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This post is brought to you by Kiddie Academy. Please note that as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
Does your child make a holiday wish list? Growing up we always made them every year. I had my oldest son make one for years. Something all of those lists had in common was that they all contained toys. Toys are very hard for some people to buy, as they just aren’t sure what to look for or what is needed. Educational toys are generally a good bet, they’re safe and fun and help teach. There are lots of different types of educational toys available now, determining what type is good fit is also a challenge for some. The folks at Kiddie Academy have out together a helpful infographic on how to choose an educational toy.
“Educational toys allow children to explore in their own style and at their own pace without a time limit or expected outcome. Unlike a video game that requires a child to follow a specific path in order to play, educational toys such as dolls and train sets allow for creative play that supports physical, cognitive and emotional growth,” explains Kiddie Academy’s Vice President of Education Richard Peterson. “In fact, numerous scientific studies have proven that play is important to a child’s healthy brain development.”
For more tips and free downloadable activities, parents can visit the Kiddie Academy Family blog at: http://www.kafamilyessentials.com/.
I think the tips presented in the infographic make a lot of sense. I agree with all with the exception of the point about age appropriateness. Yes it is important to give age-appropriate toys when possible. Sometimes, such as is the case with my son who has developmental delays, you need to consider the toy and the recipient more closely then the recommended age.
Here are some of my favorite educational toys that are on the market right now. My own kids or other children in my family have had these or toys very similar to these.
Some of the posts on this site, such as this one, contain an affiliate link. This means I MAY get paid a VERY SMALL commission if you purchase the product or service.
Pretend Play – Coming in under $20, the sandwiches made while playing with the Melissa & Doug Wooden Sandwich-Making Set will be the best meal you’ve ever spent money on. At just over $10, the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Sing-a-Song Med Kit will be the best money you’ve ever spent for consultations with an up-and-coming doctor that you’ll remember for years to come.
Puzzles – At just over $10 the Melissa & Doug Alphabet Sound Puzzle gives your child the opportunity to practice his alphabet and learn the sounds that go with the letters. The Melissa & Doug Wooden Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle, just under $15, gives children the opportunity to play with a puzzle and put different outfits on the characters.
Sorting and Stacking – Kids love blocks, and the stacking and the sorting encourages thought and gross motor. At under $15 the Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks and Rock Stack Bundle is a great value. The KidKraft Noah’s Ark Shape Sorter, just over $23, is also a sorter but it gives children the opportunity to practice animal and shape recognition.
Walkers – Modern walkers like the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker help a child practice walking skills, after starting out as a floor-based activity center encouraging an interest in music, numbers, shapes and colors.
Learning Toys, including Activity Sets and Arts & Crafts kits are always a hit. The ALEX Toys Early Learning, Little Hands Ready, Set, School Set is a big value for under $20, giving children the opportunity to have fun, be creative and practice preschool skills. The VTech – Touch and Teach Turtle, also just under $20, encourages learning of numbers, letters, music and shapes.
What factors do you consider when purchasing a toy?