What Are Learning Toys? A Guide to Educational Toys for Kids
Learning toys occupy, entertain, and educate kids about vital life skills. Imagine your kids building their problem-solving, leadership, and social skills during an afternoon of playtime! But the benefits don’t stop there. What makes educational toys ideal for adults?
What if you could carve out just enough time to catch up with a friend over the phone? Or finally melt into those bath bombs and candles you bought months ago? Educational toys make it possible to enjoy fleeting me-time.
You’ve probably seen lots of toys marked as “educational” in the toy aisles or online. So, what is a learning toy? And how do you narrow down the best educational toys for 6-10-year-olds?
Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know about learning toys and how toys like Squaregles can engage your kids for hours!
What are Learning Toys?
Learning toys combine play and learning — the best of both worlds! They engage your children with exciting play activities while improving cognitive, motor, and collaborative skills. For example, origami is a paper learning toy incorporating step-by-step instructions with creative expression, helping your kids build motor skills and learn about geometric shapes.
But what makes a toy educational? Scholars Hassinger-Das and Pasek wondered the same, describing how some learning toys indeed “sculpt mental muscle” while others might not stimulate the same learning despite their “educational” label.
So, how do you pick out the best educational toys for your kids?
Puzzles, magnetic building toys like Squaregles, brain-game applications, and even role-play toys like dollhouses, or kitchen sets are excellent educational toy examples.
What do all these toys have in common? Most of these examples are
Invite social collaboration
Have learning objectives
But not all learning toys have set objectives or outcomes. Just think about all the benefits of open-ended play. The same scholars cited above applaud building toys for encouraging social collaboration while actively engaging children to rotate pieces and observe shapes. Plus, kids just adore the endless opportunities for play!
What makes toys like Squaregles’ building toys so educational? These researchers deem them STEM-toys, but we’ll go one step further because Squaregles are STEAM-accredited learning toys.
What is a STEAM Learning Toy?
The main difference between STEM toys and STEAM toys? Not all learning toys are STEAM-accredited; however, STEAM-accredited toys are certainly educational toys! The STEAM Accreditation Program gives companies criteria to create Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math toys (STEAM). That crucial “A” for “arts” represents a world of artistic exploration and expression for kids, especially your Van Goghs and Kahlos in the making!
Here are STEAM toys’ top six attributes
Supports Step by Step Learning
When’s the last time you felt utterly guilt-free taking a few hours for yourself to savor a cup of coffee or enjoy some uninterrupted time soaking up the sun on your patio?
STEAM-accredited learning toys can keep your energetic kids engaged for an entire evening – while fostering their development of vital life skills. It’s a win for them and us parents!
The Benefits of Educational Toys for Kids
Why do parents buy educational toys for their kids? Because there’s no healthier way to keep your kids busy, stimulated, and engrossed in play!
1. Fosters Social Skills
Most learning toys encourage social collaboration. For example, board games teach children about patience because they must wait their turn to play, while puzzles invite them to work together and find the missing pieces!
How often do you rely on social cues to navigate a work issue? If your boss tells you something unsavory, no matter how much it irks you, you respond professionally, right? And that means you must improvise and find solutions to address the problem.
Educational toys teach kids to pick up on social cues. They use body language and eye contact to interact, and learn to react to fellow players’ emotions. Kids learn how to assign meaning to emotional responses like laughter, sadness, or even frustration. In turn, they can better communicate now and later in life.
2. Honed Problem-Solving Skills
Educational toys help kids hone problem-solving skills, whether the toy is close- or open-ended.
Kids might eagerly strategize a solution to a wobbly Oggs Tower. Or, they’ll think hard about how to best maneuver their game piece in a board game.
What happens every time your child solves a problem with learning toys? Each play session is valuable for their mental adeptness; they gain the fortitude to tackle obstacles that arise outside of playtime.
3. Enhanced Concentration
Outside of homework, how can we help our kids focus on specific tasks? Educational toys are almost like schoolwork, but kids will be so engrossed in playtime, they won’t realize they’re being taught valuable lessons. Instead, they’ll play freely, honing their focus on the task at hand.
Problem-solving, concentration, and social skills are fantastic benefits of learning toys for kids. But why are educational toys important for parents? Easy. They offer a route towards precious time for ourselves!
Learning Toys: A Treat for Kids AND Parents!
STEAM-accredited toys offer lovely advantages like logical thinking, real-world relevance, and free exploration. But out of all the options out there, what is the most educational toy?
Our opinion? Learning toys all have unique benefits, so choose toys that meet your family’s criteria.
If you’re looking for inspiration, Squaregles’ educational magnetic toys check off all the boxes. Is your child a builder? Artist? Storyteller? Squaregles will awaken your child’s creativity in a myriad of exciting ways. Fun? Check. Stimulating? Check. Educational? Triple check!
Equip kids with oodles of fun and learning with Squaregles magnetic build-and-play toys!