Children today are stimulated and encouraged from the moment they are born. This includes taking them to a range of classes from baby yoga to music. In the home parents are equally keen to provide their children with educational toys to help stimulate them and aid their development.
Educational toys are cleverly designed to be fun for the child but at the same time helping them to learn. The primary focus of many toys which are educational is the development of fine motor skills. However there is also usually a secondary aim, whether it is learning about shapes and sizes, colours, letters or numbers.
Puzzles are always popular. They help children develop motor skills by picking up and placing pieces in slots. The theme of the puzzle can also be a learning tool whether it is vehicle shapes or numbers to ten. Puzzles also help memory as children tend to memorise where pieces go.
Abacus beads are fun to move around and colourful. As children get older they can also be used to help teach colours, numbers and even simple addition and subtraction.
Sorting boxes help children understand about shapes. They need fine motor skills to pick the pieces up and put them through the correct hole and you can teach the name of the shape, number or letter at the same time.
A hammer bench will help children with fine motor skills and to develop concentration and precision by hitting a peg into a hole.
There are several manufacturers of such toys but some of the leading brands include Brio, Melissa and Doug, Janrod and Boikido.
One of the best things about this type of toy is that they are ideal for parents to join in with too. You can spend many happy hours doing a jigsaw together or pushing abacus beads about. The child will enjoy sharing an activity with an adult as well as doing the activity but will not realise that they are learning at the same time.