Early Learning Toys Buying Guide
Early Learning Toys focus on the skills that prepare kids to enter elementary school, building on the lessons and skills they are learning through daycare or play at home. These are toys for kids in the preschool age range, approximately ages 3 through 5.
Kids have a long road of schooling ahead, so it’s important to make learning as fun and painless as possible before they get started. Teach them to love learning! Children develop different skills at different rates and different times – and children may excel in one area, but need work in another. By making that learning fun, kids can practice those items on which they need work without even knowing it! If learning the alphabet, counting, or reading activities are too frustrating, it’s better to let children explore these activities on their own through their toys, allowing learning to happen more naturally and without added pressure. If a skill is taking a little while longer to click, it is not a cause for alarm. It is important to remember that children will get there when they’re ready. Keep things light and incorporate learning into play, and the rest will take care of itself.
Early learning toys can help teach kids skills like identifying colors, counting, sorting, matching, simple arithmetic, sequencing, fine motor skills, and more. And best of all, these toys are fun!
Features to Consider
- Consider your child’s attention span. Open-ended toys are best for younger children with short attention spans. Toys with too many steps and games with too many rules won’t do any good to kids who are too young to stay focused.
Different children develop at different rates, and parents know their children’s abilities best. It is fine to use your own judgment regarding the recommended ages for different toys. However, if a toy becomes frustrating or is clearly too difficult for a child, don’t push it. The best learning comes naturally, and they will pick the toy up again when they feel ready to try.
- Parent interaction and parent-led activities can help kids get the most educational value out of their learning toys.
- Make learning fun by keeping it natural and avoiding pressure. Take everyday experiences as a chance to enhance learning - work on incorporating new concepts into beloved games or change up the way you play with blocks or dolls. A child’s toys can evolve as their skills and abilities do, and a little bit of parental guidance can help children find new ways to play with some of their favorite toys.
Kids want to play. Adults want kids to learn. Luckily there is some overlap, especially when it comes to preschool educational toys. In order to reap all of the benefits of these toys, adults will need to direct play and offer suggestions, encouragement, and praise – but then also know when children should explore and play on their own. By just observing children at play, adults will know when it is time to give hints and help kids out when they’re stuck on a puzzle or game, as well as when they should encourage the child to work out the solution on his own. And when working on new concepts or ideas, never forget the power of song when it comes to early learning and memory!
Top Developmental Benefits
Early learning toys with verbal benefits will focus on reading, writing, and the learning the alphabet. Alphabet puzzles and alphabet blocks help kids to associate letters, pictures, and sounds. Electronic books, electronic play sets and activities that talk to kids are also verbally beneficial. Simple preschool games that incorporate reading skills are another smart choice to making working on these skills fun!
Logical benefits are plentiful in the early learning toys department. Preschool education focuses on sequencing, identifying patterns, learning about shapes, and mastering simple mathematical concepts. Building blocks, gear sets, puzzles, learning games, word games, and simple craft kits can help cover these concepts through play.
Preschoolers can learn a lot through the repetition of singing and dancing. Toys with musical elements will grab kids’ attention and teach kids through sound!
Adult involvement is an important component of early learning. Parents and other adults can help kids make the most of their learning toys and teach them to cooperate.
Types of Play
Nearly all of these toys has a manipulative element so that preschoolers can develop their fine motor skills. Building blocks, learn to dress dolls, puzzles, basic craft sets and gear toys are all great preparation for holding a pencil, drawing, cutting, and all of the other physical skills they’ll need when school rolls around!