Educational Toys

Written by Sierra Rein
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The first step towards purchasing educational toys is to gauge the age and learning maturity of the child in question. Between the ages of zero and five, toys are meant to help children develop hand-eye coordination, recognizing different shapes and colors, connecting relationships and understanding the concepts behind cause-and-effect. Building blocks, electric instruments, and crib toys are very effective during this age.

As the child grows between the ages of five and six, the educational toys must also become more sophisticated and should start to stimulate the basic blocks of exploratory skills like art, cooking, and the basic concepts behind engineering and physics. Most teachers engage the creative side of children's minds, and allow them to use common household objects or pre-purchased art kits to create wonderful works of art. Interactive time-teaching watches are also a great idea, as this is the perfect age to introduce the child to the concept of time.

When the child grows to be about seven or eight, it is time to purchase educational toys that really stimulate their understanding of the world around them. More advanced teaching watches can replace the "baby" watches, and activity worksheets and booklets can be given to a child to strengthen his or her time-reading skills. Erector and beginning chemistry sets are also good at this stage, as are interactive books on animals and plant life.

Compact Educational Toys for Any Occasion

Small educational toys, like cards, 3-D puzzle sets, and activity workbooks, can also make great gifts to bring along on a plane or automobile trip. They can also be taken on shopping sprees, trips to the doctor's office, and any place where there may be waiting involved. Parents should take the time to find educational toys that are small enough to be fit into a purse and give them as "just because" gifts, party-favors, or Christmas stocking stuffers as a way to encourage the growth of young minds.

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