The children’s toy market is an 89 billion dollar industry worldwide. You’re probably reminded of this every time you take your kids to Target or let them have their TV time for the day. The advertisements are everywhere for all of the brightly colored, noise-making, nerf dart-shooting toys that your children could ever want. But are these toys helping to prepare your children for the future?
Some toys and games are just for fun, but others can help them to build the critical skills they need to thrive in kindergarten and then move on to succeed in future years of school. If you’re looking for parenting tips on how to select the right educational toys for your kindergarten student, here’s the list for you.
One of the principal learning outcomes of kindergarten education is social and emotional development. This includes the ability to communicate one’s own needs, regulate one’s own behavior, and learn to engage with peers. All of these things can be practiced using cooperative games, which are a powerful tool, allowing children to practice these skills while having fun in the process. Many cooperative games can be played without needing to make a single purchase, but here is a list of cooperative board games you might consider investing in for your family.
You played with blocks, your parents played with blocks, and now your children are playing with blocks. This age-old toy packs a powerful educational punch as it helps children to develop a number of important skills. Most noticeably, they begin to develop critical spatial and motor skills, but they also learn to be creative, solve problems, and work together as a group.
Puzzles are an excellent educational toy for kindergarten students because they can be purchased with a specific degree of difficulty in mind. As your child grows, so too does the complexity of the puzzle forcing them to think more critically and creatively. This helps them to develop hand-eye coordination and asks them to problem solve on a more global level.
This last one doesn’t necessarily require a board or pieces but is just a reminder of how beneficial it can be for children to free play. Of course, they can do this without any toys at all, but a basket filled with costumes, a dollhouse, or a table full of art supplies can help them to tap into their creative juices. You might think of these things as merely fun activities to pass the time, but imaginative play teaches children to create new ideas and concepts in their minds. This is a skill that will benefit them long after kindergarten.
As much as you may feel overwhelmed with the number of toys in your home, you can rest knowing that many of those toys may be preparing your child for a successful education. Parenting tips are a dime a dozen, but we hope you’ll consider applying this lens to your next toy shopping trip. Your children will ultimately benefit. For more information about our kindergarten program, or to schedule a tour of campus, contact us today.