Parents of toddlers and preschoolers spend a great deal of your time looking for educational games and toys. Why? Because they help stimulate learning and parents understand the necessity of such stimulation. Whether it’s stacking blocks or simply reading them a book, young children require this stimulation in order to reach their developmental milestones.
If you’re an aunt/uncle, grandparent or friend of the family, there are a few things you need to know before you treat your favorite little people to an educational toy. The best educational toys store easily, don’t require a ton of parent involvement, and can be used over and over again. If you keep these rules in mind you will be a favorite not only with the little people but with their parents too. Cater to the child’s needs by keeping in mind their age, developmental stage, and preferences.
As parents, you should look for toys that will add educational value to your child’s playtime and hone in on any of their interests in order to keep it entertaining.
Carefully consider toy safety, design, ease of use, ease of cleaning, value, and age recommendations when searching for educational games and toys.
Children love to play because it’s fun – but it’s also vital to their healthy development. During different types of play, children learn and practice key social, thinking, physical, and emotional skills, including creativity, imagination, and problem-solving.
The benefits of play are progressive, meaning that the skills kids develop during their fun and games build upon each other.
Educational toys for 4 and 5 year olds such as playing ball with a sibling or putting on a costume for example, help them to learn to take turns and practice getting along with others while building fine motor skills and proprioception (awareness of the body in space).
Actually, on some level, all kids’ toys are educational. Whether they are STEM toys or sensory toys, as long as the toy gets them into pretend play, encourages turn-taking and sharing or fosters a sense of empathy, kids are always learning through play, even if they’re not working on subjects like math or reading.
As adults, we feel better about letting a whole bunch of toys in the house if there is some sort of overt educational value. Then again, there’s zero value in a toy that kids won’t play with, so toys have to be fun, too.
NOW LET'S LOOK AT EDUCATIONAL TOYS FOR 4 AND 5 YEAR OLDS SPECIFICALLY.
Four Year Olds: Toddlers no more — 4-year-olds are certified preschoolers, and that comes with a lot of big shifts in their lives. As they get to know more and understand how things work, they’ll want to do more experimenting in their lives and in their play.
They also question more about the world around them. They’re more likely to try their hand at:
• Take on tasks which require a greater attention span
• Plan ahead
• Put their developing motor skills to good use.
You’ll want to get them toys that help them with these new abilities.
• The best toys at this age include construction toys that allow them to build and problem-solve – think plastic interlocking blocks, gear toys, domino runs, magnet tiles and other similar choices. If your child already has wooden blocks, consider expanding the set with new block types like turrets, arches and cylinders to spark their building play.
• Pretend play props, like costumes, a tea set or construction tools encourage role-playing.
• With more control over their fine motor skills, art supplies like paints and brushes, markers and other similar items can also be a big hit.
• And finally, simple board games and activities like dominoes and memory cards are also fun for preschoolers.
Dinoblocks combine the best of 2 worlds, blocks with the iconic lovable dinosaur. It’s a 3-in-1 set including dino puzzles and magnetic cubes. No 4 year old can resist this exciting educational game!
• The Dino Egg set is a wonderful exploratory toy for your inquisitive 4 year old!
• Five Year Olds: By the time kids turn 5, they’re able to do all kinds of activities that were previously out of their scope thanks to their physical, emotional and social development. Skills like writing their own names, jumping, climbing and assigning playing roles are now most likely in their repertoire, opening up a host of new toy and gift options.
• The best toys for this age group will stimulate movement in space, challenge a child’s cognition, help develop balance and coordination, encourage pretend play and foster early reading skills.
• Anything in the realm of imaginary play, like dolls and vehicles, or in the creative sphere, like finger paint, molding dough and markers, can help stimulate these skills while keeping kids active and away from screens (or, at least, active in front of screens at least).
The Dino Pinata is a great game for entertaining any 5 year old especially at his or her birthday bash.
The Dino Race Track is a fabulous toy that will allow your 5 year old to build his own outpost in a prehistoric jungle!
Visit our Jitterygit Educational toys website for more educational toys and games for your little ones.