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Learning Toys For Kids

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A child’s mind is constantly absorbing and processing information as it explores the world around it. Newborns and toddlers first develop gross motor function and coordination through simple movements, touching, and visual stimulation. Older children commonly learn social and problem solving skills through puzzles, games, and interaction with their peers as well as adults. This natural desire to explore is often the inspiration for many companies that make learning toys for kids.

Most experts agree that the best children’s toys are those that are not only entertaining, but are also educational. Depending on the age of a given child, there can be literally dozens of options from which to choose when it comes to educational toys. As such it is sometimes difficult for parents to decide which options are best suited to their child. However, with a little bit of time and research, it becomes easier to narrow down the possibilities.

When considering the variety of learning toys for kids that are available, it is important to understand various stages of child development. Academically speaking, there are dozens of developmental stages, but there are more generalized categories that can be applied when choosing the right toys. When in doubt, most toy manufacturers print a suggested age range for the particular toy right on the packaging. Keep in mind that these are based on generalities and there will inevitably be overlap between them.

Newborns are normally classified as those children that are less than twelve months old. This is the age group where children are exploring their surroundings through sight and touch, and as such, toys that are either visually stimulating or interesting to touch are recommended. Items such as mobiles or toys with blinking lights are common for this age group. Toys that encourage the child to reach out and touch are a great way to help develop basic muscle control and coordination.

As a child moves into the toddler years and learn to crawl and eventually walk, their desire to explore only expands. These are the years in which actions such as pushing, pulling, climbing and throwing all become part of the development process, and many learning toys for kids of this age are designed to take advantage of this. Toys that incorporate buttons to push and levers to pull have been commonplace for children of this age for many decades. Noisemakers such as shakers and drums are also excellent choices for the average toddler.

Preschool aged children most often benefit from toys such as coloring books, board games and puzzles. These toys encourage the development of social and problem solving skills that will be needed once they move into elementary school. They also help develop a child’s critical thinking skills, as well as their ability to think abstractly. This is also a good stage to begin learning to read, and many learning toys for kids between three and six years old are designed to help teach the ABC’s as well as basic counting skills.