Educational Toys - How Do Parents Choose The Best Toys For Their Child
The choices are mind numbing. Walk into any toy store or the toy section of any department store and there are shelves and tiers of toys labeled 'educational toys'. There are books, games, dolls and the list just goes on and on. It includes everything from an infant's building blocks to Leapfrog interactive games. The sheer variety is overwhelming. How does a parent or a grandparent choose the best educational toys for the children in their lives? Will the child like it? Will it hold up under the abuse of play? Will it accomplish the purposes for which it was purchased? And finally, is it a good value for the money?
The first rule that parents and grandparents should keep in mind is to buy educational toys that are age appropriate. The temptation is nearly overwhelming to buy children, especially infants, toys that reflect the interests of the giver. For example, how many times have you seen fathers who were sports enthusiasts give a child a piece of sports equipment that was way beyond the youngster's ability to use. Footballs, fishing rods and bows and arrows given to infants and toddlers are a complete waste of money. Parents, proudly convinced they are raising a child prodigy, create a frustrated youngster when they push the child into playing with toys outside the manufacturer's suggested age range. Real safety hazards are presented when children are encouraged to play with toys beyond their ability to understand or handle safely.
The second rule of buying educational toys is to keep in touch with the child's interests. Children grow and develop at rapid rates, both mentally and physically. Continually changing interests are a natural part of this development as the child explores new ideas and concepts. It is important for parents, and grandparents, to spend time playing with the child for a whole host of reasons. One of those reasons is that it helps the adult keep in touch with the child's current interests. Play is how children learn and educational toys are tools of that play. It does little good to buy a small girl jigsaw puzzles and Teletubbies when what really interests her are word games and chemistry sets.
Educational Toys Should Serve A Purpose And Stimulate The Child
Choose educational toys that stimulate the child. How often have we purchased children a toy and watched them shove the toy aside and play with the box in which it was packaged? Educational toys are of two basic types. They are those that develop physical skills and those that develop cognitive skills. Legos, for example, are great educational toys for older pre-school and elementary school aged children. Legos invite children to become creative as they assemble these interlocking blocks into an unlimited myriad of shapes and designs. The activity of assembling the Legos also helps develop fine motor skills.
Beware toys that are so highly developed that the game does all of the play. Some video games fall into this category. The child does not have to think or even be especially adept or coordinated physically to play the game. These games may be an interesting diversion for the youngster, but they contribute very little to either the youngster's creative or physical development.
When selecting educational toys, choose quality over quantity. We have discussed children's continually evolving interests. Even so, we all too often overwhelm our children at gift-giving occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and Hanukkah. Youngsters go from toy to toy and cannot decide with which to play. If this only happens a couple of times a year the child will eventually sort them out and play with all of them. The problem is that many children are continually given new toys, not only at special occasions but also throughout the year.
Some children are given so many toys that they remain overwhelmed. They do not learn to appreciate the things that they are given. They can also develop a distorted sense of values. They begin to equate parental and grandparental love with the quantity of things they are given. Their expectations of what they will be given escalate into unrealistic levels. This is a disastrous characteristic if it is carried into adulthood.
Children overwhelmed by the number of toys they are given receive little benefit from the educational toys. They cannot concentrate on any one toy long enough to let their creativity blossom. Too many toys can be damaging to a youngster.
Parents and grandparents should also concentrate on toys with build-in quality. As we have already discussed, the toy should be designed to stimulate the child's physical skills or creative abilities. The toy should also be safe and durable for the age group of children for which it was designed. The toy should be designed to hold up well under the abuse of play. It should not be constructed of potentially toxic materials such as lead-based paint. It should also be constructed in a manner where small pieces that can be swallowed will not readily be broken off and in a way that there are minimal risks of injury from sharp edges or corners.
While there are many small manufacturers of excellent toys, when in doubt choose toys made by top-rated companies with time tested brand names. Examples include Fisher Price, Disney games and Milton Bradley to name just a few.
Parents and grandparents can help their youngsters safely develop into happy, healthy and well-rounded young adults with some conscientious attention to the educational toys they choose. Just keep in mind the child's level of development and current interest and choose toys that are appropriate for that age and interest. Make sure the toy will stimulate the child either physically or creatively. You want to stretch the child's abilities, but not so much that the youngster becomes frustrated or so little that the child either becomes bored with the toy or lazy physically or mentally. Finally, if given the choice, select one or two quality toys rather than a room full of cheap toys.
About the author: Royce Armstrong is a successful freelance writer with a business and banking background who believes consumers should get the best value for their money when shopping for educational toys including: science toys, mind puzzles and other unique toys.
Nail Biting Basics
Nail biting in all its various forms is problematic behavior beset by peculiarity and contradiction. Technically speaking, the correct word for nail biting is ANONYCHOPHAGIA.
Protect your Kids Early with Safety Glasses
What exactly makes safety glasses different from regular glasses? There are several reasons glasses will be rated as safe. They must not only cover the front of the eyes but also the top and sides as well so small particles can't enter the eye.
6 Ways to Communicate Clearly with Your Teen
How would you like to have a closer relationship with your teen again?Your ability to communicate effectively with your teen is one of the most precious skills you can develop to achieve this goal.When we think of communication, we tend to think only of the way we can express ourselves.
Preparing Your Child for the Three Rs
There is little doubt that reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic are crucial elements in the education of any child. A child's ability to later cope in the adult world, to have a career, to take charge of his financial affairs and to live independently depends to a large extent on his mastery of these skills.
A Legacy For Dakota
Have you heard the song; "I Hope You Dance"? It is by Lee Ann Womak. I love that song.
Friendships - Helping Children Develop Friendship Skills
Reasearch into children's friendships shows that those children who are able to form friendships when they start school are happier at school and also learn better.More significantly, a positive beginning to friendships has long-term implications for social and indirectly academic success.
Develop Your Childs Genius: One Step Farther
When is a person brilliant? When does a person show his genius? When he goes beyond the usual, beyond the obvious. When he goes one step farther in his thinking, understanding and creativity.
CAMP INJURIES- 7 Things You Must Know
WHEN AN INJURY HAPPENS AT CAMP, HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:The call you never want to hear is made to your home?"Your son was injured in the dining room?he fell through a window?" "Your daughter was burned with hot coffee in the dining area?" "Your child was hit in the head with a baseball?" "Some kids were horsing around and your son broke his leg?"Where do you turn? What do you do? Here's a checklist of what you need to do immediately:1. Find out exactly where your child is now.
There are times when my ideas of raising a child is different from the elderly and others. To begin with, my baby is not an easy one.
10 Tips for Making Daily Physical Activity Part of Your Childs Life!
Here's some of the bad news about sedentary lifestyles:? Forty percent of children ages 5 to 8 show at least one heart disease risk factor, including hypertension and obesity, which among children has doubled over the past two decades.? The first signs of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are appearing at age 5 - something never before seen in anyone under the age of 30.
Lets Protect Our Children
There are software programs that you can purchase to keep your children from accessing undesirable websites. There are two good ones, Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny.
Parenting Skills - Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Confidence
The 'phone conversation had nothing at all to do with parenting - but it made me think . .
Parenting Univeristy: Potty Training 101
When your child shows signs of potty training readiness, it's time to purchase some essential potty training items. There are many new products which can help to make potty training quick and easy for both you and your child.
EEG Biofeedback Training as a Treatment Option for ADHD
The popularity of EEG Biofeedback Training continues to grow both in the USA and around the world. Many parents are searching for treatment options for ADHD other than medications, and as a results are exploring this high tech approach to treatment.
Parenting---Roots and Wings
I'm sure many of you have heard that old Hallmark card adage that goes something like this: Parents give their children two great gifts---one is roots, the other is wings. This is what I address in this article.
Bad Boys/Good Boys (Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Being An Insensitive Dad)
I WAS AMAZEDI could hardly believe what I was hearing. A father and his son had entered the men's room.
Parents of Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers: 7 Universal Laws
1. The Law of the BeastAs parents we need to keep in mind that we are raising our teenager while we raise our toddler.
Refresher Course on Diapering for Dads
It's among the top criticism wives have of their husbands: He doesn't change diapers!!Reasons dads give: 'My wife does that!" "I don't know how" and "That makes me sick to think about."Changing a diaper is relatively easy and painless.
I Dont Believe in ADHD
The Great Baby Name Debate
Winifred or Willow? Thomas or Troy? The name you choose for your child will last a lifetime. Whether you're looking for something original that will stand out from the crowd or a traditional name that people will instantly recognize, choosing a name for your new baby is a huge responsibility.
|home | site map|