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.
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.
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.
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.