It’s widely accepted that the education that children are exposed to during their formative years is a huge factor in their overall development. It’s not just the formal education that they receive at school that plays its part, though; time spent at nursery or indeed at home playing with educational toys can also offer a developmental advantage.
Kids’ natural enthusiasm and in-built sense of discovery goes a long way to ensuring that time spent playing with the right type of toys can help to expand their horizons at an early age. Just as reading books together with your child can help to speed up their ability to grasp the intricacies of reading and writing, certain pre-school toys can play an important role in stimulating a child’s natural tendency towards imagination and also help to spur on their creative abilities.
Of course, educational pre-school toys shouldn’t be used in an attempt to force your young child to learn something new every day. Instead, slowly introduce them into the playtime routine to allow your child’s natural curiosity drive the learning process. Research shows that the earlier and more often that children test themselves with suitable toys and games, the easier they find it to learn – and this early development is something that will stand them in great stead going forward as they enter the school system.
One such example would be Duplo bricks, a branch of Lego aimed firmly at pre-schoolers. The use of Duplo is a great way to introduce children to the idea of being conjured up unique structures in their mind’s eye and then following through and building them with their own hands.
Alternatively, baby or toddler friendly jigsaws encourage users to work through what can start out as a frustrating challenge by using their own logic. Repeated use encourages the development of memory skills, pattern spotting and matching ability.
Perhaps the most important factor is that as well as being educational, pre-school toys should be fun to play with. It’s all very well giving your child a learning tool, but if it’s a dry experience for the child then they’ll quickly find something else that they’d rather play with.