What Makes a Toy Educational? Look for These 3 Features
How many times have you browsed online for new toys, or taken your kids to the toy store, only to be faced with dozens of toys, unsure which ones to pick? As parents, we’ve all been there. Many times, we let them take their pick, and more often than not, they play with the toy for a bit before moving on to another. Or fold the box up into a fort or doodle on the packaging. Sound familiar? What you’ve watched unfold is the difference between active play and passive play, which we’ll elaborate on in just a bit.
Ultimately, some toys and activities stimulate our kids more than others. Turning packaging into a fort has no time limits or set outcomes, whereas the toy itself may have a specific goal. Like us, you’re always looking for ways to engage your kids and teach them a few valuable lessons along the way, right? If so, it may benefit you to delve into the world of educational toys. But wait — what makes a toy educational? Great question! We’re going to answer that and more in this complete guide, so keep reading!
Features of Educational Toys
Educational toys improve cognitive and motor skills in children as they play. But scholars attribute another essential quality unique to educational toys: human-to-human interaction.
They specify that kids can still reap educational toy benefits when playing solo. However, they assert that children — and us parents — learn best when engaged with others. So, the best educational toys open up teamwork and camaraderie.
For example, Squaregles’ 66-piece magnetic toy set lets kids enjoy building their dreamland for hours. But the vastness of possibilities certainly welcomes a friend to join in on the fun and learning!
Educational toys often appear in toy sub-categories – role-play toys like chemistry sets, construction toys, and puzzles. Next up, we’ll look at how educational toys develop vital life skills for kids.
Psst… Educational Toys Are Brimming with Benefits!
Research suggests toys are a fantastic aspect of development. They foster linguistic, psychosocial, and emotional skills. And how do kids develop the confidence and creativity to explore life? Toys play a large role.
Now, educational toys offer those same benefits but take them a step further. The best learning toys enhance kids’ cognitive abilities. But how do toys help cognitive development if they’re educational?
Let’s look at Squaregles’ magnetic building toys as an example:
Each magnetic piece comes together to bring our kids’ creative vision to life. But the process requires problem-solving – building in different directions, remembering how the pieces work, learning from every play session to reach new heights in the next. We’re talking memory, information processing, reasoning, and executive function, all processes that mental health experts say propel cognitive development.
And cognitive development isn’t the only pro for learning toys! Bottom line? Your kids will love playing with them!
3 Ways Educational Toys Deliver Educational Fun
So, we’ve shared about the many benefits of learning toys, but how do they engage our kids? Keep reading to find out!
1. They Pique Our Kids’ Curiosity
Have you ever purchased a toy only to watch as your child loses interest after a few minutes of play? We’ve all been there, and it’s understandable. Our kids crave stimulation and creative outlets for their imaginations. But what makes a toy interesting to a child, to begin with?
The best educational toys offer kids new ways to play with them in every play session. They’ll excite your children with multiple ways to learn, solve problems, and have fun for hours on end. Toys that spark our kids’ curiosity and interest are especially captivating to children. And us parents love jumping in to play alongside them, especially with particularly engrossing toys like magnetic building toys!
2. Encourage Active Play
Remember the research we mentioned earlier about how educational toys improve cognitive and motor skills? Another criterion the scholars discuss is the theory of active play.
Imagine your child’s ideal play scenario. Are they sitting back, entertained by simply observing a screen or a toy? Sure, we love a good movie night (don’t forget the popcorn!), but this is considered a passive style of play. There’s space for all styles of play, and it’s helpful to offer kids opportunities to lose themselves in a state of flow during play.
And this happens best during active play. Isn’t it exciting to watch your children fully engaged in active play? They’re using their hands to build or paint, minds to construct ideas, and imaginations to tell stories and bring characters to life, all to interact with the toy in a million different ways!
The best part? They can include more play partners in the fun!
3. They Foster Social Skills and Teamwork
One of the exciting features of educational toys is the collaborative and social aspects. Whether it’s a schoolmate, neighbor, or parent, kids love to work with others during playtime and often feed off one another’s energy to come up with new, exciting ideas.
For example, kids love narrating exciting stories about Oggs, the little characters that come with all of Squaregles’ sets of magnetic toys. And there’s no one right way to do this, which means every child has a voice during playtime.
Creativity soars to new heights when two or more minds contribute to play!
Dive into Educational Toys with Squaregles!
Before we wrap up, let’s have a quick recap: what are the characteristics of safe and educational toys? They…
Improve cognitive development
Peak children’s curiosity
Engross kids into a flow of active play
Foster community and social skills
Squaregles’ magnetic toys meet all these criteria. Your children will love building their own universes with friends and family while picking up incredible life skills along the way!
Educational toys your kids will adore are one click away! Browse through Squaregles’ educational toy sets today.