When working with kids, it’s essential to keep them stimulated and entertained, which is where high-quality learning toys from companies like Hope Education come in. Games, jigsaws, building blocks and other activities that encourage learning are a must-have for any playroom, so here are ten educational toys every childminder should have.
- Animal puzzles
The great thing about animal puzzles is that they are suitable for all ages. While simple puzzles with a few pieces are perfect for two-year-olds learning to identify jungle creatures, more advanced puzzles are great for older kids in need of a bigger challenge.
- Number and alphabet puzzles
Your little ones might be able to count from one to ten and sing the alphabet, but can they identify the written form of numbers and letters? If they need a little helping hand, number and letter puzzles are ideal, helping kids to learn as they play.
- Construction blocks
Constructions blocks are educational for many reasons. Firstly, they encourage fine motor skills and teach children about balance. Secondly, they can be bought in many different colours and sizes, helping children to differentiate between red, blue, green, yellow and such like with ease.
- Stackable toys
Like construction blocks, stackable toys are great for fine motor skills and also give kids a challenge – to place objects in the correct order. There are many different stackable activities available but while magnetic animal towers are perfect for babies, wooden animal stacks are a trickier alternative for big boys and girls.
- Imagination magnets
If you’re looking for toys that encourage creative thinking but don’t involve a lot of mess – imagination magnets are ideal. They help boost a child’s fine motor and visual thinking skills, enabling little ones to make fun and innovative designs.
- Musical instruments
One of the best ways children learn is by singing nursery rhymes and other child-friendly songs. So, if you’re in the mood for a boogie, whip out a variety of musical instruments and get kids to tap, shake and bang along to the beat.
- Shape sorters
Shape sorters enable children to identify triangles, squares, circles, stars, and rectangles before posting them through the correct hole. They’re fun, colourful and available in an array of different styles, so have a look at what’s out there and take your pick.
- Pop-up toys
Pop-up toys often teach children to push, pull, twist or slide various shapes in order to make an animal or figure pop up. As well as improving hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills they come with an additional ‘pop’ surprise, which is sure to make children smile.
- Role-play kits
If you work with kids, you’ll know that while toddlers like playing independently – often in their own little world – four-year-olds are more likely to interact with their peers. The great thing about role-play kits (such as medical, construction, road safety or police sets) is that they suit both independent and group play and can ignite the imaginations of youngsters.
- Sensory toys
Sensory play is beneficial for many reasons as it supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills and social interaction. While young babies love touchy feely books, other sensory toys including water and sand trays will help keep toddlers busy, so it’s well-worth setting up sensory stations if possible.
There are many fantastic toys out there these days, but the above ten will help children to learn as they play.
This is a collaborative editorial post.