Benefits of educational toys and activities for young children

Mar 29, 2022 5:00 PM ET

Books, story-telling, and singalongs are a great way to engage young children in educational activity. For many trained and professional staff, overseeing kids at day care in Rockville MD, those are key activities through which to teach and occupy children’s attention. However, early childhood educators also spend a lot of time using educational toys and activities to train and educate young minds. Not only are toys a great way to entice kids to join activities, they’re also great tools to communicate, break barriers and overcome childhood inhibitions.  

 

Learn From the Pros

If you ask a professional that’s teaching young kids at day care in Silver Spring MD, why children respond better to educational toys and activities, they’ll likely say: It’s because it’s fun!  It’s no surprise, therefore, that the best adjective to describe young children is “playful”! And it’s no wonder, then, that experienced childhood educational specialists tap into fun and games to educate and teach children.

There are plenty of evidence-backed playful activities, that professional educators engage in, to teach children everything. That includes reading, numerology, math, science, and even gross and fine motor skills. Professional organizations like United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), whose primary focus is childhood education and development, have reaffirmed “playful learning” as a key element of early childhood pedagogy and education.

 

Toys, Games and Activities to Use

Most day care centers choose the toys and games they use carefully, as part of a formal learning curriculum. Even though many households may not be equipped and staffed like a high-quality daycare in Silver Spring MD, that shouldn’t stop them from using educational toys outside a formal child care environment. 

The good news is that educational play activities may be conducted with easy to acquire, and readily available games and toys. Here are some worth considering:

1. Puzzles and Building Blocks: Regardless of how simple or complex they are, puzzles and block games can be used to stimulate curiosity and unlock critical thinking in a child’s mind. Other character traits that puzzle’s hone include patience, memory, and cognitive skills.

2. Dolls and Human Figures: It’s true that young children typically learn from role models. Many day care centers in Rockville MD use dolls and human figurines, representing good role models. Parents may use those toys – such as policemen, nurses, school bus drivers and seniors (parents, grandparents) – to impart critical relationship-building and civic-minded lessons. It’s also more fun, and easier, to role play using toy human figures, than just drawings on a pad.

3. Stuffed Toys: Because these are relatively non-lethal, they make great teaching aids, while also delivering great fun to young kids. Use them to teach children how to identify birds and animals, and how to distinguish species – horse versus zebra. Today, there are innovative toys that integrate sound and movement too, which provides additional teaching opportunities to parents and professional educators.

4. Activity and Workout Games: Bicycles, skip-ropes, throw balls and tugging ropes – these are toys and gaming activities that offer plenty of physical exercise to young children. Pitching teams of siblings or friends versus each other, in activities involving these toys, can also help build a spirit of camaraderie and competitiveness at a young age.

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