Learning Toys for Children educational toys for kids, learning toys, learning toys for kids

How to Choose learning toys for kids?

Research shows that learning through play is an important part of a child’s development. Children learn through playing with toys.  Learning toys are important for kids in their development. Many parents think that toys are only used for entertain their kids and make their kids occupied.  This is not the case.  Educational toys are useful to teach specific skills that your children need at different ages.

How to choose toys for young infants—birth through 6 months

At this stage, babies are understanding the world around them through their 5 senses (vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste).  Every new texture, color, shape, taste and sound is a learning experience for them.  Help your baby discover his senses by giving him safe and stimulating toys.

While toys with bright colours can stimulate their developing vision, blocks can help them build motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  Some toys can also help them explore object permanence and cause and effect relationships.

What are the good toys for them?

1. Bright colour toys which they can hold, shake, suck on and make noise with

E.g.  squeeze toys, teething toys, soft dolls, texturted balls, large rings and rattles

2. Toys to train their sense of hearing

E.g. books with poems and nursery rhymes, and recordings of lullabies

What are the sensory activities you can play with them?

0-3 months 

  • Hang an object above baby’s crib to provide visual stimulation.
  • Encourage baby to hold or shake an age appropriate rattle.
  • Play with baby in different positions.
  • Smile at baby, touch her hands, feet and forehead. Stimulate her bodies
  • Gently touch and tickle your baby to make them giggle.
  • Play or sing songs to your baby to help enhance baby’s listening skills.

4-6 Months

  • Encourage baby to touch objects with different textures such as wool, glass, silk
  • Developing their sense of movement and balance by lifting baby up and down and play in different positions
  • Teach baby how to roll, drop, and bounce balls with different colours and textures.

How to choose toys for young infants —7 months – 12 months?

Babies at this stage are beginning to explore and interact with people and their surroundings, they often crawl and walk across the living room.  They gradually understand the concept of object permanence, they understand that even if they can’t see an object, it is still there.

Moving toys can help them build fine motor skills, encourage creeping and crawling movement.

They particularly like toys which they can ‘put into’ , ‘take out’ and ‘sort’ into different containers.

What are good toys for them?

  • Toys that involve matching
  • Building toys such as soft blocks and wooden cubes
  • Toys that encourage pretend play (e.g. puppets, vehicles, dolls)
  • Moving toys that they can push and pull
  • Toys that they can ‘classify’ , ‘put in’ and ‘take out’.

What are the sensoractivities you can play with them?

7-9 Months

  • Use both hands to touch and pick up things with different shapes, sizes, weight and textures
  • Help them understand distance, focuses on objects near and far.
  • Look around a place from different positions – while lying on the floor, sitting, crawling, and standing at a higher position.

10-12 Months

  • Play peek-a-boo with baby.
  • Build fine motor skills (Encourage baby to crawl under, over, and through different objects in your home.)
  • Let baby experience new textures

How to choose toys for toddlers (1 – 3 years)?

The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. Toddlers can play with a wider variety of toys than infants.  Language develops rapidly at this stage. They can communicate with simple words and sentences.

What are good toys for them?

  • Toys that they can take apart, put back together, pull out, put in, add on, and build up.
  • Toys that encourage exploration, problem-solving and creativity
  • Toys that stimulate your child’s imagination (e.g. action figures, trains and trucks, blocks, toy food and plastic plates, stuffed animals and dolls)
  • Toys that encourage your child to be active (e.g. balls with different sizes and shapes, tricycles, etc)
  • Toys that simulate ‘real stuff’ (e.g. toy dustpans, toy mops, toy cashier, etc).

How to choose toys for preschoolers (3 – 5 years)?

During this stage, preschoolers have developed significantly in language, motor skills, thinking, social development, and emotional development.  They have stronger desire to do things for themselves and to explore new concepts. For instance, they can master the colour and number concepts.

In addition, they can recall names and specific events in their daily life.

This is the stage which children learn through imaginative play and pretend play.

What are good toys for them?

  • Toys that they can learn the names of objects and sort them by color, size and shape.
  • Toys that encourage exploration, problem-solving and creativity (e.g. LEGO is a wonderful math tool to learn about shapes, patterns, counting, and measurement.)
  • Toys that stimulate your child’s imagination (e.g. wooden pattern blocks,
  • Toys that encourage your child to develop gross motor skills and fine motor skills. (e.g. Melissa & Doug Alphabet Wooden Lacing Cards, fine motor tool set, etc)
  • Toys that simulate ‘real stuff’ (e.g. pretend kitchen & play food, etc).
  • Toys that develop social skills ( co-operative boardgames)

Conclusion

Before you buy a toy, ask yourself five questions.

1. Are the materials safe for your kids?

2. Are they useful in developing your kids’ skills?

3. Is the age range suitable for your kids?

4. Does it encourage learning?

  1. A lot of toys are made in China, and there are safety concerns on the toy composition as to whether it can be having unsafe elements for children. This can be quite a headache when choosing toys to buy as a gift.

  2. I had no idea that children toys were so important for infants and young children’s development. I always thought they were just used to keep them occupied.Using bright colors for visuals training is good because each color looks different. Again, I never knew that was the use. Teaching toddlers to touch different types of surfaces or materials increases their sense of touch. In other words, they begin to understand there are many surfaces. It also, cut to see when they discover something new. The look on their faces is priceless. The sense of touch for infants and toddlers is vital because as a parent not touching them can cause “failure to thrive”. In those times when I spend with my great nieces I will keep this information you have given in mind. I want them to, of course learn everything, but I now know the reason for the different toys and activities for infant/ toddlers. Your article was engaging and full of information that can be related to. I look forward to reading more of your articles. Thank you.

  3. Could you recommend any toys (I mean with pictures?) My 6-year old kid is autistic. Any recommendations that help my boy to be more socialized?

  4. The information is really detailed and useful for us as parents! I will try to choose toys for my child based on the criteria you suggested! By the way, do you have any recommended toys that can be bought online?

  5. This is great that you have decided to dedicate an entire website solely to the educational benefits for kids. This post is very informative and effective. It is clear that you know what you are talking about. Thanks!

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