Educational Toys: What Toys Are Good For Learning?
Have you ever wondered how toys and learning are related? You might be surprised at just how important play is for your child’s growth. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, play is essential for healthy cognitive development — and so much more!
Through play, our kids learn to engage and interact with the world. Educational toys foster development as kids grow, and they help shape their career choice.
But not all toys are created with this important concept in mind! Let’s explore what toys help kids learn best.
What are educational/learning toys?
Educational toys (or learning toys) are objects of play that stimulate learning in one or more aspects of life. What are educational toys used for?
The best learning toys engage our kids’ creativity while helping to develop their imagination, dexterity, and physical, emotional, and cognitive strength.
That’s why we parents love learning toys! But which ones are best?
According to a ten-year study, the best educational toys are open-ended toys. These are toys in which the play is unstructured with no determined outcome (e.g., magnetic toys that encourage creativity vs. a board game with rules and a definitive end).
In other words, the best learning toys don’t have the outcome of winning or losing. Instead, kids play freely while engaging their imagination because open-ended play has endless possibilities!
What are the best educational toys?
Our kids love engaging with educational toys, and we love joining in on the fun! So, which educational toys hit all the marks? The ones that combine multiple types of learning into one toy. Prime example? STEAM learning toys.
STEAM-certified toys incorporate science, technology, engineering, art, and math into play. Best part? Your kids soak up vital learning skills while engrossed in play!
For comparison, what is a STEM learning toy? STEM toys incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math, without the art focus. STEM toys emphasize complex, scientific skills to solve problems, while STEAM toys leverage both worlds — complex problem-solving and collaboration, emotional awareness, and leadership.
Here are a few of our favorite educational toys offering fun learning experiences while fostering our kids’ development:
1) Activity Toys
What are activity toys? Activity toys are some of the best educational toys for 6-year-olds to 10-year-olds. They are toys that stimulate activities. Painting easels, gardening sets, and animal figurines are great examples where creativity is the name of the game.
Why are activity toys so beneficial? Like most open-ended toys, they encourage our kids to chase their curiosity and unleash their imaginations. When kids use the same toy differently every time they play, that’s when you know you’ve found a fantastic learning toy!
For instance, is it really a painter's easel, or does your executive in the making see it as a Jr. CEO’s presentation board? Are they animal figurines rummaging through the backyard or magical beasts overtaking a woodland fairytale?
Apart from being educational toys, the endless ways kids can play with them means they’ll get more use out of these toys. Our kids crave stimulation and toys that engage them for hours. That’s what they’ll get from activity toys!
2) Building Toys
Like all open-ended toys, our kids can use building toys in endless ways. Does your child want to build the tallest skyscraper with their parents? Or perhaps they want to build a hanger for their favorite model airplane? Anything is possible with building toys! Their versatility is just one part of what makes them so educational and fun.
Building toys play into almost every area of child development:
Continuity and permanence
Fine and gross motor skills
Social and emotional growth
That explains why they’re such staple educational toys for kids. Squaregles educational magnetic toys are the perfect example! They’re designed with these concepts in mind to optimize the fun and learning potential your kids get during play.
Kids use magnetic panels and pieces to design, build and play in new ways every time. They can get mathematical about their build, take an engineering approach, or get into a flow state and build as they go! Children also have the opportunity to create storylines and imaginative adventures for their Oggs characters.
Squaregles building toys encourage educational, collaborative play and engage kids on every level. You’ll love watching your kids play for hours or jumping in to help them bring their creations to life!
3) Interactive Toys
As parents, when we think of interactive toys, we might imagine blinking lights, noises, and electronics. While kids love some battery-operated educational toys, not every interactive toy requires batteries and electricity. In fact, interactive learning toys don’t need any reaction, sound, or stimulus!
So what is an interactive toy, then? It’s any object your child enjoys playing with. It could be a Baby Yoda, Oggs character, or superhero cape; you name it!
What makes these toys educational? Children decide how to interact with these toys. They use their imagination by connecting with these toys through dialogue, movement, and roleplay. This offers our kids important socialization, creativity, expression, and limitless imagination!
Captivate Your Kids with Educational Toys!
The best part about educational toys? Kids can play with them by themselves or with companions. And they give us parents an opportunity to jump in on the fun, too! Chances are, we’ll learn something along the way and have a blast engaging with our kids!
Ready to offer your kids a world of imagination and learning? Learn more about Squaregles magnetic building toys!