Smart Toys for Babies and Toddlers

Learning toys for babies are vital for enhancing a child’s development, like coordination, music appreciation, first understanding of maths and wordplay. But which developmental toy for a child will help boost learning?

Learning Toys for Kids


Teachers of children know that the best learning resource is one that satisfies all learning channels. There are three in all: visual (through the eyes), auditory (through the ears), and kinaesthetic (through touch), or VAK for short, as described by theorists Honey and Mumford. This means that in order to solve problems and learn, the mind looks for patterns. The best way to do this is to receive information in different ways. Most children are biased towards one channel rather than another, and this can be seen by how the child plays. If the child, for instance, is drawn to a talking toy rather than a building toy, this would suggest that the child may have a preference for auditory learning.


The Perfect Learning Toy for Children


The perfect toy for a child in theory is one that satisfies all channels, regardless of the child’s leaning preference. A toy that satisfies the following criteria is likely to assist learning and provide hours of enjoyment for the child:

  • Is it colourful?
  • Is it interesting to hold, feel or explore with the hands?
  • Does it make noises or music?
  • Can the child manipulate the toy in some way, such as via controls, make something out of it, or make it do something?

Certain toys will specialise in one learning channel, but not another, such as a building toy or jigsaw puzzle, which satisfy the child’s kinaesthetic channels but not auditory learning. Similarly, a toy that satisfies auditory channels, such as a speaking toy will stimulate listening skills but not the kinaesthetic channels.


Stimulating Toys for Babies


With this in mind, the parent may ensure that the child’s toy collection is not bias towards one area or lacking

in another. For instance, a nursery loaded with rattles, squeaky ducks and farmyard sound effects, but no Lego, stacking toys or textured toys could mean that the child is not getting the optimum kinaesthetic stimulation from his or her toy collection.


Educational Gifts for Babies and Toddlers


The parent who wishes to help a child’s development in a certain area, such as a toddler that is late in speaking or walking, may provide or request toy gifts to help stimulate these areas, such as a speaking toy or a baby walker respectively. However, the toy must be appropriate to the level of the child’s learning in that it challenges the child, (but not so much that it causes frustration). Such a toy is likely to provide hours of distraction for the child, who is unaware of the learning process.


Learn and Fun Toys for Babies


The learning process is most effective when the child is curious and having fun. Electronic learning toys, such as electronic music and storybooks, baby laptops, Leapsters and activity tables provide sounds, buttons, lighting effects and images to provide hours of entertainment and stimulate all channels.


However, a toy that specialises in one area could be better for that particular area than an all-round toy. But which toys are which when it comes to stimulating any of the child’s learning channels? Well, here are a few suggestions:

  • Predominantly kinaesthetic: Pull along toys, baby walkers, baby gyms, jigsaws, abacuses, play dough, building blocks, stacking toys, construction kits, shape sorters, grabby toys and sandpits.
  • Predominantly auditory: Rattles, drums, hammering toys, speaking toys, squeaky toys, musical instruments, mimicking toys, animal sounds and other sound effects.
  • Predominantly visual: Colourful toys, etch-a-sketch, jigsaws, light effects, memory games, flash cards, baby books and colouring kits.
Recommended Learning Toys for Toddlers are: the Early Learning Centre, Leapfrog educational toys, Lego, V-tech and Plan Toys. These learning gifts and more can be obtained from my educational toys online for babies and older children, or take a look at my giftshop for children from birth to teens.



Or view my user friendly gift shop that lists all gifts in categories in sterling and dollars


© The Gift Expert 2010

Photo credit: Siamackz




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