"If little else, the brain is an educational toy. ", Tom Robbins
Educational toys are objects of play commonly designed for children. These toys are expected to stimulate learning. They are usually designed to meet an educational objective such as helping a child acquire a particular skill or preparing a child about a specific subject.
A brief history of educational toys:
One of the first documented mentions of an educational toy comes from the great philosopher John Locke (1632-1704).
In 1693 he wrote Some Thoughts Concerning Education, which is considered the most prominent British book on childhood today. In it, Locke put forward the revolutionary opinion that the way a child turned out had nothing to do with God and everything to do with education. As part of their childhood, Locke explained, they should ‘not be prevented from being children, or from playing’ and, importantly for our story, they should also ‘have Play-things.’ More precisely, he preferred ‘dice and play-things, with the letters on them to teach children the alphabet by playing.’ In brief, Locke concluded that alphabet blocks would make early education more enjoyable for children. In 1811, the Anglo-Irish writer, inventor, and politician Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744-1817) called wood blocks as "rational toys." These toys could educate children about gravity and physics as well as spatial relations.
What makes a toy educational?
An educational toy educates the player. It is expected to teach and encourage intellectual, emotional, or physical growth. Down below are some ways a toy can be educational:
1. Life skills:
2. Educational skills:
a. A question type thing
3. Reasoning “brain game.”:
a. Solving out a puzzle
b. Pattern identification
c. Spatial reasoning/creativity
Problem-solving skill reasonably is the most critical skill an educational toy can teach. Most so-called educational games are built so that players need to resolve the problem of some kind.
Why is it important for a child to have educational toys?
At a certain point of early-age growing, children appear to be connected to their toys. Although the primary purpose of toys is to build a fun time playing, it can stimulate the learning process. Toys manufacturers are urged to produce educational-oriented toys to help children to learn and develop essential skills such as cognitive thinking, physical abilities, problem-solving, numbers, languages, colors, and more. Primarily, toy and education can be merged into something exciting and addicting, which invites children to keep acquiring essential skills in life. Some of the most critical roles in educational toys for children are listed in the following paragraphs.
1. Development of social skills:
Social skill is probably the first thing for infants or babies to learn. Babies should be prepared to explore the environment and learn to understand the sentiment. Educational toys, such as board games, can assist babies to socialize with others. Board games usually include taking turns, sharing, and learning not to disrupt others.
2. Development of cognitive skills:
Cognitive skills include remembering, problem-solving, and recognizing colors. It is also vital that kids learn about size and numbers. Children can quickly gain these fundamental cognitive skills by playing with colorful physical toys such as puzzles.
3. Development of language skills:
Communications with others inspire children to express their feelings. They need to learn to use language and speak precisely. Fortunately, modern toy manufacturers can create amazing robotic toys that can talk as well as ask questions. With proper direction from parents or older children, learning how to speak correctly can be entertaining. Young children will start to repeat the sound or voice spoken by the toys. It is also possible that educational toys manufacturers add images to the toys so children can learn about the names of things.
4. Development of motor skills:
Toddlers need to develop muscle strengths and balance as they are ready to explore the environment. They tend to play with toys that challenge them to move the body's main parts, including fingers, legs, and hands.
5. Development of logic and imaginations:
Toys let children use their creativity. Children will also need to use logic and analytical thinking. They will notice their surroundings and grow knowledge of the environment.
What are the best educational toys?
Some of the listed below toys can even be a good fit for different kids with different fields of interest. Some kids might like to learn the alphabet while others show their creativity through the building and putting things together.
1. LeapFrog Scribble and Write Tablet.
2. Viahart Brain Flakes 500 Piece Interlocking Plastic Disc Set.
3. Educational Insights Design & Drill Activity Center.
4. Alex Toys Craft My First Sewing Kit.
5. ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game and STEM Toy.
6. The Learning Journey: Match It! Spelling.
7. Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set – Toddler Toys.
8. VTech Touch and Teach Word Book.
9. Idoot Magnetic Blocks Building Set for Kids.
10. SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab.
Parents can get some of the best educational toys for children to be both fun and informative. Kids can still rest and feel good while playing without actually losing their learning skills. Some of these educational tools are new versions of classic toys. This can be one of the reasons why they are also considered quite reliable.
How a company manufactures educational toys?
To help the parents raise their kids to learn while growing up, many toy companies have come up with several educational toys. These companies manage a close study of the interests and necessities of a toddler and design the toys accordingly. Different companies manufacture different toys and frequently become famous for a special toy, which has been widely trusted and used by parents to educate their children.
The toy manufacturers help build the backbone of the toy industry. So, they have to be very careful about producing toys. The researchers and the engineers of these organizations also keep in mind the safety features of each toy. These companies must ensure that their toys are not able to hurt the child. If there are any possible dangers associated with the toy, clear and specific information about the chances of the risks related must be provided by the company. Providing information about how to play with or use a particular gadget is a must. Any undesired incident caused due to their negligence may result in destroying their status and business position in the market.
Some facts about the toy industry:
Tokyo-based Namco Bandai was the industry chief with the highest revenue at over 6.6 billion U.S. dollars, amongst the leading toy companies in 2018. Danish company Lego, known for its interlocking plastic bricks, closely followed Namco Bandai with over 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. Hasbro, Mattel, and Jakks Pacific complete the top five. Three out of the five major firms in the global toy industry are American companies. Led by the U.S., North America is one of the most successful and essential regional markets for these companies. The toy industry's annual total economic influence in the U.S. was 80.26 billion U.S. dollars. The U.S. is the leading importer in the global toy industry. China is the top exporter in the toy industry around the globe, exporting nearly 43 billion U.S. dollars.
Top toy manufacturer in the world:
China is the top manufacturer and exporter of toy products, manufacturing over 70% of the world's total.
Revised Date: 03-07-2020