While learning makes up a good portion of a child’s early development, once they stop being so fascinated by new but simple things, it can feel like a monumental task to ensure that they continue to learn and grow each day. When faced with the idea of something presented as a scholastic chore, many children (especially older kids) grimace and lose interest. Luckily, there are millions of fun ways to promote education without children even realizing that they’re learning.
We’ve scoured the available market for the most high quality and versatile educational toys out there. Some of the items on the list below are STEM products, or games, puzzles, and toys specifically designed to promote development in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Fun mazes and “magic” lab experiments are great examples of this category. Building blocks, insect catching/wildlife exploration sets, and magnet games also hone these skills. Other products encourage growth in vocabulary and spelling and focus on the “reading and writing” portion of the three R’s (arithmetic, reading, and writing). All of these products come backed by ample satisfied customer reviews and can engage a variety of different ages. So bring the classroom home with you–just be sneaky about it.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Snap Circuits Jr.
- No Tools Required
- Learning Resources Building Set
- 150 Pieces
- Scientific Explorer Science Kit
- 6 Years and Older
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Educational Toys
Children learn a great deal through play and interaction with the world around them. A great educational toy takes advantage of this tendency and highlights certain aspects to maximize the experience. Educational toys stimulate interests and imagination as well as developing basic skills. Fine motor control, conceptual understanding and problem-solving are often addressed when children build structures or take things apart. Information is another aspect of good educational toys. As skills are being developed, information about the subject can make the process more interesting and inspire further curiosity
Our Top 20 Educational Toys are selected with several things in mind. We looked for a focus on STEM education, development of basic skills, and fun. Repetition is an important part of development, and toys are often made to focus on one or more of these skills to ensure they become hard-wired in the brain. The more fun the educational process, the more often these toys are used, and that means they must be durable if they are to remain useful. Some toys are used as games, others as experiments. We hope that all can provide the users with a sense of accomplishment. As information is learned and skills are mastered, children experience self-worth.
We looked for strong ratings, great reviews and toys that have been recognized or awarded acknowledgment by educational groups. Parents, grandparents, and children often know best how long a toy will last or hold the interests of players. Most toys are made with a specific age group in mind, and we hoped to present a variety in this area. Some of the toys will work well for small children with adult supervision while teens can use them on their own. All of these things were taken into account when making this selection.
Why are Educational Toys Important for Development
Educational toys are important to developmental skills because they stimulate learning. Different toys are intended and used for different educational purposes, but each with the goal of assisting a child to develop a skill. While some toys are intended for skill building others teach children about a particular subject. Educational toys often take simple tasks and turn them into a learning experience or teach a developmental skill.
Children are learning all the time as they interact with others, play with toys, and explore the world around them. It is important for children to have educational toys to learn different developmental skills through their childhood. Toys teach them everything from cause and effect to how the sun is used to make solar power. Toys that are designed today have more educational purposes than ever before.
The toys that make up the list of the 20 best educational toys are carefully selected. Each of the toys on the list is for educational purposes only. They can also include a fun way to learn, but the thought behind each of the toys was with the intention of learning. Experts all have their own ideas on what are the best educational toys, but we take the science of selecting only the best toys by our own experts.
Our panel of experts consists of three groups of people; parents, toy experts, and child psychologists. Each of these groups is carefully picked and they all know the goal of the list. The goal of the list is to provide the best educational toys that we can find with the best ratings and the safest products. Each toy is selected because it teaches something and has a target age of the group of kids it is for. So our goal is to provide you with the best toys our experts have put on the list. We always hope you are able to find something on the list that will interest the child in your life.
Benefits of using educational toys in a social setting
The benefits of using educational toys in a social setting are allowing children to come together to interact and stimulate learning. When you place toys in a social setting with children you giving them a tool to stimulate their interactions with others and help them find a common ground to learn. Providing children with engaging toys that are suited to their age allows them to express their interests, experience their emotions, and it encourages their developmental skills.
When children are able to have fun in a social setting they are more likely to enjoy the experience and feel comfortable around others. Providing toys for the children to interact with each other creates an experience that they can enjoy and will want to engage in time after time. Using toys in a social setting allows children to learn and have fun.
Developing a child’s love for learning
When a child develops the love for learning it helps them develop a healthy relationship with education and allows them to progress through school with fewer struggles and more rewards. Teaching a child that learning is fun by encouraging their imagination and inspiring them to learn through everything they do during the day sets them up for great success. Children want to explore and discover instinctively so encouraging them is the best support you can offer.
Make learning fun. Helping children learn new things and experience the environment around them helps them develop a love for learning. Inspiring them with books, blocks, paints, crayons, and doll figures make the experience a rewarding one as well. As children continue to learn and find the experience rewarding their love will grow and they will find it more and satisfying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How Can I be sure my child is using the toys the right way?
A: Most educational toys are designed to teach on many levels. Sometimes children develop fine motor skills but ignore information as it’s offered. That’s not a problem because the more they use the toy, the greater the chance they will absorb information or become interested in further inquiry.
Q: What is the age range for each of the toys?
A: The age for each toy is marked on the packaging for both safety and age appropriateness for their skills set. When reviewing the packaging of educational toys their ratings will be placed on the packaging. There are also guides online that help you decide what would be the best toys for a child as certain age ranges. So, using both the safety and age appropriateness along with buy guides is a good way to make sure that the toy you are purchasing it best for their age range.
Q: How do you choose the right toy for your child?
A: Make sure the toy is age appropriate and designed to enhance the skills for their stage of development. This is sometimes a judgment call because all children follow their own path but most games and toys suggest age ranges on the packaging for most likely interest and skill.
Q: What if my child doesn’t like to sit still?
A: There are lots of toys that engage more active children and help develop their gross motor skills while learning. Chasing tiny robots can be great fun, and it may be enough of a reward to make sitting still to program the machines worth doing.
Q: My child likes art and music but not science. How can I get them to play “science” games?
A: You will need toys that attract their interest and subjects that exploit what delights them. Toys that work with color and light or a prism would be a great way to help them understand how the colors of the rainbow are produced by different wavelengths. A STEM kit that allows them to see how nature makes art in seashells and leaves could also be fun and scientifically educational.
Q: M child doesn’t like to play with others. How can educational toys help?
A: Some childhood play, especially sports, are competitive and not all children enjoy these situations. Many educational toys and games promote a cooperative spirit which helps children to feel accepted without the pressure of being “good” at something. Choose something that allows kids to play their part to make something bigger happen. Catching bugs or looking for rocks, even the simultaneous flipping of switches can create a sense of comradery and accomplishment.
Q: Is it okay for kids to play with toy computers and computer games?
A: Yes, as long as kids aren’t playing computer games exclusively. Computers are now ubiquitous and it is important for kids to understand and use them, but they need to develop other skills as well if they are to advance. Don’t ignore physical games and fun or three-dimensional interaction with the real world.
- Your Guide to Age-Appropriate Toys, Online Article, ,
- The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds, Online Article, ,
- Understanding Cause and Effect, Online Article, ,
- Good Toys for Young Children by Age and Stage, Online Article, ,
- Educational Benefits of Providing Toys To Children, Online Article, ,