Educational Toys and Games - Melissa and Doug

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Which thing is required to label the toy as "educational"? Doesn't a child learn something from every "toy," a word actually derived from the Old English word meaning "tool?" And don't advertisers try to lure parents by throwing in the word "educational" to describe any old toy they're selling? True educational toys are developed specifically to encourage certain knowledge in children while offering a high play value. Studies dating back to 1940 have shown that it is well worth a parent's time and effort to research for a proper age-appropriate educational toy that can permanently improve a child's IQ by more than 50 points.

Here's a brief overview that might help sift through the child development jargon and assist parents in choosing an educational toy that is the right fit for their children:

Child improvement terms

We offer a wide selection of Bearington Baby for all ages and occasions at an affordable costGross motor ability & Fine motor capabilities - Gross motor skills refer to whole body movements from the large muscle groups, including standing, walking and running. Fine motor expertise are small muscle movements or dexterity, particularly in the fingers, and are necessary for such activities as buttoning shirts, zippering, writing, and sewing.

Hand-eye coordination - the eyes provide information on an object's size, weight, texture etc. and direct the hands to the target. If it is disable,then the easiest task of picking up an object would be tough.

Cognitive/Intellectual awareness - How a kid motivates and makes sense of his environment.

Social attention - learning to build and maintain relationships, share and cooperate with others.

Emotional awareness - a child's feel of "self," and his ability to understand and cope with his own feelings.

Creative expression - allowing a child the opportunity to use their imagination and express themselves. This can be offered either from a methodized activity, such as a paint-by-number craft, that gives children a sense of accomplishment or by simply setting a drawing pad in front of them and encouraging their imaginations to "run wild."

Educational Enjoy Activities

Puzzles - help develop persistence, problem solving, hand-eye coordination and fine motor abilities

Dolls, Dress-up and Role play toys - promote cognitive and social awareness, creative expression and even fine motor skills (self-dressing)

Creating toys - hand-eye coordination, creative expression, fine motor expertise, patience, intellectual awareness and basic principles of science, such as causal relationships, spatial awareness and the effects of gravity.

Board and card games - social awareness, hand-eye coordination and fine motor abilities

Musical tools - promote hand-eye coordination, creative expression and auditory expertise. Music concept has also been proven to develop math ability.

Outside play toys - expose children to social awareness and hand-eye coordination and develop their gross motor expertise

Periods of Development

It is very important for a parent to be aware of a toy's recommended age bracket. Black and white toys appeal to very young infants. Babies 4 months and older will be more attracted to bright, primary colors and large surfaces. Older children will find smaller,more-complexed objects more stimulating. Follow a toy's age guideline, while allowing at least a two-year period for a child's individual stage of development. If a toy is considered for ages 3 and more, it should be suitable for a child 3-5 years old.

Play Valuation and Playability

Toy can't teach a child anything if it breaks simply or sits unused on the cabinet,no matter how many skills an educational toy may boast about improving. The best toys with the particular play value are often the easiest and most flexible and cover a great skill of growth opprtunities that motivate a kid to play with them may a times. Melissa and Doug's Fish Colors Mix n Match peg puzzle for example, is an unpretentious wooden peg puzzle that not only offers 2 to 5 year-olds the benefits found in a typical puzzle for that age group, but also teaches children about colors, word recognition (by matching pieces with the names of colors) and creative expression (by interchanging pieces to create a different school of fish every time they play).

Games and outdoor toys that involve more than one player are especially appealing if they have high "playability," meaning they can contain and activate multiple players of varied ages. The popular dice game, Farkel for instance, stimulates math capabilities and engages all players from ages 8 through adult.

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