Educational Toys: The Advantages & Disadvantages

What are educational toys? 

Educational toys are items and gadgets of play, principally designed for children, which are expected to stimulate learning. These toys are often intended to meet an educational purpose such as helping a child develop a particular skill or teaching a child about a particular subject. 

Deciding on an educational toy: 

When you’re in the process of purchasing an educational toy, don’t just buy it because you think it looks great, or it looks like it will allow your child to think differently. There are a few questions you should take in consideration while choosing an educational toy that will benefit your child in the long run. 

  1. What skills will this toy help my child develop?
  2. Is this toy developmentally appropriate for my child’s age?
  3. Will my child be able to play with this toy independently?
  4. Will my child be interested in playing with this particular toy?
  5. Is this toy safe and durable?
  6. How much interaction is required for this toy to be educational?
  7. Does this toy promote freeplay?
  8. Does this toy involve roleplay?
  9. Will this toy promote creativity and problem solving skills?
  10. Will this toy enhance my child’s fine motor or gross motor skills?

What makes a good educational toy?

The best toys teach basic concepts while promoting free play and social interaction. These toys should also challenge coordination and fine motor skills. leaving room for any new skills introduction. Educational toys actually play a big part in the child’s development, depending on the developmental skills you’re looking to enhance in your child. 

Additional features to look for include:

  1. Toys that can be used in multiple ways, such as blocks that can be stacked or built in different shapes
  2. Toys that require interaction and cooperation, such as puzzles or games
  3. Toys that promote exploration and discover, such as magnifying glass or microscope 
  4. Toys that teach basic educational concepts such as letters, numbers, colours and shapes 

Potential Drawbacks from using an educational toy:

  1. Limits creativity 
  2. Boredom 
  3. Costly 
  4. Overemphasis on academic learning 
  5. Electronic education toys can easily become a distraction (set clear boundaries on limiting screen time, providing alternative activities, and make sure the child stays focus)

Children are always so curious to explore and learn new things. They are constantly interested in the world around them. Parents and teachers can take their time to invest in buying educational toys that will support their child/student. Educational toys have countless benefits and the main one is to boost their development.