How are Toys Educational to Children?
Every child needs to explore and create in order to learn and develop their senses and awareness. This is mostly done through playing in a safe environment where they can discover, be stimulated, learn social skills as well as, developing the brain. The brain of an infant is like a sponge and is constantly growing, expanding and gathering information as he or she experiences life and because of this, toys are far more than just fun and games.
Toys for babies and infants
Babies learn through vision and colour, texture, sound and taste. They like rattles that make noise, a combination of colours (although early infants react more to simple black and white combinations) and experimentation with cause and effect outcomes for permanence. Motor skills are also an important exercise, for example when playing with blocks, to provide a solid mechanical introduction.
Toddlers tend to push their boundaries more and react to a wider variety of toys and stimuli than when they were babies. Instead of simply building horizontal or vertical combinations, they now are able to discover that they can form different shapes and construct more complicated builds. As their knowledge expands, so does their need for more challenging toys. Toys like shape sorters are designed to present a problem that they can come up with a solution for by matching the shapes to the correct holes. It teaches them about pattern relationships and enables them to learn the names for each of the shapes. Lego-type construction toys are the next step forward for developing toddlers and these are designed with various choices for age appropriate play. With these they learn all about symmetry and colour coordination combinations, while fine tuning their motor skills at the same time.
Pre-school to School-age
When a child gets to this stage they are ready to learn about the greater things in the world, such as numbers, the alphabet and experimenting with language. Puzzles become more interesting to them and they often start showing a greater interest in electronic devices, interactive apps and gadgets. This can give your child a slight head start when preparing for school as there is a wealth of age appropriate educational tools available which can be freely accessed online. School children interact more and more with electronics in or outside the classroom and it has become a very powerful aid for learning. Children will retain information which they have fun learning at a far greater rate and will return to a favourite educational toy or such, over and over, while reinforcing what has been learned along the way. This will also give your child a positive learning experience, which leads to developing a healthy and happy attitude to education.