Educational Toys for Babies

Educational toys are fun for babies and provide another tool to stimulate learning and brain development in your infant. There are many ways to teach a child and tens of thousands of educational toys on the market to help parents in the endeavor. The challenge for parents, child care providers and educators is to choose from the vast array of educational toys available in a way that creates a balance of learning techniques, is age appropriate, and most of all fun. This article will provide basic facts about; how babies learn, types of educational toys available and examples of each.

How Babies Learn

It is quite surprising the rate at which babies learn and develop. Learning begins in the womb and continues throughout childhood. In early life how a child learns centers largely around the relationship with the parents. At least until the child starts preschool, the job of stimulating and satisfying baby’s desire to learn falls primarily to the parents.

While babies respond to their parent’s voice there are many other sounds they find interesting. When parents are choosing educational toys for babies they should look for toys that have sound, colors that are bright and contrasted like red, black and white, and have interesting textures that babies like to touch.

Sounds

Babies’ respond to sound and some of the best educational toys include rattles and musical toys. Soothing music such as lullabies is usually best. Auditory and musical toys are known to stimulate logical thinking and imagery in babies and in adults for that matter.

One good educational auditory toy is the Electronic Metal Keys. These keys are good for a child 6 months and up. The Electronic Metal Keys are an imitation of the parent’s car keys. However, the Electronic Metal Key toy is safe for the child to chew on and has a push button that emits sounds like a car horn, doorbell, ignition, and remote control door.

Sight

Bright colors in educational toys stimulate baby’s vision. Look for toys with strong color contrast and patterns. A good one to look for is a colorful crib mobile that emits music, has different textures, curves and symmetry.

One such educational toy is the Bath Time Fishing toy. This item is appropriate for babies 12 months and up. It’s a great prop to use during a baby bath. Making the bath as fun as possible can also help overcome any resistance or fear your child may have during the bathing process. The toy is bright in color, has a rod and reel, and the strong magnets attached to its tails allow for easy catching. Bath Time Fishing is priced at around $16.00 dollars.

Fine motor play

Fine motor play educational toys are used to stimulate coordination in baby’s finger and eye movements. One such toy aimed at developing the hand-eye coordination is “Counting Pals”, which is aimed at babies 6 months and up. Counting Pals are 10 soft and squishy colored blocks. They can be stacked, tossed, chewed by the baby. Counting pals also provides animal illustrations that will enchant the baby. Counting Pals educational toy is priced at around $12.00.

Cognitive Skills

There are some educational toys that promote cognitive skills in babies, which is to say they stimulate the child’s memory, how they picture things and their problem solving skills. Educational toys like building blocks, activity boxes or puzzles are a good purchase for your child. The puzzles can deal with numbers, letters or pictures; it does not matter, but they should be fairly easy for a baby to grasp and manipulate.

Understanding Your Child’s Need to Play With Educational Toys

Educational toys for kids are a must-have for any home with children. Believe it or not, even the youngest of children can benefit from educational toys. In fact, they have a need for this type of plaything. Toys that are educational in nature, yet fun, can teach children valuable skills about living in the grown-up world. They may not even realize they’re learning skills they will need later in life, but one day, they will probably look back on some of the toys with which they played as children and realize what valuable lessons those toys provided.

Most of us had at least some educational toys for kids when we were little. Remember the Speak and Say toy? This was common for most kids throughout the 1960’s through 1980s, and you still see it around today. It’s a simple toy that involves pulling a string that makes a dial go around on a circular board, and whatever the dial lands on is a picture of something, usually an animal. There is a speaker inside the toy that will say something regarding the sound the selected animal makes, such as, “The sheep says Baaaa.” It’s very educational, and fun for small children.

Of course, toys don’t have to have electronics in them to be educational. In today’s world of going green and living organically, many parents are turning to simpler toys made of natural materials for their children. These toys can be just as educational as anything electronic. The important thing to remember is that educational toys need to teach children some valuable lesson they will need either in the world of school (once they enter it), or in the adult world, while being entertaining and engaging. There are plenty of organic and eco-friendly toys that fit this description. You’ll find them made out of such materials as cloth, wood, and recycled objects.

A child’s ability to learn from toys is one of the most inspiring moments for many parents. Childrens’ minds are like sponges and they pick up on new ideas very quickly so use every moment to teach them valuable skills. Even simple toys like wooden blocks, play trucks and activity sets can be very educational. Think like a child, use your imagination and both child and parent will benefit from that quality play time.

Older children will benefit greatly from more advanced educational toys. Products like science kits, solar kits and more complex building systems are wonderful tools. Kits such as these are very popular in schools so your kids will appreciate the chance to build confidence at home, all the while learning something new.

When looking for educational toys for kids, remember that the sky is the limit. Don’t deny your child a good foundation of knowledge just because you don’t think it will be fun. These are your child’s formative years. Give him or her good educational toys, and he or she will have a head start on the rest of the world later… and still have terrific memories of the fun toys they played with when they were young!