Do Children need Educational Toys

The best toys are educational toys. But what is an educational toy? Does it have to be sold at a trendy toy store in a fancy box with paragraph after paragraph of so called experts spewing forth study results about why this toy will make your child a genius?

Any toy that encourages a child to think is an educational toy. Any safe item that a child has fun with can be considered a toy. All learning is purely academic. Children need to learn basic skills, develop cognitively, and learn to be creative. It does not take an expert to determine if a toy is helping a child to learn. Anyone can observe the act by simply looking at the child. Is the child interacting the toy in any way, even if that way is not the prescribed play function of the toy? Then that child is learning. It really is that simple.

The more a child gets to interact with their environment, get to observe, gets to play with toys, the more that child will learn. A child cuddled up with a stuffed animal (or favorite blanket, or funny sock) is learning about feelings and companionship. A child banging pans is learning about a myriad of different things from rhythm to the physics of metals. Is a child with a set of specially designed vocabulary blocks learning the lesson they were designed for? Sure, but he is also learning about engineering and exploring creativity.

Educational toys are an necessity for a child’s mental growth and development. Expensive educational toys are not a necessity for anyone. A child will learn as much or more with a couple of cheap plastic cups and a bowl of water as she will with a designer toy specially designed to show fluids moving. I bet if you ask the child she will say the cheap cups and water are more fun.