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Educational Kids Toys

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The mind of a child develops at a fantastic pace. It quite literally acts as a sponge, soaking up everything it can take in through the body’s developing senses. Many experts agree that one of the best ways to get the most benefit from this period of rapid brain development is by encouraging the use of educational kids toys.

Educational toys are a growing segment of the overall toy making industry. This is especially true within the electronics market. There are dozens of electronic devices and video games that are marketed to the general public as having educational benefits for young minds. There are also a host of more traditional toys that are designed to help develop cognitive and physical skills in children. However, not every toy that is marketed as “educational” is created equal, and as such it is up to the parent to decide what is right for their child.

There are two basic categories when it comes to educational kids toys; those that develop cognitive functions, and those that are curriculum based. Those that are curriculum based are designed to help a child learn about a specific subject, whether history, science, math, or language. It is relatively easy to chart the progress a child can make within these areas, as the development can be clearly observed. It is important to note that it is up to the parent to determine what educational benefits of a given toy are real and what is primarily marketing. A well designed toy should have a very specific purpose and a well thought out process of learning.

Toys that are meant to help develop cognitive functions are a bit harder to determine the good from the useless. Cognitive development occurs through interaction and experience, and as such nearly any toy can be placed into this category. After all, children interact with all of their toys. Again, a quality toy will have very specific target areas when it comes to the skills they are intended to develop. Products that make vague blanket statements such as “improves learning” or “enhances brain function” should be avoided. Furthermore, the company should be able to provide substantiated evidence proving that the learning process designed into the toy is valid and has merit.

Of course, the number one selling point for all educational kids toys, at least as far as the kids are concerned, is its entertainment value. The best educational toys in the world will simply sit unused in the toy box if the child gets bored with it, or shows no interest in using it for playtime. This is often why the simplest toys are the best, because they encourage the use of the imagination. This is also why these toys have been staples of toy boxes around the world for many, many generations, if not longer. Toys such as building blocks and dolls have a long history of not only providing hours of entertainment, but have been instrumental in helping the mental development of millions of children around the world.