Did you ever wonder what impact educational toys could have on your toddler? As much as you are excited about filling up your toddler’s room with toys, you may not be aware of the importance of adding educational toys to the collection. While focusing on the importance, it is also a must to consider the cons and pros.
Toddlerhood begins as soon as your baby turns 1 year. A toddler is a child in the age group of 12 to 36 months (1 to 3 years) old. The word toddler comes from “to toddle,” which means to move with short unsteady steps while learning to walk. The toddler stage is a very important milestone in any child. These three years are a period of cognitive, emotional, and social development.
Moving on to toys, they should be thought of as developmental learning tools. Let’s focus on the basic differences between a normal toy and an educational toy. A normal toy is created for children’s use with no specific intention of teaching or educating the child, nor does it develop or stimulate any skill. Whereas the educational toys are created to educate, instruct, develop intelligence, and improve the social and emotional skills, which will help the toddler in their physical development too.
When an educational toy is given to your toddler, just like with any other toy they would newly receive, they play with it over and over again. This repetition of play will make them focus more and create the desire to experiment with new things. This is an age where toddlers are filled with enthusiasm and are interested in learning new things. These educational toys will help babies enhance their problem-solving skills, develop imagination, and have an enjoyable playtime. It is also important to know toddlerhood is a period where they go through physical development, cognitive development, social-emotional development, and language development.
Importance of giving Educational Toys to your Toddler
Playing plays a major role in the development of children. Educational toys are created to focus on improvement and development, which increases your toddler’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, imagination, creativity, concentration, develop senses, and boost their IQ.
Let’s take a closer look at the educational toys we could introduce to your toddler.
Toddler Musical Instruments
It is a fact that music has magical effects on the development of a child’s physical and mental development. So, when you choose toys with a musical component, remember that apart from the child learning, these will start their liking towards music. We find different kinds of musical instruments and many options to choose from in the market. Let’s look at a few.
- Microphones with touch options
- Sing along nursery rhymes instruments
- Toy musical instruments
These microphones with magic touch options have many things a toddler could experience. The microphones come with options such as recognizing animal sounds, nature-oriented sounds, and playback music to nursery rhymes for the toddler to identify and sing. This toy enhances the sense of hearing in your toddler, enriches his thinking, and improves his motor skills through pressing the buttons to choose options while giving him an enjoyable experience.
The sing-along nursery rhymes instrument is an apparatus where your toddler can listen to the song and imitate the sound and words. This will increase the language ability of the toddler as well as his sense hearing. Once again, you will experience your toddler learning while enjoying.
The other classic toy musical instruments, such as toy guitars, toy xylophones, toy pianos, toy drums, etc., will get your toddler to play the instruments according to their wish. This will enhance the motor skills as the little fingers move continuously while strengthening their little muscles in holding and grasping the toy, and their sense of hearing will improve while letting your toddler try out singing to the music they play.
There are various kinds of puzzles made with plastic, cardboard, and wooden. While getting puzzles, you have to pay attention if there are small pieces for choking hazards, etc. Puzzles come under different topics, like animals, countries, numbers, alphabet, etc. Also, focus on bright and contrasting colors.
When trying to teach the alphabet and numbers, this will be a great way to begin as once they recognize or even fix things in the correct order, it boosts their level of confidence and interest in learning more. Also, allowing your toddler to get more engaged in puzzles will enhance his problem-solving skills while teaching him the importance of patience.
Out of all kinds of educational toys, building blocks help in building your toddler’s characteristics in a broader aspect.
In building up structures and designs with blocks, it enhances their attention span, develops their creativity and imagination, helps in problem-solving skills, gives them a sense of a never-giving-up attitude along with patience. Also, the bright color of the blocks will help in their sense of sight.
Paying with building blocks also allows you to open up doors for peer interaction with your toddler. This is the perfect age where you could introduce them to friends and build up relationships. Thereby instilling good values such as sharing and taking turns. When playing with building blocks with friends or siblings though unknowingly, your toddler learns to respect the ideas of others, cooperate with others, and develop new friendships.
Also, building blocks help make your toddler self-confident through finishing up a task even with obstacles such as demolishing and breaking up. Likewise, it is important to take a closer look at your toddler when playing with building blocks because when the structure he builds collapses, your little one may get demotivated and may not want to play with them anymore. However, it would be best to stay close, pay your attention, and motivate him for a better outcome.
Finally, building blocks play a major role in developing your toddler’s motor skills, and therefore, adding building blocks to your toddler’s collection will be a great decision.
Though you may not consider books as a toy, so many books are designed to be used as a toy while reading. Intelligence developing books, sensory books, quiet books, talking pen books, and pop-up books are great additions to your toddler’s collection.
It would be great if you could assist and guide your child in handling books. A great way to begin is using cloth books as these are not tear-able. Through this, your toddler will learn to handle the books, and by which they will learn the importance of books.
Sensory books and pop-up books will aid in their senses of touch. Intelligence developing books will help them in identifying new things while having fun.
Trying to teach your toddler letters, numbers, and animals through magnetic toys would be a very practical form. This not only enhances their curiosity but gives them a chance to experience something new through finding out things stick to certain surfaces even without glue, which will, in return, make them learn something extra through this.
Busy boards are a great option for your toddler, and this toy becomes a little different than others. While most of the other toys require your attention, busy boards will give you a bit of free time as toddlers love to engage themselves on their own while experimenting with new things.
If you’re unable to get a busy board from a store, you have plenty of options on YouTube, Pinterest, and Google to do it on your own at home by customizing it to your requirement and for the safety of your toddler.
Pros and Cons of Educational toys
As we all are in a digitalized era, our kids obviously get more exposed to electronic gadgets and screens such as iPads, laptops, mobile phones, which cause unhealthy habits and trigger negative effects on the physical and mental growth of your little one. So, allowing your toddler to be engaged in these educational toys will allow them to be away from screens.
It is also beneficial in strengthening relationships and also for the development of brain skills. Most of all, these little activities build up their self-esteem and self-confidence to a greater level.
– Toys with small pieces could cause choking hazards.
– Toys with sharp or pointy edges could create injuries to their eyes or mouth
– Toys which are too loud could cause damage to their ears or even hearing
– Toys which have chemicals. As an example, you may never think certain paints they use on toys could cause damage in case your child tries to lick them.
While paying attention to all these facts, it is really important not to let your toddler play all by himself all the time as this is the age where you could build up a great bond with your toddler through play.