Long ago educational toys amounted to a coloured abacus, blocks with numbers and letters on them, and songs that were sung by parents. As time crept forward, more toys were developed to help with eye hand coordination and small motor skills. Along with these toys came animal noises, colors and the alphabet that could be heard by pulling a string and watching the circular middle go around until it landed on one of the above. Legos were invented and children were able to use their imagination to build whatever they could think of. These legos came in different sizes so they could be easily handled by the kiddos. If you are interested in natural playground designs you need to visit this pdplay.com.
A Brief History
Back in the 1920’s crayons were invented an enabled parents to draw and spell with their children. The 1940’s brought the advent of many board games that would help the preschooler count and share along with learning how to socialize with other kids. Since the 1950’s educational toys have been on the cutting edge when it comes to enhancing our little people’s eye hand coordination, fine motor skills and communication abilities. Mr. Potato Head began in the 1950’s and is still popular with preschoolers today as well as thousands of kinds of puzzles starting with really large shapes for spatial recognition to tiny ones for cognitive thinking.
With the 1970’s, toys were beginning to be very innovated and designed for a more positive learning experience while playing. Electronics were in it’s infancy but even so calculators and game consoles were hitting the market. Preschoolers were beginning to learn the alphabet and numbers by using a hand held device. Many more construction toys were coming on board such as a newer lego, brix blocks and erector sets. The etch-a-sketch was very popular with kids as they could manipulate and draw anything they wanted and immediately erase it only to begin again.
The 1980’s brought about the first decade where kids began to start playing inside more than they did outside. This would be because of the advent of more board games, hand held gameboys and Nintendo home video games. Some of the games required the kids to do arithmetic and spelling or use their cognitive abilities to problem solve.
In the decade of the nineties, computer technology began to grow by leaps and bounds. Almost every home had one and along with that came games and activities for which children could interact. There were loads of toys hitting the market that allowed for children to play with one another and by themselves that were designed specifically for educational value.
Modern Day Educational Toys
In the new millennium, the toys produced for educational purposes are many. Not only do children use the home computer and the internet for learning and playing, they have video games by the hundreds. The interactive play has moved into three dimensional play if their parents can afford a television that will produce these images.
There are toy computers that allow for the youngest of children to play and practice skills on. These toys engage the child in multiple activities, teach them the use of a mouse and prepare them for the real thing. Learning does not have to stop after school is out as they can provide hours of entertainment as well as sneaking in learning. One of the things that is very important for children to do is to learn to read. Many books actually talk to the child as they read along with them. They ask questions and involve the child in the story. Of course there are loads of books for children of every age to read by themselves or be read to by their parents.
The card and board games today range from learning to spell, to mathematics. Some help children learn phonics while learning the alphabet. As early as the baby’s years in the crib, there are language recordings that come in the form of mobiles and myriad attachments for the crib that can be manipulated by the baby. They sing songs about numbers and letters and subconsciously begin to ingrain language skills at a very early age.
For the older child, companies produce science and labs kits so they can learn to invent and discover how things work. Telling time can be fun when using some of the games and toys designed especially to play games around the face of a clock. Of course most children today can only use a digital clock, so playing these games can be quite advantageous. One really cool product is an interactive globe that helps the kiddo learn geography, populations, what currency is used in different countries, how time zones work and distances between different areas. All they have to do is touch the globe with an electronic pen and like magic that area will come to life and teach the child tons of information. There is a voice within the globe that talks to the child and allows the child to interact.
All in all, games and toys today touch on every aspect of the world. They allow for children to play with toys that actually open up new worlds of fun and interest for them. From cooking toys, to discovery toys, to building toys, to science toys to computer toys, there is something there for every child to tap into what happens to shake up their aptitude and appetite for learning. Many companies have created great toys for every ages including infants. Unlike the olden days where their great grandfathers had to literally make their own toys out of old rubber bands, paper, and string, kids today have at their fingertips enough stimulation to last them a lifetime.
Purchasing new toys is always a fun and exciting thing for kids but if it is impossible to do that on a continuous basis, there are plenty of next to new shops and internet links where toys can be bought once another child has outgrown it. Having educational toys around the house is a dynamic and exciting adventure for everyone, kids and parents alike.