Playing is an integral part of children’s development. Even the simplest games we play with our children serve a much bigger purpose than just amusement. Toys and games, no matter how simple, can play a big role in the development of children’s language, communication, motor skills etc.
Even adults can learn better through play, but for kids, play is essential for learning. It’s the way they experience the world around them. With the help of games they gradually discover how the world looks and works. They can learn the basic concepts of mathematics and science, like counting, with the help of blocks, shapes, balance with a balance board, as well as problem-solving with puzzles.
“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein
Children’s curiosity and ability to absorb knowledge through play is something that should be taken seriously by parents and caregivers. It can be nurtured in a way that will provide the child with a strong foundation for their future education, and professional development. And this is where children’s educational toys and games, also known as STEM, come into play.
What Is Stem Education?
STEM education is a curriculum choice in schools, that stands for four academic disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Basically, it’s a way to learn a range of disciplines in an intertwined manner, rather than learning them separately, through real-world applications.
Though somewhat controversial, with some claiming to be the best approach, to fill a gap of shortages of graduates in these fields, and others claiming that’s not really the case, one thing is certain – the STEM approach aligns perfectly with the way children learn about the world.
What Are STEM Toys?
STEM toys are specifically designed to teach kids through fun the four academic disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As such, different toys will have different focuses: from the simpler ones, focused on learning about shapes, coordination, and simple logic, all the way to coding, robotics, chemistry, mechanics, construction, maths etc.
With the rapid change of the world and the digital and technology revolutions, these are all things that children should start to understand from a young age in order to be able to function in the world better. However, these are complex notions that the young brain will have trouble figuring out. That being said, with children’s educational toys and games, pre-schoolers can progressively develop motor skills, language skills, logic, robotics, coding etc. through genuinely fun playing.
Choosing the Right STEM Toys for Your Child
Educational toys have existed since always, but STEM-based products have gained a lot of popularity in the last years, making it harder and harder to choose a toy that’s right for your child. So, what should you consider when choosing such toys and games?
It’s obvious that age is the first factor to take into account in order to find toys or games your child will accept. For older kids, of course, you can just ask, and not always, but sometimes they will know what will really interest them. However, beware of buying something too complicated for their age, so as not to make them feel frustrated.
However, for younger kids, it can be a little bit more difficult. Children are not copies of one another, so just like with clothes, not all labels match all children. Use the age indications as guidelines, rather than strict rules.
Playing with your children and knowing what they consider to be fun, as well as trying to understand their predispositions as much as possible will help you choose a toy that works in a way that your child already enjoys. Furthermore, to prevent your child from developing aversion towards some subjects, you could try different fun things to incite their curiosity and to encourage their learning.
To do this you can also opt for educational games for kids that can include the family. You know how much your child wants to spend time with you, and play with you. Try to find family educational games, not only to add more learning to your playtime, but also to teach your child to play with others, cooperate, share, in other words – to further develop their social skills.
How many incredible questions are you answering every day? Take advantage of your child’s desire to know the “whys” and the “hows” of everything, and try finding toys and games that will let them have fun while experimenting, exploring, finding answers on their own, thus developing their self-reliance, self-esteem, critical thinking and imagination.
Though this one is an obvious one, it’s worth mentioning. Physical activity is essential for kids development. So, besides getting them things like a micro scooter to keep them moving, also consider getting STEM toys that will activate them. Pick toys and games that instead of making them a simple observer assign an active role as an explorer, builder, scientist etc.
Although we might take balance for granted, it is nevertheless a skill that needs some time to develop. It took us all a lot of falls and bruised knees before we mastered walking upright on both feet. If you want to give your toddler a little helping hand with his/her coordination and balance skills, there’s no better way to do so than with the help of a balance board. Read More →
As a parent, you are probably aware how important play time is for having a joyful toddler. But are you aware of the effect toys can have on your child’s development? It’s no secret that a child’s brain is like a sponge and takes in all the outside stimuli it’s exposed to on daily basis. This means that even the toys your little ones play with have the power to shape their future development. Read More →
The beauty of skateboarding is that it’s a sport that doesn’t require a designated location. You can basically whip out your skateboard wherever you can find a piece of relatively smooth concrete or asphalt and do your thing. Well, that’s actually not entirely true. There are a lot of places where skateboarding is not allowed and in those situations, you wouldn’t want to drag your skateboard along with you. I mean these boards can be heavy. This is why skateboard bags are a must-have. Read More →
It would be nice to have a small amusement park in your backyard so that your children are occupied the entire day playing, laughing and screaming of joy. It would also be nice to have a nanny employed for keeping them safe while they play and give them food, while you do all the chores in the house, do your hair and nails, and even have a relaxing massage. Ah, the dreams of every full-time mother on the planet.
While it’s hardly possible to have an amusement park in your background, it’s very easily achievable to have a small playground that can still keep your kids busy for a while, and give you enough time to at least get the house in order. You don’t really need a lot of stuff, kids can be busy and happy and entirely turn off the world around them with just some play swings. But hey, if you want to get more elements (great for you if you can and have the conditions for a larger playground) please finish that project. Your kids will be endlessly happy. So, before you rush into buying random childrens play equipment, consider these few guidelines. Read More →
My RC cars passion is my favourite way to deal with any frustration. The rest of the world can just go to sleep while I have the remote in my grip!
Rebel Rebel, your toys are awesome
Rebel Rebel, childhood forever in blossom
My own version of David Bowie’s haunting refrain of Rebel Rebel always plays in my head when I am at the peak of my game!
Radio Controlled (RC) toys are undoubtedly one of the most favoured toys for both boys and girls from all ages. And how they wouldn’t be when they bring so much fun and excitement into the children play. In fact, aside from being a great source of fun, RC toys are proven to enhance children creativity and provide an array of benefits for the development of their motor and cognitive skills. Read More →
Come what may, cubby houses will always remain a great way to make a child beam with joy and engage in fun, creative, naturally mind-developing fantasies of pretend play. Pretend play builds social, emotional, thinking and language skills. And what a better way to magically become a princess, police officer, superhero, top chef, etc. than in a playhouse. So get cubby house for your Cinderella or karate instructor.
In order to make it a more appealing activity for your kid, it is not enough to only get cubby house, but you also need to make it a place where your child will want to come back time after time. Everything is possible with a cubby house! Read on to find out which three concepts to incorporate in your detailed planning about how to arrange the cubby house in the best possible way. Read More →
When it comes to children’s toys and teaching materials, Lego is the most popular brand in the toy industry. Since 1932, this brand has been providing exceptional toys for children to help in the development of their creativity. The company is world-famous for the iconic LEGO bricks, especially since the series of LEGO Star Wars products. The SW Lego range features a lot of popular products and most-wanted collectibles, combining the reputation of the brand Lego and the intriguing fantasy of the inventor of SW universe. Also, SW saga was the first acquired theme by the brand. Read More →