Choosing Education Toys for Toddlers

Having a child can be one of life’s greatest moments, but it is also one of life’s greatest responsibilities. Once a child is past the infant stage, their skills are growing at a remarkable rate, especially in the area of language and physical development. The skills they gain as a toddler will be the groundwork for skills used in the rest of their life.Playing with toys is one of the many ways a toddler learns. It is important that a parent knows what type of education toys to look for when purchasing them for their child. Because all children of this age do not have the same capabilities, the parent must know their toddler’s skills, and buy the toys appropriate for that skill level.Children of this age are developing their gross motor skills, so large cardboard blocks, large balls, and climbing sets especially designed for these children are good choices. Using ride-on toys is also an appropriate way for toddlers to make use of their large muscles.Toddlers are also developing their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. There are many education toys which help with the growth of these skills. These include nesting, lacing, and sorting toys. At this age, the use of large crayons is now within the capability of the child, and they greatly enjoy creating their own masterpieces. Puzzles are also appropriate for children of this age, giving the child a feeling of accomplishment when they can complete the puzzle.At this point in the child’s life, they are quickly developing their language skills. Therefore, the use books can play an important part in helping with this development. Picture books encourage the child to use their expressive language skills and to build on these skills, as do books that can be read by the parent, making this a great time to start building the child’s personal library.As can be seen, it is very important to keep the toddler in mind when buying educational toys. Besides the tips mentioned above, safety must always be a part of the choice of a toy. One must be sure that the toy is geared towards the child’s developmental level. With balls, make sure toddlers do not use foam balls, capable of being compressed and put in their mouth. If a toy part can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is too small and not appropriate for the child. Toys should not have strings attached which could be wrapped around the neck.A toddler’s growth is fascinating to watch. Helping that child to develop to the fullest extent possible is one job which comes with being a parent, and because of the educational toys available, it is a job that both parent and child can share and enjoy together.

Educational Toy Ideas for Your Preschooler

If you are searching for the right educational toys for your preschooler, you may be overwhelmed with all the options available. Toy manufacturers are now busier than ever, working hard to keep up with the latest trends and styles, and competing to make their toys the best and most popular among small children. Though the decision of what to buy your child can be difficult, here are several suggestions that may help you.When choosing an educational toy, you want to be sure it will serve its educational purpose. You want your child to learn something while playing with a particular toy, and for that to remain a popular one with your preschooler for a reasonable amount of time. This is why you should choose carefully.When selecting educational toys, it is also important to keep your child’s interests in mind. Remember, it isn’t the educational factor that will interest your child, rather the fun the toy will bring. Encourage your child to play with different toys and learn new things, but always try to give preference to the more educational preschool-level toys, whether they teach basic math or reading skills, color recognition, or just stimulate different parts of a child’s developing brain. After all, these simple, educational games can often be the most entertaining.Chalkboards are among the most popular toys for preschoolers. They are also among the oldest. And since many modern chalkboards are double-sided– with a chalkboard on one side and a magnetic board for plastic letters on the other, this toy can also serve a dual purpose. By playing with it, your child will be able to learn the letters of the alphabet with the magnetic letters, and then be able to practice those letters on the chalkboard once this is accomplished. It also allows for free-hand drawing and hours of creative fun.Toy pianos are also among the most popular and most beneficial toys. As shown in recent studies, children who learn music, even on the most basic level, tend to perform better in math and science-oriented subjects, and also tend to score higher on scholastic exams. Aside from that, this kind of toy is a great way for your child to be creative while making his or her very own music.Blocks have long been among the most basic, yet most fun toys a child can own. There are many types from which to choose, from blocks that interlock, to those that simply balance on one another. Your child will have hours of fun building towers, houses, or just simply learning to stack and count.No matter which educational toys you choose, be sure they are age-appropriate for your child. Check to be sure they don’t have loose parts that could be harmful to your child, and that they aren’t too complicated for his or her age and education level. You do not want your child to become discouraged by playing with a toy he or she does not understand. Also, play with your children. If you show an interest in the toys you buy, they are more likely to do the same.

Cautions About Buying Online Educational Materials

When the Internet first materialized from the ether and teachers discovered its potential as a research and educational tool, it became a teacher responsibility to educate students on the “Good, Bad, and the Ugly” of the Internet. Even today, students still have difficulty discerning fact from just plain garbage on the Internet. They still believe that everything they read there is TRUE. Now I am discovering that many adults have the same trouble. My biggest concern with this is in the area of educational materials.In the real world, most people still feel that teachers should be held to a higher standard and that schools should be “doing right” by their child. Parents are quick to complain if something goes wrong. Teachers today have to be fingerprinted and go through extensive background checks–even teachers who have had perfect records for 30 years.At the same time, parents are buying “educational materials” from the Internet with just the assumption that these materials are appropriate for their child and are correct. Parents are also reading articles and looking at websites and accepting that what they are reading is fact without doing any research of the topic or checking into the background of the author.I recently read an article about becoming a psychologist. Since I have a degree in Psychology, I was interested in what the author had to say. I was shocked to see him write that you can become a psychologist with a 2-year Associates degree. This is simply NOT TRUE! His article ended with a link to a site pushing Psychology programs. It was not his site-he had misread some of the information from the site-and he is not a Psychologist himself. I suspect he has no Psychology training at all.I read a large number of tutoring articles all written by the same person. He had terrible grammar and spelling (he needed a tutor) and some of his articles contained information that was inaccurate. Surprise! Every article ended with a link to an online tutoring site.I don’t have trouble with the concept of using articles to drive traffic to a site to sell products like eBooks on how to get you ex back or how to market an online business or search engine optimization. You, the buyer, realize these sites and/or authors have a vested interest in getting you to buy their product. The important issue is that if you get taken for a ride, only YOU suffer the consequences.This is not the case for educational materials being purchased by parents for their children. If parents buy materials that are not produced by educators, are not based on sound educational practices, or are actually bad materials, it is the CHILD who will suffer the consequences. What you do to yourself is your business, but what you do to a child is everyone’s business. Online educational sites and materials need to be held to that higher standard. Parents need to know that the producers of these materials are “up to date” with their knowledge and can be trusted.A few years ago, when the home-schooling movement began to grow quickly, there was an increased demand for materials they could use. The Internet is now “littered” with sites trying to make a buck off this demand. Typical worksheets are easy, quick, and cheap to produce. But just because someone can type two columns of addition problems doesn’t make the worksheet good for your child. Current science is showing us that worksheets are contrary to the way the brain learns. I have found virtually no websites offering worksheets that are actually good for children. Many sites don’t show examples of their material so you don’t even know what you will be getting.I realize that many people are still going to purchase worksheets and/or other educational materials online for the convenience. For your child’s sake, do research before you buy. Know who is writing the material (is their background in education?), why they are writing it (for a positive impact on your child or to make a buck?), what they are writing (that you can see it and evaluate it), and whether it is brain-friendly. You probably need to research this concept, but at the very least: (1) have lots of color, (2) have many different activities, (3) involve some physical activity, and (4) have NO SKILL AND DRILL! (That’s lists of similar problems.)Remember: (1) Educational materials should be held to a higher standard, and (2) there are much better (for your child) and more effective ways to teach your children. The vast majority of these educational materials are unnecessary. Don’t waste your money.