Category Archives: Toys

Educational Kids Toys

Before fancy electronic equipment and computer chip generated toys, kids toys were crafted using simple shapes, materials and mechanisms which taught children how to use their hands and thus learn through playing. Though many children want and covet the new, high-tech toys of today; plenty of educational toys for kids are available which combine the benefits of old fashion craftsmanship with learning. The best kids toys are those which entertain, keep a child engaged and teach at the same time. Though not all toys can do all three things at once, those that do quickly become a child’s favorite and all of the non-educational toys seem to get routinely passed over as children naturally crave to learn new tasks, movements, ideas and experiences. You can use this natural ability and desire to become educated when choosing toys for kids by opting for those with a learning aspect to the toy itself.

 

Older toys from the past, such as simple stacking blocks and building sets not only provided for hours of entertainment, they were also beneficial in helping children learn how to create things with their hands and solve problems by making pieces fir together. This also explains why toys such as blocks, puzzles, construction sets and balls have been longtime favorites of parents and kids alike. Not only does a child learn how to work with their hands, they learn basic and advanced critical thinking skills while playing. This type of learning through play has proven to be beneficial, so much so that even schools use play as a form of educating.

English: Soap bubbles

English: Soap bubbles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Educational toys for kids are available for young babies and toddlers all the way through to preteen age children who typically want something a bit more challenging. Babies can benefit by playing with toys which help teach hand and eye coordination, problem solving skills and basic sounds and speech. Older children benefit by using toys which help hone and diversify their knowledge of strategy and logical thinking. In fact, some of the best educational toys for children are so much fun for a child that they actually do not even realize that playing with the toys is beneficial to them.

 

Kids toys, though ultimately deemed fun by the child playing with the toys, is something that can be useful when you need to provide something entertaining for a child to do. Though kids sometimes prefer high-tech toys which allow for the child to simply play and not think, the educational toys for children which are fun and engaging bring about a renewed sense of energy as the child becomes thoroughly engaged while playing. The right toys for children are those which are age appropriate, built well and give the child something to do which grabs and keeps their attention for an extended period of time. In choosing toys for your children, or to give as gifts, you need to make sure the toys allow for the child to learn and grow through the experience of playing with the toys. When this happens, the child has fun and benefits from playing and the parents and caregivers get a good feeling of providing an educational experience for the child which is fun as well.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6777780

 

By Dragutin Filipcic

 

Great Toys For the First Three Months

Congratulations on your new baby! Newborns may not seem like they do much at first, but they are constantly learning by using their senses. New babies soak up information like a sponge and they do so by looking, touching, and hearing. Seeing your baby learn new things on a daily level can be exciting! Great developmental toys for infants can help your child grow their senses and assist them in learning about their environment.

Rearranged my toy shelf

Rearranged my toy shelf (Photo credit: Andy Woo)

A great toy for your baby’s first three months is an unbreakable mirror. The mirror helps your newborn become aware of their surroundings without having to go far. This gives your little one some entertainment while acquiring important tummy time. Babies love to look at faces and the mirror allows them to see their face up close and helps their eyes to focus. You might find your baby actually talking and laughing to themselves in the mirror.

In the first three months, infants will adore toys with bright colors and funny shapes. Toys with bright patterns will help your baby distinguish certain objects from each other and hopefully promote them to reach and grab. Toys that encourage movement is very important! Funny shapes and textures help them to expand their realm of touch and you may even catch your infant trying to “figure it out”.

Soft toys are also great for newborns because they are easy to hold and can be very entertaining. Baby rattles and squeaky toys do wonders for increasing their sense of hearing and motor skills. The crinkle textured toys really fascinate babies and offers them a different sound that can grab their attention. Soft toys are also good for soft baby gums which can come in handy when your infant needs an oral fixation. Do not worry parents, putting toys in their mouth is a good thing and helps them get a better idea of their surroundings.

Scientists believe that when a baby is born there are certain neurological connections that are not yet formed and playing with toys helps connect the dots. The learning process for your newborn in the first three months can actually be very complex. Skills must be learned in a certain order and build on each other. There are not just one or two types of toys that are going to pave the proper brain paths that your baby will need for their senses. Soft toys are good for strengthening hands and fingers. Mobiles are great for the eyes and sight and music toys train the listening and hearing senses.

The first three months of your newborn’s life are crucial in sensory development. With each milestone your baby has there should be a toy that can help your little one reach the next neurological step. Playing is your infant’s full-time job and they need the right tools to get the job done! Newborn toys can help offer your child a multi-sensory familiarity of their environment that can build onto the next stage of infancy. Parents should be looking ahead for more developmental toys such as an activity table to prepare your baby for the next three to six months.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2721971

By Jim K Ford

Educational Toys – The First Learning Tools That Are Available to Our Youth

meccano 2+ educational toy

meccano 2+ educational toy (Photo credit: fsse8info)

With the introduction of an educational toy to a child, the world of learning is opened up. A child has the natural desire to learn new things and explore possibilities. This is why the introduction of educational toys at a young age is so fundamental to a child’s early developmental years.

These toys that a child can learn from come in many different shapes, sizes and kinds. There are the first ones that are the ABC wooden blocks. This will expose a child to the written language that will also be fun to play with. With this exposure they will begin to recognize the different shapes of the letters. Soon they will be able to sound them out with help from a loving parent.

The next toy should be the 123 wooden block set. This introduces the numbering system. This is an easy concept that children find fun learning.

With a child’s age increasing, so does the complexity of the education. Puzzles are a great way for a child to recognize shapes. The pictures on the puzzle let them visualize what is being made. It helps the little minds develop to figure problems out. The simple early puzzles are basic but important. A 12 to 18 piece is great to begin with. In time, they will be able to piece together 24-piece and 48-piece puzzles.

Educational toys are not limited to just the basics. There are educational toys that are made for children reaching up and into their early teens. But without a solid foundation of the basics, a child cannot advance to their fullest potential.

Choose each educational toy for your child carefully and help them to achieve their fullest potential.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4227953

By Mark Y. Salmon

The Importance of Baby Toys in Your Baby’s First Year

English: Image of a baby sleeping in a Babygym...

English: Image of a baby sleeping in a Babygym Svenska: Bild på en bebis som somnat i ett Babygym (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the time babies are born they start learning new skills and their brain begins evaluating and storing understanding. Baby toys are the ideal items to help a baby develop these new skills and stimulate development in dexterity and brain function. Because babies initially spend most of their waking time lying on their back lovely bright mobiles suspended above them will encourage eye co-ordination and promote hand and leg movements as they are stimulated by the movement of the toy.

Your baby is naturally born with a grasp reflex. You only have to put a finger into the palm of the tiniest baby to see this at work as they will surprisingly grip it firmly. Toys which usually can be grasped such as rattle or soft toys can help this grasp reflex develop as your baby discovers to hold the toy and move it around. Such grasping toys should have a variety of surfaces including hard, soft, ridged or rough to provide the baby with a range of touch sensations.

As your baby grows older and becomes more mobile, other toys can be introduced to strengthen this new found skill. Toys that move on their own accord or change shape when handled are preferred at this stage. A string of large coloured wooden beads can be manipulated between their hands or a ball which makes a sound when moved is likewise appealing to your baby. Baby toys which can be easily pushed and retrieved are a good idea, such as toys on wheels that can be pushed away and pulled back by way of a string or handle.

Babies will quickly start sitting unaided and begin to examine their toys in more detail, shifting them from hand to hand and offering them for others to see. They will babble happily at their toys as they play thus helping advance their speech development. Bricks and blocks can provide hours of fun with its bright colours and attempts to build encourage the growing dexterity of the baby. Simple picture books can be introduced for educational purposes and also be an interactive device between the parent and baby.

Once baby starts to crawl everything is within their reach. At this time baby toys that have a push and chase element can retain baby’s interest and a great source of fun. Your baby is now increasingly able to manipulate toys and the idea of taking something apart followed by putting it back together provides great fun. Thus, toys like blocks or beads that clip together or a box with slots for things to go through are much valued. Your baby will also enjoy hiding and re-appearing or something as simple as a play tunnel can provide hours of crawling through and sitting in out of sight. Such toy will help enhance awareness of space and self-confidence within your baby.

When babies reach the end of their first year they must have acquired significant milestones aided and encouraged by their suitable baby toys. Simultaneously their mental and physical development has been much improved by the play and experimentation with sound, touch, colour and movement which these toys provided. Baby toys help build a solid foundation during your baby’s first year and will develop their physical coordination, social interaction and mental aptitude.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6722263

By Kathie R. Dionisio

Developmental Toys for the First Five Years

Waldschattenspiel, game for children of walter...

Waldschattenspiel, game for children of walter Kraul from 1985. It is to play in the dark and the shodows play a great role. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First time parents are often uncertain about the development of their child. They are not always sure how to encourage their child’s growth in the many areas that need their gentle guidance. That’s why developmental toys can be so useful in those first five years of a child’s life. Before they go off to school and learn, they must learn the basic milestones of their young lives. From crawling and walking to talking and counting, social and motor skills and finally reading and listening, children have so many things to learn. Parents can help them learn these skills with the aid of educational and developmental toys and games.

Year One

In the first year of baby’s life there are so many things to learn, visual, audio and tactile skills and then physical fine and gross motor skills.

Some great toys for babies to develop their visual, audio and tactile skills are soft toys with dials and buzzers, squeakers and patches. Rattles with bells and books with bright colours and shapes and bold lines.

As baby gets older and wants to move, toys like play mats with bells and texture pads and hanging toys are great to develop rolling and grabbing. Walkers and jumpers are great for strengthening legs and balance.

Year Two

In the second year a baby learns to walk and talk and develop higher motor skills with hands and feet.

Balls are great for two year olds, to kick and push around. Wagons are great for pulling and pushing. Blocks are good for stacking and building. Shovels will help them discover sand and soil. Two years old love water play and a water table is invaluable in the summer months.

A two year old will love to hear stories and songs from books and will appreciate finer detail in pictures and colour.

Year Three

As a child grows, their ability to pretend and use their imagination really starts to develop. Brands like Fisher Price and Little People are great for toys that provide props for role play and scenarios.

A three year old is better able to hold a pencil or crayon and will love to scribble and draw on paper and chalk boards. A three year old also begins to imitate mum and dad, and may like to use a toy telephone or pram, or drive a car or put things in a bag or basket.

Three year olds like to get busy in the garden or at the beach with shovels and buckets.

Year Four

A four year old has become rather proficient at many things like walking, running, jumping and dancing. They will enjoy ball games and out door games like sand pit and wading pools and sprinklers.

At four children love to dress up and play out their favourite character or scenario, so providing some simple costumes and props will encourage lots of role play.

A four year old might like to use an instrument to play along to their favourite song. They like to blow bubbles and get a little more sophisticated in their craft activities. Perhaps providing safety scissors, glue and glitter will allow some creative energies to flow.

Year Five

Once a child is five they will learn to read and write. Books become very important to school age children and they provide the opportunity to practice their new skills.

A five year old can now participate in more complex activities such as board games and computer games, more complex puzzles and experimental play such magnets and science based kits.

Girls might become more interested in their appearance and they might like to explore role play with barbies and doll houses and jewellery making kits.

There are a wonderful variety of toys to suit all children at an age, just try and choose learning toys that encourage active rather than passive participation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4963759

By Chang C Lim

Cat Toys – How to Choose the Best Toys For Your Cat

Plush Toys, Cat and Mouse.

Plush Toys, Cat and Mouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does your cat walk around as if he is looking for something to do? Does he have a toy box full of toys but doesn’t play with them? What is wrong that all those toys just don’t excite him?

Well for starters, every cat has his own unique personality. Each cat has different preferences about food, cat litter, favorite scratch places, beds and even toys. Some cats need to be coaxed into play. Play releases energy, stress and provides healthy exercise. Lazy cats left to their own devices will sleep and eat, resulting in becoming overweight. While fat cats are cute they are not healthy.

Try playing with your feline friend using several different types of toys. Balls rolled across the floor, little mice tossed over his head across the room or toys that jingle or rattle. Try different types of toys until you find something that arouses your fur baby. He needs to run and play. Playing is your cat acting out his natural instinct to hunt and release energy.

Something should be of interest to your kitty to play with. Try interactive toys such as a mouse or other toy attached to a string or cord. Drag it around in front of him and in back of him. Let him see it and then drag it into areas where he can’t see it. Cats are always interested when something goes out of their field of view but they saw it go somewhere! Most kitties’ interests are peaked when they are watching something that is moving and it goes behind something. Just as a cat would watch a real mouse run to and fro and run behind something. Pole toys are an excellent play activity that not only encourages your cat to play, they also help to create a bond between you and he (or she).

When kitty has toys that fail to get him to play, possibly he or she is not interested in the types of toys that are in his toy box. Battery operated toys are available that move or make a noise that is irresistible to cats. Rotate the toys so he thinks he has new toys all the time. Place catnip toys in zip lock bags to keep the catnip scent fresh. Kitties that are house bound need exercise, we need to encourage them to play and use their muscles. Laying around and getting fat is not good for your fur baby. Ask any veterinarian and they will confirm. Prevent your cat from becoming overweight by encouraging them to stay active.

There are so many types of cat toys available these days. Understanding your cat and what excites him or her is the first clue in purchasing toys that will be played with. A cat can never have enough toys!

Cat Toys For Less offers you an ever-growing selection of fun cat toys that will keep your special friend busy (and active) for hours. Keeping your indoor cat active helps prevent health risks such as obesity.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6978141

By Jackie Rosetti

Best Building Toys for Older Kids – Legos, K’nex and More

Français : Un pont fait avec des K'nex.

Français : Un pont fait avec des K’nex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are looking for a fun and engaging toy for an older child, here is a look at some building toys that will hold the interest of most children ages 8 to 12.

Lego Sets – Lego Sets are the most obvious choice for a child this age. Very few kids don’t enjoy building with Legos and there are a lot of great sets out there. If buying a themed set, look for one that has 500 pieces or more. This will give a child in this age group a good challenge. The 3 in 1 Creator Sets are also a really good option. They come with three different plans for building with the set so the kid will get a lot more mileage from them.

One that fits the bill is the Lego Creator Apple Tree House Set. This set allows you to build three different homes with the 539 piece set: a house, a townhouse, and a summer home. This set retails for $45.

K’nex Sets – K’nex Set are also popular with kids in this age group. There are a lot of really great K’nex Sets out there but the ones that kids will likely find the most fun are one of the roller coaster themed sets that K’nex offers.

One that is sure to be a hit is the K’nex DoubleShot Roller Coaster. This 1100 piece set builds a roller coaster that is over three and half feet tall. And the dual tracks will provide additional fun for kids once the set is built since they can race the two included coaster cars.

Marble Runs – A marble run set is another great building toy that is great for older kids. My nine year old loves playing with our marble run. We have a wooden marble run made by Tedco. It comes with 45 wooden block pieces and 14 marbles. It’s amazing how many different things can be built with it. The kids never grow tired of making new creations with it and then watching the marbles run through it.

This is a look at just a few of the building toys that are great for older kids. There are a lot of great options out there. Building toys are so great for a child’s development and can really help their creativity. They are the toys my kids go back to most and I know we will always get years of play out of any building toy we purchase.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7279852

By Esmeralda Bogen

Which Educational Toys Are The Top Toys This Year?

English: Pictures showing various ways to lay ...

English: Pictures showing various ways to lay out the knobless cylinders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parents will want what’s best for kids even when it comes to the kinds of toys they will be playing with. As such, discerning parents don’t just want to buy any old toy for their children; they want to get good educational toys that will keep them amused even as these help enrich their minds. This article lists some tips that you can follow to help you choose good learning toys for your children and gives some of the best toys available in the market today.

Tips when choosing educational toys

Just because some toys are labeled as educational toys doesn’t automatically make these a good choice for your children. Some of the factors you will want to take into consideration when shopping for these toys include:

    • Safety. The most important thing that you will want to consider when choosing what toy to give to a child, educational or not, is safety. Make sure that the toy won’t pose any hazards to the health of the child, from possible choking hazards to toxic materials that may have been used to produce this.
    • Age appropriateness. Some toys are only appropriate for children when they reach a certain age, not only for safety purposes, but also because the purpose of the toy has to match the developmental stage the child is at. Be sure to check the label to see if the toy is age-appropriate or not.
  • Purpose. What goal do you want to achieve from the toy? Do you want the child to know more about sciences or math? Do you want him or her to develop his or her reading skills? Make sure to choose a toy that will fit the goal that you have in mind for your child.

A look at the top toys

There are several top-rated educational toys in the market today. These include:

    • Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks. Nothing beats the classics, which is why the blocks game continues to be popular with parents and babies alike. Made for those between 6 months and 3 years old, the toy can be used to help children develop their knowledge about colors and shapes.
    • Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker. Made for those who are 6 months and older, this walker will not only help kids develop stability while walking, it will also teach them about different sounds, colors, shapes, and numbers.
    • Playskool Alphie. Made for those who are 3 years old and older, this toy has been designed to teach kids about letters, numbers, and other basic lessons. The fact that Alphie’s an amusing companion just adds to the appeal of this toy.
    • Leap Frog Leapster 2 Learning Game System. Designed to resemble and work as a mini-computer for kids, this educational toy teaches kids about math, sciences, and reading through 30 different and fun games. This toy was designed with kids 4 to 8 years old in mind.
  • Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden. This toy is designed for older kids, such as those between 4 and 14 years old. This toy allows children to appreciate the value of life by teaching them the butterfly’s life cycle.

There are many learning toys available in the market. If you want to make sure that you get the best educational toys for your kids, don’t hesitate to do your research about these products so you will know what these can offer to you and your kids.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6663496

By Patricia A. Jones

Educational Toy

meccano 2+ educational toy

meccano 2+ educational toy (Photo credit: fsse8info)

Toys that have some educational value are very popular right now. An educational toy can teach kids many necessary skills. Kids can learn anything from cooperation to cause and effect to memory building by using educational toys. Though educational toys are a popular trend, they are not a new invention. The idea of learning through play has been around for centuries and is one that remains popular today.

For many years, toys have been used both for fun and for education. Very early toys had the purpose of both entertaining kids and preparing them for adulthood. Things like blocks would teach kids to cooperate and develop fine motor skills. Whereas games like tag and swimming built up strength so that kids could better do their chores and other strength activities.

Since ancient times, kids have played with simple playthings made from natural objects. They might play with rocks, grass, wood scraps or just games with each other to keep themselves busy. Sticks or rocks could represent soldiers or castles. Or a trinket could be fashioned from them. Historically, parents would create playthings for their kids like dolls, play guns, or rocking horses.

In the late 19th century, companies began making toys from new materials in mass. Many were made from plastic and metal as well as the traditional wood. Rather than playing with home made toys, kids started buying them from a store.

Many classic toys have survived to modern times. Favorites like rocking horses, play guns, and dolls are still widely popular today. But as culture has changed, so have trends in playthings. Rocking horses and play guns are no longer as necessary in preparing kids for adulthood. Our daily lives are more centered around technology and analytical skills rather than hunting or physical ability. Popular modern developmental toys reflect that.

The concept of teaching through play is still relevant today. Modern educational toys teach lessons that relate to modern society and the lessons that kids need to know today. Any toy can teach kids about the world they live in. But educational toys teach more specific skills that are important to their development.

Toys that are educational can teach kids about every area of life. They teach through play and develop intellectual, emotional, and physical skills. When kids play with learning toys, they improve a specific skill set.

Educational toys teach many different skills. They teach kids to be creative and build analytical abilities. The improve hand-eye coordination and teach scientific concepts. Teaching toys may encourage cooperation. They even teach problem solving, math and reading.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6843529

By L Scott

Educational Toys And Games For Children

Toys

Toys (Photo credit: kkalyan)

When you’re purchasing toys for your children, you need to strike a good balance between toys that are fun and toys and are educational. But everything is not black and white and there is often lots of crossover between fun toys and toys that can help to expand your children’s minds.

It’s always a good idea to choose toys and games wisely. Be aware that certain toys are important at certain stages of child development. Educating yourself as a parent in terms of child development will always stand you in good stead to buy the right types of children’s toys and games at the right times.

When Christmas time looms, you’ll be eagar to get shopping out of the way before the big rush that inevitably comes in the lead up to this special time of year. The same goes for birthday – you will want to choose and purchase children’s toys well in advance in order to:

  •  Make sure that you choose the right toys and/or games to purchase ahead of time.
  • Give yourself time to go shopping.
  • Ensure that the perfect toys and/or games that you want to buy for your children are in stock (this especially applies to Christmas time when stock levels of toys can fluctuate due to high demand for certain items).
  • Give yourself time to wrapup presents well before your child’s birthday.

Educational toys and games are designed to help to teach your children various aspects of the world including numbers, words, shapes and colours. It’s always good to ensure that your choice of toys and games is varied enough to challenge your children in a plethora of different ways. Toys that your child will enjoy will tend to be both engaging and stimulating. Your children will find these types of toys exciting and they will stimulate their mind. This is the perfect balance and I would recommend that, as a parent, you take your time in choosing toys and games of this nature to ensure that your children continue to learn at the desired rate.

One of the most notable aspects of child development that I’ve found is that children tend to copy their parents and want to be like them. With this in mind, it’s worth purchasing toys and games that aim to encourage children to emulate their parents. So choose wisely when you’re looking into the different types of children’s educational toys and games to purchase.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7309991

By Michael J Greenwood