There are so many toys out there. Walk into a toy shop and you’ll feel instantly overwhelmed. As first-time parents, PlayLogy founders wanted to make the right choices for their baby boy. However, when it came to finding the best development toys, they were quickly lost in a sea of information. Overwhelmed and wondering where to begin, the idea for PlayLogy was born.
At PlayLogy we are firm believers in quality over quantity. The less toys a little one has at any one moment, the more creative they must be at using them and we recommend investing in good quality toys that last.
You might be tempted to buy the flashiest, most expensive toys for your baby or toddler but often it is the simplest toys that will both entertain and stimulate your little one’s curiosity, helping them reach their developmental milestones.
Children don’t have to have the best electronic toys and latest gadgets to learn and develop. These types of toys can only be used in a specific way and are limited by their own technology. Keep in mind, the more a toy does the less your child will learn from the experience.
What makes a toy educational?
The best educational toys can be used in a variety of ways or paired up with other toys to create more play opportunities. For example, building blocks; not only can they build a tower, but they can be used to build a house for your Rainbow People. The car can be used to drive people between ‘block’ houses. Some ways to play are obvious but there are endless creative ways a child can play with a toy.
Educational toys can be explored with more than one of the senses and are designed to enhance a child’s development in the below five areas:
- Cognitive skills – dispositions
- Speech and language skills – communication
- Fine motor skills - little movements
- Gross motor skills – big movements
- Social and emotional – connection
The best toys are those that can be used to build or create something and those that teach social skills, such as taking turns, following the rules of the game, and listening to instructions.
Through play, children are challenged to develop and encouraged to explore the senses and movements. In fact, even choosing toys is a valuable developmental skill that children must develop.
Types of educational toys for children
There are different types of educational toys that encourage different types of play. As your child develops, so does the way they play.
Here are a few examples of good toys for 1 year olds:
- Stacking cups – Stacking and grasping the pieces helps your little one develop their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their organisation. They’re a great way to practice problem-solving skills and build cognitive development.
- Rainbow people – This adorable set of rainbow people is perfect for imaginative play. Role playing helps develop language and communication skills, while also promoting creativity and imagination.
- Push-pull toy - Push-pull toys will help teach your little one how to navigate the world, while developing coordination, balance, and motor skills. If your toddler is just learning to take their first steps, a push-pull toy like this is a natural way to encourage standing up, and the action of putting one foot in front of the other.
Here are a few examples of good toys for babies under 6 months:
- Sensory cube – The cube’s fabrics, ribbon, and natural wood are made to encourage both fine and gross motor skills. Multiple materials will help develop your baby’s ability to differentiate textures. While your baby’s vision will be drawn to the bold black and white colours.
- Round rattle - Rattles encourage grasping skills and hand-eye coordination. As your little one practices reaching for the rattle, they will get more accurate each time. Babies initially grasp objects using their whole hand, so baby rattles are the perfect size to be held. These initial attempts at grasping will help strengthen the hand and fingers in preparation for more mature grasp patterns. They can be used to promote gross motor milestones. As your baby gets older, you can start putting the rattle slightly out of reach and encouraging your little one to get it. This can help promote motor milestones such as crawling, reaching, or even pulling to stand.
- The award-winning Skwish is a one-of-a-kind wooden rattle and teether toy. It skwishes and returns to its original shape, with beads that slide and rattle. A great introduction to cause and effect!
A better way to play
Babies and toddlers reach development milestones through play and through variety in their daily experiences. From play inside to outside, to movement, to speech and language, consider all five areas of development when playing with your child. Pull toys, bright colours, soft blocks, board books all form beautiful, fun aspects during their stages of development.
Remember, having too many toys can easily over-stimulate your little one so ensure you only have a few items out at once and rotate them to keep your baby or toddler engaged.
Let the fun (and learning) begin! Shop our products today!
PlayLogy. Created by parents, curated by experts.