6 Tips for Purchasing Educational Toys
When you purchase a toy for a young child, you likely want it to engage both their bodies and their minds. Sure, you would love it if the child used their new toy to keep their hands and mouths occupied for a brief period of time. However, many parents and teachers would prefer their children’s toys to multitask, teaching the child something valuable while also entertaining them.
Purchasing educational toys can be extremely difficult for parents and teachers alike. You want to make sure you’re making a wise investment in these toys, and you’re hoping that the child will benefit from them. If you need a few pointers for selecting the right educational toys, you won’t have to look any further than these key tips.
Understand the types of educational toys.
Do you think that all educational toys have to help your child recite their alphabet or count to ten? You should take time to evaluate which educational area your child could use more help in. There are several different categories of these toys, including those items that you may traditionally view as educational. You may discover toys that also help to build fine motor skills or help your child explore their senses.
Keep the child’s age in mind.
While you may feel that the child is very advanced, you should still keep their chronological age in mind when purchasing toys. They need something that is appropriate for their cognitive level, as well as their social or developmental age. A toy that encourages make-believe play may not be fitting for a child who hasn’t developed an imagination just yet. Similarly, toys that are designed for group play may not be right for a child who is still focusing on independent playtime.
Choose simple toys.
Parents, teachers, and children will all become extremely frustrated with a toy that is overly complicated. You may be tempted to purchase one with all of the lights, bells, and whistles. However, this will quickly grow old if it isn’t simple enough for a child to manipulate on their own. A simpler toy may also be able to grow with your child as their capacity for imagination continues to expand.
Invest in quality.
It can be tempting to purchase the least expensive option on the shelf for your little one. After all, they’re growing and changing so quickly that they may outgrow the toy’s particular function rapidly. You should still be sure that you’re investing in a toy that has decent quality standards to avoid pieces that are easily broken. A broken toy is disappointing to a child, as well as a potential safety hazard.
Pay attention to your child’s interests.
The child’s overall interests should help dictate which educational toys are appropriate for them. Do you find them drawing and coloring in the afternoons? Perhaps they are more likely to sing and dance for fun. Knowing the child’s specific interests can help you to select educational toys that they are more likely to use often.
Keep your child’s skill level in mind.
Nothing is worse than giving your child a toy that causes them to throw a frustrated temper tantrum. Bear in mind the exact motor skills and abilities your child will need in order to play with the toy you purchase. It should be slightly above their current skill level but still easily attainable for them. A toy that is too advanced will lead to nothing but frustration and tears.
Educational toys can serve a valuable purpose for teachers and parents who want to encourage children to expand their repertoire of skills. Don’t be intimidated by the sheer volume of toys you find on the store shelves. With these handy tips, you’ll be able to purchase the perfect educational toy in no time at all.