Educational toys are a vital part of a child’s brain development. Toys are proven to be stimulating for a child’s thought process, critical thinking, and even motor skills. One thing’s for sure, it can give you a few good minutes to do other things while they’re attention’s caught. Never an entire day but if you’re lucky, you can probably squeeze out an hour or so of baby-free time by providing them a really good toy to play with.
But, when you walk into Toys ‘R Us, there are stacks and stacks of different kinds of educational toys. How do you pick one out of the thousands? How do you pick one that’s useful, long term, and worth your money?
Of course, you don’t just want to buy something entertaining but totally far from being educational. You’d want to buy something that would hit two birds with one stone – educational and entertaining.
This list is for you!
1Educational Toys: 0-12months
In the first few months of your baby, they are unable to do anything more intellectually than observe their surroundings. At this age, their vision will not be 100% yet but they are attracted to bright colors. As time passes, your baby will be more sensitive to his other senses. That being said, interactive toys that make sounds and are squeezable are recommended.
Multi-Patterned Crib Mobiles
Activity mats are helpful when it comes to developing a baby’s senses. Their vision is developed by the bright colors, their sense of touch by the plush material, and their hearing by the sounds the mat makes.
Get this one from Kaloo!
At about 7-12 months, babies start teething which means they will chew on anything they can get their hands on. Plush rattles, although not the best toys for teething, are a safe alternative. They make sounds, are colorful, and are handheld.
Get this set from Saks Fifth Ave!
By the time your baby is able to sit up, put him on a floor gym, and have him play there. It will help with his motor skills and have more room to move around. Also, the floor gym mat design will keep him entertained.
From Skip Hop.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
As stated, infants love music and sounds. Toys that enhance their hearing and listening abilities are highly encouraged!
Get this one at Buy Buy Baby.
Infant Super Seat
Need a bit of time to work on your own things? An infant activity super seat is what you need. Filled with educational toys, you’re guaranteed some time to do your thing.
Get one from JC Penney!
2Educational Toys: 1-2 Years
According to psychologists, kids this age would greatly enjoy toys that have a lot of movement. For example, toys that pop up plays music with a push of a button or any other kind of motor interaction will be well received.
“Your baby is fascinated by cause and effect and will enjoy any toy that responds to his actions and makes use of newly acquired motor skills,” says psychologist Robin Goodman, Ph.D., director of NYU Child Study Center
Although they are probably too young for word puzzles, puzzles with shapes, or easy to piece together pieces can also be an alternative.
I’ve seen my baby cousins play with this for hours and never get tired! And, I’ve seen how after a few tries, they learn which one goes through which one and they remember it! It’s very helpful for their memory and utilizes their motor skills as well.
Get on from Amazon!
Role Play Toys
Roleplay games are super fun and helpful for a child’s development. Though they may not fully understand what it is they’re doing, it stimulates their curiosity. Also, we all know how curious they can be when they see buttons. Educational toys like this combine fun and learning by teaching letters, sounds, and colors while keeping their attention at its peak.
Grab your VTech interactive toy from Wal-Mart!
Now, this might drive you up the wall after a few hours of non-stop banging. But, if you can bear with the noise then you’re sure to have a happy and entertained baby!
Order yours here!
Stacking toys are fun even for adults. Just imagine how fun it would be for toddlers? They’re simple, easy, and super colorful. You won’t regret this buy.
Product by Janod.
Developmental Toy Block
Many moms swear by how much of a great investment this particular toy is. The Alex Jr. My Busy Town Wooden Developmental Toy is so widely preferred that it even won the Oppenheim Toy Gold Seal Award.
This incredible toy is brought to you by Alex. Get yours here!
3Educational Toys: 3 years and Up
By the time your child reaches the age of 3, he would have fine motor skills, and even more curious mind, and the physical energy needed to explore. So generally, educational toys that would require physical activity would be recommended for kids this age. Also, toys that stimulate their imagination and creativity.
Obviously, this is undoubtedly a must-buy toy for your kids. Incidentally, this is where critical thinking gets developed. Not only does the physical activity stimulate the mind, figuring out how to get the ball through the hoop is even more of mental development than anything else.
Order one from Amazon!
So now we enter the world of imagination and fantasy. While we do not want our children to believe the fantasy, we certainly will not curb their imagination.
Get this super cute dollhouse by Le Toy Van here!
Animal Bowling Set
Strategy and enhanced motor skills are what you benefit from this play. Not to mention, the extra time you get to yourself. You’ll be sure to see excited toddlers with this toy.
Get your Melissa & Doug bowling set here.
I think is pretty self-explanatory. Easel = art. Art = creativity!
Another one by Melissa & Doug. Get yours here!
Okay, so, this might not be on top of the educational toys list but as we’ve established, physical activity stimulates brain development. If you’re looking for an educational benefit, they’ll learn how not to fall off. Kidding aside, the fun can be very educational. :)
Order your trampoline here.
4Educational Toys: In a Nutshell
It’s perfectly understandable if you want your kids to be smart or advanced for their years. You buy them expensive toys that would help them get there. But, it all boils down to one thing, they’re kids. And kids want to have fun.
As much as you want them to be all about education, never set aside the fun part. If they don’t have fun, they’ll just get tired and the exact opposite of what you want will happen.
There’s always something you can learn out of everything. That’s how life is. If you ask me, I’d rather have my kids advanced in life than anywhere else. After all, life is where they’ll be until their last day. :)
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featured image: huffington post