How do you ensure that the educational toy you buy will be right for your child? As with everything there are no guarantees with children. There are a couple of things to consider when selecting childrens educational toys that can improve the chances that your choice will be well received. First, evaluate the developmental stage that your child is at. Select educational toys that target skills and abilities for that stage. An educational toy that is too advanced may cause frustration, and one that is too simple will not be challenging enough to warrant attention. Below is a general guideline for what types of childrens educational toys are better suited for developmental stages from newborn through 3 years old. This is only meant to be a guide to start you thinking in the right direction. Use these guidelines and your knowledge of your childs interests to you help make your educational toy purchases.
Newborn to 3 Months: Babies cannot do much at this stage but their senses are eager for stimulation. Childrens educational toys with high-contrast patterns and bright colors will capture little ones attention. Babies can see color from birth but have difficulty distinguishing between similar tones. Educational toys designed with bright and distinctly different colors like red, green, black and white help babies differentiate shapes and patterns. Babies spend a good deal of time on their backs and sides at this age making colorful mobiles that play music a great educational toy choice. Babies are fascinated by their reflection in safety mirrors. They are not able to recognize themselves but the activity is great visual stimulation. Baby gyms are excellent educational toys because of the variety of stimulation they offer. Baby gyms have bright colors, a variety of attachments with different shapes, textures, and sounds. Most gyms now play music and have lights as well. These educational toy gyms require baby to pull, kick, or bat something to set off the stimulus helping to develop motor skills.
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1 to 2 years: With each step your baby becomes more independent and confident. Little ones at this age spend every waking hour exploring and experimenting. For those still a bit unsteady walking, educational toys that promote mobility such as a walker or push car are great choices. Pushcarts and wagons are a great way for children to tote things around- another favorite activity at this age. Educational toys including soft plush toys and dolls remain favorites at this age. Children often become very attached to one or two and use them in creative play. Toddlers can find many ways to make loud sounds. Musical instruments like drums, maracas, and tambourines are educational toys that will help them learn to appreciate music while they make noise. Inset puzzles require toddlers to lift out pieces and find the right places to put them back. These first puzzles improve problem skills and fine tune motor skills. Puzzles are educational toys that your children will play with over and over again.
Fireworks light up the sky during celebrations; they give a wonderful show of color and shapes that fascinate the eyes and minds of many. The beauty of the display often leads many to wonder where the colors come from. The short answer is that they are the result of the burning of metals placed in these explosives. These metals are elements of the periodic table that burn at different temperatures and give off colors at their melting points.
6 to 12 Months: Your baby has much better control over arm and leg movement. By 9 to 10 months, your baby should be able to move around by some means- either pulling, crawling, or scooting. By 12 months they should be able to stand by themselves and many will even start walking. Educational toys including wooden blocks that baby can stack and knock down, throw, or bang together to make noise are good choices. By 12 months, educational wooden blocks can be used for early construction play to promote development of motor skills, cause and effect, sensory and visual stimulation. Educational toys like the Sensory Ball from Edushape, provides great stimulation with different textures. Once babies learn to sit up, they will enjoy rolling a ball and trying to catch it as you roll it back. Letting your baby chase the ball will encourage movement. Trying to figure out why a square block wont go through a round opening will help develop problem solving skills- though it may cause some frustration in the beginning. By the time your baby is 12 months, they will start to enjoy stacking activities, though they will need help in trying to get the right order. More interest in books will be noticeable now. Try to buy books that have pages with different textures and simple flaps. This will help to develop their sense of touch.