteem and social skills like teamwork, patience and compromise. Toys that encourage creativity and collaboration, such as costume play, group arts and crafts, and finger puppets, are ideal for this purpose. These kinds of playthings also promote imagination and idea exchange, which gives kids the self-assurance to converse with a wide range of people.
The first sound a baby makes is a cry, and that’s the start of their communication. It grows from there to become a vital element of everyone’s existence.
Due to the significance of communication, it is essential that young children be encouraged to develop their verbal and written expression abilities from an early age.
Children learn language mostly through imitation of their parents and teachers, as well as through reading; nevertheless, educational toys can aid in this development. Counting and sequencing toys, novels for toddlers, and finger puppets are all great ways to get kids talking.