What gives a toy the right to be labeled "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? The real educational toys are developed specifically to motivate some knowledge in kids while offering a good 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.Zoobies carefully monitors production quality from start to finish, making sure that their high quality standards apply to each and every product that goes on the shelves.
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
Gross motor ability & Fine motor expertise - Standing,walking and running all these covers under Gross motor skills which refer to complete body movements from the large muscle groups. Fine motor ability 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. Without this ability, even the simplest task of picking up an object would be difficult.
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 feeling 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 organised 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 Perform Activities
Puzzles - help develop persistence, problem solving, hand-eye coordination and fine motor knowledge
Dolls, Dress-up and Role play toys - promote cognitive and social awareness, creative manifestation and even fine motor ability (self-dressing)
Making toys - hand-eye coordination, creative expression, fine motor ability, 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 expertise
Musical tools - inspire hand-eye coordination, creative expression and auditory ability. Music concept has also been proven to develop math abilities.
Outside play toys - educate children to social awareness and hand-eye coordination and develop their gross motor expertise
Periods of Progress
It is very important for a parent to be aware of a toy's recommended age bracket. Specially black & white toys appeal to very small age group kids. 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 particular stage of development. If a toy is recommended for ages 3 and up, it should be suitable for a child 3-5 years old.
Play Importance and Playability
No matter how many skills an educational toy may boast about improving, it can't teach a child anything if it breaks easily or sits untouched on the shelf. The best toys with the most play value are often the simplest and most durable and cover a multitude of skill development opportunities that encourage a child to play with them again and again. 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 include more than one player are especially appealing if they have high "playability," meaning they can contain and promote multiple players of varied ages. The popular dice game, Farkel for instance, promotes math abilities and engages all players from ages 8 through adult.
We specialize in carrying the Bearington Collection, Swimways, Springbok, Baby and Wedding Time Capsules, Fisher-Price, Mattel, Roffle Mates and more! Come visit us at Zoobies .