Children love toys! That is an undeniable fact. Interests may differ, but all children love toys. Every kid goes through ‘THE Tantrum’ at the mall, just for a single toy. Right? Sometimes parents think toys are just a waste of time. But that is not true. Toys can help your child learn better. However, some toys are more effective in doing so. These toys are Educational toys.
This article will explain the concept and importance of Educational toys. It will also guide you to choose helpful educational toys for your child.
As the name suggests, educational toys help in educating your child. They aid your child’s learning. They focus on developing various skills in your child. Some toys help build your child’s motor skills. Yet, other toys focus on developing sensory skills.
In the early years, the sensory development of a child is more important. In the early years, your child is trying to make sense of the world using their five senses. You can engage your infants and toddlers in sensory play activities. These include activities like playing in a sandbox, threading beads, stacking blocks, painting or coloring, playing with dough or slime, and scribbling. The toys used in these activities, such as crayons, play dough, blocks, and beads, are all examples of educational toys.
As your child grows, you may notice an increase in their mobility. Your children will also become cognitively more aware of their surroundings. Running after your child throughout the day can get exhausting. The best way to deal with an active toddler is to engage them in some healthy activity. Well, in simple words, it’s time to get new toys. Educational toys for your now very active toddler include tricycles, basketball, magnetic building blocks, drawing boards, skipping ropes, and hula hoops. Educational toys at this stage work on the cognitive and gross motor skills development of your child. They will keep your child engaged in healthy activities that boost their physical fitness.
Congratulations! You are now up to date about what educational toys are. Let’s now discuss their role in Montessori learning.
As we already know, Montessori classrooms aim to give your child a wholesome educational experience. This includes not only their academic development but also the physical and cognitive development of your child.
Physical development of your child refers to the motor skills development of your child. Cognitive development refers to your child’s thinking, sensory, and information processing abilities. Not familiar with the concept of motor skills and sensory skills? Here is a quick summary to help you understand the concepts. Motor skills are broadly defined as movement skills.
There are two types of motor skills; Gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve moving more significant body parts, such as arms, legs, feet, and neck. Toys such as skipping ropes, balls, and hula hoops help improve the gross motor skills of your child. Fine motor skills control the movements of the smaller body parts such as fingers, toes, tongue, etc. Toys such as play dough, beads, fishing games, and crafting materials help develop your child’s fine motor skills.
Sensory skills are related to the development of the five senses of your child. Sensory skills are the building blocks for cognitive development. They are also closely related to fine motor skills. For example, the sense of touch has a connection to fine motor skills, such as grasping or pinching objects between fingers. Therefore, a single educational toy can help improve both motor and sensory skills at the same time.
Educational or Montessori toys play an essential role in a Montessori setup as they help children experiment and learn. Children learn to hold, touch and experiment with Montessori toys. For example, wax crayons are an excellent example of educational toys. They help children learn to tell colors apart. They also help children learn to combine and blend colors. An Abacus is another example of a Montessori educational toy. It helps children in counting. The beads of the abacus also help children improve their pincer grip. The different colored beads on the abacus also help improve your child’s ability to recognize colors.
Montessori toys are made using natural materials such as wood. This helps children learn about textures. It also makes them familiar with natural materials. Your child will learn to distinguish between natural materials. For example, by experimenting with Montessori toys, your child will recognize the difference in texture, weight, and temperature of toys made from natural materials like wood and metal.
Montessori toys also aim at teaching your child the cause-effect relationship. These toys are like real-life objects. Playing with these toys helps your child develop a sense of the real world. For example, instead of playing with a push-button plastic toy, if your child plays with a wooden bell, he or she will learn that the bell rings when you shake it or bang it with another object. This is an example of the cause-effect relationship.
All of us nowadays carry a smart phone. Yet almost none of us know how the thing works. The purpose of any decent educational toy is to break concepts down so that a little child can understand the basics.
Children in a Montessori setup are free to choose the toy that they want to play with. This helps them learn about decision-making and become more independent. Montessori toys also help your child develop problem-solving skills. For example, if your child is playing with blocks in a corner of the room and wants to move to another corner, your child will need to move the blocks. Your child will learn that it is impossible to move all the blocks at once. What will the child do? Yes, either he moves the blocks one by one, or he uses a bucket or container to collect the blocks and move them all at once. In this way, your child learns how to solve problems independently.
Montessori toys will help you in engaging your child while simultaneously familiarizing your child with the real world.