Lights, bells, whistles – educational toys come in so many guises!
These days so many of the top brands offer a fantastic selection of educational toys – brands such as Lego, vTech, Brio, LeapFrog and Fisher Price.
There are electronic books that help your child to enunciate letters and words, books that help them to read and write, furry toys that read stories, interactive Globes to help your child explore other continents and to discover about animals.
There is so much to learn about the big wide world and educational games make learning seem like child’s play and therefore lots of fun.
The learning system toys are aimed at many age ranges, some from birth to about 3 years, with the next stage up being from about 4 to 8 years. The trend these days in educational toys for children is to have less of the passive learning and hence as a result, the toy manufacturers are increasingly leaning towards, and producing, multimedia learning systems.
LeapFrog, an innovative toys manufacturer is just one of the leading brands that is producing some excellent learning systems for young minds; vTech, Fisher Price are some others that are doing the same.
These learning systems all aim for the same thing, namely, to enable children to read electronic books, watch interactive videos, play action packed learning games. The emphasis is very much on interactive learning, but more importantly, learning through play and fun – so that a child almost forgets he is learning by rote.
For very young children, the Laugh & Learn Puppy by Fisher-Price is a great way to introduce your child to the alphabet, counting numbers and colors.
Some parents might argue that we are becoming too reliant on computers and technology and that we are starting at too early an age. But, we believe that computer technology is already a part of our everyday life and whilst children as young as 2 or 3 years old, don’t really need to have an electronic toy laptop …you cannot dispute that shiny objects that talk, make noises, or read, sing nursery rhymes and are more interactive, will hold your child’s attention for a little longer than a normal reading book would.
How To Teach Kids About Cause & Effect
Many of these computer based toys do a great job of teaching your kids about the concept of cause and effect. Pressing a button on the Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo Choo toy will make puppy say words or sing a nursery rhyme. And we find that these electronic toys do that very well; your child presses a button or twists and lever and something happens: a song, a nursery rhyme, a phrase, music plays….this is cause and effect taught very very well to young minds.
Many of these toys have nice big, shiny and chunky buttons that are screaming out to be pushed!
Your Children Can Learn On Their Own
With electronic toys, your children get to play with these toys and learn on their own. What we mean by this is that you do not need to be sitting next to your child (you can do if you want) but these toys are geared pretty much to be operated by the children and without any input from adults.
This can be a double-edged sword.
First, in a positive way, you can allow your child to spend, say 30 minutes on something like the iXL Learning system whilst you do something else (maybe you have other children to tend to, a phonecall to make, etc). Your child can be busy with some learning activities instead of just watching tv. This is a good thing.
Where it goes wrong, we feel, is when children want to spend all day on their electronic devices and don’t interact much with their family or friends, preferring to stay in their rooms on their own with their electronic gadgets.
If you can find a good way to manage how much time your child spends on their learning device and your child can accept this, all well and good.
Whatever electronic educational toys you get your kids, remember that nothing can replace the golden time you have with your children when you are curled up in bed together reading a book to them or they are reading to you. We believe that you still need to have this special time despite all the high-tech toys that we are constantly bombarded with.