Choosing toys for your kids presents some unique challenges. You want something stimulating and educational, and you want it to be age-appropriate. Here are some tips on how to choose and electronic educational toy.
There’s been a recent groundswell of support for non-mechanized toys for kids. The resurgence of wood blocks, plush toys and dolls might have you shying away from electronics. However, keep in mind that there are some truly incredible, electronic educational toys available today. And it’s not all about lights and bells: there are toys that provide great stimulation and entertainment for kids of all ages.
Most children’s toys come with an age recommendation to inform consumers of the ages for which the toy is appropriate. This is a great guide – particularly if you don’t have little ones at home – to provide a general idea of the suitability of the toy you’re choosing for its intended recipient. Keep in mind this age range recommendation is simply a guide. You’ll need to consider the individual preferences of the child in determining if the toy is appropriate for their age and developmental stage.
Be Careful with Noise
For toys that produce sounds, opt for ones with multiple volume settings. Many will have a low and high volumes, making them better suited to kids who may be hearing impaired or have sensory issues that make loud noises unpleasant.
The best bet with electronic educational toys is something that can also be played with and enjoyed without the batteries. Examples include toy fire trucks or tractors, which can be played with as a push toy even if the lights and sounds are off.
Evaluate Three Areas
When choosing an electronic toy, consider its potential in three key areas: skill building, entertainment and promoting active play. Try to pick a toy that provides benefits in all three areas. The ideal toy should teach a new skill to the player, provide a fun and entertaining experience, and encourage active (rather than passive) play for the child.
Toy Preferences are Individual
There’s a reason today’s toy market is a multi-billion dollar industry: kids like many different kinds of toys. So, even though you’ve researched and chosen the perfect educational electronic toy, there’s a decent chance that the child won’t like it. Or, they may love it. It all depends on the individual interests and preferences of the child. To be safe, you may want to discuss ideas with your child’s teacher or day care provider. They may have observed the child playing with a specific type of electronic educational toy and can offer some ideas.
Electronic educational toys present the opportunity to engage children and make learning fun in new and exciting ways. Remember to look for toys which build skills, entertain the user, and provide for active play, problem solving or creativity. The result will be a great toy that captures the imagination and attention of your child and becomes a favorite toy at playtime.